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  • Writer's picturePenn Smith

My anti-aging rejuvenating restorative, reparative evening (PM) routine!

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

I’m so happy to share my latest routine to look after my skin. I’ll soon be 48 years old, and I’m even more committed than ever to spend the time on myself (skincare and other care) to make sure I’m the best me I can be. Of course, I LOVE skincare, so some of you might find my routine a bit ‘extra’ (it is 😉). I hope some of you will be ‘extra’ along with me, but don’t feel obliged!

But really all that’s needed as building blocks for a solid evening regime are a few simple steps. So if you want a shortcut (and less $$), cut straight to my Basic Evening Routine.

My (slightly 'extra' 🙃) Evening Routine

Please remember that this isn’t a routine that everyone needs to follow. I LOVE skincare and I love the time I take in the evening to look after myself and to invest in my best me. We have all sorts of opportunities to ‘indulge' ourselves in our daily lives, from taking a walk to meditating to spending time with a book or with a favorite pet. The important thing is that it should be a pleasure and a message to the universe that ‘I matter’!! Okay, my ‘extra’ PM routine is as follows:


I’ve become a bit lazy lately so have switched from double cleansing to single cleansing. The key here is to find a cleanser that makes you CLEAN (taking off makeup and SPF) but that doesn’t strip. This is my latest favorite:

Honest Beauty Gel to Milk Cleanser


IF you're using Droplette, this is the time I'd use the Retinoid capsule - I use 2x per week but you could use it every night too (or switch up with other retinoids, see step 6)


Code Penn75off for $75 off your first order


Growth factors are key to improve collagen and elastin production, improving healthy skin proliferation. The more research I do, the more I’m convinced that retinoids and growth factors are good ‘regeneration buddies’. Bear in mind that growth factors are NOT inexpensive. I’ll be doing additional content soon on growth factors and will be getting into much more detail. But for now, it’s important for me to communicate that growth factors are just… expensive to produce at high quality. I guess you could look at it as something like cashmere. Yes, you can buy ‘synthetic cashmere’ (Cashmink anyone?) But at the end of the day, cashmere is expensive to obtain and there really aren’t inexpensive substitutes.

Having said that, I really do try to find more affordable alternatives. I'm overwhelmingly impressed with Reviv's Ultimate Serum. (yes, I still love Bradceuticals and you can't go wrong with TNS Recovery Serum or Anteage MD... but Revive is a new, terribly impressive and affordable option).

Reviv Ultimate Serum

Code PENNYSMITH for a discount


This is where we focus on a specific ‘gripe’ (have a look at my Active Skincare Ingredients blog to learn more about how to match your skincare grips with different actives.)

A quick summary of some of my favorites:


Iunik Power Moisture Serum - great to address redness and boost hydration

Naturium Tranexamic Acid 5% - amazing cocktail to address hyperpigmentation

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair - just wonderful for brightening, hydrating and reparative properties


Again, since so much of our skin regeneration happens at night, I’ve moved my Photozyme DNA Repair Enzymes to my evening routine. I really believe that DNA Repair Enzymes should be considered for everybody over 40 and anybody who has experienced sun damage. You can learn more about DNA repair enzymes here. Like with growth factors, DNA repair enzymes are a bit of an investment. I’ve tried so many and for the ingredient deck and elegance of application, my top pick is Photozyme DNA Repair Serum.

Photozyme DNA Youth Recovery

USE CODE Penn20 for 20% off


Topically applied vitamin A and its derivatives in the retinoid category have more research backing efficacy as an anti-aging ingredient than any other ingredient out there. If you’re over 30 I really hope you have retinoids in your regime! Happily, retinoids can be inexpensive AND easy to access without forsaking efficacy. My picks:

Droplette (done on step 2)

Code Penn75 for $75 off your first order


Retinaldehyde - super good for those with sensitive skin

Avene RetinAL .05 Cream

Maelove Moonlight Retinol Super Serum


Emepelle - Retinol integrated into a formulation that includes MEP which effectively emulates estrogen to help boost collagen.

Emepelle (retinol choice for: peri menopausal/menopausal/post menopausal skin)

At Skinstore (use code "penny" to get 26% off Emepelle)

My Video on Emepelle (lots of great info!)


Okay, ‘moisturizer’ may sound relatively boring next to all of our ‘high tech’ skincare. It may even remind you of that single step your grandmother used before bed (mine used Nivea Original Cream after her Ponds Cold Cream!!). But don’t discount a good formulation of ceremides, glycerine, squalene, and shea butter (plus other goodies) for the protective and nurturing qualities. The very best moisturizers for winter will even have some occlusive properties, making sure those layers of hydrating ingredients don’t escape while you sleep!

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream on Amazon or


Sometimes I’ll also add an even more occlusive product under my eyes. I’m liking the CereVe Healing Ointment but there are others out there.

CeraVe Healing Ointment (can be used as an occlusive)


If you’re like me, and you’ve noticed less density in your hair (often first noticed along the hairline and/or temple), the evening is a good time to treat those sparse areas. Again, nighttime Is great for regeneration.

The key thing with hair treatments (much like lash serums), we need to commit to the initial growth stage for at least ten weeks before we start to gauge results.

Revitalash Hair Foam on Amazon

Or Skinstore Code Penny for 26% off regular-priced products

Revitalash Eyelash Serum on Amazon or Skinstore use code Penny for 26% off regular priced items.


When I talk to women over 60 about skincare, the thing I hear most is that they wish they’d paid more attention to their necks, décolleté, and hands. Don’t miss this!! One more minute in your evening routine can ensure that the skin on these ‘on show’ areas get the same love and care as the skin on your face. For me, the focus is pigment inhibitors and retinoids to target sun damage on my chest and hands. I’m testing CeraVe retinol on one and the Droplette retinol (or glycolic) on the other hand.

CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum (loving this on my hands ((well, one hand. I'm using Droplette with retinol on the other hand))and décolleté right now)

Another alternative: My Basic Evening Skincare Routine

For those who prefer a simplified version, follow only these steps.


2. DNA ENZYME. I think this is a valuable step for everybody over 40 - if you can afford it. If not, stick to the three steps, or swap this one out for a serum.

3. RETINOL. If you're over 30, I strongly recommend you find a retinoid that you love!

4. MOISTURIZER. This is critical, especially in the colder weather, to trap in that water while we sleep.


FTC: Links in this post are affiliate ~ Please note that all links on this page are affiliate and I participate in the Amazon Associates program which is an affiliate program. Any time you see an Amazon link it is affiliate. If you choose to use my links please know that I appreciate it!

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice. Content provided on this blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Please consult with a physician or other healthcare professional regarding any medical or skin related diagnosis or treatment options. Information on this website should not be considered as a substitute for advice from a healthcare/skin professional. The statements made about specific products throughout this website are not to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. It is important that you check labels to determine if a product is right for you. Before starting any treatment at home consult a health care or skin care professional to determine if it’s right for you.

16,391 views8 comments


Jean Hutchinson
Jean Hutchinson
Aug 08, 2023

where are the copper peptides?


Anaya Winget
Anaya Winget
Oct 10, 2022

Started using Dermalmd dark circle serum This is the best under eye serum. I have been using this since last month just twice a day & result will be visible in 10 days my dark circles has been reduced..


Deborah Cole
Deborah Cole
May 03, 2022

Can the Photozyme Youth Serum be added to the cosmetic needling protocol you suggest (toner/essence, CN at 0.25 with HA, rinse HA, apply copper peptides, growth factors, retinoid, moisturizer, etc.)? If so, when would you apply it. Thanks so much!!!


Mar 11, 2022

If you wanted to add in a copper peptide serum into this night routine, where would you add it? Before growth factor? After DNA serum and before retinol? Can you combine copper peptides with THD vitamin C serum instead of ascorbate? Thank you

May 09, 2022
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