With a whole night’s sleep ahead of you, night time is the perfect time to take care of your skin. Whatever moisturizer or medicines you use will have all night to soak in, heal and hydrate those problem areas. That’s why it’s so important that you find a nightly skincare routine that does the most for your skin.

But where do you even start? There seems to be no end to the number of products available at the drugstore or beauty counter that promise beautiful, glowing skin. Read below for tips on how to start building a routine that works for you.

Figure out your skin priorities

Not only do people all have different types of skin, but people also have different priorities when it comes to their skincare. For some, the most important thing might be clearing out those blemishes. Others might be more concerned about getting rid of dark circles or evening out discoloration. Even if you have multiple skincare priorities, it’s easiest to start by focusing on one area and then move on to others rather than try to tackle them all at once. Rome wasn’t built in a day — who says your skincare has to be solved in one?

Assess your schedule

We all dream about having a spa night every night to really indulge, but who has the time? If you really want to make your skincare routine a habit, it’s important to design a plan that fits you and your schedule. If you work long hours and can’t find the energy to do much more than flop into bed when you get home, keep it simple. If you’re a student who studies late into the night every night, do your routine before you settle into your desk for the evening. That way you can just slip into bed once you’ve closed your books. Whatever your nights look like, there’s a way to fit in some time to take care of your skin.

Build it up over time

Some people might find it easy just to dive head-first into a 10-step nightly routine, but for most of us just getting up to remove our makeup and wash our face every night is a struggle. Start small and work your way up. Start by trying to do one new thing for a couple of weeks and see how you feel. This will not only help in building a habit, but also assist in assessing whether your new product or step is really helping or hurting your skin. 

Find products that work for you

Not all products are made equally! Even though your friend might love that serum she’s been using for years or your co-worker swears by a certain sunscreen, your skin might not feel the same way. By going slow and building up your routine, you’ll be able to figure out what products and steps really work for you. This not only means less money on products that aren’t working for you but also less time spent on potentially unnecessary steps. If you’re just starting out, this can be a fun opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and explore new products or routines. 

Look outside the medicine cabinet

Skincare isn’t all about what you’re putting on your face. In fact, a big part of skincare has to do with what you’re putting in your body. If you aren’t drinking enough water or eating a balanced diet, you can cake on as many layers of serum as you want and you still might be breaking out. Drinking a big glass of water before bed, taking your multivitamin with dinner, or sleeping on a clean pillowcase might be the best thing you do for your skin at night.

Be persistent

Don’t beat yourself up about not getting through your routine last weekend because you were out of town. One white-head doesn’t mean that you’re skincare routine is failing you. There are so many other factors to consider — your period or stress could be wreaking havoc on your skin as well. No matter what your skin’s doing that week, skincare is a long game. Staying consistent with your routine in the long-term will help prevent future flare-ups and maintain an overall balance that will pay off in the end.