Not everyone can have a fully-stocked, multi-step morning skincare routine. This is especially true during busy mornings when you may attend to other important tasks like preparing breakfast, getting kids out the door, or cramming in your morning workout.
So whether you have 30 seconds or 5 minutes, it's important to have a morning skincare routine to help to refresh your skin after a night's sleep. Keeping your routine simple and effective will prepare your skin for the day ahead, protecting it from factors like bacteria, UV rays, and stress that it will encounter.
Read on for our guide to building your morning skincare routine. We devised a complete routine with optional steps to add or remove based on your skin type and concerns. Here's how to get started:
STEP 1: CLEANSER
Start off by washing your face and neck with a gentle cleanser suitable for your skin type. This will help to remove dirt, oil, and other impurities that may have built up on your skin overnight.
Wash your face thoroughly with a cleanser for 30-60 seconds. Use circular motions to target problematic areas like the chin, nose, and forehead and remove dirt and oil. Choose a cleanser for your skin type. For those with normal to combination skin, we highly recommend Essential Lactic Acid Cleanser. Those with dry or sensitive skin should try the Soothing Peptide Cleanser, and those with oily and acne-prone skin should try the Clarifying Salicylic Cleanser for optimal results.
You may not want to cleanse your skin thoroughly if you have dry or sensitive skin. However, washing away any potential impurities that may have accumulated overnight, such as bacteria and dead skin cells on your pillowcases, is still important. You can quickly cleanse with micellar water or a splash of warm water.
STEP 2: ANTIOXIDANTS
Next, apply an antioxidant serum to help protect your face against environmental stressors. Brightening CE Ferulic Serum has 15% L-ascorbic acid, a potent form of vitamin C that brightens, clarifies, and protects against environmental stressors like pollution and UV radiation. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that defends and protects against free radicals made by the body and is essential for tissue repair.
Your antioxidant serum should always be applied before additional serums, moisturizers, and sunscreen. Pro tip: We want to layer our products from thinnest to thickest so the thinner products, like serums, get absorbed into the skin without fighting through a barrier of a heavy moisturizer.
STEP 3: MOISTURIZER
Now apply a moisturizer that will help protect your skin from environmental factors such as sun exposure and pollution. This step is essential to seal all the goodness from your previous steps and keep your skin hydrated all day.
Try the Nourishing HA Peptide Serum with hyaluronic acid and niacinamide for ultra-lightweight hydration and redness-calming effects. For slightly more hydration, layer with Clarifying Moisture Cream, which has ceramides for barrier protection. Its silky, light texture sinks immediately into the skin, so you can go about your day without any grease. If you have dry skin and prefer something thicker, try the Barrier Replenishing Cream and a soothing hydration seal.
If you're really crunched for time, combine steps two and three with the Triple Action Antioxidant Cream. This triple threat covers your antioxidant protection, hyaluronic acid hydration, and barrier support in one pump. Adding anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and melanin-inhibiting properties makes it a great option for anti-aging.
STEP 4: SUNSCREEN
Lastly, it’s time to apply sunscreen -- this should be done every single morning (even on winter days!) to protect against the sun’s harmful UV rays. Protecting your skin from the sun throughout the year is essential to prevent cancer, burning, and damage, such as dark spots and premature fine lines. Choose a mineral broad-spectrum SPF that also protects against free radicals from blue light and pollution. Remember to bring your sunscreen with you and apply it every two hours, as the FDA recommends, when going out for the day. Every skin type can benefit from Illuminating Beauty Balm for daily sun protection. The formula is hydrating and features a subtle tint to blur away redness and give the skin a healthy glow.
OPTIONAL STEPS: EYES & ACTIVES
This is not a mandatory step but an opportunity to target specific skin concerns, like pigment, texture, or active breakouts. For example, this is where you could apply a spot treatment to help heal pimples or an eye cream for dark puffiness and dark circles. Treatments are usually “spot-focused,” so regardless of consistency, put them on after your serum and allow the treatment to sit for a minute or two before moving on to the next step.
If you have sensitive skin, it might be a good idea to reserve this step for your nighttime routine, but some people need the extra treatment in the morning too. Find what works for your skin, and consult a professional if unsure of what's right for you.
It's no secret that the skin around your eyes is much more delicate than any other part of your face, so it's essential to select a product that not only cares for its sensitivity but also effectively meets your most pressing skin care needs - like diminishing wrinkles, reducing puffiness and dark circles. Dynamic Eye Renewal Cream is made for AM and PM use and addresses fine lines, dark circles, crepeiness, and dryness. It's packed with peptides, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and gentle retinol to reduce puffiness and dark circles while minimizing fine lines.
For targeting pigment in the morning, we recommend the Illuminating Renewal Pads. These can be used daily for exfoliation and for treating hyperpigmentation and melasma. For exfoliation, acne, dullness, and enlarged pores, we recommend the Clarifying Triple Acid Pads for morning use. These are ideal for acne-prone skin and can be used daily or every other day. This step will go after the cleanser and before your serums.
Suggested routines for different skin types:
Acne-prone Skin: Clarifying Salicylic Cleanser, Clarifying Moisture Cream, and Luminous Mineral Moisture. Spot treat with Clarifying Complexion Serum.
Aging Skin: Essential Lactic Acid Cleanser, Dynamic Eye Renewal Cream, Triple Action Antioxidant Cream, and Illuminating Beauty Balm.
Dry Skin: Soothing Peptide Cleanser, Nourishing HA Peptide Serum, Barrier Replenishing Cream, and Luminous Mineral Moisture.
Sunspots or Hyperpigmentation: Essential Lactic Acid Cleanser, Illuminating Renewal Pads, Brightening CE Ferulic Serum, Renewal Hyaluronic Lotion, and Luminous Mineral Moisture.
To wrap it up, remember your four core categories for your morning routine: cleanser, antioxidant, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Layer your products from thinnest to thickest to ensure each product is absorbed into the skin for a glowy, hydrated finish. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your skin is taken care of and you’re ready to face the day with a glowing complexion.