Skin Care Habits for College Students

By Amanda Cohen on October 22, 2017

I love thinking back to the days where there was no such thing as dry skin, oily skin, pimples, roughness, blackheads, and other annoying skin “ailments.” Well, they existed, but I miss the days where I was not plagued with such inconveniences. I developed an easy, practical, effective skin care routine right after my skin started to become a problem, and it worked.

However, once I came to college everything went to crap! I kept up with my routine, but with the weather changes, the unfortunate dorm room conditions, and the added stress, my skin became a mess. I learned the importance of great skin care habits that go beyond what I did in middle school and high school, but I made sure that it was manageable because no college student has time for an hour-long skin care regimen.

If you value your skin and want to take care of it, read on to see what I have found works best in college!


I used to have a tendency to over-exfoliate my skin because it felt so good to feel the dirt get scrubbed away, but this is not good for you and I don’t recommend it. However, you should exfoliate 2-3 times a week (I usually exfoliate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays). You have to remember that exfoliating can be hard on some people’s skin, but you should still exfoliate at least once a week.

I usually use St. Ives Apricot Scrub, and it works like a charm!


Finding a good moisturizer is so difficult (it took me years to find one that worked with my sensitive skin). The key to a good moisturizer is to make sure that it hydrates your skin without making it oily.

I use Albissa products, but many of my friends use Neutrogena and Kiehl’s and love it. Only moisturize after you’ve washed your face; if you do it randomly, you are just rubbing dirt particles into your face.

Makeup remover

Always take off your makeup and wash your face afterward. Period. No questions asked. Many people think it’s fine to just use the makeup remover wipes, but that doesn’t help your skin. Makeup remover is not gentle on the face, so it’s important to wash off the residue and then moisturize after.

However, the two makeup remover products I use are Neutrogena; one is the oil-free eye makeup remover and the other is the wipes. Even though these are easier on the skin, you must wash your face afterward.

Morning routine

I love a good morning routine. It makes me feel accomplished and it helps me to feel less tired after a good (or a bad) night’s sleep. If you don’t shower in the morning, be sure to wash your face with warm water and cleanser. If you are having trouble keeping your eyes open, splash your face with some cold water right after.

Next, moisturize so that your skin doesn’t feel dry and tough throughout the day. After this, apply lotion to your legs and arms so that your entire body feels luxuriated.

Night-time routine

Having a good night-time routine is huge because this is a time where your skin is away from all of the outdoor environments and just has a chance to rejuvenate. It’s important to have a good morning routine, but you really want to focus on the night time. I usually wash my face, moisturize, apply any pimple cream (if necessary), and drink tons of water. Even though the water may seem irrelevant, it helps to keep your skin hydrated.

Only wear makeup when necessary

Makeup is not good for your skin. It clogs pores and it can make your face really oily. Even though you may like to look nice going to class, there are other ways to look nice without caking makeup onto your face. The less makeup you wear, the better, which is why I only wear makeup during important events or during a night out. However, if you do wear makeup, don’t forget to take it off!

Pimple cream

There is nothing more aggravating than waking up with a pimple. Since you should never pop a pimple, you want to ensure that you have some amazing pimple cream to ditch that zit! I personally like Mario Badescu, literally my friends and I swear by it, but you should only use this cream, and other pimple creams, in small doses.

After you let the cream harden and sit for a while, clean it and apply a hot compress to the zit (this eliminates inflammation). Afterwards, moisturize the area because pimple creams dry out the skin.

Skincare is extremely important. Even though the list above may seem tedious, I promise you will be so much happier with your skin and you will create great habits that you can carry on for life! Treat your skin with respect, and treat your entire body like the temple it is!

I am currently a junior at the University of Michigan.

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