Skincare is difficult because there are a million skincare products out there to choose from. It becomes extra difficult with every product claiming to give you great, clear, vibrant skin. Claims any skincare product can make because so many words don’t have an FDA definition.
To buy the correct products you have to understand what your skin needs. This means you need knowledge of how skin ages giving you the power to prevent and heal.
It has taken me a long time to learn how to take care of my skin. I hope by sharing what I have learned will help you also find your best skincare routine.
Here are my morning skincare habits I swear by that have transformed my skin.
You never dry your skin out
So what exactly does that mean?
It means NO FOAM washes! Nothing is more drying to your skin than the face washes that foam. These harsh face washes strip away all your natural oils. Every time I see an esthetician at a dermatologist’s office, they always remind me.
As you age, your skin has a harder and harder time staying hydrated. The collagen and elastin break down meaning your skin can’t retain moisture as well. By removing all your natural oils, you are making this problem worse.
If you strip your face of its natural oils, your skin will go in overdrive with its production of oil, leading to clogged pores and acne. I love PCA skin Daily Cleansing Oil but there are many ones to pick from. Try a few until you find one you like so you actually use it.
Never drying your skin out also means to hydrate your skin correctly!
Hydrating your skin means trapping water onto the surface of your skin. The best way to hydrate your skin is to mist your skin with water and then put on a serum with hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. By putting it on your skin, hyaluronic acid will trap water onto your skin keeping it hydrated for hours. I love La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid because it feels amazing on my skin and the price is great.
After a hyaluronic acid serum you will want to add a cream-based moisturizer with sunblock (see habit # below).
You have picked out your shower with your skin in mind
I have included this one here as a morning habit since some of you might shower in the morning. Even if you shower at night, it is still good to know.
To give an example of how much impact your shower products can have on your skin, I will need to go all the way back to high school. In high school, I had very bad acne. I had tried every single product, and nothing cleared my skin. Nothing worked until my hairdresser told me that hair products can contribute to acne and suggested that I try Tea Tree shampoo. To this day, the only hair shampoo and conditioner I will use is the Paul Mitchell tea tree brand. I have recommended this to so many people and almost all of them have seen improvements in their acne. So, if you are struggling with acne, seriously give these products a try.
Since I am very aware of how these products can affect my skin, my order of operations is always shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and then face wash.
Speaking of showers, the best time to put on a body lotion (make sure it has hyaluronic acid in it!) is right after a shower since your skin is wet. I like the CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion because it is so lightweight. Again, remember to find one you love so you use it all the time.
My last shower tip is to replace your shower head with a shower head that has a filter. There are so many chemicals in your water from treatment. If you are on well water, hard water can also wreak havoc on your skin and hair. They only cost around $20-30 and can make such a difference.
You never reuse towels or rub your face dry:
This next one is one of my favorite tips to get rid of acne…
Finding out your towel might be the cause of your bad skin can be a slap in the face. Especially after you spend all this money on the right products and go to all this work on your skincare routines.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the towel you are using is problematic for two different reasons.
Reason number 1: Towels contain so much bacteria!
Towels in your bathroom are great breeding grounds for bacteria. One study showed that 90% of bathroom towels contained coliform bacteria. In other words, after you wash your face, you are drying it with bacteria.
Option 1 is to buy a huge pack of towels and switch to a one-time use system where you wash them after every use.
Option 2, which is what I do, is to use biodegradable disposable face towels.
Reason number 2: You rub a towel on your skin to dry it
Always, always, always pat your skin dry. This might be silly but seriously just think about it in different scenarios like a rug burn. The type of surface and how fast you rub your skin on that surface result in different levels of damage. So, you always want to pat your skin dry with a soft towel. Rubbing your skin causes extra wear and tear on your skin that can lead to extra wrinkles.
You always wear your sunblock
My idea of skincare was completely changed once I learned that 90% of aging is due to skin damage from the sun. Here I was slathering every type of anti-aging serum and cream on my skin, instead of just protecting my skin from damage in the first place.
I asked my dermatologist about my theory that sunblock was the absolute best way to keep my skin young and beautiful and she confirmed it. She told me that most people age faster on their left side since that’s the side that gets more sun when they’re driving a car.
I always paired being hot with getting burned so I only wore sunblock when I was outside and hot. However, it doesn’t always pair up that way and if you are inside with big windows, UV goes through windows. This means you can still damage your skin while you sit at the desk or driving in a car.
I was convinced and I made sunblock a habit. I would put it on every morning and then set phone alarms for 11 am and 2 pm. By just putting it on in the morning, you’re not protecting your skin from the part of the day when the UV is the highest. It was also helpful for me to check the UV on my phone throughout the day, so I had a better sense of when my skin needed protection the most. If you go to the weather app and scroll down you should find the UV index.
The trickiest part was finding a sunblock I didn’t mind wearing. I hate how a lot of sunblocks feel leaving my skin looking greasy or coated in a white paste. After trying a lot of different ones my two favorite are the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Light Fluid Face Sunscreen because it literally melts into your skin and also the EltaMD UV Clear SPF. They are both around $30-40 but to me very worth it as they make a bigger difference than any anti-aging product I could use on my skin.
I also always keep a Blue Lizard stick sunblock on me in my purse so I can apply some on the go. I love the stick sunblock since I know it won’t spill.
The best part of wearing sunblock is your skin can start to heal itself and look better younger with fewer wrinkles, and fewer age spots because it isn’t spending all its energy on repairing the daily damage. Within months of consistently putting on sunblock throughout the day, I could tell a dramatic difference in my skin. After 3 years, I can tell a big difference in my skin and so can my dermatologist.
You tap on an eye cream
The skin under your eyes is very fragile so never pull or rub it. Also, it is skin that will almost never break out, so you can use very different creams and oils than other areas of your face. Since that part of your skin is so delicate, it is also the first to age and get wrinkles.
By applying an eye cream that you pat on, you can better protect that skin. I use and love the CeraVe eye repair cream. It isn’t fancy or expensive but works great and was what my dermatologist recommended to me. What is important is that you are doing it every morning.
You never mix these ingredients together
There are three big rules when it comes to skincare that you need to memorize and follow so you aren’t wasting product or damaging your skin.
They are to never mix:
Benzoyl Peroxide and Retinol: They literally cancel each other out, making both products ineffective.
AHA/BHA acids and Retinol: Both are very drying and can cause excessive skin sensitivity.
Niacinamide and Vitamin C: They will diminish their effect when used together.
You also never use these products in the morning
In addition to the mixing rules, stay away from using these skincare ingredients in the morning. The reason is they make your skin more sensitive to the sun meaning you are more likely to damage your skin from the sun. The two products are:
Retinol is great for your skin since it rebuilds and repairs collagen, which starting in your 20s decreases. Your body repairs and builds collagen during sleep so it is an awesome product to use before bed. Skip it in the morning since it will make your skin more prone to sun damage though! I love the La Roche Posay Redermic R and one tube lasts me a year.
AHA/BHA acids: These acids are amazing for your skin since they exfoliate and unclog pores as well as improving skin texture. However, just like retinol you want to skip them in the morning since they will make your skin more sensitive to the sun. I use my BHA exfoliant about once a week and every other night I stick with retinol.
You always use Vitamin C product under your sunblock
Unlike retinol and AHA/BHA acids, vitamin c is a great product to use in the morning. Vitamin C can protect your skin from environmental pollutants, free radicals, and UV damage. I use the La Roche Posay Vitamin C Tube just like the Retinol one because it lasts a year and is well priced.
You don’t stop with products
Your skin can’t repair itself or build new collagen if you aren’t nourishing it with the correct foods. While I don’t always eat healthily, I try to always make sure my breakfast is packed with nourishing foods for my skin. Find breakfast options that you both like and are high in protein. My favorite is yogurt with almond granola topped with fruit. I will also do veggie omelets or avocado toast with smoked salmon.
You leave the house with a hat and sunblock in your bag
You should go beyond just sunblock and invest in good quality sunglasses and fashionable hats you will actually wear. I always bring a hat and sunglasses with me since putting on a hat is such an easy way to protect my skin.
10 Morning Skincare Habits to Discover Your Best Skin Ever
I hope the tips that I use to keep my skin looking young, healthy, and beautiful will help you achieve your skincare goals. My journey to better skin took a lot of time as I found what caused my skin to age, how skincare ingredients work, and what things outside my skincare products were affecting my skin.
Remember to always wear sunblock if nothing else. Consider how your shower products, towels, and shower filter might be affecting your skin. Lastly, learn about skincare ingredients so you know when to use them and how to mix them. For more self care tips, check out this post.
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I am a wife, teacher, and mother to two awesome girls. I write about what I am passionate, which is sharing my experiences, failures, and successes on everything from family, marriage and motherhood to home improvement, DIY house projects and home making. I also always enjoy sharing with my readers tips I learn about selfcare, beauty and skin care for women. Let this space be a resource for you to pursue your very best day.