Waking up at the crack of dawn to get ready for work or school can be a drag, especially if you’re not a morning person. With that being said, waking up early and having time to get ready (ideally with a cup of coffee . . . or three) is infinitely better than oversleeping and having to rush to get to where you need to go in record time. While there are some things that you can’t rush—like that pesky rush-hour traffic—you can make a few tweaks to your regular morning skincare routine to help speed it along.
Of course, you want to make sure to do it right. Skipping the essentials can leave your skin looking dull or lackluster. Fret not, though, you have us to help. Here, we’ll introduce you to our quick, five-minute morning face routine for busy days. While speedy, this face care routine includes everything you need for fresh, healthy-looking skin, even on chaotic mornings. Pour your coffee into a to-go mug for the road and read on for your five-minute morning routine.
Cleanse To Remove Sweat and Oil
Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash
As with any skincare routine, your quick-and-easy morning skincare routine should start with a thorough cleanse. Look for a gentle, foaming facial cleanser that rinses off easily, like Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash. This mild face wash with calendula extract and glycerin helps remove impurities (like dirt, sweat, and excess oil) without stripping the skin’s natural moisture barrier. It’s suitable for all skin types and can be used morning and night to help visibly revitalize and refresh the skin.
To use it as the first step in your morning skincare routine, first dampen your face with lukewarm water, then dispense a small amount of the gel cleanser into your hands. Massage it over your face, adding water as needed to create a thick, dense foam. Once you’ve finished washing up, rinse your face thoroughly and pat your skin dry with a clean towel.
Splash On a Soothing Toner
After washing your face, reach for a toner, like the iconic Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner, to remove any remaining impurities and help prepare your skin for the rest of your morning routine. This Kiehl’s classic, which first hit shelves in the 1960s, boasts a soothing blend of calendula extract and whole calendula petals, along with allantoin and glycerin. The gentle, alcohol- and fragrance-free formula provides a gentle secondary clean for fresh-feeling skin. We recommend using a clean cotton round to sweep the mild formula over your face, avoiding the delicate skin around your eyes.
Reach For a Skin-Strengthening Serum
While your skin is still damp from cleansing and toning, quickly pat on a face serum, such as Vital Skin-Strengthening Hyaluronic Acid Super Serum. This potent serum for all skin types contains 11kDa hyaluronic acid, an engineered form of hyaluronic acid capable of penetrating down to your skin’s deeper layers. It also boasts a blend of adaptogenic herbs, including red ginseng root and Schisandra berry. The unique, fast-absorbing serum helps neutralize the effects of damaging free radicals that can contribute to early signs of aging. It’s clinically-demonstrated to double skin’s strength and boost radiance. Over time, it helps improve the appearance of fine lines and unevenness to help reveal more youthful-, healthier-looking skin.*
*Based on a four-week clinical study on 58 subjects tested in urban and polluted environments. Skin strength index = composite average score of clinically-graded parameters after using the product for four weeks vs. one week of use.
Brighten Up Your Eye Area
Between dark circles, puffiness, and under-eye wrinkles, the consequences of a hectic schedule are perhaps most evident around the delicate eye area. Of course, a lack of sleep isn’t the only thing that can cause tired-looking eyes, but it certainly doesn’t help the matter. What does help is using a hydrating eye cream every day.
Avocado Eye Cream
We recommend Avocado Eye Cream, a Kiehl’s classic made with rich shea butter and nourishing avocado oil. The fan-favorite eye cream immediately smooths and hydrates the under-eye area, minimizing puffiness and helping to improve the appearance of fatigue. The non-greasy, fast-absorbing formula also helps defend the skin around your eyes from the damaging effects of blue light, like that emitted by your phone or laptop.
While your serum is absorbing into your skin, use your ring finger to lightly tap your eye cream along your orbital bone and around your under-eye area. If you plan to wear makeup, let the cream sink into your skin before reaching for your concealer or mascara.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Moisturizing is an essential step in your skincare routine, no matter your skin type. For daytime, we generally recommend using an ultra-lightweight moisturizer, such as our Ultra Facial Cream. The formula for all skin types (including sensitive skin) absorbs easily to infuse the skin with instant and lasting 24-hour hydration. It balances even skin’s driest areas with 2.3X more moisture and leaves skin soft, smooth, and healthy-looking.
For added hydration, pair your moisturizer with a non-greasy face oil, such as Daily Reviving Concentrate. This antioxidant-rich daytime face oil helps defend the skin from damaging free radicals. It also helps reduce the visible signs of fatigue—an unfortunate but common symptom of busy schedules—and boosts radiance to give the skin a fresh, healthy-looking glow. It’s non-comedogenic and suitable for all skin types, including oily and blemish-prone skin. Note that a little goes a long way, as with any face oil. You don’t need any more than a few drops pressed into your skin to reap the benefits of this revitalizing formula.
Smooth On Your SPF
Super Fluid Daily UV Defense 50+
Last but not least is arguably the most important part of your morning skincare routine, and it’s one that you shouldn’t skip, ever: Sunscreen. While a moisturizer with SPF will provide some protection from the sun’s rays, we recommend reaching for a broad-spectrum sunscreen, like Super Fluid Daily UV Defense 50+, to layer over your moisturizer. This non-greasy formula absorbs quickly and helps protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. It also helps defend against the damaging effects of environmental stressors like pollution. Smooth a generous amount onto your face and neck at least 15 minutes before hitting the road (and if you’re planning to spend a chunk of time outside, be sure to follow other sun protection measures, like avoiding direct sunlight at midday, as well).
Finally, don’t forget your lips—they can get sunburned, too. Protect your pout with a lip balm with SPF, like Butterstick Lip Treatment SPF 30. The creamy, coconut oil-infused formula glides on easily, leaving your lips hydrated for up to 12 hours. It’s available in six natural-looking finishes, including one untinted option, and can be reapplied as often as needed for soft, smooth lips.