The Simplest Skin Care Routine for Busy Mornings

Here's the quickest and simplest (and effective) skincare routine for all you busy bees.

October 7, 2021 4 minutes read
Woman waking up and holding an alarm clock and and a cup of coffee

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Sometimes you just want to roll out of bed in the morning and go out the door as soon as possible (perhaps splash your face with water in between) – especially if you're a worker bee and have a hectic day ahead of you.

And no worries, you're not alone in this struggle! However, taking only a couple of minutes to take care of your skin after getting up will go a long way and save you a lot of trouble (and time) down the line. Two minutes of skin care right now means fewer wrinkles and breakouts in the future – all in all, less stress for you!

So, if you're in a rush for whatever reason (maybe you like to add an extra hour of snooze or you're chasing deadlines), you'll love this simple 5-step morning skincare routine.

Simple 5-Step Skincare Routine for Your Busy Mornings

woman waking up and stretching

To make the best out of those couple of minutes in the a.m., go for a minimalist skincare routine and embrace the basics. You don't need masks, essences, boosters, or exfoliators, but only the essentials: cleansing, hydrating, treating, and protecting.

Here's your step-by-step guide to a quick and simple morning skincare routine:

Step #1: Cleanser

woman cleansing her face with a foam cleanser

The first step in your skincare routine, be it in the a.m. or p.m., should always be cleansing your face. No matter how busy you are in the morning or tired in the evening, you shouldn't skip this step. Otherwise, clogged pores, breakouts, and blackheads are just around the corner.

However, if you're in a hurry, you don't need to double cleanse – especially in the morning when you don't have any makeup on. So, grab your gentle facial cleanser and wash your face to remove any excess oil, dead skin cells, and impurities from your pores. This will wake your skin up and give you a balanced base for the following steps.

Step #2: Serum

woman holding a serum bottle with a dropper

Usually, after cleansing, you would go on with your toner. However, since we're saving time, skip the toner and apply your serum next. So, if you want to target a specific skin issue, like hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, dull and dehydrated skin – serum is your friend and a wise choice for the limited time you have.

Choose lightweight serums that absorb quickly into the skin, so you can quickly go on with your next step. Depending on your skin concerns, you can opt for a serum with vitamin C (for dullness, hyperpigmentation, or anti-aging) or hyaluronic acid (for dry or dehydrated skin).

Step #3: Eye Cream

woman applying an eye cream

Applying your eye cream will take only a couple of seconds, and it's a great addition to your simple morning routine. Remember that skin around the eyes is the most delicate and prone to premature aging. So, take those few seconds and gently dab a small amount of your eye cream (using your ring finger) all-around your eyes, including the area under your brows.

Step #4: Moisturizer

woman applying a moisturizer

By now, your serum is absorbed into your skin completely, and you can move on to your moisturizer. Again, it would help a bunch if you chose a moisturizer that's lighter in texture, like gels and fluids, instead of heavy-duty balms and oils.

This is because you want to go on with your next step – sunscreen – as quickly as possible, but give your skin enough time to soak up all the goodies from your moisturizing cream.

Step #5: Sunscreen

woman holding a sunscreen bottle

Summer or winter, sunshine or clouds... Sunscreen is a must! You need to protect your skin from the skin-harming UV rays, no matter the weather or season. Bear in mind that those invisible rays are just as strong in the winter months, and they have the ability to penetrate the clouds.

So, don't skip on your sunscreen in the morning, and remember to reapply it throughout the day.

If the time is really tight, however, you can use a moisturizer with an SPF of at least 30 and skip Step #5. Or, you can skip your moisturizer, but make sure that your sunscreen has all the hydrating ingredients your skin needs.

To Wrap Up

And there you have it! The simplest but effective minimalist skincare routine for your hectic mornings. You'll need two minutes or less for each step, which makes it ten minutes in total – you can spare that much time for your skin and beauty!

A simple morning skincare routine will refresh you; plus, it's a relaxing ritual that will help you ease into the day. Just set your alarm ten minutes earlier – you'll cut back on that extra zZz's, but it will definitely be worth it!


What is the basic morning skin care routine?

The basic morning skincare routine includes only the necessary skincare steps, such as cleansing, moisturizing, and an SPF. If you have extremely dry skin, you can even skip face cleansing in the morning.

What is the best time for morning skin care routine?

It's best to do your morning skincare routine right after you get up and brush your teeth. Then continue with your breakfast and coffee, and by the time you're finished, your skincare will already be nicely absorbed, so you can easily apply your sunscreen and makeup.

Should you wash off night cream in the morning?

Yes, especially if you have oily skin prone to acne and blackheads. Washing off your night cream in the morning will cleanse your pores, unclog them, and prevent breakouts. If you have dry skin, you might notice that your skin does well without the morning cleanse.

Can I just wash my face with water?

If you have dry and dehydrated skin, you might do just fine with washing your face only with water. However, if you have oily skin prone to acne, it would be best to use gentle cleansers as well to make sure all the excess sebum, dirt, and bacteria are removed from your pores.

Can I use hyaluronic acid every day?

Yes, you can use hyaluronic acid every day, twice a day. However, make sure to apply it to damp skin because hyaluronic acid draws water from the nearest source. If you apply it to dry skin, it will draw water from the deeper layers of your skin, making it dryer in the long run.

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