My mornings begin with good intentions. I vow to rise early, bounce out of bed with bright eyes, and have a measured, relaxed start to the day. All too often though, I wake up late, race through my morning routine, and leave my apartment with dry skin, dark circles under my eyes, and damp hair, clutching a cup of coffee for the energy I need to catch my train in time.
To reassess my routine, I spoke to Susie Galvez, a beauty expert who has developed energizing treatments for dozens of spas. She offered these all-natural tips to help busy women like you and me get out the door quickly while still looking and feeling our best.
Tip 1: Clear Your Skin
Soon after you wake up, fill a mug with hot water and add a slice of lemon or lime. The citrus juice gets your blood flowing and your digestive system working, clearing congestion from your skin. For another caffeinefree morning stimulant, drink a cup of peppermint tea.
Tip 2: De-Puff Your Eyes
If you have bags under your eyes, do some stretches and jog in place for five minutes upon waking. Or run up and down a flight of stairs—it helps drain fluid from under your eyes. If time doesn’t allow, do squats while brushing your teeth or stretch with your leg up on the tub while shaving.
Tip 3: Banish Dark Circles
Run two caffeinated tea bags under warm water then place them on your eyes for five minutes—the caffeine helps draw out excess water from around the eyes, and the tannins reduce dark circles.
Tip 4: Get Glowing Skin
Dry skin constitutes the outermost layer of your body. Removing dead cells stimulates energy and reveals softer skin below. Use a dry brush to slough off dead skin cells and stimulate lymph, which helps get the blood flowing and increases energy. Before you hop in the shower, take a short-bristled natural brush and run it lightly over your body (use the same pressure you would when shaving your legs). Always stroke toward the heart. Dry brush once a day for two weeks and then once a week after.
Tip 5: Energize Your Sole
The soles of your feet are filled with nerve endings that can help stimulate and energize the body. To activate them, slip on massage sandals or run a golf ball under your feet to knead reflexology points. To remove hard, dead skin on your heels or soles, scrub your feet in the shower with a pumice stone.
Tip 6: Flush Out Toxins
As you sleep, your body eliminates toxins, many of them through the skin. A warm shower in the morning washes them all away. Use a soap or shower gel with citrus to stimulate your senses and help you feel more awake. To increase circulation, finish your shower with three hot and cold cycles, alternating between hot and cold for several seconds each time.
Tip 7: Hydrate Your Skin
After showering, pat yourself dry and moisturize your skin with a body lotion. For a stimulating experience, look for one with energizing essential oils and rub it in while giving your muscles a mini-massage.
Tip 8: Improve Your Mood
To maintain your energy all day, dab aromatherapy oils on your pulse points for a perfect anytime pick-me-up.
DIY MORNING SCRUB
On the days you don’t dry brush, try a scrub you can make with essential oils (some ingredients you can find in your own kitchen), created for Natural Health by Tara Oolie at Just Calm Down Spa in New York City.
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup oatmeal
1 cup olive oil
5 tablespoons lime or lemon juice, or orange essential oil
Lemon, lime, or orange peel to enhance the citrus smell (optional)
Carefully blend the ingredients with a spoon or spatula, then use all over your body in the shower, focusing on dry patches of skin. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to five days.