There’s nothing quite like starting the day with a well-curated skincare lineup. Whether you’re gearing up for makeup application or going fresh-faced, high-quality skin care products can help your skin face the day ahead and support optimal skin health.
Read on for all the reasons why you shouldn’t snooze on an A.M. skin care routine — and how this type of skin care regimen differs from a nighttime skincare routine.
Morning Skin Care: Do You Really Need a Skin Care Routine In The A.M?
A simple answer: Yes, you do need a morning skin care regimen. Taking a few minutes each morning to cleanse, moisturize, and prep your skin for the day ahead can help you take much better care of your skin than simply splashing water on your face and rushing out the door — especially if you have specific skin concerns.1
A good morning skincare routine can also help remove any residue from your night cream and other heavier, more intensive nighttime skincare products. This can give you an opportunity to boost your anti-aging efforts with the use of a good serum suited for daytime. And, even if you’re spending the day at home or indoors, moisturizing the skin and protecting it from the harmful rays of the sun is a must.2
Basic Morning Skin Care Routine For All Ages
Sure, a super-intensive morning skincare routine may seem like a tall order when you’re still waiting for the caffeine to kick in. But with a good mix of hardworking products and the right approach, you’re looking at just a few minutes each morning, and your skin will thank you for it. Here’s a simple routine meant to help support the appearance of healthy, glowing skin.
Step 1: Double Cleansing
Double cleansing means exactly as it implies. The first cleanse works to lift off the stubborn product and makeup residue, while the second gives your skin a much deeper cleanse. Bonus: While washing your face, give yourself a quick face massage to help stimulate circulation and enhance the appearance of your skin tone.3
How To Wash Your Face Like A Pro
Massage a small amount of cleanser into your face for a couple of minutes, then rinse off with warm water. While your face is still damp, follow up with round 2. Rinse well, and pat your face dry with a clean towel.4
Step 2: Toner
A good toner isn’t abrasive or drying at all — in fact, a high-quality toner may help moisturize your skin by balancing out its pH levels. Using the right kind of toner may also help keep oiliness at bay (good news for those with oily skin).5
Some good active ingredients to look out for in your toner include glycolic acid (known for its gentle exfoliation and mattifying properties), and antioxidants to help protect your skin from damaging free radicals.6
How to Use Toner
Squeeze a few drops of toner onto a cotton pad before swiping evenly across the face. And, don’t forget your neck! Toner can really help rebalance your skin after cleansing and set the stage for further skincare product application.7
Step 3: Serum
A potent, highly-concentrated formula with an active ingredient or two meant for your specific skin concern, your serum is a personal choice, but the fact that you need one is universal. You’ll need a good antioxidant serum to help combat the day’s damage ahead, so don’t skip this step.
Why You Need An Antioxidant Serum
Exposure to pollution, UV rays, and even your computer and phone screen’s light, and countless other stressors can really do a number on your skin, and contribute to fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.8
Antioxidant active ingredients in your skincare products can support your skin’s fight against this harmful exposure. A good rule of thumb is to massage a couple of drops of your serum of choice after toner to maximize your skin’s absorption of this active ingredient — don’t layer it on after a thicker product like moisturizer or sunscreen.
Step 4: Moisturizer
A lightweight moisturizer can seal moisture in and give your face a good base for further makeup application. It’s a good defense against the day’s skin stressors and helps keep skin feeling healthy and hydrated against the elements.
Morning Moisturizer Versus Night Cream
You may be tempted to dab on the same stuff you use during your nighttime skincare routine. Don’t. It’s in your skin’s best benefit to be more strategic with your moisturizer choice. Daytime moisturizers are enriched with skin-protecting properties (including antioxidants and moisturizing hyaluronic acid). Reserve the more potent ingredients like vitamin A or vitamin B (which can make your skin sensitive to the sun) for night time.9
Step 5: SPF
Even if you do little else, never skip the sunscreen. Sun damage can really impact how your skin ages, and if you want to avoid developing pigmentation and skin damage related to this, a good sunscreen should be the last step in your never-miss morning skincare routine.10
How To Look Like You’ve Had Your Beauty Sleep: Never Skip Morning Skincare
With just a handful of steps and the best products you can afford within your budget, you’ll look more refreshed and ready to face the day each time you step out the door. Focus on cleansing skin, infusing it with good active ingredients to keep it healthy and protected, and locking in moisture. You may find yourself needing less and less makeup to fake that “I just woke up like this” look.