…so long since you’ve had anything to drink. You’ve had food but no water as you get ready to see Avengers: Endgame for the first time. Or maybe it’s your third viewing and you just don’t want to be that person climbing through a row of seats on your way to and from the restroom. Whatever the case may be, you are parched. And you don’t want to imbibe anything until the movie’s over. But. There are other ways to start restoring moisture to your shriveled body while you get your MCU on. And they’re all detailed here in our Avengers: Endgame skincare routine. Because—while true beauty is on the inside—why look like Peggy Carter in the second Captain America when you can look like Peggy Carter in the first Captain America?
Grooming in public is iffy business. Powdering your nose? Yeah, okay. Clipping your nails? Serious violation of the social compact.
Here’s the hard and fast rule borne out of two intense minutes of contemplation: Does your act of grooming leave visible traces of organic matter? If yes, do that personal upkeep at home.
(Did I just insert Star Trek into a post about the MCU? Heck yes, because liking more than one thing is allowed, especially if one of those things is Star Trek: First Contact.)
With that rule in mind, come prepared to dispose of any and all debris. Leave nothing behind.
I recommend getting yourself one of those mesh toiletries caddies with a central compartment surrounded by small pockets. Line the main section with a gallon bag. This is where you’ll discard used cotton rounds, etc.
The other sections of the caddy will hold your products and implements, organized in a way that allows you to find what you need, when you need it. Mise en place is everything. Do not be the person who fumbles a bottle in the dark, sending it rolling down to the front row. Rehearse at home until you can reach confidently for the items needed in their proper order, without consulting this post on your mobile device or turning on a flashlight app. If you resort to orienting yourself by the glare of your phone, I will cut you out of my will. And yeah, maybe you’re not in my will to begin with, or maybe my assets are all tied up in office supplies, but do you really want to take that chance?
Pay attention now.
Zero Minutes In: Cleanser
Don’t antagonize skin that’s already receiving less moisture than usual from your dehydrated red blood cells. So forget harsh cleansers and go with micellar water. Bonus: after you swipe your face with it, there’s no need to rinse. Just let it air dry until…
Thirty Minutes In: Toner
Avoid the toners that are going to over-exfoliate your skin. Find something gentle that will prepare your skin to soak up the gooey treats to come. My sensitive skin has responded well to Pixi Glow Tonic Exfoliating Toner (even though “exfoliating” is right there in the name), but your mileage may vary, and now is not the time to experiment. Your skin is far too vulnerable, like T’Challa after having the powers of the Black Panther stripped from him. Grab a toner you know to be tried and true for your own skin and spread it across your face and neck using a cotton pad. Air dry.
Sixty Minutes In: Sheet Mask
Sheet masks are so much more convenient than applying a mask out of a tube, especially if you’re, say, sitting in a movie theater instead of chilling at home. Unwrap, unfold, and gently press the mask onto your face. There are masks for a variety of skin concerns, but our focus today is hydration. Don’t wait for the mask to get as desiccated as your Endgame epidermis; if it dries out, the material might start trying to reabsorb some of the moisture it’s just deposited on your face. Remove the mask while it’s still somewhat damp, and let the essence sink into your skin before the next step.
Ninety Minutes In: Serum
We’re not talking serums of the super soldier variety, but they are still pretty powerful. They’re usually way concentrated, and the active ingredients are teensy weensy particles that can go places regular moisturizer can’t.
A little goes a long way. Apply a thin layer and wait.
One Hundred Twenty Minutes In: Moisturizer
As dehydrated as you are, you’re no match for the air when it comes to where moisture wants to hang out. The air—particularly in the humidity-deficient environment of a movie theater—will draw out the moisture you’ve just slathered on. You can’t skip moisturizer, because one of its functions is to form a barrier that makes evaporation more difficult.
So layer your moisturizer on to lock in all the good stuff from previous steps.
One Hundred Fifty Minutes In: Crying Oh God So Much Crying
Here’s where you’re relieved not to have spent top dollar on your products, because you’re basically rinsing your face with your eye faucets now. Don’t try to fight it. The movie is not unproblematic, but the stuff you’re feeling right now is entirely earned. This emotional moment has been ten years in the making, by scores of dedicated people onscreen and off. You owe them your emotional vulnerability, and stoicism is for people who buy skincare products they can’t really afford. Cry until your face is nothing but salt and snot.
One Hundred Eighty Minutes In: Sunscreen
SPF 30, minimum.