Skincare Routine AM Vs. PM – Backed By Science

Our days are often a whirlwind of activity, and our nights are filled with dreams and rejuvenation. But our skin tirelessly works to protect us from the elements. Take your skin as a canvas and your skincare routine as the artist’s brushstrokes. Just as a painter carefully crafts a masterpiece, your daily skincare routine is your opportunity to create a canvas of radiant, healthy skin. 

Your skin, your body’s largest organ, demonstrates resilience and adaptability. As it confronts the daily challenges of sun exposure, pollution, and aging, it deserves a skincare routine that reflects the diligence and care it offers in return. That’s where the morning (AM) and evening (PM) skincare routines come into play.

This blog will explore how they differ and why they are essential to a consistent skincare regimen. 

Understanding Your Skin

Before diving into the specifics of morning (AM) and evening (PM) skincare routines, it’s crucial to grasp the fundamentals of your skin and how it operates. Your skin isn’t just a passive barrier; it’s a dynamic organ capable of adapting and responding to various factors. 

Your skin’s needs and functions aren’t static; they evolve throughout the day and night, guided by the body’s internal clock or circadian rhythm. 

Here’s how your skin changes during these distinct phases:

1. Morning (AM)

  • Oil Production: Sebum production tends to be higher in the morning, helping to keep your skin hydrated and protected throughout the day.
  • Protection from UV Rays: Your skin is especially susceptible to UV damage in the morning, making sunscreen a crucial step in your AM routine. [3]
  • Cell Turnover: Skin cells start to turn, shedding old cells and preparing for the day ahead.
  • Preparation for Environmental Stress: Morning skincare focuses on strengthening the skin’s barrier and preparing it to face environmental stressors.

2. Evening (PM)

  • Repair and Regeneration: During the night, your skin shifts its focus from external defense to internal repair. Cellular renewal and collagen production are accelerated.
  • Cleansing: PM skincare starts with a thorough cleansing to remove makeup, pollutants, and accumulated dirt from the day.
  • Absorption of Active Ingredients: Skin’s permeability increases at night, allowing for better absorption of serums and treatments.
  • Hydration: PM routines often involve richer moisturizers to support the skin’s natural repair processes. [1]

Skincare Routine AM vs PM – Backed by Science

A glowing, healthy complexion is a goal that many aspire to achieve. Science has shown that the key to radiant skin lies in a consistent skincare routine tailored to your skin’s unique needs at different times. Not only this, but you should also transition in your skincare routine from summer to fall. 

Let’s delve into the morning (AM) and evening (PM) skincare routines backed by scientific research. This will help you unlock the secrets to youthful and vibrant skin.

  • Morning Skincare Routine (AM)

Your morning skincare routine is a crucial foundation for the day ahead. It addresses your skin’s specific challenges as it prepares to brave environmental stressors. [4]

1. Cleansing 

Morning cleansing is essential to remove the oils and impurities that accumulate on your skin overnight. Use a gentle cleanser to maintain your skin’s natural moisture balance while cleaning the surface.

2. Toning

A morning toner helps balance the skin’s pH and prepares it for the subsequent steps in your routine. Look for toners with hydrating and soothing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and chamomile extract.

3. Serum and Antioxidants 

Morning is the ideal time to apply serums with antioxidants like vitamin C, which help protect your skin from UV damage and free radicals. Ensure the serum contains stable and effective forms of antioxidants.

4. Moisturizing

Morning moisturizers hydrate the skin, create a protective barrier, and prevent daily moisture loss. Select a lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizer suitable for your skin type.

5. Sunscreen 

Sunscreen is the most critical step in your morning routine. It shields your skin from harmful UV rays, preventing premature aging and skin damage. Opt for broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher, and reapply as needed, especially if you spend time outdoors. [2]

  • Evening Skincare Routine (PM)

Your evening skincare routine focuses on skin repair and rejuvenation, capitalizing on the body’s natural nighttime processes.

1. Cleansing

PM cleansing removes makeup, pollutants, and accumulated dirt, allowing your skin to breathe and regenerate. Consider double cleansing to ensure a thorough clean without stripping natural oils.

2. Exfoliation

Exfoliation in the evening promotes cell turnover, revealing fresher, younger-looking skin.

Use chemical exfoliants like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) for effective and gentle exfoliation.

3. Serum and Targeted Treatments 

The evening is ideal for potent ingredients like retinol and peptides, aiding collagen production and skin repair. Start with lower concentrations and gradually increase to avoid irritation.

4. Moisturizing

Night creams provide deep hydration and support the skin’s repair processes, helping you wake up with a refreshed complexion. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides for optimal hydration.

5. Eye Cream

Evening eye creams target specific concerns like fine lines, puffiness, and dark circles, promoting overall eye area health. Choose eye creams with peptides, antioxidants, and hydrating ingredients.

6. Overnight Masks and Treatments

These intensive treatments provide extra nourishment, helping to rejuvenate and revitalize the skin as you sleep. Select products with ingredients like niacinamide or hyaluronic acid for added benefits.

Elevate Your Skincare Experience with Kulani Spa

At Kulani Spa, we understand that achieving and maintaining beautiful, healthy skin is a journey that requires expert guidance and exceptional care. Our commitment to excellence in skincare has made us a trusted destination for those seeking a transformative and science-backed approach to skincare.

Our team of experienced estheticians takes the time to assess your needs, for instance, acne, combating signs of aging, or simply maintaining a healthy complexion. Whether you’re seeking a revitalizing facial, a relaxing massage, or advanced treatments like microdermabrasion or chemical peels, Kulani Spa offers a wide range of services to meet your skincare needs.


Both routines are vital, with their own unique objectives and product selections. The morning routine fortifies your skin against the day’s challenges, while the evening routine allows for deep restoration while you sleep.

At Kulani Spa, we are dedicated to helping you achieve and maintain the radiant, healthy skin you deserve.  Contact us today to schedule a consultation or book a treatment that will leave you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and confident in your skin.


1. Is AM or PM skincare more important?

Both AM and PM skincare routines are important and serve distinct purposes. AM skincare focuses on protection from UV rays and environmental damage, while PM skincare prioritizes repair and rejuvenation. 

2. Is it best to use serum AM or PM?

Serums can be used in both morning and evening skincare routines, depending on the type of serum and your skin’s needs. 







author avatar
Sabina Gordon

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