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This Is The Best Time To Wash Your Face At Night

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You know that feeling, after a long day at work, after you’ve dinnered, cleaned, tv-ed, emailed, texted, planned, and squandered an egregious amount of energy agonizing over something you absolutely can’t change… when you just can’t wait to start your nighttime skincare routine? Yeah, me neither.

Because there’s nothing more incompatible to a long day of work than...more work. And whew, skincare is work. When I get home, my general M.O. is to give in to the sweet siren of food and television, while balancing a few work and wedding-related matters on the side. I go in with good intentions: “I’ll get to my skincare routine when everything is finished,” I lie—shockingly well, I might add—to myself. But by the time my face is supposed to be covered in suds, my priorities have shifted to sleep, which I think that as adults, we can safely agree is way sexier and more fun.

What sleep is not—at least when it replaces my nightly skincare routine altogether—is good for my skin. For a while I hacked my routine to accomodate my sleep schedule—you may recall my “sink-less” bedside routine from not too long ago. But I’ve gotten lazier, and tireder. So much so that I found myself skipping my nighttime skincare routine altogether more often than not. My skin: not happy. My mood: about the same as my skin. But a few months ago something profound occurred to me: why not start my skincare routine as soon as I get home from work? Why wait?

After months of trying this out, I can firmly conclude that the best time to start your skincare routine is as soon as you get home from work. Or school. Or wherever—let’s say anytime between 6PM and 8PM on weeknights (do as you please on your days off). As soon as I get home, I get to work. My day clothes come off, my robe goes on, and then I immediately launch into makeup removal and face-washing mode. After I'm done at the sink, I take the rest of the products I’ll need and plant them right in front of me (usually the coffee table), for easy access. Every 15 minutes or so another layer of skincare gets added to my face. First comes the P50, then the essence (my favorite these days is Amore Pacific’s Vintage Single Extract). Next up is eye cream (I use Glossier’s—trust me it's amazing). By the time The Real Housewives of Pick-Your-City comes on, I’m onto my last step: Mary Allan’s Nude Luminosity Hydra Plumping Drops, the only face oil I have ever loved. And then I’m ready to sit back and turn my brain off, and more importantly: my nighttime routine is totally done.

Let me tell you, the results have been amazing. For one, I’m doing a routine, which is certainly better than no routine. And I’m doing it before I’m completely exhausted, which makes the whole exercise more enjoyable. But you might be wondering, can you still call a nighttime routine a nighttime routine when you’re doing it in full view of the sun? I say sure you can, and then you can call it a day.

—Ashley Weatherford

Photo via ITG