Want to start every day fresh-faced and ready for action?
Your morning skincare routine not only helps to give you beautiful, glowing skin — it can also start your day off on the right tone, giving you the confidence to glide through the day ahead. While most of us know that a morning skincare routine is good for us, you may have no idea which products to apply first, or how to get started.
Don’t fret: It’s never too early — or too late — to make a change. The skincare steps below can be used at any stage of your life and apply to both men and women. After all, who doesn’t want healthy, radiant skin?
Step 1: Cleanse
Whether you’re just back from an early morning run (to burn off the calories from last night’s dessert, perhaps?) or you’ve spent the night tossing and turning in bed, the best way to start your skincare routine is by cleansing.
A simple, fragrance-free cleanser is all it takes to remove sweat, oil, dirt, and other pollutants that your skin might have absorbed throughout the night. While your cleanser type will vary depending on the nature of your skin, most experts agree that it’s best to apply soap using an upward, circular motion to avoid contributing to wrinkles. You should also wash your hands before you start, in order to prevent extra dirt from getting into your pores.
Step 2: Tone or Exfoliate
Some people prefer to skip toning but if you have acne-prone or oily skin, a toner will help to balance your natural pH and stop you from over-producing unnecessary oils. Since you don’t want your skin to dry out, opt for an alcohol-free formula with ingredients designed to soothe the skin. Vitamin E, chamomile, and witch hazel are all good components to look for.
When you’re applying toner, don’t just swipe at your face. Apply the liquid to a cotton pad and gently massage it over your skin. Ideally, you’ll want to apply just after you’ve finished cleansing, when your skin is still damp.
If your skin is feeling rougher than usual or you notice a lot of dry skin, you may want to exfoliate in lieu of toning. Beyond physical exfoliation, there are many skin products that contain ingredients designed to exfoliate. Some skin types may even benefit from a mild daily exfoliating routine, although you will want to proceed with caution if you have sensitive skin.
Remember that a soft and gentle mechanical exfoliation should be enough to get rid of dry and loose skin anywhere on your body; you never want to scrub hard or aggressively on your delicate facial skin.
Step 3: Moisturize
Moisturizer doesn’t just make your skin feel soft and smell great, although those benefits are nice in and of themselves. The right lotions can also add a protective layer to your skin that keeps it hydrated and protects it from heat, wind, and other external elements.
Choose a moisturizer attuned to your skin type. You can pick from creams, lotions, gels, and oils depending on what your body responds best to. Rub it into your skin with a soft, circular motion. Don’t tug at the skin around your eyes, as this can cause wrinkles.
If you have particularly dry skin, you can add a serum to your regimen. These substances have higher levels of certain active ingredients than moisturizers do, so they can be a great way to tackle specific concerns, like skin damaged by the sun.
Step 4: Protect
After moisturizing, SPF will provide you with the best protection for the day ahead. Remember, even if it doesn’t seem bright outside, you still need sunscreen to protect you from the sun — particularly on those clear, blue-sky days. Choose an SPF of 30 or higher and be sure to apply it everywhere, not just on your face. Any part of your body exposed to the sun could be at risk.
The sun is one of the biggest causes of skin damage. Shielding yourself from its rays serves to reduce your chances of wrinkles later and protect you against the threat of skin cancer. During especially hot days, try to avoid the sun when it’s at its hottest point and cover your skin with protective clothing.
Step 5: Hydrate
When you first wake up in the morning, there’s a good chance that your body is desperate for hydration. You likely haven’t had any liquids for at least eight hours, so be sure to make drinking water a top priority. Water helps your kidney to flush out all the toxins that have built up the night before, and it also makes your skin look fresher and more radiant. For even better results, add a boost of antioxidant power via lemon juice to help support healthy skin from the inside out.
As you progress through the rest of your day, remember to maintain hydration. Consider adding liquid-filled foods to your breakfast, like fresh fruits and vegetables. A smoothie after your first glass of water each morning could pack your body full of vitamins and give your skin the nutritional boost it needs to really shine.
Skincare and beauty go hand-in-hand. If you want more advice on how to look and feel incredible every morning, speak to your dermatologist about the simple changes you can make for healthier, more radiant skin.