Plus: Our editor shares how (and why) she finally reformed her habits.

By Heather Muir Maffei
Updated September 22, 2015
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Woman with water splashing on her face
Credit: Photograph by Plamen Petkov

As a beauty editor, you might assume that I take my beauty routine very seriously. To some extent, you’re right. I have a lengthy morning skincare routine, I slather my hair in masks in the shower, and my daily makeup regimen consists of more steps than anyone’s should (I think it’s fun!). But despite all of this, there is still one essential skincare task I often skip. Brace yourself, folks: There are many nights when I don’t wash my face.

I know skipping this basic step is wrong. I’ve been told by countless dermatologists and estheticians that not properly removing your makeup and cleansing your skin can lead to premature aging, breakouts, clogged pores, to name a few. In an attempt to reverse my bad beauty editor behavior, I started using makeup removing face wipes. Yes To Cucumbers Facial Wipes ($8, are my favorite. They remove loads of eyeliner and mascara, yet they don’t leave a greasy residue. I continued to use face wipes nightly, despite hearing they weren’t a replacement for washing because they tend to smear dirt and oil rather than remove it. Then, the following things happened that changed my mindset:

Woman with water splashing on her face
Credit: Photograph by Plamen Petkov

I turned 30.

I credit my oily skin (and my mom’s good genes) for keeping fine lines at bay, but right around my birthday, my first horizontal forehead line appeared. Of course it’s not the end of the world, but the new expression line along with my upcoming wedding made me think it was a shame to not be applying the anti-aging products that often end up on my desk. Currently, I'm using Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate ($83, and dabbing Skinceuticals 0.5 Retinol Cream ($40, on my forehead line.

I met—and fell in love with—micellar water.

I’ve heard dozens of makeup artists and models rave about this Parisian skincare trend. Apparently, French women think tap water is too harsh for their faces, so instead of washing with cleanser and water, they use a formula made of tiny oil molecules suspended in soft water. The micelles (tiny molecules) attract dirt, oil, and makeup without stripping your skin like soap can. The main benefit: You don’t need a sink! Simply douse a cotton pad or face wipe with the water and swipe it over your skin—no rinsing required. A few weeks into using it, my skin has never felt softer or smoother. Unlike some toners, it doesn’t contain alcohol so you can use it around your eyes without the burning sensation. I’ve been alternating between two: Simple Micellar Water ($5, and Guerlain Eau de Beauté Miceller Cleansing Water ($59,

I tried a great night cream.

Unlike your traditional night cream that simply moisturizes, Ren Wake Wonderful Night-Time Facial ($60, also exfoliates with lactic and glycolic acids and enzymes to brighten spots and speed up cell turnover. It also contains blackcurrant seed oil to heal and sooth, plus sodium lactate, which attracts water so skin feels plumper when you wake up. This all sounded great on paper, but I was thrilled that it actually delivered. I love the light, gel-like texture, the fruity scent, and how soft and smooth my skin feels in the morning.

Although my night-time beauty routine only consists of two products (think: small but mighty) and just takes a few minutes, it has made a giant impact on my skin. So much so, that I cringe when thinking about my old bad habit. Even beauty editors make beauty mistakes, right?