Good morning skin: a 5-step routine for when you’re on-the-go

19 August 2021

With a busy schedule, it can be difficult to find time for skincare. Fashion Quarterly Managing Editor Sarah Murray shares her quick skincare regime for refreshed and hydrated skin in next to no time at all.

WORDS BY Sarah Murray

Photo by Mathilde Langevin on Unsplash

If you’d asked me five years ago about my morning skincare routine, I would have rattled off at least seven to nine serums and oils that I used on my face every day. That wasn’t even including products like cleanser, exfoliant and sunscreen which bumped my overall skincare usage number up into the teens. Layering, as it’s known, was at the height of K-beauty trends, and as a beauty editor at the time I had the resources to give it a good go.

These days however, I’m a mum with three kids under five, and I simply don’t have the time (or the energy for that matter) to spend so much effort physically applying step after step of beauty product. I now require multi-tasking and potent products that will get me the best results with the least amount of steps.  So, behold, here is my new slimmed down five-step morning beauty regime for all those busy individuals out there. 

1. Cleanser

Dermalogica Daily Glycolic Cleanser

For me, this product is a bit of a hybrid, floating somewhere between the cleanser and exfoliant realm which is why I use it in the shower every morning.  I’ve always been a huge fan of glycolic acid because it ever-so-gently sloughs off dead skin cells, instantly renewing the skin.

1. Vitamin C

Aspect Dr Active C Serum

Years ago I was told the benefits of using a vitamin C serum and I’ve never looked back. Vitamin C serums do so many good things – they brighten your skin, protect against environmental aggressors and increase the production of collagen. Over the years I’ve tried many iterations of vitamin C but keep going back to this one because honestly, for me, it just seems to work. 

3. Moisturiser

Emma Lewisham Illuminating Brighten Your Day Crème

With a big hit of hydration thanks to hyaluronic acid, this day cream seems to keep my skin hydrated throughout the day. I especially love the vessel it comes in which allows you to press down to pump out some moisturiser—meaning you can get the exact dose for your skin in just one pump.

4. Eye cream

Lancôme Advanced Génifique Yeux Eye Cream

There was a time, when I’d just had baby number three that I stopped using an eye cream. I just couldn’t be bothered to open up another lid and pat cream around my eyes (even though it takes two seconds!). This was potentially a bit of a mistake. Aside from the newborn baby-induced bags, I noticed fine lines creeping around my eyes. I’ve since started using the creamy gel-like consistency of the Lancome Advanced Génifique Yeux Eye Cream which works to reduce dark circles and smooth fine lines. Let’s pray that with the reintroduction of an eye cream there’s hope for my peepers yet!

5. Sunscreen

EltaMD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40

This is another step that is so tempting to leave out – but don’t! If anything is going to keep your complexion looking younger, it’s using a sunscreen each day. I bought this one from About Face. It offers UVA and UVB protection, meaning it will not only protect you from the harsh New Zealand sun, but will also protect you from premature ageing. Another benefit for me is that it goes on lightly and absorbs easily into the skin. 

For more skincare inspiration, check out these winter moisturisers for nourished skin


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