How I Prioritize Skin Care When Life Gets Hectic

Right now, I’m in rehearsal for a play that rehearses three weeknights per week, plus I work a full-time job with a more-then-one-hour commute each way. It’s basically easier to think about how much time I spend in my house (and awake) than how much time I spend away from home. So even though I don’t have children, my life has gotten pretty hectic for me.

Yet, I’ve been striving to maintain my somewhat-complicated skin care routine because it really gives me results I need to maintain a decent level of positive self-image. Having a giant spot does nothing for my mood. So today I thought I’d talk a little bit about how I’ve planned, designed, and schedule my personal routine to make it possible to maintain, even when life doesn’t allow a leisurely few hours for doing my toilette.

First of all, I try to focus more on inactive steps to see where I can fit skin care in while I do other things. In the morning, I’m making tea, making meals for the day, dressing, and checking emails. I try to make the actual time I spend at my vanity brief and use the time doing other things to let steps sit. So I’ll put on my vitamin C serum, and then go make my lunch, for example. Or I’ll apply sunscreen before I get dressed and do my hair to give it time to settle in before I do my makeup.

In the evening, I do have one serious-active step that needs to sit for at least 20 minutes for optimal effectiveness, but I’ve found that my skin is actually happier if I limit that product to three times a week, so I try to choose nights when I’m not coming home at 10 p.m. from rehearsal. And I generally save special skin treatments like masks for the weekend, particularly Sunday night when I try not to have anything else going on. I once had a director who wanted to have rehearsal Sunday nights and it totally threw me off.

Finally, my secret weapon is that I’ve designed my skin care routine so that I have a minimum acceptable routine. If it’s really late at night and I need to just get to bed, I can cleanse my skin and slap on some cream in a few minutes, so I do that. And if I’m up super-early and don’t need to be somewhere with a full face of makeup, I know I can splash with water and throw on sunscreen. I’ve chosen products that work for that. It’s not something I’d maintain long term. But once in a while, I let myself off the hook. As long as I wash my face before bed. Of course.