Why 23 minutes is the exact amount of time you should spend on your skincare routine

According to a new poll, 23 minutes is the sweet spot to great skin - we break down the perfectly timed routine, step by step


According to a survey of 2000 women conducted with OnePoll and Swedish skincare company, Foreo, since the beginning of the first lockdown, women are twice as likely to have purchased a skincare product out of any other beauty item, with almost 60 percent relying less on makeup, while a fifth of women admit they have woken up early to prepare their skin ahead of a video call.

Tellingly, the survey revealed that the average woman now spends 23 minutes each day on skincare, showing that self-care has become a priority ever since beauty salons have been closed and we spend more time on our screens working from home. Sigh. 

Radarly reported that 21% of mentions about skincare on social media were driven around conversations about 'routine.' Whereas, Samantha Dover, Senior Beauty and Personal Care Analyst at Mintel says: 'Women are educating themselves to get the most out of their facial skincare regimes, and stripping back their use of makeup products to show off the results, whilst also increasingly turning to facial skincare regimes for wellbeing purposes.'

However despite the fact that women are taking more time over their skincare, the Foreo survey showed that nearly 60% of women find that skincare routines have become more complicated than they were 10 years ago and 42% would like to streamline their regime.

So, how should you spend your 23 minutes in order to achieve your best ever skin? To make it simple, we've outlined the ultimate daily skincare timetable to help you eke out every last drop of glow from your complexion, starting with your morning cuppa... 

AM: 10.5 minutes

  • 2 minutes: Wake to a glass of water and lemon (warm is best) before you hit the caffeine, which will re-hydrate your skin and replenish the water our body (and skin cells) loses overnight. Plus, this will also help to flush out toxins that may be lingering, especially if you've had a glass of wine or two the night before. Sip slowly for two minutes then wait half an hour before your morning coffee. 
  • 3 minutes: Apply an oil or balmy cleanser to dry skin and massage into your face slowly, preferably using a massage device or Gua Sha stone. This will loosen up any leftover makeup or dirt from your skin and get your circulation going by bringing blood (glow) to the surface while draining the lymph and excess fluid. The more time you spend doing this, the better the rest of your skincare products will be absorbed. 
  • 1 minute: Hop in the shower and do a second cleanse with a gentle face wash that respects the PH balance of your skin. This second cleanse is crucial as it will make sure that every drop of oil or balm is removed giving your skin a squeaky clean canvas to receive the active ingredients in your skin serum - oil creates a film on the skin that blocks active ingredients from penetrating below the skin's surface. 
  • 30 seconds: Once your skin is pat dry, apply an essence or exfoliating toner - mild AHA's help to even out uneven skin, while BHA's are good for blemish prone skin. We can recommend Sunday Fridays Soft Reset AHA Exfoliating Solution as a good all-round radiance booster. 
  • 2 minutes: Next, apply your serum of choice using upward strokes and ensuring that every last drop has been absorbed into your skin before you move on to your moisturiser, massaging your serum into your skin for one minute at least for it to be properly absorbed. A vitamin C serum is best for brightness and pigmentation, while Hyaluronic acid is good for those with dry or ageing skin to help it to hold on to moisture levels. Tip: HA needs to be applied in a mist form or onto damp skin to glean the best results. 
  • 60 seconds: To tighten, wrap an ice cube in a muslin cloth and circle around the eye area, under the chin and cheekbones to de-puff and close the pores. This is ideal to awaken tired looking skin that may be puffy from lack of sleep. 
  • 30 seconds: Apply your eye cream in circular motions (gently) to drain the lymph and help the cream or serum to be absorbed.
  • 30 seconds: Finally, apply your face cream with ceramides and/or niacinamide to protect and strength the skin barrier, followed by a light SPF fluid (yes, even in winter) as UV rays can sneak through a window and cause premature pigmentation and wrinkles. Herbal Essentials Get up and Go Cream is a good everyday lotion

PM: 12.5 minutes 

  • 60 seconds: Cleanse away make-up with a make-up remover or balmy cleanser, massaging in with your finger tips which will warm up the skin and help to relax your facial muscles and mind for bed. 
  • 30 seconds: Do a second cleanse as per the morning with a gentle hydrating face wash such as CereVe's Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser, this time removing with a hot cloth to generate some mild manual exfoliation and to create a steamy effect which will help to properly extract pollution and deep down dirt from the pores. 
  • 10 minutes: During a Netflix break apply a sheet face mask and leave on for 10 minutes - or depending on your skin concerns, use this time to bask under an LED light mask or roll a facial microcurrent firming device such as Foreo's Bear over flagging facial muscles. Note: remove any excess from your mask with a hot cloth. 
  • 30 seconds: Apply your serum of choice. Retinol is best received at night when skin isn't exposed to UV, so this would be a great option for skin that is looking for a youth boost. Try Boots No.7 Advanced Retinol 1.5% Complex Night Concentratethat will resurface and strengthen skin with minimal irritation. 
  • 30 seconds: Now you can apply a face oil to seal in moisture. We love Drunk Elephant's new Virgin Marula Luxury Face Oil. 2 to 3 drops will cover face, neck, hands and chest without the greasy feeling.