What to Do If You’re “Too Lazy” to Wash Your Damn Face

The fastest way to get super-clean skin, zero makeup wipes required.

On average, I hear a dozen complaints a week from friends about their skincare regimens, as if I am their skin god and five-step routines are my decree. “It’s too confusing,” whines one friend, while another texts me, “But I don’t have tiiiiiime.” “Just give me the easiest thing that works,” begs a co-worker, before responding with an “Ugh,” when I suggest trying literally anything above her current level of nothing.

Because despite their laziness, everyone I know wants the same thing: smooth, zit-free, angelic-looking skin. But the annoying truth is that no matter how many as-seen-on-Instagram moisturizers you slather on, or how many "magical" acne products you apply at once, you’re never going to have awesome skin if you’re not washing your face every night. Yes, every single damn night, including that night when you “barely wore makeup” and were “really tired.”

And when I say, “washing your face,” I don’t mean haphazardly pawing at your skin with a makeup wipe as you’re falling asleep (mostly because makeup wipes are truly terrible for your skin, causing irritation, inflammation, dark spots, and even premature wrinkles. They also do a shit job of removing all of your makeup, which leads to breakouts, blackheads, and fine lines. Still feel like using them?).

No, I mean washing your face with a product that completely erases the waterproof mascara lining your eyes, the foundation caked around your nose, and the layer of oil slicked across your T-zone, so you don’t wake up looking like a Jackson Pollock.


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(Image credit: Marie Claire)

If you’re already thinking this sounds too hard, you’re wrong! Again! (Wow, maybe I really am a god.) Because every single night, I use a product that requires only my hands and a splash of water to remove all traces of makeup in under 30 seconds, no cotton swabs or wipes required. The miracle product in question? Cleansing oil, a face-wash-and-makeup-remover hybrid that will completely change your lazy-ass life.

You’ve probably heard of cleansing oils before, but I’m guessing you’ve never used one because the word “oil” strikes fear in the hearts of zit-hating humans everywhere. Cleansing oils are basically just super gentle and moisturizing face washes, but with one major difference: They're filled with water-soluble oils that bind to dirt molecules and dissolve the chemical bonds in your makeup, so everything (including the cleansing oil itself) rinses away cleanly with water.

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(Image credit: Courtesy of Brand)

And that's a stark contrast to most face washes that use harsh detergents to "lift" what it can from your skin, often leaving behind trace amounts of makeup and face oils. Plus, cleansing oils won't strip your skin or clog your pores, which means they're surprisingly excellent for people with oily, acne-prone skin, and also dry, sensitive skin. My absolute favorites: the cult-classic DHC Deep Cleansing Oil and the drugstore go-to Simple Hydrating Cleansing Oil.

“But how do I use it?!” reads the most-asked question in my texts. It’s easy: Massage a pump of oil across your dry skin (yup, all over your dirty, makeup-covered face, which will feel weird at first, but just go with it) for about 30 seconds, making sure to gently rub along your eyelashes to really dissolve mascara. Then rinse it all off, follow with your usual face wash (or skip it, though I’m a big proponent of double-cleansing if you’re acne-prone), and boom—that’s it. Completely clean skin in under a minute.

Yes, I realize that this still technically counts as “washing your face,” and hey, wait, you said you’re too lazy for that. But I’m going to be your sister, your best friend, and your mother right now and tell you to get the hell over it and clean your damn face at night (and throw away those stupid wipes, too). Otherwise, you lose your right to complain about your skin ever again.

Aren’t you glad we talked? Me, too. Now, please, go pick up a bottle of cleansing oil immediately, and text me in the morning.

Chloe Metzger
Beauty Editor

Chloe Metzger is the deputy beauty director at Cosmopolitan, overseeing the editorial content and growth strategy of the hair, makeup, and skin space on digital, while also obsessively writing about the best hair products for every hair type (curly girl here; whattup), and the skincare routines that really, truly work (follow her on Instagram to see behind-the-scenes pics of that magazine life). She brings nearly a decade of writing and editing expertise, and her work has appeared in AllureHealthFitnessMarie ClaireStyleCaster, and Parents. She also has an unhealthy adoration for Tom Hanks and would like to please meet him one day, if you could arrange that. Thanks.