Morning Skin Care Routine

morning skincare routine for a fresh face - Morning Skin Care Routine by popular Chicago beauty blogger Visions of Vogue

Exfoliator | Face Wash | Eye Cream | Face Lotion | Face Oil (if you buy one thing ever, it needs to be this and here’s why!) | 5 Minute Makeup Routine

After sharing my night skincare routine, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what my morning skin care routine looks like! Unlike your nighttime routine where you have plenty of time, your mornings might look a bit different – especially since you’re layering makeup on top right after. So here are the steps as part of my morning skincare routine.

What you’ll notice is that most of these products are also part of my night skincare routine. I’m not about to recommend having a whole separate set of products for your morning skin care. While I probably have enough product in my medicine cabinet to make another full routine, I think it’s more practical to use the same products where possible. At least, when you’re just starting out. Fewer products also means you can test what you like. Build up your routine over time!

Morning Skin Care Routine by popular Chicago beauty blogger Visions of Vogue
Morning Skin Care Routine by popular Chicago beauty blogger Visions of Vogue

Morning Skin Care Routine Step 1: Wash and exfoliate.

Even though there isn’t any makeup on my face, I wash my face every morning (Monday through Friday). I workout in the morning so I make this step part of my shower. On weekends, it depends on how oily my face has gotten overnight. Since it’s winter, I don’t wash my face when I don’t have to because it tends to be drier. So, I’ll give my skin a little break on weekends.

So what do you wash and exfoliate with? I have two things that I alternate between.


This nourishing cream exfoliator is the safest exfoliator that I’ve found. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that I’m huge into exfoliation. Scrubbing off that layer of dead skin cells can work miracles for giving you that glow that everyone covets. It helps you truly put your best face forward. This exfoliator contains jojoba beads (not microbeads which harm the environment and are now banned). The jojoba beads work to gently exfoliate but also soothe your skin at the same time.

If you ever used St. Ives apricot scrub, then I’ll break it to you now. Nothing on this planet is going to be as abrasive as that. For any exfoliating junkies (myself included), this can be a hard adjustment. However, the St. Ives scrub contains a few PEGs which usually are contaminated with carcinogens. I’ve resolved to only use this once in awhile. Partly to use up my current tube and partly because it’s just so darn good at exfoliating.

Face wash and facial sponge.

This combo exfoliates in a different way. I use this nourishing cream cleanser (which I also use at night). It’s one of my favorite beauty products of all time. That says a lot if face wash makes the cut. Seriously, it’s the best. It’s gentle enough to use on your eyes to remove eye makeup and it moisturizes as it cleanses. I said this on Instagram but I’m not a fan of squeaky clean skin. Clean, yes. Squeaky clean, no. Your face shouldn’t feel like your countertops. It should be fresh but moisturized and your skin shouldn’t be struggling to put moisture back into it for the rest of your day!

The second part of this is how you actually wash your face. Although I do love a washcloth at night, I love facial sponges or puffs for the shower. They’re a little easier to hang and seem more sanitary. They last a couple of months and they’re relatively affordable depending on what you get. I used these konjac sponges from Amazon for awhile but just switched to this facial puff from Goop. I’m only a week in but I feel like it is a better exfoliator. So, while I may have found my new St. Ives replacement. I just want to give it a few more weeks before I make that claim for the facial puff! I’ll keep you guys posted.

To use the facial sponge, get the sponge or puff completely wet. It takes a few seconds longer than a washcloth but it’s kind of fun and therapeutic. Put a small amount of face wash on the sponge. You only need a little! Then, start gently scrubbing on your face in a circle motion. Scrub everywhere! It feels sooo good AND it’s gentle. Once I’m done, I try to always wash out the sponge really well to make it last longer and then hang it on a hook (one of those clear plastic suction cup ones) to dry in the shower. Also remember to rinse your face under the water. You’re done!

Morning Skin Care Routine Step 2: Eye cream.

beautycounter eye rescue - Morning Skin Care Routine by popular Chicago beauty blogger Visions of Vogue
the ordinary caffeine solution - Morning Skin Care Routine by popular Chicago beauty blogger Visions of Vogue

I hadn’t used eye cream in the morning until I started testing so many eye creams. However, I thought that by giving my eyes a little TLC twice a day, I might have a chance at getting rid of these circles. So far, that hasn’t been the case. However, I do love how my skin feels. It feels healthy and moisturized.

I’m currently using two products. The first is The Ordinary’s Caffeine Solution 5% + ECGC. If you haven’t heard of The Ordinary, it’s a brand that’s basically disrupting the beauty scene. It’s no fuss, no extra ingredients. Just the essentials. It’s also incredibly affordable. I mean, this caffeine solution is $7. The fact that it’s sold out everywhere is just a testament to how amazing this brand is. I’d recommend getting on the waitlist at Sephora! And also, picking up anything you can find by The Ordinary that’s in stock. I just started using their serum!

The second product is this eye rescue cream. I put this on after the caffeine solution. It’s a really lightweight formula that also hydrates incredibly well for how lightweight it is. I love that about it since I know I’m going to layer makeup on top of it – it can’t be too heavy. Right now, you can get one of 6 free deluxe samples when you purchase through March 7th! You can get the details here. That’s actually one of the best promos I’ve seen for a safe beauty brand and it’s designed around some of the products that are usually the most toxic. It’s genius!

Morning Skin Care Routine Step 3: Serum (optional).

That brings us to the next step: serum. I usually skip this step. I’ve found that serums don’t generally react well with whatever foundation I’m using. Especially if it’s a more heavy coverage formula. The foundation ends up not applying as smoothly and clumping ever so slightly. I’d recommend trying it out with the products you use to see what it looks like. You guys know I love this serum and I’m also loving the one by The Ordinary I mentioned so far.

I will say that since I switched back to this foundation, I’ve noticed a lot less clumping. That tint skin is so much smoother and really gives you that glowing skin everyone covets as well as doubles as a moisturizer. It’s the only makeup that has actually made my skin better. I can’t wait to switch back to this Dew Skin (so perfectly named) with SPF once the sun comes out in Chicago! It won an Allure Best of Beauty award last year!

Morning Skin Care Routine Step 4: Moisturize.

beautycounter face lotion and moisturizer - Morning Skin Care Routine by popular Chicago beauty blogger Visions of Vogue
beautycounter face oil for better skin - Morning Skin Care Routine by popular Chicago beauty blogger Visions of Vogue

This is my favorite step. I use this lightweight moisturizer and mix face oil into it. The moisturizer adapts to your skin whether it’s dry or oily which makes it great for year round use. It does all the guesswork for you! I use the brightening oil because I love the citrus scent and usually drop 3-4 drops into my palm to mix it with the moisturizer before pressing it onto my face.

This is the same step I do at night except I use the balancing face oil and drop anywhere from 5-10 drops into the face lotion depending on how dry my skin is feeling. You get to know your skin and get the hang of it really quickly. It may be overwhelming at first but face oil is the best thing you can do for your skin. Everyone needs it! I’ve gotten so many messages from people telling me how this one product has changed their lives and I get it. It definitely changed mine!

Morning Skin Care Routine Step 5: Lip Balm.

I’m constantly moisturizing my lips. The last step of my morning skincare routine is to take care of them! As I mentioned on Instagram, I just purchased 4 different kinds of safer lip balms to test. So far, I’ve tried two. The first one is from Hurraw and I really like the formula. It’s faintly scented but not offensive. I also really like the shape – it’s an oval as opposed to a circle. For some reason, I think that’s way more intriguing to use! My lips are incredibly dry so I wouldn’t say that it’s long lasting. However, it lasts just as long as any other product I have tried!!

The second lip balm I’ve been testing is this one by All Good. I like that it contains SPF especially since summer is coming! This one feels a bit thicker than the Hurraw one and it lasts slightly longer. Plus, it’s only $3.50! I’m excited to test it out in the sun.

Morning Skin Care Routine Step 6: Makeup.

beautycounter 5-minute face - Morning Skin Care Routine by popular Chicago beauty blogger Visions of Vogue

My makeup routine in the morning is pretty quick because I’m always rushing off to work. If you remember a while back, I shared my 5 minute makeup routine that I use Monday through Friday. If you’re looking for a more amped up version, check out this post.

What is your morning skin care routine? Do you have any favorite products that I need to add to my list?

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