Morning Skincare Routine

A step-by-step breakdown of my morning skincare routine and products I love!

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Do you have a regular set of steps and products in your morning skincare routine?

A go-to cleanser, serum, moisturizer and SPF?

I often mention one product here or there on my instagram (for example the other day I shared details on why I love the Prequel Vitamin C.) But I wanted to share a detailed breakdown of each and every product that sits on my bathroom vanity that I use every morning.

Keep reading for a breakdown of each of the steps and the corresponding products that I use day in and day out.

products for morning skincare routine

Nan’s Morning Skincare Routine

Step 1: Wash Your Face

Depending on your skin type, you might not need to wash your face in the morning. (If your skin is really dry, perhaps you skip this step or on the other hand if your skin is oily, it is probably a worth while step.) My skin tends to be normal (with some acne in my t-zone and a bit of redness/sensitivity on my cheeks.) I tend to always wash my face in my morning skincare routine because I like to start with a clean base.

Then I jump back and forth between these two cleansers. I have used the IsClinical Gel Cleanser for years – it is a tried and true product for me that helps keep my skin clear smooth and clear from breakouts. The Prequel Cleanser is a newer product, I have just been using it for about a year. It is a face and body cleanser so I originally used it to wash my face anytime I was in the shower but I ended up loving it so much that I bought a second bottle for my bathroom vanity. I tend to reach for this anytime my skin is feeling a bit dry.

Cleansing Complex from IsClinical


I used to never be able to find a small travel size version of this cleanser but I finally found a retailer with a 2oz travel version!

is Clinical face cleanser | Morning Skincare Routine

Step 2: Apply Actives & Serums

Next up in my AM skincare sequence, I apply any of my serum or products with active ingredients, like my Vitamin C serums and brightening products.

First, I apply a layer of the Prequel Vitamin C to my face (as well as my neck, chest and top of my hands.) Anytime I speak with a dermatologist or skincare professional, one of their top recommended products is Vitamin C (along with using Retinol and SPF.) Therefore, I have used a Vitamin C product in my morning skincare routine for years; in the past I used CE Ferulic from SkinCeuticals but it was VERY expensive (over $150) and I did not like the packaging. When Prequel launched their Vitamin C in early 2024, I jumped on the chance to try out their comparable product that is 1/8 th the price! Now after using Lucent-C for over three months I am happy to report that I am really enjoying it and plan to keep repurchasing it.

In early March, I also started to use Mother Science’s Brightening Serum for additional support on dark spot reduction. Candidly, I am not sure if anyone needs both this product and a Vitamin C in their routine but as a gal who loves all things skincare, I am happy to try it! Stay tuned for more detailed thoughts once I have used it for longer.

Molecular Hero Serum from Mother Science


*this was kindly gifted to me

brightening serum

Step 3: Morning Moisturizer

Next up is moisturizer; I think we can all agree that a hydrating layer is a key step for visibly healthier and brighter skin. To find the best morning moisturizer, you should again consider your skin type and what level of dryness or oil your skin tends to produce. Because my skin is more normal with a touch of oil in my t-zone, I don’t find that I need a heavy moisturizer in the morning (I save that for my nighttime routine.)

For daytime, I like a lightweight layer and I typically use AirAngel from Dieux. However, last month I finished my bottle of AirAngel and tried out Sound Renewal per the suggestion of my friend Natalie. I am loving this lightweight gel moisturizer, it glides so nicely over my skin and is a perfect for layering with other products. Moving forward, I think I will probably bounce back and forth between both of these products.

Step 4: Apply Sunscreen Everyday

As a gal who loves all things skincare and is extremely scared of skin cancer, I have built up a routine where I wear SPF every single day (no matter the weather or the season.) I apply it to my face and also try to put it on my neck, chest, and back of neck/ears and the top of my hands.

We know I am not a dermatologist or skincare professional but if I can suggest one thing to you for your skincare regimen, it would be to wear SPF daily!! This is the best way to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun but also prevent wrinkles and signs of aging.

The Best Sunscreen

For sunscreen, I have heard countless dermatologists say ‘the best sunscreen is the one you wear every day’ meaning that they don’t really care what brand or version it is, as long as you wear it regularly! So I would just try to find any version that you feel best in. And then in time, you can dive in deeper to more effective formulas.

As a self diagnosed skincare nerd, I have tried oh so many sunscreens and currently aim to mainly wear European or non-US made formulas (because studies show that these SPFS are more effective thanks to new filters and technology that can’t be used yet in the US thanks to the FDA…!) If you are looking for more advice on this topic I would look at the content from @charlotteparler (a co-founder of Dieux Skincare) and @mrs.derm. These women introduced me to the Australian brand Ultra Violette and my favorite sunscreen, Supreme Screen. The chemical sunscreen blends in easily to my skin and layers well over my skincare and under my makeup. Once I rub it in, I don’t feel cake-y or sticky (which is a win in my book!)

Supreme Screen Sunscreen

Supreme Screen Sunscreen SPF50+ from Ultra Violette

$38 (plus shipping to USA)

It can be a bit hard to find a retailer that can ships to the US but I usually have success buying via Harrods.

And there you have it, the steps I follow every morning for my skincare routine. I hope this is helpful if you are looking to try out some new products. As always, I love trying new beauty products so let me know if there is anything you recommend I try instead of what I currently use.

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