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How Long Should Your Skincare Steps Really Take?


We all find ourselves rushing through our skincare at one point or another. Maybe that morning cup of coffee hasn’t kicked in yet and we can barely open our eyes, let alone massage moisturizer into our skin. Other times, we’re just too tired before bed to really do a routine. But this isn’t giving skin the attention it deserves.

Each step in your skincare regimen should take long enough that your skin can reap the benefits from the product you’re using. To get the low-down on how long we should really take to do our skincare routines, we chatted with the bareMinerals Global Education and Consumer Experience Team. Ahead, they’re breaking down each step, second by second, from the perfect cleansing routine to the best technique for facial massages. Take your time to read these skincare tips and then take your time with your routine. There’s no reason to rush.

How Long Should You Wash Your Face For?

The first step of your skincare routine just might be the most important. To make sure you properly clean your entire face and prep it for the rest of your routine, you’ll want to use the proper technique. Start with dry skin, like a facialist would at a spa. “Work your [cleanser] over the entire face and ensure all makeup is removed in the evening. In the mornings, a nice way to ‘wake up’ the skin is to use your fingertips to create circles across the cheeks, chin, nose and forehead,” says Lee Etheridge, Executive Director of Global Education and Consumer Experience at bareMinerals. “I like to slowly count to 15 while doing a mini-massage with my facial cleanser in the shower.” Then, use a clean, damp face cloth to remove the cleanser gently from your skin without tugging.

What if You’re Wearing Waterproof Makeup?

Some makeup is harder to remove at the end of a long day — especially foundations with SPF in them. For this, Lee suggests doing a double cleanse with an oil-based cleanser, such as OIL OBSESSED Total Cleansing Oil. “Oil-based cleansers work quickly to dissolve makeup and other impurities, so a couple of movements across the face should do it. Follow with a traditional cleanser to ‘clean’ the skin,” she explains.

For waterproof mascara, “Use your regular cleanser, applying to the eye area first. Then, on your second cleanse, remove any remaining eye makeup. Again, a few minutes is all it should take,” says Lee.

How Long Should You Leave a Face Mask on?

It depends. No two face masks formulas are exactly the same, so they won’t take the same length of time to treat your skin. First, carefully read the instructions on the back of the mask. “Typically, masks will do their job in about 10 minutes, with the exception of overnight sleep treatments designed to work over a number of hours,” Lee says. Such is the case for our SKINLONGEVITY Vital Power Sleeping Gel Cream, which goes to work while you sleep. Looking for a way to really indulge in your masking routine? “I love [putting] on a mask for 10 minutes then hopping into the shower. The steam from the hot water adds a nice spa moment,” Lee adds.

What About These Facial Massages Everyone’s Talking About?

If you have the time, Lee says an effective facial massage can be completed in just 5 minutes. Although some facialists might use fancy tools, like jade rollers and guashas, you really only need your fingers and either a serum or a face oil. “Starting at the sides of the nose, use [your] hands to massage outward onto the cheeks into a circular motion,” Lee says. “Next, make a ‘V’ with your fingers and massage along your lower cheekbones and jawline, back and forth toward the ears. This will get blood flowing.” Next, you’ll want to concentrate on the top half of your face, massaging your hands upward and outward towards your forehead. Continue to follow and repeat the steps until the serum or face oil is fully absorbed into the skin.

And What About Moisturizer?

Moisturizer doesn’t usually take as long to rub into the skin as oil or serum. Blass Laner, Learning Design Manager for Global Education at bareMinerals, suggests gently rubbing it into your skin for about 15 seconds. For thicker formulas, like our BUTTER DRENCH Restorative Rich Cream, you might need 15-30 seconds longer to work it into dry patches. And don’t forget to take your moisturizer past your face. “Work down the neck and rub in small circles across the décolleté area. This usually takes about 30 seconds,” Blass adds.

On the other hand, you don’t want to pull or tug around your eye area. The skin around the eyes is very delicate and prone to fine lines, so it shouldn’t be massaged as hard. “Use your ring finger when applying eye cream,” Blass suggests. “It has the least amount of mobility and power, so you are less inclined to overdo it. Tap underneath the eye a couple of times, usually for about 20 seconds or so, then move up to the orbital bone to tap the product just over the eye.” Be careful not to overdo it. Just 30 to 45 seconds should do the trick.

How Long Should You Really Rub in Sunscreen?

Sunscreen requires more time and precision. While getting the most out of your beauty products is nice, it’s really important for your health that you don’t rush sun protection. “We recommend pressing it into the skin,” Blass says. “Don’t forget to work up to the hairline and over your ears.” Noticing a subtle white cast on your skin? This happens with clean sunscreens because of the non-chemical, mineral-based SPF. Just continue pressing it into your skin until it disappears. Don’t rush or skip out on this process. SPF is important every day and every season (even when it’s not sunny out).

All Done — What Now?

So, you’re done with your skincare routine? Great job. Your skin is all prepped for the rest of your day or night. Blass suggests letting your moisturizer set in for 1 to 5 minutes before moving onto your makeup. In the meantime, you can do the rest of your morning routine: brush your teeth, fill up your coffee, pick out your outfit. 5 minutes later, your skin will be all ready for you to apply makeup.