How to Set the Foundation for Great-Looking Skin
Your dewy foundation and creamy illuminator can help you fake glowing skin, but to maximize your results, you’ll want to start with a naturally radiant base and build on it. The key to creating a naturally radiant base starts with committing to a solid skin care regimen and breaking up with bad habits. Below, tips on how to tweak your routine for a lit-from-within glow.
CLEANSE YOUR SKIN
It’s very difficult (if not impossible) to achieve glowing skin when surface grime is clogging your pores and leaving skin looking dull and lifeless. Use a gentle cleanser morning and night to wash away dirt, oil, pollution, and other pore-clogging impurities from skin’s surface, like Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser. If your pores are prone to congestion, give SkinCeuticals LHA Cleansing Gel a try.
DON’T SKIP TONER
As thoroughly as we cleanse, it is possible to miss a few spots. That’s where toner comes in. It grabs any lingering bits of grime in one fell swoop, can help balance your skin’s pH level after cleansing, and shrink the look of your pores. One of our favorites is Vichy Pureté Thermale Toner.
EXFOLIATE WITH ALPHA-HYDROXY ACIDS
If you have yet to meet glycolic acid, now’s the time to get acquainted. It’s not new in the skin care world, but the ingredient has certainly risen through the ranks in recent years. It works to smooth out the top layer of skin, where dead skin cells can build up and create a lackluster appearance. Use L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Peel Pads—formulated with 10 percent glycolic acid—every night after cleansing. Make sure to use it in tandem with an SPF-packed moisturizer in the morning.
MOISTURIZE WITH SPF
All skin needs moisture. All skin also needs SPF protection every day to ward off damage from environmental aggressors and UV rays. Combine the two and reach for an SPF-rich moisturizer, like Lancôme Bienfait Multi-Vital SPF 30 Lotion Day Cream. It boasts broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen with a formula complex of nurturing vitamins E, B5, and CG for all-day hydration.
Taking care of your skin on the outside matters, but what you ingest may be just as important. Stick to a diet of colorful fruits and vegetables that can also boast skin care benefits. For more foods that nourish the skin from the inside out, read this. In addition to eating healthfully, incorporating exercise and breaking up with bad habits—read: smoking and picking at your skin—can work wonders.
While you’re busy enjoying a balanced diet, don’t forget to stay hydrated as well with a healthy amount of water each day. Dehydration can lead to skin that looks dull and dry. Knowing this, our editor wondered what would happen to her skin if she drank a gallon of water every day for a full month. Read about her H2O challenge, here.
DRINK IN MODERATION
If you’ve ever woken up from a long night of drinking with friends to a lackluster complexion, you probably already know that alcohol consumption can dehydrate the skin and cause it to appear less plump and fresh. As such, imbibing excessively should be avoided. “I believe that one should do everything in moderation,” says Dr. Dendy Engelman, board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant. What exactly is moderation? According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, moderate alcohol consumption for women in America is one drink per day and two drinks per day for men. But beyond how often you drink, Engelman suggests being choosy when it comes to the drink itself. Here are some of her recommendations.
FIND THE RIGHT BALANCE WITH MAKEUP
This is a no brainer, but there’s a very fine line between what’s glowing and what’s greasy when it comes to makeup. To achieve the perfect dewy look without overdoing it, you’ll have to find a balance that works for your skin. This might mean sticking to shimmery foundations and blushes, but opting for matte lipstick or matte eye shadow to tone things down. The good news is that there are easy ways to correct your mistakes along the way.
Here’s a helpful tip: If your skin looks too matte post-makeup, rub a bit of moisturizer in between your fingers and gently press it onto the high points of your cheeks. It’ll instantly make your face look fresh and dewy. A gentle face mist—like La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water—works just as well to bring some life back into your complexion and set all of your hard work in place. If your skin is leaning more towards the side of grease than gleam-y, go in with a quick sweep of some pressed powder that doesn’t completely kill shine. Lucky for you, we’ve laid out some our favorites, here.
TAKE OFF YOUR MAKEUP AT NIGHT
Don’t fall victim to one of the biggest skin sins: sleeping in your makeup. Your skin renews and repairs itself during deep sleep, so it’s especially important to remove your makeup prior to hitting the hay–no matter how tired or lazy you feel. Failing to do so can impede that all-too-important process and cause a host of problems. Curious to learn more? We asked Dr. Engelman to share exactly what can happen to our skin when we sleep with our makeup on. Here’s the ugly truth.