On date night, nothing sets the mood quite like candle light. Coincidentally, if you’re faced with a same-day skin blemish, then nothing reassures you more than that low, flickering light. (Heaven forbid he or she focus on that big red pimple, right?) But don’t let it come to that: Having good skin every day is entirely within your control—including on the day of a big date.
First things first: You need to understand your skin’s predilections, in order to get ahead of the most common concerns. For example, if you have oily skin, then you probably want to prevent forehead shine and excess sweating. On the other hand, dry and sensitive skin types might fear same-day shaves or general dullness and redness. Add to this the other things you endure on a regular basis—dark circles, anyone?—and you can fully ready yourself for the big day.
Read on for our date night skincare tips, which should also be considered “days leading up to date night” as part of the regimen—because sometimes the best preparation happens the night before, or in the couple days prior. Pair the below tips with a steady skincare regimen for your skin type, common anti-aging habits, and you’re well on your way to clean, clear skin on the regular—date night or not.
A Couple Days Before:
Ideally, you’ll exfoliate your face a couple times a week, in order to maintain smooth texture and to promote a clear complexion. Ingredients like salicylic acid can dissolve dead skin cells and unclog the pores to also prevent breakouts. That being said, any full-face application (whether it’s a physical scrub or chemical exfoliant) can leave the skin a little reddened. So, make sure to do this step a couple nights ahead of the date, so that your skin can recover while you sleep and so that you can keep pores clear for the coming days. Cardon Cactus Toner Wipes give skin gentle physical exfoliation thanks to their woven texture while the chemically exfoliating formula works its magic bringing newer, clearer skin to the surface.
2. Clear Your Calendar
This is more of a habitual tip, but try to minimize the amount of stress you have in your life in this homestretch window, while also prioritizing ample sleep. Your skin directly reflects these factors—since its brightness and clarity depend on staying rested, relaxed—oh, and hydrated, too. Try to minimize vices like alcohol and smoking, as well, since skin can “show” their dehydrating effects in the days to follow a binge.
3. SPF Always
We know you’re faithful to the daily SPF (likely from your SPF moisturizer). It’s the best way to pay it forward and preserve that youthful appearance for years to come. Don’t overlook the habit in the days before, especially if it’s super sunny; you wouldn’t want a sunburn to spoil your mood.
The Night Before:
1. Do a Razor Shave (If That’s Your Thing)
Unless your skin is trained for a daily shave, then do not shave immediately before your date. Do this the night before at the latest, so that your skin can rebound from the razor and look soothed and healed before the big impression. You will ideally have an electric shaver in your dopp kit for pre-date cleanups, if you want a baby-faced smoothness. This will ensure that you don’t break the surface of the skin and risk redness or irritation at the eleventh hour. Moreover, make sure you choose a soothing shaving cream, like our new Cactus Foaming Shaving Cream.
2. Apply a Sheet Mask
Before bed, add a 10-minute, serum-packed hydrating sheet mask to your regimen. This will pump a bunch of nourishing, soothing, and brightening ingredients into your skin, and their powers will multiply as you sleep, since your cells regenerate as you sleep. (To that tune, make sure you get a full 8 hours’ sleep, too.) You’ll sport a brighter, firmer, balanced complexion all the following day, and well into date night.
You can choose a soothing mask like Cardon’s cactus face mask following a shave or stressful day, or a detoxifying one like Cardon’s bamboo charcoal mask with beard oil sachet, which is designed for guys with facial hair.
3. Spot Check Any Pimples
No matter the time of day, you should be vigilant of any budding or existing blemishes. Have an acne patch ready for any such breakouts, to quickly dissolve and diminish the contains trapped within the pimple. Apply it to freshly cleansed skin, and wear the patch for anywhere from 2 hours to overnight. Those little micro-needles on the patch slowly release the ingredients directly into the blemish. If you get ahead of any growth—like when you can feel something brewing under the skin, then you can often prevent the formation of any blemish altogether. If you apply it to an existing pimple, then you just may get it down to surface-level redness—which is easily concealed (and healed) from there.
4. Prevent Under Eye Issues
Before bed, apply your first dose of eye cream to ensure that you wake up looking as alert as possible. This product targets the area with skin-firming and -brightening ingredients, to minimize sagging, puffing, and dark circles in one fell swoop. Hopefully you’ll get cozy with this product on a daily (and nightly) basis, but especially leading up to a big date.
The Day Of:
1. Check for Pimples
It’s not too late to spot-check any last-minute or persistent blemishes with an acne patch. Wear one (or as many as you need) during the day if possible. (They’re clear, too, so they’re easy to wear throughout the day and are especially Zoom-friendly though we wouldn’t recommend wearing it during your date. After all, we want all eyes on you, not your zit.)
2. Apply Eye Cream
In the morning, and before the date, do a swipe across each undereye area. Maximize those brightening, firming ingredients to ensure that you look your most alert. (Hopefully you adhered to the “get lots of sleep” advice, and aren’t having to mask the unmaskable puffy bags.)
3. Tone Oil Levels
If you have especially oily skin, then you’ll want to control oil levels as much as possible. After washing your face with a deep-pore cleanser, apply a soothing toner to help balance pH and oil levels in the skin—in other words, to signal to the pores that they don’t need to work overtime to rehydrate the skin with sebum. This can help prevent glossy forehead during the date.
4. Wear Lightweight Products
Light layers are key to a date night skincare regimen. This ensures you don’t randomly break into a sweat—nerves or not—because your moisturizer is occluding your pores. Keep it breathable with a gel moisturizer, perhaps layered over a hydrating hyaluronic acid serum.
5. Have Concealer Ready
Hear us out. Some guys wrongfully scoff at concealer, because they confuse it with foundation or some other broad-application makeup. What concealer does is cover up individual spots (be they dark under eye circles, stubborn hyperpigmentation marks, or small blemishes). A tiny dab with your pinky finger will do the trick, so long as the concealer matches your skin tone. It blends in easily and quickly disappears the dark spot. This way, you won’t be worried about any unsightly zits when you should be focused on getting acquainted with your date.