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Most of us don’t feel like jumping out of bed – but a morning routine is what sets your day up for success. Your skin is no exception. When you’re going about your work and daily errands, your skin is subjected to oxidative stress. Your morning skincare routine is just as important as your nighttime regime to protect, repair, and rejuvenate your skin.
Whatever your skincare concerns are, you want to get on top of your morning skincare routine. The best morning routine is the one you’ll stick to – meaning it’s often the one with the fewest steps. While there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all skincare routine, there are several steps you want to build your routine around.
Every skincare routine – both morning and night – should have the same elements. Cleansing, hydrating, targeting, and moisturizing. Your morning routine should be curated to help your skin prepare for the oxidative stress and pollution it will encounter throughout the day, including UV radiation.
Getting the order of your skincare routine right will give you the best results and reduce irritation. We’re breaking down each step to explain why it’s important and which products you should be using at each stage.
1. Cleanse and exfoliate your face
The first step of every morning skincare routine is to cleanse and exfoliate. Every day, your face sheds hundreds of dead skin cells that can become clogged in your pores and give you an uneven texture or lead to breakouts. By cleansing your skin, you’re able to prep it for the active ingredients in the rest of your skincare routine.
You’ll want to consider your specific skin type when choosing which cleanser you want to use. While it’s more popular for evening routines, you could incorporate the double cleansing method into your morning regime.
Double cleansing involves using two types of cleansers, often an oil-based and hydrating cleanser to help you achieve a deeper cleanse for clearer skin. If you have an oily skin type, you can decide to upgrade to an exfoliating cleanser to help remove excess sebum and bacteria.
2. Apply a face toner to clean bacteria and pores
Face toners are one product that has recently come back into the world of skincare. For years, we banished them from our routine due to their alcohol-based formulas that would strip your skin of its natural oils. Now, a hydrating toner is one step you can’t afford to miss.
Your toner for face works to cleanse your pores and get rid of any traces of impurities, bacteria, or dirt that your cleanser missed. One under-appreciated benefit of facial toners is that they can help to restore your skin’s natural pH balance to improve your skin tone, smooth its texture, and reduce irritation.
3. Boost hydration with a serum or an ampoule
After applying your cleanser and toner, you want to focus on boosting your skin’s hydration with a serum or ampoule. The secret to healthy, dewy skin is in the hydration you give it. This step of your morning skincare routine is where you can tailor it to your skincare needs.
While there is an endless list of face serums and ampoules that you can use, vitamin C is an ideal choice for your morning routine. It’s a natural antioxidant-rich ingredient that protects your skin against oxidative stress and free radical damage.
You can layer your face serums and ampoules together to curate your skincare routine to meet your specific needs. You’ll want to check that the serums you’re using don’t clash with each other and that they can work in unison.
Hyaluronic acid is one serum everyone should be using morning and night as it holds up to 1000 times its molecular weight in water to nourish your skin.
4. Moisturize your skin to lock in ingredients
It’s a common misconception that moisturizer is only needed for your nighttime routine. One of the purposes of using a moisturizer is to help lock in the active ingredients in your serums and ampoule, which you want to do when trying to protect your skin from free radical damage.
Using a face cream as part of your morning skincare routine will also help to boost your skin’s protective barrier and boost its moisture balance. Your moisturizer will keep your skin hydrated throughout the day and help to smooth its texture – especially if you’re planning on wearing a full face of makeup.
Your morning skincare routine will usually call for a lightweight moisturizer, while your evening regime will require a richer moisturizer.
5. Protect your skin barrier with a sunblock
One step that is unique to your morning skincare routine is sunscreen. Your skincare routine isn’t complete until you protect your skin barrier with sunblock. Even if you don’t see the sun, it’s still there. You should be wearing sunscreen 365 days a year to protect your skin from UV radiation, premature aging, and hyperpigmentation.
Your morning skincare routine isn’t finished without using sunblock to protect your skin barrier. Skipping on your sunscreen can lead to sunburn, premature aging, and in extreme cases, it can cause skin cancer. Forgetting to use your sunscreen will lead to your skin developing a leathery texture and can cause it to appear dull, dry, and discolored.
One of the most common skincare mistakes that people make is to assume that they don’t need to wear sunscreen. If you can only do one step of your morning skincare routine, make sure it’s applying your sunscreen. Your skin will thank you.
The best way to kickstart your day on the right foot is to give your skin the TLC it needs. The order which you apply your skincare products is crucial to give you the best results. You want to start with a cleanser and toner to exfoliate your skin before boosting your skin’s hydration with a serum or ampoule. You can finish your routine with a moisturizer and sunblock to lock in the active ingredients, improve your skin’s hydration, and protect against UV radiation.