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The Difference Is Night And Day

The Difference Is Night And Day


This is Martha Thomas, head of customer care for Tree of Life Beauty, and I want to welcome you to our weekly newsletter where we discuss important ways to age gracefully, “how-tos” for keeping skin healthy as you age, and so much more about your skincare regimen.

This week we will discuss “The Difference Is Night And Day.” If you missed any of our past newsletters, please check them out here on our blog.

Please be advised that we are not doctors or dermatologists, and this article should not be taken as medical advice or any medical statement. Any questions or issues involving your skin-care needs should be taken up with a physician, and we highly recommend you consult with your doctor before taking up any skin-care regimen.


You cleanse, tone, and moisturize your face once, twice, three times a day, but you’re still not getting the gorgeous results you want.

I’m here to tell you there’s a secret that you may not know about… and it has immense effects on how well your skincare regimen will work!

The secret: the clock.

It matters what time of day you apply your products.

Why does time of day matter?

There are two key ways that the clock plays a role in your skincare regimen.   

1: Purpose of products

Skincare specialists will often tell you “prevention by day, repair by night.” During the day, you want to protect yourself from oil, dirt, grime, makeup, pollutants, and environmental toxins that can damage your skin. At night, it’s time to repair the damage that your skin put up with during the day. Generally, daytime products protect and cleanse while nighttime products regenerate and restore.

  1. Circadian rhythm

In addition, different ingredients interact with your skin differently based on your circadian rhythm. Each of us has a fluctuating 24-hour cycle: our hormones change, our interactions with environmental surroundings vary, and even our weight swings.

The Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Barcelona discovered that skincare regimens showed the best results when properly attuned with natural circadian rhythms.

When Should I Apply?

We’ll take you through the circadian cycle to understand which cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and products work best for different times of day.

It’s important to note that every person has their own individual circadian rhythm. The following is a baseline. You should understand your skin personally, so you can best care for your face according to your rhythm.  


What’s going on with your skin:

When you first wake up, your skin is sensitive and fresh. It spent the whole night rejuvenating and restoring, so it will be most delicate when you wake. You may notice your face is more inflamed, red, or splotchy after a stressful night’s sleep.  

Your skin also produces large amounts of sebum in the morning. If you have oily skin, you’ve likely noticed an oily sheen on your face first thing when you wake up. If you have dry skin, you may notice that you have less flakiness in the morning (because your skin is better hydrated with oil).

What to use:

Because your face is sensitive in the mornings, stick to gentle, creamy cleansers when you first wake up. Washing your face with a light cleanser should be one of the first things you do in the morning. This will help in removing any built up oil and grime from the night.

Because your face is oily, don’t go wild with the moisturizers. Instead, stick to those products that will provide a protective barrier throughout the day.  Serums are a great way to hydrate and plump your skin so it’s ready to take on the day.  

Don’t forget to protect your under-eye area too! The thin skin under your eyes has a tough time waking up, so you can help enliven it with a vitamin C eye gel.


What’s going on with your skin:

In the middle of the day, you’re in the thick of fighting off environmental toxins. Whether the UV rays are pounding down on you, the drying air conditioner is blowing on your face in the office, or you’re dealing with stress… your skin is in the thick of it.  

In addition, your face is starting to soak up your makeup and get oily. This is prime time that your pores can get clogged.

What to use:

Time to break out a cleanser. Take a break in the middle of your day to cleanse your face with a gentle wash. Cleansing mid-day is a great way to rid of built-up oil and makeup. We recommend an antioxidant-rich wash.

If you don’t want to redo your makeup, swipe a light and bright toner over your face. This will keep your makeup in place while still cleansing and tightening your pores.

This is also a great time to reapply sunscreen or SPF if you’re exposed to UV rays. If you’re stuck indoors in dry, AC-heavy environments, you might want to swipe on a lightly moisturizing serum to protect from skin dehydration. We recommend a hyaluronic acid serum, which is ultra-moisturizing and hydrating without the heaviness, shine, or clogging-effects of other moisturizers.


What’s going on with your skin:

Like the morning, your skin can get angry at night. It’s been through a long, exhausting day trying to fight off gunk, grime, and toxins. It’s ready for a relaxing boost of cleansing hydration.

Your skin is also prepping itself for its nightly rejuvenation. As you sleep, your skin starts to repair daily damage and fight off bacteria and toxins. Nighttime is also when collagen production is at full-force.

What to use:

After you get home from work, it’s time for a thorough cleansing. This is also the time you’d want to use exfoliating products, facial scrubs, or face masks. Only use these “special” products twice per week.

Get your skin ready for its nightly rejuvenation by applying retinol products before sleep for an overall healthy, youthful, radiant glow. Use a retinol serum, or retinol moisturizer with hyaluronic acid to keep your skin looking fresh and bright.

The Bottom Line

Follow your skin’s natural rhythm for a healthy skincare regimen. Whether you’re looking to boost hydration, banish acne, or just be more mindful about your skincare, following the cyclic demands of your skin is a must.

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