14 Wellness and Beauty Staples That Magically Turned Me Into a Morning Person


(Image credit: @kaitlyn_mclintock)

I used to be a certified night owl. I would stay up late and sleep in even later. Even when I would force myself to go to bed at a decent time, I'd sleep in until 11 am if my schedule allowed. It's like my body was primed for it. As you can imagine, waking up early was difficult, if not impossible. I was someone who needed to set 10 alarms on my phone because I knew I'd roll over and hit snooze or cancel them altogether without surrendering from my slumber. Once I was out of bed, I would immediately drink a cup of coffee...and then another one...and then maybe another one after that. I was so well known for this behavior that one of my friends once joked they'd never seen me without a cup of coffee in my hand. 

Obviously, this wasn't the healthiest way to operate. It also wasn't setting me up for success in my personal and professional lives. Not only did I experience more anxiety than normal, but I had a demanding job that often required attending and contributing to morning meetings. Plus, I always dreamed of being a person who wakes up early, works out, and checks off half their to-do list before noon. 


(Image credit: @kaitlyn_mclintock)

For context, I had tried all the expert-recommended tips and tricks for transforming from a night owl to an early bird before, but they never worked. I knew there would be days when I needed extra motivation to stay on track (e.g., to avoid hitting snooze on my alarm or lazing around in bed for another 30 minutes before getting up). So, I turned to what I know best: beauty and wellness products.

I figured if I set myself up with the right products, a healthy morning routine would stem naturally from them, and I was right. After some trial and error and investing in a few extremely useful items, I'm happy to report I'm a morning person. Or, at the very least, I've been a morning person for a few months. I work out almost every morning, drink less coffee, and eat a healthy breakfast. Keep scrolling to see my morning routine and shop my early morning must-have items. 

My Early Morning Must-Haves 

This alarm clock was a game changer for my routine. It gradually wakes me with a soft sound and a sunrise lamp—a complete 180 from the jarring phone alarms I used before. It's also a sound machine. I play rain noise every night as I sleep, so I wake up well-rested and less inclined to laze around before breakfast. 

Plus, it just looks pretty. Maybe it's because I'm particular about my living space or because I'm a Taurus inclined to like a luxury item, but I find the sleek design is easy on the eyes. 

My next order of business is to take a morning walk. I try to do this as soon as possible—before coffee and checking email. I change into my favorite pair of running shorts, slather on some sunscreen, and head out the door to walk around the neighborhood. I like to aim for two to three miles. 

This is the sunscreen I use. The milky formula melts into my skin, gives it a little glow, and keeps me protected from UVA and UVB rays. It lasts me a long time even though I also use it on my neck and chest.

Once I'm back from my daily walk and podcast binge, I hydrate. This is my favorite water bottle. I spontaneously purchased it on Amazon one day, and I've been using it every day since. 

After my walk, I'll move right into a Pilates flow about three times a week. I swear by Melissa Wood Health (I subscribe to her website for unlimited classes). Her videos are easy to follow along, not too long or short, and always make me feel accomplished. 

Since many of her videos incorporate accessories like ankle weights, a Pilates ball, and a resistance band, it helps to have her Prop Kit on hand. It contains everything you need. 

I also love these ankle and wrist weights from Bala. I have 2-pound weights and use them whenever I need a short yet effective workout. I like the look of them and the fact the velcro attachment keeps them secured tight to my skin.

After a quick 15 to 30-minute workout, it's time to hop in the shower. I don't use a dry brush every day, but I'll brush my bare skin in short, quick strokes, moving upward and inward toward my heart when I feel inclined. It makes my skin look bright and fresh and leaves me feeling awake and invigorated. 

This cleanser uses vitamin C, acai and goji berry, hyaluronic acid, and galactoarabinan extract to protect collagen, diminish hyperpigmentation, and defend the skin against free radical damage. I love that, and I also love its fresh citrusy scent. 

This handy dandy skincare tool works on multiple levels to improve the skin. It can smooth fine lines, de-puff, fade blemishes, firm and lift the appearance of the skin, and even boost the efficacy of serums and creams. It does so with a combination of red light therapy, galvanic current, and warm facial massage. I try to use it every day on the fine lines that are forming on my forehead and around my eyes. 

Naturium makes some of the best body washes in the game. This one has vitamin C to brighten the skin and protect against free radical damage. It also contains natural fruit enzymes and niacinamide to keep skin smooth and even. 

I love using this body lotion after getting out of the shower in the morning. It smells bright, fresh, and basically like a tall glass of grapefruit juice. It never fails to make me feel awake, refreshed, and happy.

Admittedly, I was totally influenced to try this next one by TikTok. But now I swear it works and have proof to back it up. This strange-looking tool is based on wood-therapy tools popular in Latin America for assisting in lymphatic drainage.

This product is insanely expensive but totally worth it, in my opinion. That's because it's a moisturizer, serum, and treatment mask in one, thanks to firming peptides and brightening antioxidants.

I've been using it for a few months, and my skin absolutely loves it. My dark spots have diminished, my complexion looks brighter, and my skin feels plump and hydrated. Celebs like Kaia Gerber and January Jones also love it, so you know it's good.

I know I said I'm drinking less coffee lately, but that doesn't mean I'm not drinking any at all. It's one of life's greatest joys, and I'll never go without it entirely, even if that means drinking decaf more often than not. 

Before getting this espresso machine, I'd drink endless cups of black coffee from my old coffee pot. Now that I have to make individual pods, I can easily limit myself to one (maybe two tops) each morning. Plus, I can make foamy lattes thanks to a milk frother attachment. Once my coffee is made, I can get to work bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. 


(Image credit: @kaitlyn_mclintock)

Next, Miranda Kerr Is My Wellness Icon—16 Products She Swears By for Glowing Skin

Kaitlyn McLintock
Associate Beauty Editor

Kaitlyn McLintock is an Associate Beauty Editor at Who What Wear. Although she covers a wide range of topics across a variety of categories, she specializes in celebrity interviews and skincare and wellness content. Having lived in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, she recently relocated back to her home state of Michigan where she works remotely. Prior to Who What Wear, she freelanced for a variety of industry-leading digital publications, including InStyle, The Zoe Report, Bustle, Hello Giggles, and Coveteur. Before that, she held a long-term internship and subsequent contributor position at Byrdie. When she's not writing, researching, or testing the latest and greatest beauty products, she's working her way through an ever-growing book collection, swimming in the Great Lakes, or spending time with family.