7 Simple Steps to Take Tomorrow Morning for Your Best Skin Ever

Updated: Jun. 30, 2022

Starting each day with these expert-approved morning skincare steps can help guarantee a dewy glow.

young woman applying moisturizer to face
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A morning skin care routine

Start your day off on the right foot with these tips for a flawless morning skin care routine. From what doctors eat to what they put on their face, here’s what they recommendand do themselves—each morning for the perfect start to the day.

Shake up your breakfast

Beautiful skin starts from within. Seize the day by starting your morning with a green smoothie, says Anthony Youn, MD, chief surgeon at Youn Plastic Surgery in Troy, Michigan, and author of The Age Fix: A Leading Plastic Surgeon Reveals How To Really Look Ten Years Younger. “Combine kale, almond milk, a dash of coconut milk, some berries, a scoop of almond butter, and a little matcha tea for a huge antioxidant boost,” he says. Good news for java junkies: “Morning coffee is fine,” he says. “It has lots of antioxidants and you can add some coconut milk for medium-chain triglycerides which can help rev up the metabolism.”

man washing face while looking in the mirror
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Wash well

“Wash with an exfoliating cleanser. A combo chemical and physical scrub is best. Look for glycolic or lactic acid and/or polish beads. This will prep your skin to receive hydration,” says Jessie Cheung, MD, director of the Jessie Cheung MD Dermatology & Laser Center in Willowbrook, Illinois. While an exfoliating cleanser will leave normal or oily skin glowing, it’s not the best for daily use for those with sensitive or dry skin. If you fall in either category, you may want to skip the morning wash altogether. (Follow these skin care tips if you have oily skin.)

young woman cleaning her face in mirror
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Tone up

Quick science lesson: pH means “potential of hydrogen.” This term describes the acid-alkaline ratio of your skin, and maintaining the right balance is the key to skin health. So what does face toner do? “Apply toner in order to even out the pH balance of your skin,” Dr. Youn says. There a multitude of toners available for every skin type and condition. Mario Badescu offers a full line to correct any skin pH issues.

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Smooth on serum

After toner, smooth on an antioxidant serum, Dr. Cheung says. “This will brighten your skin over time as vitamin C breaks down brown spots and helps with building collagen.” A favorite of dermatologists is Skinceuticals C E Ferulic. Serums have the added benefits of fighting off free radical damage during the day, to keep you looking younger, Dr. Youn says. If you have oily skin, a serum may be sufficient as they’re not-cream based, if your skin is drier you may want to forgo the serum in favor of traditional moisturizer, and if anti-aging is a top concern, you may want to opt for both, says Alisha Plotner, MD, a dermatologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. (These are the things that women with beautiful, ageless skin do every day.)

woman moisturizing face while looking in mirror
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Protect your skin

Sunscreen is not just for summer months. You should wear it all year long, and the best way to make this habit stick is to apply it every morning without fail. Choose a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher and look for the words “broad spectrum” on the label. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests using a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Think you can skip this step because you wear foundation? Think again. “Sunblock in makeup is generally not sufficient, Dr. Plotner says.

woman applying make up in the morning
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Put your face on

Finally, makeup application should be your last step in your morning skincare routine. Try these makeup tips to look more energized and awake.

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Remember the rest of your body

Let’s face it, we all focus on our faces more than the rest of our body, so while you’re waiting for your serums and SPF lotion to soak in, slather on a body lotion. “I like Vaseline Intensive Cocoa Radiant Lotion, which contains 100 percent pure cocoa butter and micro-droplets of Vaseline jelly, which leaves your skin hydrated and glowing,” says Brooke A. Jackson, MD, in Durham, North Carolina.

Next, find out the 8 ways you’re probably showering wrong.