Picture of hands with moisturizer in a heart shape.

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Starting your day off right can truly make a difference in how you feel. Taking care of your skin every morning will not only give you long-term positive results, but it will also give you optimal makeup application. Properly applying your skincare will give your morning the perfect boost, so we’re here to breakdown the process for you.

The first step of this routine is to cleanse. Some people prefer to not cleanse in the morning and merely splash their skin with water, but if you want to start the morning with a cleanser, make it a gentle one. Some of yesterday can still be leftover on your face, and unless your sheets and pillowcase were washed right before bedtime, you likely have some other buildup on your face. Cleansing your face with a gentle, low-pH cleanser can take care of any excess dirt, giving your face a fresh start for the day. Massage your cleanser gently on your face for several minutes, rinse with lukewarm water, and gently pat dry.

Woman smiling while applying moisturizer to her face.
Photo By: shutterstock/popcorner

Next, using a toner can balance your pH after cleansing. Toning acts as a vital follow up to cleanser, removing any dust, pollution, or other impurities on your face while also minimizing pores. Commonly, toners are water-based liquids, unique with active ingredients. In the morning, it is best to use a cleanser labeled as hydrating, balancing, or soothing. Toners with acids such as AHAs, BHAs, or PHAs are best when used at night, as they can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Saturate a cotton pad (reusable options are also available) with the toner and gently rub it on your face, neck, and décolletage.

Picture of someone holding a dripper above their hand.
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Third, you should apply a serum or other treatment, like an essence. A serum is a treatment highly concentrated with active ingredients. It delivers powerful ingredients directly to the skin, due to its small molecules. Serums target certain concerns, whether it be dryness, wrinkles, dullness, or other concerns. Ideal serums for your morning routine include vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, or other gentle ingredients that will not irritate your skin. A serum is applied after cleansing and prior to moisturizing. Gently press the serum in with your hands to allow it to fully absorb.

Woman smiling while cupping her face with her hands.
Photo By: shutterstock/Dean Drobot

After using a serum, grab your favorite lightweight moisturizer. A common misconception is that people with oily skin do not need to moisturize, but all skin types should moisturize to combat damage from stressors. A heavy moisturizer won’t feel comfortable on your face all day, and it can also cause your makeup to either pill or not sit properly. A water-based gel moisturizer makes a great base prior to makeup, and when using key ingredients like hyaluronic acid, properly moisturizes your skin for the day. Gently pat the moisturizer all over your face and neck.

Closeup of woman with large hat smiling as she applies moisturizer to her face.
Photo By: shutterstock/verona studio

The final step of your morning routine should be some form of SPF. It is believed the sweet spot for SPF is between 30 and 50, and your SPF should be labeled as broad spectrum for optimal protection. Sunscreen is vital for protecting your skin from the sun’s damage. Sun damage leads to signs of premature aging such as wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots. Many sunscreens are now formulated to not leave a white cast and to even double as a makeup-gripping primer, so it is a step that should never be skipped.

A well-organized skincare routine is the perfect way to make taking care of yourself your morning’s priority. With this routine, your skin will be glowing, hydrated, and protected all day long.

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