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7 Skincare Tips to Follow While Living in a Dorm

The transition from high school to college is tough. Your social life, academic career and physical health are all going through some pretty big changes. Another unexpected aspect to change is your skin. As a freshman, living in a dorm with hundreds of other teenagers is a big transition, especially when it comes to skincare. 

Here are some tips on keeping your skin calm during this new transitional stage in your life. 


Moisturizing your skin is an essential part of any skincare routine, but especially while living in a dry crowded space. Dry skin makes it difficult to apply makeup and can even lead to cracking and pain. Moisturizing is an easy way to begin protecting your skin. 

Take Your Makeup Off (As Much As Possible)

Makeup is meant to be worn only during the day for a reason. Sleeping in your makeup can cause blemishes, puffy eyes and clogged pores. However, I get it. When coming in from a late night, the last thing I want to do is go to the bathroom and remove my makeup. It’s so easy to go to bed with makeup on, but the cons outweigh the pros. One time isn’t going to kill you, but try not to make it a habit. 

Wash Your Pillowcases

One of the most unsuspecting culprits of acne and irritated skin can come from a dirty pillowcase. They collect dirt and oil each night and transfer back onto your skin the next. Washing your pillow case is one of the simplest fixes for clear skin. If possible, invest in a silk pillowcase. Silk pillowcases are softer and gentler on skin than fabrics such as cotton, especially on sensitive skin.

Pimples Happen, Invest in Pimple Patches

With all the anxiety of exams and social life stress, pimples are bound to pop up. I recently discovered the world that is pimple patches, and I have to say it’s incredible. Covering up a mean pimple with a sticker before bed is so satisfying, and taking it off is even better. Pimple patches dry out the blemish with hydrocolloid and speed up healing. Have plans at night? Wear an invisible daytime patch to shrink your pimple throughout your day. 

Open Your Dorm Windows

Dorms are notorious for being either too humid or too dry, and guess what: both are bad for your skin. Rather than investing in a humidifier or a dehumidifier, I recommend opening up a window to allow for some air circulation. 

Wash Your Face!

One of the most important and necessary steps in a skincare routine is to wash your face. Find a facial cleanser that is gentle on your skin but still fixes any issues you are concerned about. This could take some trial and error, but trust me it’s worth it. After my recent facial cleanser journey, I have landed on Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser. Add washing your face to both your morning and nighttime routine.

Keep it Simple

Living in a dorm is not the time to try out an intense skincare regimen. With communal bathrooms and migration of products up and down the hall, keep your routine as simple as possible. An easy nighttime routine is to first remove your makeup, then wash your face, then moisturize and apply pimple patches/cream. If you’d like to include serums and creams apply them pre moisturizer. 

There are many other tips and tricks when it comes to clear skin, this is just a list of a few simple pieces of advice to get you started. I hope these tips allow you to keep your skin nice and healthy during dorm living. 

Kara Boyle

Wisconsin '24

Kara is a freshman majoring in Consumer Behavior and Marketplace Studies at UW. In her free time, she enjoys finding new music, playing with her dog, and baking.
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