Don't get us wrong. We love makeup, but to inject a serious amount of glow in your skin, tried and tested skincare is the best place to start. Yes, bronzers and illuminators are insanely good for that extra special, night-out glow, but they don’t promote true radiance: the kind of Hollywood-level radiance that comes from within.
And that is what a glowing complexion is all about – boosting circulation, encouraging cell turnover and enhancing the actual health of your skin, rather than covering it up with fancy cosmetics.
So, instead of faking your glow, it’s time to get a real one that takes your skin to its absolute happiest place. Here’s how it’s done…
Start with Effective Cleansing to Make Your Skin Glow
Good cleansing is the basis of healthy skin. Start your skincare regime with poor cleansing, and you might as well kiss goodbye to a glowing complexion.
This doesn’t, however, mean buying the most powerful, kick-ass cleanser money can buy. Far from it. Instead, no matter if your skin is dry, oily, normal or a mixture of all three, we always recommend sticking with the gentlest cleanser you can find. Anything that’s brimming with alcohol, fragrance, sulfates, or preservatives can do more harm than good – especially if you have sensitive skin – so make smart cleansing choices for the best results.
Once you’ve nailed this, it’s time to work on your cleansing technique. Always lived by the “20 seconds splash and done” rule? Well, it’s time to change that. And don’t worry, you won’t need to get out of bed three hours earlier just to get the job done. A few extra minutes is all it takes for the perfect cleanse.
- Wash your hands first and then moisten your face and neck with lukewarm – never hot – water. Extreme heat is damaging to your skin and may exacerbate concerns such as rosacea or eczema.
- Next, apply a targeted, gentle cleanser all over your skin.
- And now, for the fun part: the facial massage. Massaging your skin as you cleanse is one of the best ways to boost circulation, promote lymphatic drainage, and help remove toxins from the body. And the good news is it’s easy to master. First, press the pads of your fingers into your brow area and slide them up to your forehead. Repeat this a few times, and then concentrate on your cheeks, working from each side of your nose out towards the hairline. Continue with this motion a few times, and then do the same across your chin. Finally, smooth your fingertips from the bottom of your neck up to the jawline. And you’re done.
- To finish, rinse, rinse, and rinse again. You could even brave a final splash of cold water to really wake up your circulation.
- At night, try the art of double cleansing to thoroughly remove makeup, sweat, oils, and other environmental pollutants. Clean your skin first with an oil-based cleanser, micellar water, or gentle exfoliator to eliminate traces of makeup, oil, sunscreen, and other surface debris. Then cleanse a second time using a lotion, cream, or gel to remove dead skin cells and target any skin concerns you may have.
Use Antioxidants to Boost Your Skin's Glow
We’re huge fans of antioxidants in skincare. Why? Because they work super hard to protect the skin from damage caused by lifestyle and environmental baddies such as smoking, a poor diet, pollution, and UV radiation. We won’t bore you with all the science – let’s save that for another day – but suffice to say that if you want healthy, radiant skin, antioxidants should never be far from your bathroom cabinet.
To really boost radiance and say buh-bye to dull skin, look to two of our favorite antioxidant superheroes: vitamin C and niacinamide.
Vitamin C is one of the most effective, glow-enhancing antioxidants in skincare. Not only does it work extremely hard at fighting free radicals and reducing oxidative stress, but it evens tone, adds clarity, protects against sun damage, helps lighten discoloration and then some. Just make sure you read the ingredients of any vitamin C product to ensure it is formulated at the right concentration (between 10 and 20 percent) and in the correct form (think sodium ascorbyl phosphate and l-ascorbic acid). Vitamin C is also very sensitive to light and oxygen, so make sure it remains stable by only buying C serums packaged in airtight and opaque or dark containers.
Next on our list: niacinamide. A form of vitamin B3, niacinamide is currently having a moment in skincare due to its ability to increase the skin’s ceramide and fatty acid levels which help strengthen its natural, protective barrier. Otherwise known as nicotinamide, niacinamide is a great antioxidant for reducing redness, sun spots, or other discolorations. Another thing working in its favor? It’s not such a troublemaker (i.e., a potential irritant) as some antioxidants, so it’s perfect for sensitive skin.
One final note about antioxidants. As well as introducing them into your skincare routine, try simultaneously upping them in your diet. Artichokes, goji berries, raspberries, and kale are all high in antioxidants. Work on eating more fruit, veggies, and beans in general and you should notice a difference in both the texture and tone of your complexion.
Acids for Exfoliation are the Key to Brightening Your Skin's Complexion
Nothing beats a good exfoliation when it comes to sloughing away dead skin cells, promoting cell turnover, and upping your glow game.
Skin naturally renews itself by shedding millions of cells every day, but unfortunately, this natural exfoliation process slows down with time, resulting in a dull, lifeless complexion as you age. And this, ladies, is why we exfoliate. But scrubbing away at your complexion like your life depended on it? No, no, NO. Instead, the future looks far brighter (and kinder on your skin) with chemical exfoliation.
Rather than using physical aids like beads, ground fruit pits, or nutshells to exfoliate the skin, chemical exfoliants use, yes you guessed it, chemicals such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs).
While BHAs are oil-soluble and great for oily or acne-prone skin, AHAs are naturally-occurring, water-soluble substances extracted from fruit or milk sugars. They help stimulate elastin and collagen production, accelerate cell turnover, and encourage new skin to grow. This means they’re super-effective at reducing sun damage, age spots, fine lines, and wrinkles.
We’re firm believers in AHAs, here at Glomance, and we harness the powers of one of its biggest players, lactic acid, in our Overnight Star Resurfacing Night Treatment. Excellent for all skin types, lactic acid is a skin-identical ingredient that’s derived from either milk sugars or vegan sources such as beets or fermented corn starch. It works by loosening the bonds between dead skin cells and then dissolving them to make way for the new stuff, which helps brighten and even skin tone and creating a smoother texture as an added bonus. It also increases water retention and boosts ceramides in the skin’s protective barrier to help keep your skin soft, plump, moisturized, and gorgeously healthy-looking. Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t. We love the stuff.
Address Discolorations to Even your Skin Tone
Two of the main culprits for getting in the way of a radiant complexion are unwanted skin discolorations known as hyperpigmentation and melasma.
Discolorations occur when damaging influences cause the melanin-synthesizing cells in your skin (aka melanocytes) to overproduce melanin. This results in an uneven distribution in the epidermis, which manifests itself in dark patches, brown spots, freckles, and moles.
Hyperpigmentation is the name for uneven discolorations caused by external aggressors – yes, we’re talking to you, sun – whereas melasma is caused by internal bodily changes such as hormone fluctuations due to contraception, pregnancy, aging or even stress. Both cause similar-looking discolorations on the skin, and both are super-annoying.
Like most skin-agers, prevention is better than cure, so up your skincare game and always wear a daily, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 or above to minimize any risks. According to studies in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD), just 40 percent of American women regularly apply sunscreen on their faces before going outside for an hour or more. Come on, people, we can do better than that.
Once you develop hyperpigmentation or melasma, things get trickier – especially if you suffer with melasma which occurs deeper into the skin’s surface. There is sadly no miraculous cure for either, but you can manage your concerns with plenty of the aforementioned sunscreen, plus daily antioxidants and overnight brightening treatments like our Overnight Star Resurfacing Night Treatment. You could also try a non-invasive, medical-grade treatment at the doctor’s office. Speaking of which…
Take a Trip to The Dermatologist to Improve the Quality of your Skin
To maximize glow-inducing results, a trip to the dermatologist will really seal the deal. Three of our favorite treatments for ramping up your radiance are:
The Perfect Derma Peel
Gentle chemical peels are great for boosting radiance and making the skin look younger and ‘almost new’ again. How so? Well, among other things, they remove surface build-up and increase cellular proliferation to reveal deeper layers of fresh, untouched skin. The Perfect Derma Peel is a great choice as it offers all the powers of a medium-strength chemical peel with little of the dryness. Love that.
Clear + Brilliant
Among the most gentle, resurfacing lasers available, Clear + Brilliant is a non-ablative treatment that works by making microscopic, heat-induced injuries on the surface of the skin using light that’s emitted through a small, roller-like device. These injuries are almost invisible to the naked eye, but they’re a real force to be reckoned with as they drive the skin to heal itself, which results in more vibrant, healthier-looking skin. Clear + Brilliant is also a great choice for treating melasma, which is notoriously hard to treat with lasers.
Claiming to give you ‘the best skin of your life,’ the Hydrafacial is a real beauty multi-tasker. Not only is it one of the least painful of medical-grade treatments – take note dermabrasion – but it works hard to reduce discoloration, lines, and pores, even skin tone, decongest oily skin, and improve firmness and elasticity. Visible results also last way longer than your regular spa facial. It’s impressive – we know, we’ve tried it.