How to build a PM skincare routine

Regardless of whether you’re a skincare newbie or product addict, actually pulling your products together into a routine at the end of the day can be quite daunting (or confusing). Here’s a guide on the main steps you might want to incorporate for a full-proof night-time routine, regardless of your skin type.

At the end of the day, you really want to tick the box in four main categories: Clean, Treat, Hydrate and Moisturise. No matter how many products or steps that ends up looking like, then you’re at least cleansing the day away, working towards your skin goals, rehydrating your skin and locking it all in to do the hard work overnight.


Washing your face at the end of the day is deeply satisfying but also does your skin the world of good. Sweat, dirt, SPF and pollution can all cause issues when left on the skin, so even if you don’t wear makeup, starting your routine by cleansing sets you up well for the rest of your routine. The most effective way to ensure your skin is clean, is by using the double cleanse method.

Gunk Off is a fantastic balm for any skin type (even sensitive) and works to remove everything from just your daily SPF to more intense full face looks. For a second cleanse, I’ve got some recommendations below:

Dry and sensitive skin: Usually prefer a cream or milk texture, something quite simple that will give back to the skin, like the Avene Gentle Milk Cleanser or Koko & Kush A Daze Work Cleanser.

Combination and normal skin: Might like a gel formula that’s more balancing, like the Naturium Mixed Greens Nutrient-Rich Cleanser or the Murad Prebiotic 4-in-1 Multi Cleanser.

Oily and acne prone skin: Whilst it can be tempting to wash your face until it’s squeaky clean, even those with oily and acne prone skin have to be careful not to overdo it and strip the skin. Cleansers like the Frank Body Extra Clean Face Wash and Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Cleaning Gel are great to alternate with a more gentle wash, so you can still make use of fantastic actives without overdoing it.


This next step is where you incorporate treatments or serum products to help target whatever your current concern is. This may be anything from soothing and calming your skin, to exfoliating or brightening and evening skin tone. Whatever product you’re using to address these concerns, it usually sits in this part of your routine, right after washing your face. This is so that the active ingredients you’re using have the best chance to penetrate your skin and do their work.

All-rounder treatments: If you don’t have a specific skin goal in mind, an all-rounder serum might be a great option, usually containing multiple hero ingredients to target several issues in one step. The Emma Lewisham Skin Reset, Aesthetics Rx Ultimate Serum and Holifrog Galilee Antioxidant Dewy Drop Serum all contain great ingredients to replenish skin, counteract environmental damage and boost skin glow.


Throughout the day, your skin can be exposed to all kinds of factors – like the weather and caffeine consumption - that impact the hydration level of your skin. Your night-time routine is a great opportunity to replenish this moisture, so you can wake up with fresh and plump skin. A face oil packed with hydrating plant oils, like Go-To Face Hero is a great all-rounder for any skin type and easy way to get that glow back. Alternatively, you can also look at single oils to better target specific skin concerns, or use a hydrating serum like the Boost Lab 2D-Hyaluronic Hydro Boost if you prefer a lighter texture.


Once you’ve applied all your great serums and hydrating products, it’s time to lock it all in, which is how a moisturiser fits into your routine. It’s typically your last step and will be the heaviest feeling product. The purpose of a moisturiser is to create a barrier so that all the products you’ve applied before that don’t evaporate and get the best chance to work on your skin. A lot of moisturisers will come with additional ingredients like vitamin C or retinol, but I wouldn’t rely on it as the best way to use actives, since it’s generally the last step in your routine. Here are some product recommendations for your skin type:

Dry and sensitive skin: A thicker, true cream texture will work for most people with dry skin, especially one with additional hydrating ingredients. Depending on how sensitive your skin is, you might also like your moisturiser to include barrier supporting ingredients like the Avene Hydrance Rich Hydrating Cream or the Youth To The People Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream

Combination and normal skin: Are most likely after a medium weight cream that delivers on nourishment without feeling too heavy on the skin. Some good options include the Fenty Skin Instant Reset Overnight Recovery Gel Cream and the Go To Very Useful Face Cream

Oily and acne prone skin: Typically prefer a lightweight oil-free or even a gel formula, like the Murad Clarifying Oil-Free Water Gel or the Alpha-H Clear Skin Daily Hydrator Gel

As an example, here’s what my current night-time routine looks like, for someone with dry and sensitive skin, looking to work on some pigmentation.

As always, listen to your skin and change your routine to suit how it feels. Whilst your evening routine is a great opportunity to introduce some hard-working actives, make sure your main priority is always giving back to your skin.