You’ve probably had the same lackluster morning routine for years: Wash your face. Brush your teeth. Take your supplements. It’s likely time for a refresh. Embracing a more holistic approach to how you start your day can have some surprisingly beautifying benefits. Here’s your checklist.

(want a printable checklist? Download one here)

Scrape your tongue

Shedding dreaded morning breath is the most obvious reason to start your day this way. Research proves that tongue cleaning does, in fact, reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth. The lesser-known reason to try it? Dating back to ancient India, Ayurvedic teachings supported this morning ritual for ridding the body of toxins to support organ health, proper digestion and even mental alertness. TRY: Dr. Tung’s Tongue Cleaner

Chug a glass of lemon water

A known detoxifier and a rich source of vitamin C, lemon enhances your immune system. Plus, water itself is critical for looking your best: Liquids quench not just your thirst, but also your skin cells, according to Howard Murad, MD. Heck, the guy wrote an entire book about it! READ: The Water Secret (Wiley, 2010).

Gently cleanse … or don’t 

Washing the day away at night is critical, but overdoing it in the morning when there’s little to remove may actually be bad for your skin. Use a gentle cleanser—or just pure H20—to avoid washing away the good bacteria with the bad. Increasingly, research supports the importance of the skin’s microbiome (protective layer of beneficial bacteria) for a clear complexion.


Apply sunscreen every day

Even if you don’t think you’ll be exposed to harmful rays, chances are you will. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, even cloudy days emit harmful UV rays—and, get this, up to 80 percent of these rays can penetrate the skin. That’s why it’s crucial to apply a mineral SPF 30. Every. Single. Day. We love products that double as primers or lend a light tint. TRY: Goddess Garden Face the Day Sunscreen & Firming Primer


Whip out the blender

Mornings are the best time to sneak in beauty-boosting nutrients. Kally Papantoniou, MD, board certified dermatologist at Mount Sinai medical center in New York City recommends avocado for its skin-protecting nutrients, such as vitamins C and E and beta-carotene, plus loads of healthy fats. Luckily, this creamy fruit makes an awesome base for a beauty smoothie. Also throw in antioxidant-rich berries and dark leafy greens and a few scoops of your favorite beauty boosters like collagen or hemp.  TRY: NeoCell Super Collagen Powder