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What is a good morning skincare routine?

Dr. Doris Day, MD
Dermatology
First thing in the morning, do the following:
  • Step 1: Use a gentle cleanser with circular motions of your hands. Rinse off with a splash of water or with a wash cloth wrung out in warm water. Pat dry with a clean towel. You may also use a mild soap, rinse with warm water, and pat dry. Do not use bar-shaped cleansers that are made from detergents rather than soaps. These have been dubbed “syndet bars,” which stands for synthetic detergent bars. They are made from chemicals that are usually much more irritating to the skin than soap. The more glycerin in the soap, the more relatively moisturizing the soap is. Sometimes color and fragrance is added to the soap to make it more appealing to the user. Ideally the scents in soaps should come only from the essential oils since the fragrance and color add nothing to the actual cleansing process and serve only to increase the potential for irritation and allergic reactions.
  • Step 2: Apply a light moisturizer with SPF, which stands for Sun Protection Factor. Use upward strokes on your neck and forehead, and outward strokes or your cheeks, the area around your eyes, and between your brows. Never pull or press hard and never pull down.  Make sure the label states both UVA and UVB protection and an SPF of at least 15.
  • Step 3:  Apply either a foundation with a sunscreen, or a sunscreen product specifically made for facial skin. Again, stroke gently upward and outward, not down. If you are prone to acne, look for products that say non-comedogenic or non-acnegenic on the label. If areas of your skin tend to be especially dry, use creams rather than lotions since these are more moisturizing. I use the cream on most of my face, but I don’t put it on my forehead or nose, since those areas are oilier.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.