I love reading about/ looking at photos of other people’s beauty routines. I am often amazed at the amount of products people use, especially in the morning. While it is not uncommon for me to spend an hour or more pampering my skin at night, I like sleep a LOT and I ain’t tryna cut my sleep short to get up early enough for some kinda complicated-ass morning beauty routine.
As the meme says: ain’t nobody got time for that.
So my morning routine is super basic. I do just enough to get my skin clean, prepped for makeup, and protected form the sun. I look forward to hearing how your routine differs from mine. Drop me a line.
Without further ado, here we go:
A Morning Routine for Oily/Combination, Dry-Under-the-Eyes But Otherwise Not Especially Problematic 40-Year Old Skin
Step 1: Cleanse
I’m not fancy when it comes to cleansers. While I am happy to spend ridiculous dollars on oils and serums and the like, I’m cheap AF when it comes to cleansers. My go-to is this AHA cleanser my aesthetician hooked me up with, or my CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser. You don’t need much so both of these will last forever.
I dribble that shit on my Clarisonic in the morning and I’m good to go.
(Side note: I love my Clarisonic and I have no problem using it daily. Except when I do. When my skin starts to get shiny, that means I’ve overexfoliated and I put this bad bitch back in the closet for up to two weeks. It usually happens when I haven’t changed the head in a while and the head is starting to get too rough. It can also happen if I’ve gotten too crazy with the chemical exfoliants. Point is: if you choose to use a Clarisonic or any other physical exfoliation device, be smart about it. Listen to your skin. And don’t use a head any harsher than the Radiant head, which is like, the second-softest there is. No need to sandblast your poor skin away.)
Step 2: Hydrate
Everybody and their yoga teacher in the skincare world will tell you that if you do nothing else in the morning, you have to moisturize, and you have to put on sunscreen.
That’s true. But what I’ve found is that when most of us hear “moisturizer” we think “lotion”. But here’s the thing: you can get moisture in a few ways, and depending on your skin type and your environment, what works for you is gonna vary wildly from what works for someone else.
I live in Texas where it is humid, and I have a fairly oily T-zone. Putting lotion on is a surefire way to ensure that my makeup is gone by lunchtime. So screw that. Instead, I get my moisture from my toner and my essence.
I’ve been using the Whamisa Organic Flowers Deep Rich toner. If you’re not familiar with Asian style toners, they tend not to be astringents like their western counterparts. This is a hydrating toner (containing both oils and glycerin) and makes my skin feel very soft and silky. A little goes a long way: I pat this into my skin right after cleansing.
Newer to my routine is the Primera Miracle Seed Essence, which is loaded with niacinamide (for brightening) and glycerin (for hydration). I ignore the advice to use it with a cotton pad, as that just seems like a waste of product. I shake it into my palms and pat it into my skin.
Step 3: Give Sun Spot and Skin Cancer the Finger (AKA: Wear Your Damn Sunscreen)
Listen. If you’re thinking, “I don’t need to put on sunscreen b/c my foundation/BB cream/morning lotion has SPF in it” I hate to break this to you: You have been lied to.
I mean, yes, your products probably do have SPF in them. But did you know that you actually need about 1/4 teaspoon of SPF ALONE to get the protection you need? Do you KNOW how much a quarter teaspoon of sunscreen is?! Go get a 1/4 teaspoon from your kitchen and check it out. I’ll wait.
It’s A LOT. And unless you are Nikki Tutorials (no shade–watching Nikki put foundation on is a highlight of my day. I have a foundation fetish.) you are probably NOT putting on that much foundation in the morning. And even if you are, SPF is merely one ingredient in your foundation, so you’re still not getting your recommended daily dosage.
So find you a sunscreen you like and put that shit on your face. One quarter of a teaspoon.
I have a whole video on sunscreen because it’s that important, but for now, the two I use on a daily basis are Biore Watery Essence and Thank You Farmer Shimmer Sun Essence. Neither is waterproof, so be aware of that. Also, neither will leave a white cast and both are non-oily. The Thank You Farmer does have a pink shimmer to it, but I like the way that looks under my makeup. If you don’t, stick with the Biore and you won’t be disappointed.
Step 4: Give My Under Eyes Some TLC
I have always struggled with dark circles under my eyes, so I am no newcomer to concealer. But I have found the my favorite high coverage concealer (Tarte Shape Tape) can be drying to my under eyes, and when you combine that with older skin that is starting to wrinkle a bit, it can be a disaster.
To counteract that, my current routine involves smearing a bit of the Banila & Co. Miss Flower and Mr. Honey Essence stick right onto my crinkly, fine line areas. I feel like it helps my makeup from finding its way into these lines and also, it just feels nice.
And if I have time (which is almost never) AND I want to look extra hydrated and rested, I’ll use an under eye patch, like the Boscia Sake Brightening Hydrogel Eye Mask. I used to think eye masks were a waste of money. Then I turned 40, and so did my skin. I don’t think that anymore. (Note: if I am going to do this step, I’ll do it before my sunscreen.)
And that’s it for me. I don’t bother with serums, ampoules, lotions, creams, or anything else in the morning, except an assload of makeup if that’s what I feel like. Night time is a different story. Mornings are about the bare minimum to get out the door.
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