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How to Build a Morning Skin Care Routine

How to Build a Morning Skin Care Routine

Building an effective and supportive skin care routine is vital for maintaining the health and beauty of your skin.

Your morning skin care routine should look different from your nighttime skin care routine, because your skin encounters different stressors and environmental influences throughout the day.

A morning routine that consists of a cleanser, targeted serums, a moisturizer and sunscreen can make an enormous difference. Read on for some tips on how to create a morning skin care routine for your unique skin concerns and goals.

What cleanser should I use in the morning?

Regardless of what time you’re performing your skin care routine, it should generally start with a cleanser. Cleansing the impurities and debris from your skin creates a blank canvas, helping your other skin care products to soak directly into your skin.

But what makes a good morning cleanser? You should choose a cleanser that matches your skin type.

If you have sensitive skin, we recommend using Skin Pharm’s Gentle Soothing Cleanser, packed with botanicals, vitamin B5, hyaluronic acid and allantoin to hydrate, heal, calm and soothe skin while cleansing.

If you have oily or more acne-prone skin, on the other hand, you might want to opt for Skin Pharm’s Papaya Enzyme Cleanser, with papaya extract to exfoliate, salicylic acid to break down blemishes and a vitamin blend to reduce inflammation, too.

No matter what cleanser you use, make sure never to use anything hotter than lukewarm water to rinse it off. Although hot water may feel great on your skin, it can also be excessively drying and even harm your moisture barrier.

In addition, try drying your skin with gentle blotting or dabbing motions — rough rubbing motions can irritate your skin and aggravate any skin care issues you may be experiencing. Drying your skin with blotting motions is generally less abrasive and tugs on your skin less, which may keep it looking more youthful for far longer. 

Should I use a serum in the morning?

Yes! After your skin has been cleansed and your toner has been applied, it’s time to apply any targeted serums. Remember, you’ll need to start with the serum that is lightest in texture and finish with the thickest.

Try not to use more than two or three serums at a time. Any more than that, and you’ll more than likely just be clogging your skin instead of helping it.

A serum like Youth Serum can help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles — a beneficial multitasker! It’s packed full of hyaluronic acid, peptides and nutrients that can work with vitamin C to encourage a bright and glowing appearance.

Speaking of vitamin C, next up is Glow Factor to boost your skin’s health with a concentrated amount of vitamin C. Vitamin C serums can help reduce the appearance of dark spots, support natural collagen production and encourage skin elasticity. Additionally, vitamin C’s antioxidant properties can help brighten the skin and work with your sunscreen to minimize the effects of sun damage.

Another popular morning skin care product is eye cream. Many of us wake up with some amount of undereye puffiness or dark circles, and an eye product (like Eye Sculpt) can help counteract them. Apply directly to the eye area and let it dry completely before moving on to the next step.

One skin care product to skip in your morning routine is retinol. This ingredient is a true powerhouse, especially when it comes to supporting collagen production and creating dewy, glowing skin. 

However, retinol can increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. Plus, vitamin C and retinol should be used at different times of the day to maintain their effectiveness. If you want to keep an exfoliant in your morning routine, you can use BHAs like salicylic acid.

Okay, what moisturizer should I use in the morning?

The final step in your routine should be a hydrating moisturizer and sunscreen. These may be two separate products or combined into one, as long as the sunscreen meets the criteria dermatologists recommend for optimal sun protection.

When choosing a moisturizer for morning use, you’ll want to consider its consistency and benefits. You don’t want to use a super thick moisturizer or night cream, especially if you plan to apply makeup after your morning skin care routine, because it might sit heavy on your skin. 

Instead, stick with a thinner, more easily-absorbed facial lotion. They’re still great for nourishing dry skin and typically won’t leave as much of a residue. Plus, they’re less likely to trigger breakouts in blemish-prone skin.

But don’t forget that your moisturizer can do more than just hydrate! Moisturizers that contain active ingredients like niacinamide, ceramides and peptides are multi-functional, and you can also use a tinted option that doubles as a foundation.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that you don’t need moisturizer if you have oily skin, either. The skin often produces additional sebum (oil) as a reaction to increased dryness or a damaged skin barrier. While you may need to use an oil-free moisturizer, skipping it entirely may only worsen the problem. 

There are three crucial guidelines to follow when selecting sunscreen. It should contain SPF 30 or more, offer broad-spectrum protection against both kinds of UV rays and be water resistant. 

Sunscreen is essential for reducing your risk of free radical damage, sun damage and the related signs of aging. These can include premature fine lines and wrinkles, dullness, a loss of skin elasticity and dark spots. 

The bottom line...

When deciding on a skin care regimen, we recommend that you take the time of day into account. Your morning skin care routine should be different than the routine you do before bed because your skin encounters different stressors during the daytime. 

Always start with a cleanser before applying any targeted serums, and finish with a supportive moisturizer and sunscreen. A thoughtful skin care routine can result in a beautiful, even skin tone that keeps you looking youthful and glowing all day long.


Vitamin C in dermatology | PMC

Sunscreen FAQs | AAD

The anti-aging effects of niacinamide | Dermatology Times


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