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A Case For A Bedtime Skin Care Routine Way Before Bed: A Derm Explains

Jamie Schneider
mbg Beauty & Wellness Editor By Jamie Schneider
mbg Beauty & Wellness Editor
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and wellness. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
woman sleeping on a white bed

We may be tried-and-true beauty fans over here, but we realize not everyone skips up to the sink, ready and raring to start their nighttime skin care routine. Sometimes, life just gets in the way: You get busy, you become distracted, or you doze off before the first droplet of micellar water hits your skin. We get it—even the biggest skin care aficionados can feel unmotivated at times, no matter how simple and to-the-point the lineup may be. 

If you're dreading the evening routine more often than not, though, board-certified dermatologist Angelo Landriscina, M.D., poses a simple question over TikTok: "If you find it difficult to remember or motivate yourself to do your evening skin care routine before bed, why are you still doing it before bed?" 

The solution? Start your bedtime skin care routine well before bed.  

You may know this already, but let's drill it in: There is no hard-and-fast rule that says you have to do your nighttime skin care routine minutes before crawling under the covers. Some sort of evening cleanse is crucial (you'll want to remove grime at the end of the day, even if you don't feel necessarily dirty), but the exact hour is totally arbitrary. 

You might think snuggling into the couch or a smooch from your S.O. might smudge off your moisturizer or require another wash, but—as Landriscina reassures in a comment—this is simply untrue. Once you're home for the night, feel free to cleanse and carry on. 

That said, if you frequently find yourself dragging your feet to the sink, consider scheduling your routine earlier in the evening—like after work or dinner—when you're not so worn out. Landriscina also suggests leaving products you start with (like that trusty micellar water) in clear sight. "Say, in front of the television or on your nightstand," he offers. (On that note, you might want to keep other oft-forgotten products—like, say, sunscreen—in those familiar "hot spots" if visual reminders are helpful for you.)

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The takeaway.

One more time for the people in the back: There's no rule that says you must do your evening skin care routine right before bed, so if you find yourself too sleepy to cleanse, try clocking it in at an earlier hour.

Some people love a good skin care routine to wind down; others dread how long it takes to get ready for bed. There's no one right answer: Skin care is about what works for you. Landriscina would wholeheartedly agree: "Figuring out a routine that works for you is the key to consistency." 

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