You stir as your morning alarm begins to blare. You hit the snooze button 5 more times then jump out of bed on the 6th. You rush through your skincare routine and brush your teeth while using the loo. You then gulp down coffee in the hope the caffeine turns you into a superhuman and finally dash out the door 15 minutes later with your bag under your arm as you pull on your shoes all while trying to eat a banana and feed the dog.
Ok, I might be exaggerating (a little) here but if you’re like most people, you’ve probably had mornings that look something like this. From that point on, your entire day feels like an endless game of catch up and you never really feel like you’re at the top of your game and hitting your stride. If this sounds familiar you aren’t alone.
It is well-known that many successful and influential personalities, from Oprah Winfrey to Jack Ma, have morning routines that they follow religiously in order to set themselves up for success. A healthy routine not only helps eliminate the stress of a chaotic morning but also re-energises the mind and builds focus for the day that has yet to come.
Mornings don’t have to be a mad rush and by doing a few focused things when you wake up, you can set yourself up for a more stress-free and productive day ahead. Here are 5 easy, skin-friendly morning habits that you should incorporate into a morning routine.
RITUAL #1: HYDRATE! HYDRATE! HYDRATE!
Singapore has been in the grips of the coffee revolution for some time now with an ever-growing number of indie coffee houses popping up at trendy hotspots and HDB heartlands alike. This trend, driven by both mass and social media, might make grabbing a cup of coffee first thing in the morning seems like the logical choice but health experts (and your skin) say water is better.
When you wake up in the morning, you would have gone, hopefully, 8 hours or more without water, an essential nutrient that is critical to the proper functioning of all your organs and tissues. Sipping down (don’t gulp) a large glass of water first thing in the morning can help rehydrate the body and aid with digestion and metabolism.
Water is a key component of collagen so keeping your body well hydrated will help improve collagen production and improve skin elasticity. While leaving your body dehydrated can lead to dry and flaky skin that is less resilient and more prone to wrinkling. You can even supercharge your hydration routine by adding a fruit-infusion that can provide your skin with even more nutrients.
RITUAL #2: GET YOUR DAY GOING BY MOVING
While it’s hardly news that exercise is great for your cardiovascular health and mental well being, moving your body and getting some exercise early in the morning can also work wonders for your skin! Exercise improves blood flow and circulation that helps keep your skin vibrant and healthy. That’s why we tend to have a healthy glow after a good bout of exercise.
The increased blood flow caused by exercise increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients carried by your blood to cells throughout your body, including your skin. The same blood flow that brings life-giving oxygen also carries waste products such as free radicals away from working cells. While it’s a myth that exercise can detoxify the skin (that’s the liver’s job), the increased blood flow can help flush cellular debris from your system.
Exercise also releases endorphins into your body helping you to destress and prepare you mentally for the day ahead. This can also have positive effects on skin conditions that are exacerbated by stress such as acne and eczema. Lower stress levels can also help prevent premature signs of ageing like wrinkles.
RITUAL #3: SKIP THE HOT SHOWER AND TAKE A COLD ONE
Cold showers can have a similar effect to exercise, increasing blood circulation and triggering the release of endorphins and other stress-fighting hormones. This helps reduce the symptoms of skin conditions such as acne and eczema that can be triggered or exacerbated by stress. For your skin, this all means a fresh radiant glow without spending half of your paycheck on some miracle cream.
Hot showers also tend to strip your skin of its natural oils so, if you have dry skin, avoid hot showers altogether. Cold showers, on the other hand, cause your pores and blood vessels in your skin to constrict making your skin appear less puffy or red. Cold showers can also help soothe symptoms of skin conditions such as psoriasis while hot showers can actually do the opposite!
You probably don’t want to try this in the midst of winter but living in the tropics means that cold showers are something that we can incorporate into our morning routines all year round!
RITUAL #4: BUILD YOUR MORNING ROUTINE AROUND SKINCARE
What better way to build a skin healthy morning routine than to build your morning routines around your skincare routine? Regardless of whether you follow a 3 step or 12 step routine, that bit of self-loving you do in the mornings gives you time to calm your mind and prepare you mentally for the day ahead all while giving your skin the loving maintenance it needs!
Most of us already have some kind of a skincare routine in the mornings anyway. By building your daily morning routine around your existing skincare routine, it is likelier that you will build a morning routine that you will be able to stick with.
RITUAL #5: THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY
Take your morning skincare routine to the breakfast table! If you’re like most Singaporeans, then you probably either take your breakfast at the local hawker centres or maybe you’re in the habit of skipping breakfast altogether. Often called the most important meal of the day, there isn’t really any substitute for a healthy and wholesome breakfast.
Having a healthy breakfast not only provides your body with crucial nutrients for proper bodily functions but can also help improve the texture of your skin. Go for high fibre options and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables which are high in antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Beta-carotene. Try making your breakfast as colourful as you can!
Mornings don't have to be rough. If you’re not a morning person, then it may seem daunting to try to overhaul your morning routine all at once or to even introduce a morning routine at all. If you’re not a morning person like moi, don’t fret, you aren’t alone. Try introducing one new practice a week gradually and you’ll eventually get there.
By doing a few focused things when you wake up, you can set yourself up for a more productive day. Adopting a good routine that focuses on self-care not only helps you feel better but look better. They say if you win the morning, you win the day and don't we all want to win.