They wash their face with a gentle cleanser
“I recommend a gentle cleanser in the morning to take off the oils that accumulate overnight and to wash off whatever products you put on at night,” says Christine Choi Kim, MD, a board-certified medical and cosmetic dermatologist based in California. Start the day off with a clean face.
They protect their skin from the environment
Apply an antioxidant to delay or prevent cellular damage caused by environmental pollutants as well as ultraviolet rays, suggests Dr. Kim. Common antioxidants in skincare products include vitamin C and E, phloretin, ferulic acid, and botanicals such as resveratrol, green tea, and coffee berry.
They NEVER forget sunscreen
Give yourself a few minutes to let the antioxidant settle into your skin, then apply a sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Dr. Kim recommends choosing SPF 30 or higher because when the FDA measures SPF effectiveness, they are using an ounce or higher (shot glass size) and most people are not applying that much sunscreen. So if you apply SPF 30 as a normal person would, you’re probably getting the protection equivalent of SPF 15. If your BB cream or foundation has sunscreen, choose one with protection of SPF 30 or higher. Or, apply your makeup as usual a few minutes after applying a separate sunscreen.
They always cover their necks, chest, and hands
Don’t forget to put antioxidant and sunscreen on your neck, upper chest area, and the backs of your hands, which are often exposed to damaging UV rays when you’re driving. These are areas Dr. Kim says people often forget to protect but they’re just as exposed to the elements as your face—and will show signs of aging from sun damage even if your face doesn’t.
They don’t aggravate pimples
If you’re staring down an angry red pimple when you wake up in the morning, don’t pick or pop it—it’ll get more inflamed or swollen, says Dr. Kim. You might want to ice the zit to decrease the inflammation and then apply over-the-counter spot treatment acne medicine that contains salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or sulfur to dry up a pimple. Some products even have a concealer mixed in, so you’re covering and treating at the same time.
They eat a colorful breakfast
A diet that’s rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, especially berries and leafy greens, is what your skin craves for a healthy glow. Add berries to your oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, or smoothie for an antioxidant- and vitamin C-boost that helps your skin look radiant, according to nutritionist Joy Bauer on her website. Your skin will also look better if you reduce alcohol, sugar, and processed foods from your diet, says Dr. Kim. If you suffer from gluten sensitivities or dairy intolerances and cut those from your diet, your skin can also appear healthier and you may experience fewer breakouts.
They guzzle water
When you’re dehydrated, your skin can look dry and dull and make you look tired. The skin loves moisture, so drinking water is important to avoid dryness, according to a blog on DrFrankLipman.com. Drink a glass of water before you have your morning coffee, and aim to get in another one or two 8-ounce glasses before lunch.