The Perfect Morning Skin Care Routine, According to Skin Care Pros

An expert-recommended step-by-step morning skin care regimen.

<p>Anna Efetova/Getty Images</p>

Anna Efetova/Getty Images

If you want gorgeous skin for decades to come, there are two key rules you must abide by. The first is to use high quality, efficacious skincare ingredients and the second is to apply them consistently. While your morning and evening skincare routine is similar, there are some key differences when it comes to what you slather in the AM.

Largely, the goal is to replenish any lost moisture from overnight and to protect your skin from stressors it’ll encounter throughout the day. Not quite sure where to start with your own regimen? No sweat. We asked a handful of dermatologists to share the ideal morning skin care routine.

RELATED: Ask a Beauty Editor: What Is the Right Order to Apply Skincare Ingredients?

What Skin Care Ingredients Should You Apply in the Morning?

While every morning skin care routine looks a little different for each person, everyone should slather a handful of specific staple ingredients.

“Start simple with three or four products to ensure you stick to a routine,” advises Rachael Gallo, esthetician and chief operating officer at Silver Mirror Facial Bar. “It can take time to see a change in your skin condition so try products for a minimum of two weeks before you determine they are ‘not working.’”

A simple morning skin care routine consists of a cleanser, vitamin C serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen. From there, you can weave in additional hydrators or active ingredients via toners, serums, and treatments depending on your skin needs.

Step-By-Step: Morning Skin Care Routine

Knowing what ingredients to use in the morning is one thing, but understanding the correct order of application—and quantities of each—is the secret to nailing your AM regimen.

Step 1: Wash (or Rinse) Your Face

Start by either rinsing or washing your face in the morning. Some people argue that washing is a must, while others find that rinsing is sufficient. This largely depends on your skin type.

“An oily skin type will need to wash their face both in the a.m. and p.m. to balance their pH, but we recommend that dry or dehydrated skin types only wash their face in the p.m. to maintain hydration,” Gallo says.

One exception is if you work out in the morning. In that case, you should definitely wash your face after exercising, says Tara Adashev, RN, a registered nurse at Neinstein Plastic Surgery. And if you have dry skin but do prefer washing in the morning, stick to a hydrating cleanser that provides extra moisture.

Step 2: Apply an Antioxidant

Your skin is exposed to free radicals all day long, which can cause early signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, laxity, and hyperpigmentation.

“A  serum designed for daytime—which should contain antioxidants like vitamin C, green tea, or resveratrol—should be applied in the morning so it can help protect your skin throughout the day,” says board-certified dermatologist Shari Sperling, MD.

Some good options include Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum ($89, Sephora), The INKEY List 15% Vitamin C & EGF Brightening Serum ($15.99, Sephora), and The Ordinary Resveratol 3% + Ferulic Acid ($10.99, Ulta).

Step 3: Slather on a Moisturizer

Moisturizing is the next step of your morning skin care routine. This helps replenish lost moisture from the evening and helps lock moisture in throughout the day. “For morning application, a lighter moisturizer is recommended to create a good base for makeup,” Gallo says.

Try Versed Dew Point Moisturizing Gel-Cream ($14.99, Target), Byoma Moisturizing Gel Cream ($9.99, Ulta), or Naturopathiva’s Calendula Essential Hydrating Cream ($26, Dermstore).

Step 4: Finish With Sunscreen

After giving your moisturizer a minute or two to settle, apply your sunscreen. This one’s non-negotiable, and foregoing it sort of cancels out the rest of your regimen.

“Your final step should always be sunscreen, all year round,” Dr. Sperling says. “An SPF 30 or higher is ideal, and it should be applied around 15 to 20 minutes before heading outside so it has proper time to soak into your skin.”

Check out Lightsaver Activated Mineral Sunscreen SPF 33 ($45,, Dr. Loretta Urban Antioxidant Sunscreen SPF 40 ($50, Dermstore), and Innisfree Daily UV Defense Invisible Broad Spectrum SPF 36 Sunscreen ($16, Sephora).

Adding to Your Morning Skin Care Routine

The above regimen is considered an excellent morning regimen, but you’re always welcome to tweak it as you see fit.

For example, those with dry skin may benefit from adding a hydrating toner before their serum or moisturizer while people with acne-prone skin may want to weave in some pimple-busting treatments. If you’re on the oily side, a mattifying toner or primer can help keep shiny skin at bay. And an eye cream is always a good choice to help depuff, tackle dark under eye circles, or plump crow’s feet.

“I often remind my patient that if you are applying multiple products it is important to allow appropriate time for each product to set in and to PAT your products in,” Adashev adds. And as a rule of thumb, apply your products in order of thickness (not including sunscreen which is always last).

Tips For Sticking to a Morning Skin Care Routine

Remember that the second part of achieving gorgeous skin well into your golden years is consistency. Here are some tips to make sure you stick with it—even when you roll out of bed late or simply aren’t feeling it.

  • Keep Your Products Displayed: Out of sight, out of mind—and vice versa! “Ensure that you stick to your morning routine, set out your products in the evening,” Gallo says. “By laying them out on your bathroom sink, you will remember to follow the process.” You can even label them in order of usage.

  • Play Music or a Podcast: If you find yourself bored during your morning routine, make it something you look forward to by putting on a playlist that gets you amped for the day, or by listening to a podcast or audiobook.

  • Make It a Pampering Ritual: “I personally think you should look at your morning skincare routine as a time to relax and connect with yourself before starting your day,” Dr. Sperling says. “ Skincare is such an important part of self care, and using this frame of mind helps me look forward to doing something nice for myself.”

  • Dust Yourself Off If You Mess Up: Even if you skip a day (or two or three), you can always pick up where you left off. Jump back on the morning skincare bandwagon and remind yourself why it’s an important part of your day.

For more Real Simple news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on Real Simple.

Previous post BrightGo Raises $3M to Digitally Transform America’s Fifth Largest Job Sector, Janitorial
Next post “Survivor” and “Amazing Race ”to continue with 90-minute episodes in 2024