How To Do The Most: A Skincare Routine

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Hi there. You don’t know me very well—I’m Sam! I work on the Glossier Communications team—but if you met me, you would know I’m pathologically obsessed with my skin. I constantly seek to make it brighter and tighter. I am also (plot twist!) tormented by my burning desire for more skincare products, to buy and also to apply. My life force comes from the feeling of treating myself each night, then waking up and seeing the results. The longer I do it, the more products I acquire. So much so that my skincare routine has become as many steps as it is humanly possible to do before bed. You could not possibly accomplish something longer—at that point it would become a morning skincare routine and no longer count in the category. With that, I should disclose that while I was born a Capricorn (who is also Ambitious, Wise, Disciplined, and Patient according to the internet) I’m actually not trying to fix anything. I just fucking LOVE doing the steps. From reading the comment section on ITG for years, I get the sense that you do, too. So why don’t you take a load off and join me? It goes something like this:

Prep work

The first thing I do to prepare for my nightly ceremony the second I get home is to jump into my pajamas—specifically a pair that buttons down. Gotta have access to the neck and chest zone. I enter the bathroom, lay out all of my tools, and stare at myself in the mirror for somewhere around 68 seconds. This is enough time to make sure nothing new has climbed to the surface. Then I light a sensual jasmine candle, just for funsies.

Makeup remover

I begin with the Lancôme Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover—shake it up, put it on a cotton pad and use it to melt off my mascara. Skipping this step is out of the question because because my beloved, tender white 100% GOTS certified washcloths from The Graces would get dirty. Sad! Having a tiny slice of patience—just enough to hold the soaked cotton pad over my eyeball for a few seconds before wiping away—is the hottest tip I can share. This step is preliminary. The initial calm before the storm, preparing for skincare justice to be served.

Cleanser 1

Cleanser number one and arguably my favorite step: Eve Lom Cleansing Balm. This product starts as a balm and turns into creamy, oily, liquid-gold vitamins for your face as you massage it into your skin. The texture feels like fancy Vaseline and it smells nice, like a spa. I take this time to begin a deeply romantic facial massage from me to me, while listening to the voice of Lisa Eldrige in a YouTube video (you have to watch this). I like to close my eyes for a few minutes (while gently kneading away at my forehead and smile lines) to enjoy visions of myself as an 80 year old woman with the face of a newborn baby. When finished, I wipe away the cleanser with the warm cloth mentioned above. Softer than your average rag.

Face steamer

Once my canvas is clear and I have the facial muscle structure of a seasoned saxophone player, I like to take a journey to my personal, at-home sauna. It’s where I plug in my beloved Dr. Dennis Gross facial steamer. After feeding her some bottled distilled water (I know), I sit on my toilet (the lid!) and allow the device to bless me with a soothing mist of light steam to annihilate anything lingering in my pores. This turns my face into a delicate, porcelain sponge that will soak in every last drop of sorcery that’s to come.

Cleanser 2

I like to act quickly here with Cleanser Number Two to wash out any potential loosened debris dilly dallying in my pores. Indie Lee has a brightening gel cleanser that smells like strawberry jam and always feels like cold water on my face. To me, it’s an absolute thrill to use. It foams up but not in a strip-your-face kind of way. I leave it on for 10 minutes to exfoliate verrrrrry gently and rinse away a few dead skin cells. The final step of the exorcism phase of my routine done, I am feeling fresh. As. Hell.

Essence/Toner

The first step in my layering process is to take a hydrating splash of toner straight to the face. I will not rest properly without spending the extra time to militantly press this into my skin. Have you ever brushed that teeny, velvety patch under a French bulldog puppy’s chin that feels like all that is sweet and gentle in the world? That’s what I want my cheeks to feel like. Tatcha’s Essence is the secret sauce I am undyingly loyal to. Praying they’ll see this and give me a lifetime supply, and possibly the French bulldog puppy of my dreams.

Serum

Serum is the next layer of my product lasagna. Face vitamins! I get really stressed about choosing which serum to use because I’m always trying to figure out a proper rotation that’s going to keep my skin surprised and on its toes. I feel like the moment I let my guard down she’s going to turn on me. True Botanicals has two serums that I alternate between: one for clearing and one for renewing. They are well grounded products that I would consider drinking with a straw if advised.

Eye cream

Kiehl’s Avocado Creamy Eye Treatment cannot be beat. However, I should mention I’m considering dipping my toes into the undereye oils and serums realm to kick things up a notch. Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Concerns?

At this point, it’s also likely that I’ve compulsively applied various flavors of Glossier Balm Dotcom anywhere from three to six times.

Moisturizer

Once my serum has soaked in I moisturize with the Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cream. It’s anti-inflammatory and always balances out any unsavory happenings. During this step, I look exactly like Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna when she bathes in the milk bath with her crown on but maybe possibly even better because I’m not sure she prepped as hard as I did for this.

Facial Oil

The face finale is my ride-or-die: Georgia Louise Sleeping Beauty Oil, I love you so much. Seriously, I love you so much. In my [un]professional opinion, beauty oils are the key to age-defying youth. I always rationalize spending my cold hard cash monies on the best oil that I can because this is the most critical part for me. I live and breathe for this moment. While I’m pressing a few drops of this into my skin, I’m also repeating powerful words of self-love in my head. I’m always grateful for the nightly skincare journey, but honestly, always so happy once I’ve reached my destination.

Hair Oil

I have been debating if I want to share this with you because I can’t bear the thought of sharing this and exposing its secrets so here I am sharing it sjadkjdnknesdkjsnw…. The Rahua Elixir Oil is… revolutionary, iconic, absolutely groundbreaking, EARTH shatteringly good. My hair just eats this shit like Kobayashi. I will use this until the day I die and hopefully when I’m reincarnated as a house cat my paws will have thumbs to open it and continue this journey.

Goodnight

I’m done. At this point, I just lunge my entire body horizontal onto the hardwood floors and belly slide like a baby seal all the way to my bed. Consider applying just one or five more layers of lip balm. The control variable in this freak show is my morning routine which consists of America’s sweetheart duo: Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser and Priming Moisturizer Rich to keep things consistent and carefree. I would tell you about my airplane routine but we’ll take a raincheck on that for my future Youtube channel.

—Samantha Wilson

Or, how to do the least: Read here.