How do you take care of your skin in the morning? Do you wash, tone, and moisturize, or do you spritz with a moisturizing spray and run out the door?
Your morning routine sets your skin up to face the day, and remember-your skin needs all the help it can get. After all, it’s exposed to pollution, UV rays, and free-radical inducing toxins the whole time you’re out and about.
In fact, it’s your morning routine that either helps your skin look radiant and youthful all day long, or that gradually tears your skin down so that by the time you get home, you look dull and lifeless.
Here are five morning skin care mistakes you could be making right now and how you can fix them.
1. Using the same washcloth for more than one day.
It may seem obsessive to toss your washcloth in the laundry after just one use, but it’s best for your skin, particularly if you suffer from acne. You don’t want to deposit old bacteria from the day before back on your skin, as that can increase your risk of breakouts.
Using an old washcloth, unfortunately, exposes you to bacteria from dirt, old makeup, dead skin cells, and more. All of these can accumulate on the cloth, and since it usually remains moist after you use it, it creates the perfect environment for bacterial growth.
Use a freshly washed cloth each morning, or simply use your hands. Just be sure to wash them well first!
2. Not cleansing at all.
You may have heard that if you have dry skin, you should skip morning cleansing, but that’s not a good idea. While you’re sleeping at night, oil and bacteria build up on your skin. You get some from your pillow, some from your blankets, some from your hands (if you touch your face), and some from your hair.
You also sweat and shed dead skin cells. You need to wash these off in the morning to set your skin up for a radiant day.
If you have dry skin, simply choose a creamy cleanser that’s pH-balanced so it doesn’t strip your skin of its natural moisture.
3. Waiting too long after washing to apply other products.
Do you wash your face and then go around doing other things like getting dressed, fixing your hair, or eating breakfast? This isn’t a good idea. It allows your skin to dry out, which means that it is already starved for moisture. When you do finally apply your lotion or cream, your skin will soak it up more quickly, which is likely to leave you dry and flaky in a few hours.
If you want all-day-long moisture, you need to get with it. As soon as you pat dry, apply your toner and moisturizer. Moisturizing while your skin is still damp helps trap that moisture on the surface of your skin, and it will stay hydrated longer.
4. Piling on too many anti-aging products.
Your anti-aging serums and creams are great at night, but be careful about what you use in the morning. Alpha-hydroxy acids and retinol both increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. If you pile these on before you step out, you could be inviting more sun damage on your skin, which accelerates aging.
Instead, if you want to use an anti-aging serum in the morning, choose one that contains healthy moisturizers and antioxidants, as it will help protect your skin from UV rays.
5. Using too little sunscreen.
If you’re using sunscreen every morning, congratulations. You’re helping to protect your skin and preserve its youthful appearance. But one mistake most people make is using too little.
We recommend zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as they are the best broad-spectrum sunscreens for your skin, but you have to be sure you’re applying enough for your skin to really benefit. In many cases, people apply only about half what they should. Use at least a teaspoon, and make sure you’re covering your entire face and even your décolletage to help delay that old-looking neck.
Have you made these morning skincare mistakes?