Ask ITG is our monthly email column where we answer moisturizer-related queries from readers like you. Got a question? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line: Ask ITG. Not signed up for our emails? You're missing out. Do that now.
Hi ITG! Here’s my topic of question: feeling awake in the morning. More specifically, how does one not feel dry or crusty in the early hours of mid-February? Thanks so much.
First of all, thank you for writing—as is pointed out in your query, it has taken me months to properly digest this question, and now I’m ready to respond. Second, oh my God, do I sympathize with you. Waking up every morning is nearly impossible for me. Yes, reader; I have flaws! Very few, non-cosmetic ones.
How people manage to wake up before 10 AM while still feeling fine is unfathomable to me. Did you know that dairy farmers wake up around 4AM or earlier for the first milking of the day? Insane, but that is their purpose, and thus, they rise with the sun—buoyed by a thirst for milk and a zest for life. You will be happy to learn that obtaining apprenticeship under a dairy farmer is as easy as having an email address. This is, in my opinion, the most grueling but most effective way to train your body to wake up early. Best of luck in your new career.
If you don’t possess the time or the tractor’s operator’s license required to do so, you can still train your body to wake up early and eventually enjoy doing so. And lucky you, it requires slightly less effort than becoming a dairy farmer.
Let’s take a page from the digital book of everybody’s favorite non-dairy farmer, actress and human prestige coconut water Gwyneth Paltrow. Gwyn cops to waking up at 6:30AM every morning to tend to her children and make it to Tracy Anderson on time. While still extremely early, 6:30 seems like the ideal time to make breakfast, read the news, smother your children with affection, and smoke a single American Spirit. How does she do it?
She does not go into detail, but I imagine the morning workout helps. In fact, signing up for an 8AM cardio class seems like a great way to get out of bed, especially if they’ll still charge you should you sleep through it. Once you get into the routine of waking up at the ass crack of dawn, your body ready for a vigorous physical gauntlet set to the tune of “Shape Of You,” you can switch to something like Aaptiv, an app that offers portable workout classes. Be your own Tracy Anderson.
If that doesn’t work, maybe you’re not sleeping as well as you should be? Most of waking up well starts with going to bed well. Sorry to pry, but I must, for the sake of beauty advice: how late are you up? If your nights are spent binge watching backlog episodes of NCIS until the ring of the first dairy alarm, you’ll never have a restful slumber; instead you’ll accrue tons of sleep debt and an anecdotal (at best) understanding of forensic science. Gwyneth recommends restorative yoga poses before bed for maximum rest—you can read about them here, but in case you don’t want to, it involves lying on your back with your legs up against a wall and breathing for 10 minutes. Would love to know how it works out for you.
Personally, I like the whole sleep range from This Works—especially the Deep Sleep Pillow and Moisturizing Body Mists, the latter especially for the dryness and, eugh, crustyness you’ve been experiencing. The whole range is basically aromatherapy, but it’s a ritual that gives bedtime more of a luxe, relaxing feel. Nice linens and other sleep accessories don’t hurt, either. Stock your bedside table with a bevy of nice-smelling face things—like my favorite Caudalie Beauty Elixir, or the delicious F Miller Face Oil—that you can use before bed and right when you wake up, too. Scents are powerful stimulants. 9/10 dairy farmers agree!
Photo via ITG.
Read more of ITG's advice column, Ask ITG, over here.