On any given morning, I find myself furiously tapping snooze at the piercing alarms on my iPhone. Yes, it’s THAT screaming one, cause I thought that the bird-chirping one would do my head in somehow. Such is the contrast from the night before when I would languidly sink into bed – my face soaked in skin-nourishing oils.
Perhaps your evenings revolve around mind-easing aromatics and complicated affairs with multiple-step Korean-inspired rituals. Clearly, we all know the importance of night-time skincare – it’s the time for addressing skin issues before the regenerative process of sleep begins. However, a solid morning routine is just as crucial.
Daytime skincare is all about protection and preservation. As a bare minimum, most of us know that we should slap some SPF on our skin before heading out the door. However, fewer of us are clued into the idea that environmental pollution, High Energy Visible (HEV) light and other daily aggressors such as smog, cigarette smoke, pollen and acid rain droplets contribute to aging skin. That’s a whole lot to consider in your state of groggy discontent – especially before coffee.
While there could easily be 12 steps to the most effective morning skincare regimen, let’s be real – nobody has time for that. We’ve taken the guesswork out of your AM routine, so you can spend more time in bed and getting shit done. When it comes to layering like a pro, it all comes down to physics and chemistry. After you apply your first layer of product, the second one should be able to go through it to penetrate the skin. So this means that you should work your way from the thinnest to the heaviest.
We promise that if you can commit each morning to the edit below, you’re well on your way to your most radiant skin yet.
Face mists have come a long way from just being an on-the-go skin refresher, the current wave of atomizers is more than just a spritz of water. This step is an essential part of your morning routine that hydrates and balances your skin’s pH levels. Supercharged with a potent dose of soothing antibacterial Colloidal Silver and a rejuvenating blend of probiotics and antioxidants such as Lactobacillus Ferment and Acai Berry, the Allies of Skin Molecular Saviour Mist provides me with a jolt that usually wakes me up if I haven’t already. Groggy morning be gone! So, apart from acting as a misty alarm clock for my face and counteracting the effects of fatigue, this also works throughout the day to refine pores, kill bacteria on the skin and to give you that glowing chok-chok skin. If your skin starts to feel tight and dry mid-day, simply recharge and reenergize with another spritz. Additionally, the vegan formula is also clinically proven to reduce acne lesions by 42.7% in 28 days.
Think of Essences as pre-serums. They feel light and go on before serums to boost the effects of your treatment serums. They usually contain concentrated percentages of a certain ingredient – like fermented rice, Niacinamide or Snail extract.
Snail mucin, slime, guts – whatever you want to call it – has magical properties that fade acne scars, smooth skin, clear complexion and revitalize your skin. Used as a skin treatment in ancient Greece, the substance has made a big comeback in recent years as a Korean-based beauty trend and since then left its gooey mark on the world. A Californian study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology reported that participants in an 8-week trial reported a significant improvement in the appearance of fine lines, following a daily topical application of snail secretion.
This stuff has changed my life, really. A ride-or-die in my routine, the Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence is the one I would reach for when I’m in a rush and only have time for one product. Paired with bee venom, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, my skin is immediately bouncy and comparable to having done a sheet mask for 20 minutes. Some scars I thought I’d have forever had already started to fade, and I don’t miss them.
Aside from sun protection, the most important step in your morning skincare routine is antioxidants. Your face is up against harmful agents such as fumes from urban-living, your germy phone screen, and rising cortisol levels in afternoon boardroom meetings. A concentrated antioxidant serum like The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% protects skin from free radical damage, and see to it that none of these urban stressors will burrow its way permanently into your frown lines.
The exceptionally high concentration of the two antioxidants in this formula is a blend derived from Japanese knotweed and biologically active compounds found in the cell wall of plants. A study published in the International Journal of Nutrition, Pharmacology, Neurological Diseases found that the topical application of Ferulic acid restores the viability of skin cells by 78% after exposure to UV rays. And if that is not enough, you can also mix this with The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% to form an outstanding antioxidant cocktail.
Let me own up and confess that I used to belong to the camp that didn’t believe in a separate tiny pot of solution just for your eye area. But age. So I’m a convert now. The skin around the eye area IS thinner, more sensitive and more prone to dryness and milia than other parts of your face. Whilst dark circles are hereditary and no eye cream in the world can fix that, a formula rich in antioxidant and retinol such as the Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum, goes a long way to significantly reduce the appearance of lines and have an immediate tightening effect on the skin around your peepers.
Now, if you spend most of the day staring at a screen like you’re doing now, take heed that the High Energy Visible (HEV) light from mobile devices has been proven to age your skin. That “blue light” emitting from your digital device penetrates deeper into your skin than the sun’s UV rays, increasing pigmentation and discoloration of the skin. Now, we’re not asking you to give up Instagram, because how else would you run the world without your smartphone?
To ameliorate the damage to your skin, try the new Allies of Skin Molecular Multi-Nutrient Day Cream – a potent day moisturizer supercharged with multiple forms of Hyaluronic Acid, Probiotics, Kombucha, Niacinamide and Fermented Liliac Cell Culture – working immediately to reduce the appearance of pigmentation caused by HEV light and environmental pollution. This day cream is also great for stressful moments when you’re breaking out and experiencing redness and sensitivity.
Whether it’s sunny or overcast, wear your sunscreen every day. There are some things you can forget but this is not optional. You cannot cure sun damage – once it has infiltrated your skin cells, it can cause oxidative stress that causes change at a DNA level. You can only treat and prevent. This prevention comes in the form of a broad-spectrum sunscreen, ideally, one that is mineral and with an SPF 30 or above.
Mineral sunscreens work to physically block the sun’s rays from reaching skin’s surface, while chemical sunscreens absorb and eventually dissipate the sun’s harmful rays. As a result, chemical sunscreens can clog pores, trigger allergic reactions, and irritate skin, making mineral-based formulas the choice for those with sensitive, or acne-prone skin.
One of our favorites at the Allies HQ is the Omorovicza Budapest Mineral UV Shield SPF30. Unlike other mineral sunscreens that tend to be on the goopy or heavier side, the Omorovicza’s almost weightless formula glides on the skin. And most importantly, it’s non-greasy and leaves a smooth matte finish on your face. If you wear foundation, this acts almost as a primer as it also blurs any imperfections and lines. My only gripe with this is the price. We don’t want to advocate that skincare has to be expensive in order for it to work, and I’m always on the search for one that is easier on my bank balance. So, we will keep you posted when we find other alternatives!
Now that your skin is all sorted for the day, you can now focus on kicking ass.