The minimal, dewy makeup look has been trending for awhile now, but a healthy glow always starts before you apply foundation. Often glowing skin is associated with health, and while there are links between behaviors like drinking more water and radiant skin, there are some other ways you can boost your skin’s natural glow. My skin is dry and dehydrated which means I need to put in a little extra work to keep it from looking dull. Luckily, I love researching and testing new products until I find exactly what works. Skincare is such a personal thing, but this routine is what I rely on to get that naturally glowy, just-got-a-facial complexion that we all dream of.
The first step towards radiant skin is regular exfoliation. This is such an important part of your weekly routine as the layer of dead skin cells that sit on top of your epidermis can actually prevent all of your other products from penetrating the skin effectively. By sloughing away that dead skin you’re promoting cell turnover and clearing the way for the rest of your skincare products to work their magic. My favorite way to exfoliate is with an enzyme peel, which is a type of chemical exfoliant. Despite the scary name, chemical exfoliants are much gentler on the skin than physical exfoliators like scrubs (ahem, a certain apricot scrub that will not be named). I love the Peter Thomas Roth FIRMx™ Peeling Gel. It’s so satisfying to use because you can actually feel all of the dead skin coming off your face in little pilling balls. It uses natural fruit enzymes like pineapple and pomegranate to sweep away that dead skin build-up.
For a lighter day-to-day exfoliation I like to use a muslin cloth to remove my makeup. This is a super gentle way to give the face a good scrub every night without irritating it. If you still want some more reading on physical versus chemical exfoliators check out this article on Into the Gloss. The idea of micro-tears was enough to make me never want to use scrubs on my face again!
Like I mentioned before, cell turnover is key to renewed and refreshed skin. There a few special treatments I like to use that help move that process along. The Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution is a serum that clarifies and brightens the skin. I’ve been using it for a few months now and while my leftover acne spots aren’t completely gone, I do notice that with consistent daily use my skin does look better on mornings when I’ve used it. That’s all down to the Activated C which has properties that reduce skin discolorations like those from acne. Just a reminder to never skip on your daily SPF when using chemical exfoliants or products containing vitamin C!
Another product I love to use at any point during the day to give my skin a pick me up is the Caudalie Beauty Elixir. This spray has definitely gained a cult following among beauty editors and everyday beauty-lovers alike. It’s an ultra-fine face mist that tightens pores and provides an immediate burst of radiance. It’s great as a toner before you apply the rest of your skincare or even after you’ve applied makeup to refresh throughout the day.
Along with exfoliation, hydration is the other important part of the recipe for glowing skin. Skin lacking in water has a tendency to look dull, which is exactly the opposite of what anyone wants. Did you know that if your skin is oily it’s probably dehydrated? Make sure you’re treating your skin type, but since mine is dry all around I’ll take all the extra moisture I can get.
Face masks are a great option for injecting the skin with a quick boost of moisture. I love the Nature Republic Aloe sheet masks because they feel extra nourishing and also have extra serum to pat in after you take it off. The best part is that a pack of ten is less than $10 on Amazon! Overnight masks are another great option. I’ve been trying out the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, and I have to say I’ve really enjoyed it. Not only is it hydrating because of the hyaluronic acid, it also contains AHAs (a chemical exfoliator) proving that hydration plus exfoliation is the key to radiance.
Hyaluronic acid is your best friend when it comes to skin hydration. Unlike the exfoliating acids such as glycolic, alpha-hydroxy, or lactic acids, hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in your body and can absorb up to 1,000 times its weight in water. My favorite way to use it is to go straight to the source! The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum is a no frills, get it done kind of product that will leave you with instantly hydrated skin.
Of course I have to mention a few makeup products to help boost your natural glow for when you just can’t get enough shine. It’s a slippery slope... Even on days when I’m feeling extra fancy I keep my makeup pretty minimal with a sheer base, concealer, highlight, and a little gloss on the lips and lids. If I could only recommend one makeup product for achieving that lit from within glow it would be the Glossier Haloscope in Quartz. It’s a face gloss that makes a noticeable difference in your makeup in the most subtle way. After a light pat to blend it in, the creamy formula gives the most beautiful sheen to the cheekbones. Another favorite all-rounder is the Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops. I don’t use these every day, but if you’re feeling a bit dull you can add a few drops of this to your foundation or moisturizer for a luminous effect on the whole face.