It’s no secret that a quality skincare routine boosts glow-worthy results and helps you achieve the skin of your dreams! An AM skincare routine, in particular, is essential for protecting your skin against oxidative damage, environmental aggressors, blue light, and of course, sun damage. 

Whether you’re rushing off to work or school, exercising, or taking care of the kids, it can be a challenge to try and establish a morning skincare routine. However, it is important that you do, as it’s necessary to help keep your skin healthy.

Here’s everything you need to know about creating a simple yet effective morning skincare routine, from which ingredients to look for in your products to applying them in the right order for optimal results!

How To Apply Skincare Products In Order

We know we need the following products: cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen, but perhaps the most confusing part for those looking to step up their routine is how and when to apply them.

Layering the right products, the right way, during your morning skincare routine helps protect your skin and nourish it as you go about your day. Not only that, but some products won’t work if they’re applied incorrectly. In fact, applying sunscreen wrong can actually increase your risk of sun damage.

So, read on as we take you through the essential skincare steps!

The Basic Morning Skincare Routine

Step #1 – Cleanser

Even if you wash your pillowcases and sheets regularly, your skin can still collect oil, sweat, and dirt while you’re sleeping so it’s important to start your daily skincare routine by cleansing your face properly, giving you a clean canvas before applying products.

Additionally, if you use any active ingredients in your nighttime routine (retinoids, AHAs, BHAs), it’s essential to wash them off completely to mitigate sun sensitivity. A gentle cleanser with moisturizing ingredients like glycerin and nourishing oils will clean your skin thoroughly without over-drying while prepping it for the rest of your routine.

Clarifying cleansers with exfoliating properties are also wonderful, especially if you have an oilier skin type that tends to get shiny throughout the day.

Step #2 – Toner

Toners serve a multitude of purposes, such as cleansing, hydrating, and nourishing the skin. A purifying toner with witch hazel and botanical extracts helps prevent breakouts and provides antioxidant protection against environmental aggressors.

Toners could be considered the ‘primers’ of the skincare world as they prep the skin for other products, ensuring that they absorb properly and work optimally. Toning can also help balance your skin’s pH levels which can be thrown off throughout the day by environmental aggressors.

Step #3 – Serums

Serums include concentrated active ingredients and their liquid formulations allow them to penetrate deeper within the skin, providing moisturizing, anti-aging, and protective benefits.

During the day, it’s important to hydrate the skin with a serum containing hyaluronic acid and peptides. This not only ensures that the skin is less likely to suffer from dehydration throughout the day when exposed to different elements, but it can minimize signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. 

An effective hydrating serum will keep your skin plump, firm, healthy, and revitalized!

Step #4 – Eye Cream

The skin around our eyes is much more fragile than the other areas of the face and one of the first places where signs of aging appear. A good quality eye cream is vital for keeping the skin around your eyes lifted, youthful, and healthy.

Choose an eye cream that provides multiple benefits, like reducing fine lines, wrinkles, crow’s feet, dark circles, puffiness, and bags, and make sure it contains antioxidants that can help protect the delicate skin from free radical damage. Also, look for formulas that include ingredients like arnica, hyaluronic acid, and squalane, which work together to soothe, protect, and hydrate the eye area.

Step #5 – Spot Treatments

If you suffer from breakouts, adding a spot treatment to your routine will help reduce their frequency and severity.

Spot treatments for pimples can layer well under moisturizer and sunscreen as long as you allow them to dry fully. A spot treatment with sulfur is ideal and since it's antibacterial, will reduce the risk of further breakouts and help improve the overall health of the skin.

Step #6 – Moisturizer

A moisturizer is essential for our skin’s health and applying a quality product after the above steps will protect your moisture barrier, reduce dry, flaky patches, and increase softness. 

Without a moisturized skin barrier, your skin can become susceptible to bacteria and environmental aggressors, which can accelerate the aging process and also lead to breakouts and dehydration.

It’s best to opt for a lightweight moisturizer during the day that layers well under sunscreen and makeup. Formulas that contain caffeine will give the complexion an instant pick-me-up, helping to refresh and energize the skin, while natural botanical extracts offer nourishment and antioxidant protection.

Step #7 – Sunscreen

Arguably the most important step of your morning skincare routine is to apply sunscreen, essential for preventing UV damage and the development of visible signs of aging. 

Since sunscreen forms an occlusive layer, it should always be applied lastwhich will also ensure that you don’t emulsify the formula by applying moisturizer over the top.

Sunscreens with glycerin and beeswax help retain moisture and provide a formidable defense when paired with zinc oxide and always opt for an SPF of at least 30 to protect your skin against the sun’s harmful rays.

FAQ: AM Skincare Routine

Question One: What’s the difference between AM and PM skincare?

The main difference is that AM skincare focuses on prevention and protection, whereas PM skincare focuses on treatment and restoration.

Question Two: What serums should I use in the morning?

During your morning skincare routine, it’s always best to use a hyaluronic acid serum, as this will help your skin attract and retain water throughout the day to prevent moisture loss. Vitamin C serums are also recommended during the day to help brighten the skin and protect against pollution and other environmental aggressors.

The Takeaway

Taking the time to establish an effective morning routine that works for your lifestyle will certainly pay off in terms of improving the health and appearance of your skin. And don’t forget, layering your AM skincare products correctly not only ensures that your skin is well-nourished and protected, but is the best way to enhance their benefits and accelerate results.

If you're ready to step up your skincare game, a great place to start is with our AM treatment bundles - click here to see the full range!

Melissa Feldman

Melissa Feldman

Melissa Feldman lives in Toronto, Canada and works as an independent research writer. She has undergraduate degrees in both Teaching and Psychology, and a Master’s degree in Immigration. Melissa is skilled at writing compelling articles and producing academic, marketing, and creative content. She writes about a range of lifestyle topics, including health, fitness, beauty and nutrition. She has more than two decades of experience reviewing and editing publications intended for both public and professional audiences.

Written by Melissa Feldman

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