True story: I have makeup remover, an eye serum, and an inexpensive nightly moisturizer on my nightstand, and I truthfully use them (the way I'm supposed to) about twice a week. Sticking to a skincare routine is just not my strong suit. And I have a feeling I’m not the only one out there with this issue.
On her channel, esthetician and YouTuber Veronica Gorgeois stressed the importance of sticking to a consistent skin care routine, saying that skin responds best to consistency. She likened skincare to nutrition and exercise: You can work out and eat healthily once every now and then, but if you don't do it consistently you won't see or feel your desired results. The same is true for skin care, she said. If you want to actually see fewer blackheads or feel like your skin is generally moisturized, then you're going to have to generally work on it every day.
So as much as I hate to admit it, if we're going to spend money on skincare products, we might as well use them as intended to get the desired results (otherwise, why bother at all?). If you're like me and struggle with sticking to a skincare routine, here are seven tips that should help.
1. Keep Everything In One Place
In a piece on how to stick to your skincare routine, beauty and lifestyle blogger Venusian Glow recommended keeping all of your skin care items in one spot. "A neighbor of mine often has to wake up at unearthly hours (she's a nurse), so she keeps all the products that she uses in the morning on a small tray on her living room table. That way she doesn't have to think too much or search for anything -- it's all right there," Glow wrote. While we may not all want to keep our beauty products on our coffee table, keeping them in a designated area in our bedroom or bathroom definitely helps.
2. Make Your Skincare Products Look Welcoming
Glow also recommended keeping your skincare products and application area organized and welcoming, with the logic that the nicer something looks, the more appealing it is to use. "Whether it's a dressing table or a bathroom shelf, make it a place where you'd like to spend a few minutes. Good lighting, no clutter, and maybe a small decoration / tiny flower vase /cute photo of you will make the spot much more inviting," she said.
3. Set A Reminder On Your Phone
On his website, behavioral science writer James Clear, author of Transform Your Habits, stressed that it's incredibly important to set reminders for yourself when trying to establish a routine. "Getting motivated and trying to remember to do a new behavior is the exact wrong way to go about it. If you’re a human, then your memory and your motivation will fail you. A good reminder does not rely on motivation and it doesn’t require you to remember to do your new habit," Clear said. Try setting a reminder on your phone an hour or so before bed so that you'll be more motivated to wrap up that Hulu Plus binge-watching session before you're too tired to do anything but crawl into bed.
4. Make Cotton Balls And Wipes Super Accessible
An organization 101 tip is to always opt for transparent containers, because then you'll not only know what you have, but you'll be way more likely to actually use it. Having your basic skin routine tools super accessible will also minimize another obstacle to sticking to the routine — especially on those days when you just don't feel like doing it.
5. Keep A Headband Handy
This is my own personal little common sense tip. Sometimes when I'm super tired and not in the mood to do my skincare routine, the ability to adequately pin my hair back can be the difference between completing the entire routine or not. Keep a cheap and basic headband by your cotton balls so you have it handy every time.
6. Commit To The Basics
Even if you truly don't have time for every step of your routine, force yourself to stick to the basics: specifically, removing your makeup every night. In an article for The Huffington Post, dermatologist Eric Schweiger noted that regularly sleeping in your makeup can cause clogged pores and acne, as well as the long-term breakdown of collagen, which can lead to premature aging. Keep a pack of makeup remover wipes right by your bed for those nights when you just need to collapse.
7. If You're Really Tired, Trick Yourself
Clear also recommended simply tricking yourself when forcing yourself to do something unpleasant. Tell yourself you'll just remove your makeup, and once you start it's super likely that you'll then end up putting on that AHA gel and moisturizer anyway since you've already gotten things started. He recommended asking yourself, “How can I make this behavior so easy to do that I can’t say no?” and usually that entails just telling yourself you'll only be doing the first step.
Sticking to a skin care routine can feel like a hassle — especially after a long day or getting home super late. However, sticking to your plan definitely isn't impossible — just make it as easy for yourself as possible and remind yourself that the best way to see the results you're looking for is through consistency.