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NOW READING Yes, You Can Do Your Skincare Routine Even in a College Dorm Bathroom — Here’s How
April 16, 2019

Yes, You Can Do Your Skincare Routine Even in a College Dorm Bathroom — Here’s How

College offers a myriad of exciting, new experiences: moving out, new friends, more choices, newfound independence. But there’s another aspect of college that’s less-than-appealing: the dorm bathroom. Yes, you may have to share your bathroom with an entire floor of people. So how’s a student supposed to get her multi-step routine done? Here, we offer some tips that’ll help you get through your college dorm skincare routine even when you have zero shelf space.


Some of you may be preparing to take your ACTs and SATs, are filling out college applications, and are writing essays (hi, you’re awesome!) to get ready to leave for college in the upcoming year. Some of you may already know where you’re going and have already planned out bedroom decor on Pinterest. (Leave your link in the comments bc I’m nosy and love decor!) But there’s another aspect of college life that kinda caught me way off guard when I first left home, and I thought I’d share that with y’all today.


That’s the dorm bathroom.


For me, the bathroom is a sacred space. I get most of my thinking done in the shower. I take really long baths and read books and drink tea. It’s also where I do my hair and makeup and allllll of my skincare. But in college, especially if you’re staying in a dorm, you can kiss all of that goodbye. Nine times out of 10, you’ll be sharing a bathroom with at least one other person, a quad, or an entire floor. For me, it was an entire floor of girls. The struggle was definitely real for the mini 18-year-old, beauty-obsessed me.


college dorm skincare


If you’re just as skincare and bathroom obsessed as me, you can see how this might pose a tiny bit of a problem. Where do all of your products go? Can you really take time to do a lengthy skincare routine without making everyone on your floor hate you? Let’s talk about how you get your college dorm skincare done.


So … where do I put everything?


First things first. Where are you gonna keep your skincare? Dorms and dorm bathrooms have very limited space, as well as possibly needing to transport said skincare to the bathroom to use.


Enter the shower caddy. (Side note, you can also take these to the jjimjilbang when you need a de-stressing session). The ideal shower caddy is plastic, waterproof, and has holes in the bottom that lets the water drain out of the bottom. I know they make mesh ones, but I found those too hard to clean! Make sure when you bring it back into your room, you put it in a place where it can dry out in between showers to avoid mold and mildew. I always kept my shampoo, conditioner, shaving things, soap, and my face wash and toner in my shower caddy. And don’t forget the most important thing — shower shoes!


college dorm skincare


If you’re one of those lucky souls who has shelving or a personal space to keep your items, make sure you aren’t being obnoxious with 1,000 products scattered everywhere. (Maybe this was me … maybe this wasn’t … SORRY OLD ROOMMATES!) Acrylic organizers are inexpensive and look really nice and tidy, perfect for avoiding clutter.


As far as the rest of your skincare, I recommend keeping it on your desk. Why? Well, your desk can double as your vanity! Get yourself a high quality makeup mirror and get your life.


Multitasking is key


Time and space are both limited in college. You definitely do not want to be that inconsiderate roommate who has 249,734 products for your multi-step routine scattered everywhere. So multitasking is key! Try these hacks, and boom, you’ve got at least SEVEN different products in just three.


1. Instead of using a serum, an oil, and a cream at night, you can combine those things into one by using a sleeping mask like the Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Enrich Sleeping Mask (bonus points for the wonder ingredient propolis that will make you look like you slept eight hours even though you pulled an all-nighter).


2. Instead of using both a hydrating toner and an essence, you can put those together in a first treatment essence, like the famous Missha FTE or Purito Fermented Complex 94 Boosting Essence.


college dorm skincare


3. If you’re into chemical exfoliation, you can use the COSRX Natural BHA Returning Emulsion, which also is a moisturizer!


Shower time is also very, very precious, so this is another area where multitasking comes in handy. Instead of waiting until after your shower to start your skincare routine, apply your cleansing oil in the shower and let the steam and oil work together to dislodge those sebaceous filaments.


Another one of my favorite things to do is to quickly do the first half of my routine and then put on a sheet mask and one of those silicone masks from Daiso while I’m in the shower to hold it in place. The steam will also help all that gorgeous essence to penetrate the skin! Faster AND better for you? Yes, please!


Now, actually doing your skincare routine


The thing about communal showers and sharing a bathroom space with someone is that you can’t spend 30 minutes sheet masking, jade rolling your face, and carefully tapping in seven layers of toner while listening to your music. You gotta get in and out of there without being annoying. When I was in college, I’d wash my face in the shower and then finish the rest of my skincare stuff (mind you, I was only using a few products at this time) at my desk-slash-vanity. That way, I wasn’t taking up someone else’s shower time, and I could sit and do whatever I needed to do at my desk without making anyone else uncomfortable.


college dorm skincare


Doing your skincare at your desk can also encourage your roommate to join in on the fun! Share a sheet mask with them and watch your favorite TV show together as you both wind down for the evening … or as you get ready to go to the club (hey, that would’ve been my option back in the day!).


Also, no matter how tired you are, WASH YOUR FACE. It takes one minute. I promise, your skin will love you so much.


How do you plan on getting your skincare routine done while in college? Let me know your college dorm skincare plan in the comments!



Sheryll Donerson got her start as a beauty writer by writing K-beauty reviews for her blog, The Wanderlust Project. These days, she's lifting heavy weights, eating tacos, drinking (too much) coffee and is 1/4 of the beauty podcast, Beauty Beyond Basics (or Triple Bees for short). You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @sheryllrenata.



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When I was in college I saved money and time by doing literally zero skincare.

I'm not saying there weren't consequences (my sun damage is something to behold!), but it was pretty convenient for that one year I shared a floor with approximately one million other girls ...


When I was in college, my routine was clinique liquid soap, clean and clear astringent, and clinique gel cream. I don't think college me could have afforded the lengthy routine I have now, but at least this routine was easy to keep organized!! ( I weep for my past face.)


LOL that's so true. Since teens are starting multi-step routines already (my 14 year old niece actually uses a serum) I can't imagine how they'd manage their routines in a dorm now!

I lived in a dorm-slash-apartment as a freshman so I had my own bathroom, but I'm pretty sure my routine was limited to a high pH drugstore cleanser, Sea Breeze, something like the Clinique yellow lotion, and no sunscreen anywhere in sight. 😩