Rise and shine! You don’t have to be a morning person to start your day with a few beauty-boosting habits. Add these must-dos to your A.M. routine and reap the benefits all day long.
Use an antioxidant serum.
Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E help protect your skin from aging free radicals, which occur when you encounter UV rays, pollution and other stressors during the day. They also help your sunscreen work better, and give your complexion a noticeable glow. Smooth on an antioxidant serum, such as Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster ($48, sephora.com), after you cleanse and before you apply moisturizer or makeup.
Eat some protein.
Trade your bagel or piece of fruit for eggs or Greek yogurt . A recent study found that eating a high-protein breakfast helped women stay fuller longer and avoid overeating later in the day.
You know you need sun protection daily (even when it’s cloudy), but do you realize that the SPF in your makeup probably isn’t cutting it? Yep — you need about a nickel-sized amount of sunscreen for your face alone, and most of us don’t pile on makeup that thick. Instead, double up on protection by using an SPF moisturizer under your foundation or powder. And don’t forget your lips, neck, backs of hands and eye area — all of those spots are exposed to aging UV rays just as much as your face.
Drink a big glass of water.
Dehydration not only causes you to feel terrible, it messes with the way your skin looks — and after a night’s rest, your body needs fluids. Whether or not you believe this woman’s miraculous makeover story, starting the day with a tall glass of water can’t hurt.
Move your body.
Studies have shown that women who exercise in the morning sleep better at night. And the beauty benefits of sleep are very real. Shift your schedule to make a morning workout easier to manage.
Choose a fragrance with citrus.
Using a citrus-scented perfume or body lotion can help jumpstart your day. Studies have shown citrus fragrances to reduce stress and even help boost immune function.
Mist your face.
Keep a can of mineral water mist in your fridge and give your face a cool spritz first thing. The chilly mist will help bring down morning puffiness and leave you feeling bright and awake.
Drink green tea.
If you need an A.M. caffeine boost, green tea is the best way to get it. The drink is packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant, which have been shown to slow cell damage (read: aging) and are even linked to a reduced risk of certain cancers. Can’t bear to give up your coffee (us either)? No need; coffee contains antioxidants, too and has also been shown to speed up metabolism.