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Every Step Of My Nighttime Routine & Why It’s The Best Part Of My Day

Every so often, like any good 24-year-old human, I Google myself. This is both out of narcissism and self-preservation. 

I work on the internet, so this is part of the deal — are my stories showing up? How is Google registering my website? Is that horrible photo of me still at the top of Google images (yes)? Practical questions, really. One of the most amusing parts of Googling myself, though, is seeing what autocompletes after Olivia Muenter. Among expected things like “Olivia Muenter blog” and “Olivia Muenter Twitter” (normal for people in the industry), are slightly more specific things… like “Olivia Muenter height” (I’m 6 feet tall). I think this last question is hilarious, and it’s been an autocomplete for my name for as long as I’ve been writing on the internet, pretty much. But recently, a new autocomplete appeared that made me positively giddy “Olivia Muenter nighttime routine.” If there is some sort of marker of skin care fame, this is it for me. Finally, the 7 – 12 products I use every night seem somewhat justified. 

So, for everyone that’s been wondering, here’s my nighttime routine:

1. First Thing’s First: Put On A Fluffy Robe

Few things have revolutionized my self-care habits that having a good robe. Well, to be honest, I have multiple robes at this point. But you have to start somewhere. I always do my skin care nightly routine in the fluffiest, softest robe I have. This makes the whole thing feel luxurious and relaxing — plus I don’t have to worry about getting face oil on my pajamas. 

2. Remove Makeup/Pre-Cleanse Skin

There is nothing I hate more than washing my face and getting makeup on the towels I use to dry my face after, so I always make sure to remove my makeup before hand. I usually do this using a micellar water and cotton pad, or a cleansing balm. The former way is a little less messy, but the second is a great solution if you want your skin to be as moisturized and cleansed as possible. For micellar water, I simply apply some of the solution to the cotton round and use all over my face. For the cleansing balm, you put some on your fingers and rub onto a dry face — no water for this step. It feels weird at first, but leaves your skin feeling gloriously smooth and hydrated.

3. Gel Cleanse

Next up is your standard gel cleanse. I use a ton of different cleansers as I’m always experimenting, but right now I’m loving Tata Harper’s regenerating cleanser, which is effective, all natural, and looks gorgeous sitting on your sink. Looking for a more simple, affordable option? Cetaphil is a go-to favorite of mine, as well — also a great option for sensitive skin. 

4. Tone, tone tone!

Next up is a step that I think makes a huge difference, but I didn’t start doing until maybe two years ago: toner. This makes a huge, huge difference in your skin. I always tell people who are trying to create a skin care routine that if they start with nothing else, they should begin with cleanser, toner, moisturizer. Toner preps and balances your skin before serums, oils, and moisturizers. It’s essentially like an extra layer of cleansing. I also find it brightens my skin and eliminates redness. New to toner? I highly suggest Pixi’s Glow Tonic, which is an industry favorite for good reason. It’s a game-changer. You can simply use this with cotton pads, but if you’re looking for an easier, on-the-go option, I highly suggest finding a toner that you can spray. I’m using a couple different spray toners right now and I find that it makes me much more likely to do it in the morning when I’m in a hurry. For some spray options, try this affordable rose water toner from Instanatural, or what I’m using now: Amarte’s aqua mist.

5. Floss 

I am honestly prouder of nothing more than the fact that I have finally mastered flossing regularly. It makes me feel more adult that pretty much anything else. I also have been avoided going to the dentist for like three years, but… I’m working on it. Coco Floss is basically the only reason I’ve grown to love flossing. It’s amazing, plus the packaging and branding is on point

6. Apply Face Oil 

Here’s the rule with everything that goes after toner: you want to start with the least dense product and work up to the most dense (AKA your moisturizer or sleeping mask). This means oil comes first after toner. I’m experimenting with a couple face oils right now, and am loving this Elemis Superfood Face Oil in particular. But I also am a huge, never-ending fan of Savor Beauty’s Pumpkin Seed Brightening Oil. I go back to this oil whenever I can, because it’s just that good. If you’re unsure about oil, the general rule of thumb for me is to apply 5 – 6 drops. One on each cheekbone, one or two on my forehead, and then 1-2 wherever else is in need of moisturize and hydration. 

7. Brush My Teeth 

I mean, this one is kind of self explanatory. I have no brushing secrets, unfortunately.

8. Apply Serum 

Ah, serum. This is usually the step in my routine that I remove if I’m busy or rushed. But I love the results when I stick with it, and the longer my nightly routine is, the more rested and relaxed I feel, so I try to make the time for it. In general, I aim for always using a hyaluronic and/or Vitamin C serum. Right now, I’m using the Lumene VALO Glow Burst serum and really, really loving it. I also am a big fan of Sunday Riley’s CEO serum

9. Apply Eye Cream

Right now for eye cream/serum, I have two favorites: Sulwhasoo Timetreasure and Sunday Riley Auto Correct. I keep these upstairs with my makeup, and at this point in my routine I usually head upstairs to finish up the final steps of my skin care routine and hop in bed. 

10. Apply Moisturizer

If I do nothing else with my skin, I will moisturize. I honestly can’t sleep unless I do this step, and I have a ton of favorites. Currently I am obsessed with Erno Lazlo’s Night Cream, which is light yet super, super hydrating all at once. This is a bit pricey (I received at work), but if I was looking to invest in skin care, this would be my first purchase. I’m already seeing a difference. Another favorite that’s a ton more affordable, though? Neutrogena’s Hydroboost. My boyfriend uses this every day, twice-a-day and I stockpile it just in case we ever run out because I use it quite a bit too. 

11. Apply Lip Balm

I am a Vaseline Lip Therapy apologist and no matter how many lip balms I love, it will always be one of my favorites. But I am also a huge fan of Kopari Lip Love as well. Going to bed without lip balm honestly makes my skin crawl. I have to moisturize everything!

12. Hop In Bed 

I wish I could say that I put my phone downstairs every night and instead meditate before I go to bed, but… well, let’s just say that’s a work in progress. I usually end the night working on planning on social posts or blog posts on my phone, which I almost entirely blame on my purchase of a 6-foot-long charger that lets me use my phone in bed way too easily. 

13. Turn On That Humidifier + Essential Oil Diffuser 

You know what makes me feel put together AF? My oil diffuser. Sure, everything else might be falling apart, but if you are a human with a humidifier and/or essential oil diffuser, it’s easy to feel at least somewhat like you have your shit together. It’s relaxing, soothing, and makes me feel great.

14. Eventually: Put My Phone On Airplane Mode 

When I finally pull myself away from my phone (again: working on it), I set my alarm and put my phone on airplane mode so nothing bothers me all night. I try not to take it off airplane mode until I leave for the day, but… this also rarely happens. I’m a work in progress, what can I say?

15. Read A Chapter Or Two In My Book

Even though I only manage to read a chapter or two in my book each night, I love to read — and I’m constantly trying to make time to read more, although, like putting down my phone, that too is a work in progress. Right now, I’m reading Reservoir 13, but if you want some of my favorite recommendations (I’m just a little into crime and thrillers), feel free to check out this blog post.

Truthfully, I can almost gauge how I’m doing mentally and emotionally by how much time I spend on my nightly routine. If I’m cutting out steps and ignoring the skin care rituals I’ve come to love, something is almost always off with me. Usually this means I’m feeling anxious, down, or distracted. Forcing myself to get back into the routine ultimately helps me focus on myself, feel good, and take time to pamper myself a little. We all need that. 

Your nighttime routine certainly doesn’t have to look anything like mine, but I encourage everyone to take the time to develop something that feels right for them. It’s done wonders for my mental health and self-esteem. Everyone deserves to feel good when they go to sleep each night, ya know? 

If you’re looking to grab some items to develop your routine, here are some of the products I mentioned above in an easy-to-shop list:

Any other questions about my nighttime routine? You know where to find me. Happy relaxing, all! 

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links which may result in personal financial gain.

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