My skincare routine is to me what the wall is to Donald Trump or what Taimur Ali Khan is to all of us—an obsession. I’m going to be honest, my nightly getting-ready-for-bed routine lasts approximately 38 minutes (yup, I counted) and requires 17 products. Maybe it’s not cool to admit, but I really didn’t wake up (or go to sleep) like this—so thank God I really like the process. Read on for a deep dive into my very extra night routine, and try not to judge me when I start to talk about my skincare fridge.

A detailed decode of my expansive nighttime skincare routine

Minutes 0-4

Psych! I haven’t begun my routine yet. This refers to the minutes where I’m still laying on the couch, scrolling through Instagram and coming off of a deep dive into my ex boyfriend’s new girlfriend’s last vacation. To set the scene for you best: the TV is on but I’m not really listening, the Screen Time alarm on my phone has dinged twice, and my mascara is very crusty on my eyelashes. The AC is uncomfortably cold, so my fluffy bathrobe is coddling me like a little baby, but I still have to shore up the discipline to get up and start The Night Routine.

Minute 5

Success. I’m now in the bathroom and ready to get to work. I start off by setting the mood with the Bath and Body Works Linen and Lavender room spray, which smells super fresh and bright. I also cue up a podcast to keep me company—The Fat Mascara is ideal if I’m in the mood to feed my beauty obsession further, or How I Built This if I’m feeling inspired.

Minutes 5-9

I’ll brush my teeth for a dentist-recommended three minutes (with a very basic toothpaste), and then, since I’m a real adult now, I’ll floss with a vanilla bean-flavoured floss by Cocofloss.

Minutes 9-12

It’s time for cleansing. Don’t think that I’m going for any floozy in-the-shower cleansing. I put my hair up with a butterfly clip so it’s out of my face, and wear a cloth hairband to get all the baby hairs and flyaways off my forehead. I start with using an oil cleanser to break down all the makeup, as well as the grime that’s settled on my face through the day—I’ve been partial to the Innisfree Green Tea Cleansing Oil lately. I massage it into my face, focusing on loosening up the mascara and taking off the foundation from every nook and cranny. It becomes a milky emulsion on contact with water, and then I wash it off. For step two, I go in with the Klairs Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser, which soothes and hydrates my dry skin as it cleanses. I pat my face to dry—never, never rub—and swipe on the Tatcha Essence by taking a few drops in my hand and pressing it on. I use the infamous Biologique Recherche P50 in the morning to not confuse my face with too many actives, as I use retinol at night. If I’m applying a face mask, I’ll do it now. But for the interest of time, I’ll leave this 20-minute step out tonight.

Minutes 12-15

Now is when I dry brush—a skincare process involving brushing dry skin with a natural brush to stimulate lymph flow, improve circulation and exfoliate skin. I like The Body Shop’s long handled cactus brush, and I like to do it for three-ish minutes—I start at the legs and brush up towards the chest—just before I shower, so I can wash off all the dead skin I’ve just sloughed off. Dry brushing is great for the lymphatic system (it’s forcing the lymph glands to release toxins), and it detoxifies the body too. I usually tend to feel super accomplished once I’m done with this step.

Minutes 15-20

I like taking a real bath in a tub, and I try to marinate in one for 20 minutes three times a week at least. I’ll throw in a cup full of Dr Teal’s Bath Salts and let it relax me. But tonight, it’s just a quick wash-and-go shower. I wash with the Forest Essentials Indian Rose Silkening Body Wash, and then when I’m out of the shower and still damp, I use the Forest Essentials Mashobra Honey and Vanilla Body Oil to truly seal in the hydration.

Minutes 20-21

Now I’m finally heading to bed, where I’ll continue the rest of my skincare routine. But obviously, like any self-respecting beauty writer, I take a pitstop to my skincare fridge. It houses my mists, hyaluronic acid-based products, sheet masks, face roller and eye cream. It also has a half drunk wine bottle that I forgot to transfer to the actual fridge. Oops.

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