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Why your skincare routine should differ from AM to PM

Here we deep-dive into our daily skin cycle and how to optimise your routine for morning and night

Here at Renude, we pride ourselves on building personalised skincare routines unique to each members needs. Our experts curate both a morning and evening routine, ensuring each is designed to optimise the results of the other. But why should our skincare routine differ from morning to evening?

How does our skin change through the day and night?

Before we talk about skincare routines, it’s important to understand a little about how our skin’s, and our body’s needs change throughout the day. 

Our bodies have a complex internal clock, controlled by our brain, which follows a daily cycle known as the circadian rhythm. This controls a number of processes in the body including hormones, temperature regulation and how our bodies create and absorb nutrients from our diet. In relation to the skin, the primary function is different during the day vs the night. 

What is the skin’s main role during the day?

During the day, the skin is exposed to a number of aggressors in the environment. The biggest being UV light from the sun, which can cause damage at the cellular level of the skin. This damage results in an accelerated rate of ageing, as well as increasing the risk of skin cancer.

We are also exposed to free radicals in the environment on a daily basis, which are highly unstable molecules which can react with the cells in our body, causing a chain reaction of damage. Air pollution and cigarette smoke also contribute to this. 

So the most important role the skin has during the day is that of protecting the skin from these aggressors, and therefore our daytime routines should be optimised to support that by using antioxidant-rich formulas, and a sunscreen, daily. 

Which skincare ingredients are best during the day?


Antioxidants work by neutralising free radicals, to stabilise them before they can react with cells in the body to cause damage. A popular antioxidant ingredient with proven effects in providing extra protection against UV damage is Vitamin C. This ingredient comes in many forms, strengths and textures so there is a lot of variety for adding this into your regime. There are many other antioxidants used in skincare, with most plant extracts offering this benefit (via their polyphenols), popular ones being resveratrol, gingko biloba and green tea.

(See Renude-Approved Products Containing Vitamin C)


A broad-spectrum sunscreen is a must during the day to help protect against UV damage, ideally with high protection against both UVB and UVA rays. Ideally this would also have a high star rating (1-5 star scale), which shows the level of UVA protection in relation to UVB, although this is not a legal requirement so not all products will have this information available. 

Sunscreens can be formulated with either mineral/physical or chemical/synthetic filters. Mineral formulas tend to be better suited for sensitive skin, but can cause a whitening effect, whereas chemical sunscreens often have better textures and no white finish, but may not be suitable for more sensitive skin. 

(See Renude-Approved Sunscreens)

How does our skin’s role change at night?

In the evening, in particular as we sleep, the body goes into detox and repair mode. The focus shifts from external protection to cellular renewal. So our evening routine should reflect that, using ingredients which encourage the rate of new cell growth, such as retinoids and exfoliating acids. The activity of these ingredients works in synergy with the natural function of the skin, to achieve optimum results. 

(See Renude-Approved Products Containing Retinoids)

One thing to note is that these ingredients can make our skin more sensitive to sunlight, so please ensure you are using a suitable sunscreen with SPF30+ during the day, as it is particularly important when introducing retinoids or acids into your evening routine. 

In summary, your ideal skincare routine

AM = Antioxidants + SPF

PM = retinoids / actives that encourage cellular renewal

These are the main elements to differ in your routine to help best support your skin during the day and night. There is also a difference in oil production between AM and PM, which tends to be higher during the day, so you may opt for a lighter moisturiser, or hydrating serum instead during the day, where a more occlusive formula might be better suited to the evening.

Interested in receiving a personalised skincare routine?

The ingredients mentioned above may not be suitable for everybody, so this article does not replace personal advice. If you would like any help in creating your perfect morning and evening routine, our licensed skincare experts are here to help. Join Renude today to connect with your personal expert and receive a personalised skincare routine, unique to your needs and budget. 

Pippa Harman
Pippa Harman
Co-Founder Renude