How 6 Women Supercharge Their Morning Skin-Care Routines

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Bustle presents our Beauty IRL package, a tribute to our readers' love of beauty and the way they use makeup and skin care to express themselves, to embrace their identities, and to self-soothe. Check out more of those stories here.

When it comes to our morning routines, most of us are creatures of habit. Maybe your day begins with a whole lot of hitting the snooze button, getting dressed in a state of half-consciousness, and then frantically racing to get work. Or perhaps you’re a bonafide morning person (looking at you, people who run five miles and catch up on the day’s news before the rest of us have even broken out of our REM cycles). But despite the variety of pre-work regimens out there, you'd be hard-pressed to find one that doesn't include a focus on healthy skin. Because, priorities.

For some of us, that means employing a simple splash-and-go strategy. For others (guilty!), it means forsaking a few minutes of precious shut eye for a routine that involves more steps than a doctor scrubbing in for surgery. We're short-cutters, extra-steppers, and multi-taskers, but we’re all in pursuit of the same goal: achieving and maintaining that #NoMakeupRequired skin.

In collaboration with Olay, we’ve asked five women to reveal the ways they tackle their morning skin-care routine and how they get ready to face the day with confidence—with or without makeup.

Jade, 33

"Aside from drinking a ton of water when I wake up (and making sure I eat a healthy breakfast), I start my routine with face wash. I remove any leftover makeup that might have been lingering from the night before with some wipes. Next, I moisturize with a face cream and apply eye cream. Once a week, I treat myself to an exfoliating lip treatment so they don’t get dry."

Justyna, 26

"In the morning, I follow an extensive regimen because I am obsessed. First, I start with face wash. If I feel like I need a deeper clean, I wash my face in the shower with a scrub. After that, I apply a pre-toner face spray, and then the actual toner. Next, I apply a series of essences and serums, plus an eye cream and face moisturizer. If my face cream doesn’t already have SPF in it, I’ll seal my routine with an SPF face mist. Finally, I top it all off with a lip balm before heading out the door."

Irma, 25

"Because I recently ditched my nighttime face wash for Olay Daily Clean 4-in-1 Water Activated Cloths, my morning routine is quite simple. The textured cloths act as a cleanser, toner, scrub, and mask — leaving my skin squeaky clean without feeling stripped. So all I do in the morning is rinse with water, and it's on to moisturizer. I wait a few a minutes to let the product sink in, and voilà — I start my makeup routine!"

Marybeth, 28

"My routine is pretty standard, but it works for me! I use a gentle cleanser and moisturizer duo in the morning. I always add some retinol eye cream and then follow-up with a light foundation or powder that has SPF in it."

Hanna, 27

"I typically start by swiping micellar water all over my face with a large cotton pad to take off any residue that may have transferred onto my skin during the night. Next, I wash my face with a gentle cleanser—typically anything that's fragrance- and oil-free works well for my dry, sensitive skin.

After patting my skin dry, I apply moisturizer with sun protection—key to combatting harmful rays in the city’s summer heat. After a few minutes, I finish with a hydrating eye cream to help smooth away fine lines and puffiness."

Ashley, 30

"I actually think that the best way to take care of your skin in the morning is to take care of it the night before. I always cleanse my face with a creamy face wash, apply a beta hydroxy acid liquid, and then serum. If it's cold weather, or if I want particularly dewy skin the next day, I follow up with a light moisturizing cream.

In the mornings, I typically wash my face with room temperature water and put on moisturizer with SPF 30. If it's summer, I might use a little bit of face wash, but otherwise, I tend to stay away from it in the morning so my skin has a chance to rehydrate itself. I follow up with a tinted moisturizer if I want a bit of light coverage.”

However you supercharge your routine in the morning, the best days are the ones that start with showing your skin some love. And whether your makeup routine is twenty steps or nonexistent, keeping your face looking and feeling healthy is key to getting a #NoMakeupRequired look.  

This post is sponsored by Olay.

All images courtesy of contributors.