The Ultimate Morning Beauty Routine for Healthy Skin

As a teenager, I went years without having a dedicated morning skin-care routine, and my complexion suffered because of it. Over the years, I’ve come to learn that caring for your skin every morning can make a major difference in how it looks each day.

But contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to have an extensive morning routine in order to see the benefits. In fact, a few simple steps can make all the difference. Here, we tapped Dallas dermatologist DiAnne Davis, MD for her best advice on how to care for your skin each morning without the hassle of too many complicated steps.

First, what type of skin-care products should we be using every morning?

According to Dr. Davis, there are two skin-care products that everyone should be using each day, and the first is a cleanser. “For patients with oily or acne-prone skin, a gentle gel-based or foaming cleanser is usually what I like to recommend,” says Dr. Davis. “One of my favorites is CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser because it’s gentle enough to not disrupt the skin’s natural protective barrier but also removes excess oil, dirt, and makeup.”

Another great option to have as the first step in an anti-acne skin-care regimen is CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser, which contains 4-percent benzoyl peroxide. “Benzoyl peroxide is a wonderful ingredient because it has antibiotic properties to kill the bacteria that can be a culprit for acne and it helps with decreasing oil production,” explains Dr. Davis.

On the flip side, those with drier skin should try the CeraVe Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser. “This is a great option for my patients with normal-to-dry skin because the creaminess of the cleanser continues to hydrate skin, yet it is still effective enough to clean their skin.”

What other products should we use each morning?

In addition to cleanser, Dr. Davis believes sunscreen should be in everyone’s morning beauty product lineup. “Sunscreen is one of the holy grails in skin care and should be in everyone’s daily routine,” adds Dr. Davis. Sun damage can accelerate the skin aging process, leaving you looking older than you actually are, as well as cause skin cancer, which is why it’s so vital to incorporate it into your routine.

“I like to recommend mineral sunscreens like CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Sheer Tint.” This sunscreen is broad-spectrum, has three essential ceramides to restore the skin’s natural barrier, and is a lightweight, non-greasy formula perfect for reapplying throughout the day.

What is the best order to use these products?

If you want to keep your routine simple, your product lineup should follow the same steps each morning. The recommended order is as follows: Cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen.

When it comes to application, Dr. Davis recommends washing the skin by putting the cleanser directly in your hands and administering it that way. “I normally do not recommend that patients use any type of exfoliating loofah, sponge, bristle brush, or anything that potentially could traumatize their skin,” explains Dr. Davis. “And I always say one should wash their hands first, then gently wash their face with their hands, and pat dry with a towel.”

When it comes to sunscreen, apply it as your last step, after any other additional moisturizers or serums, but before makeup. When applying sunscreen, don’t forget areas like the tops of your ears or edges of your hairline—these sections often burn and can develop skin cancer later on in life if left unprotected.

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