These Top Dermatologists Don't Have a Nightly Skincare Routine

These days, an extensive, luxurious, 30-minute-long nighttime skincare routine seems almost standard—religion, expected, and yes, a tad over the top. And yet, there is also something that feels rather delightful in the indulgence. Not only is removing our makeup and rhythmically massaging serums, creams, and oils into our complexions great for encouraging a healthy glow, but the ritual of it also feels completely therapeutic and has basically become a daily form of self-care.

That being said, as much as we love and hoard our favorite bottles, tubes, and pots (just watch an episode of our sister site Byrdie's Instagram series #ByrdieBedtime if you don't believe us), sometimes—usually at the end of a long day—our regimen also feels daunting. And impossible. And needlessly excessive. And we find ourselves wondering: Is all of this even worth it?

While we'll never grieve the sheer number of game- and bathroom vanity–changing products currently available to us, the majority of what's marketed isn't really necessary. Of course, that will never stop us from blushing in reaction to the newest launches and debuts, but for those days or phases in our life when trimming the excess feels obligatory in order to maintain our sanity—and our nightly sleep quota—it's nice to know that we can get away with a more streamlined routine. Which, according to top dermatologists, can take roughly half the time and effort without compromising our skin.

We've known for awhile that many dermatologists already advocate for a simpler, more strategic routine, and this was something I was reminded of a couple months ago when I had the opportunity to attend the American Academy of Dermatology's (AAD) annual meeting in San Diego. And while I've known many dermatologists don't necessarily back a 10-step regimen each night, you could have knocked me over with a feather when Candace Spann, MD, of Couture Dermatology & Plastic Surgery, and Rebecca Kazin, MD, of Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery, boldly admitted to a roomful of eager beauty editors that their nighttime skincare routine typically consists of just one simple thing: a makeup wipe. My initial reaction: They're kidding, right?

After all, not only are Spann and Kazin arguably two of the best dermatologists in the country, but they also have impeccable skin. And I don't know about you, but when I think of loading up all my skincare in the morning (their strategy) and thereafter placing all faith in a cleansing cloth to rid skin of a full day's worth of grime… well, images of oil, blackheads, and whiteheads immediately bubble to mind. So I decided to follow up with both Spann and Kazin to learn more about their confessions, their morning versus nighttime skincare strategies, and whether or not a makeup wipe can truly suffice as a nightly skincare routine. Oh, and just for your information, both derms blame their sometimes one-step regimen on a crazy-busy schedule and epic fatigue come nightfall. World-known dermatologists: They're people too.

Ahead two dermatologists explain their ultra-simple evening skincare strategy and what your morning and evening skincare regimens can actually look like if you're a product minimalist at heart. (Or if like us, it's hard to rip yourself away from Netflix and a comforting pile of pillows after 10 p.m.)