Does anyone else emerge from the colder months feeling like a lizard in desperate need of shedding its skin? Between lingering winter dryness, spring allergies, and over a year of quarantine, I’ve been tempted to take a pumice stone to my entire body on more than one occasion. Luckily, we need not be so extreme! If you, like me, have been wondering how to get naturally glowing skin without having to resort to such drastic measures then you’ve come to the right place.
While a day at the Korean spa sounds like an absolutely blissful respite (and the ideal quick fix for my current dry and dull skin situation), it’s not quite possible yet. Luckily, there are plenty of other ways to get naturally glowing skin that doesn’t involve being scrubbed within an inch of your life (as much as I want/need that.) Accessible small changes like diet, exercise, skincare swaps, and more can make a big difference when trying to get that highly coveted lit-from-within glow.
To that end, I tapped a few experts to give us the full scoop on how to get naturally glowing skin: Board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Elizabeth Geddes-Bruce and aesthetician Matthew Miller, who points out that it’s all about consistency.
But as Miller reminds us, “There is no magic product to give you glowing skin. If there is, it’s usually a temporary effect. It all falls on what we put into our bodies, and not only what’s applied to it.”
So keeping in mind that consistency is key, read on for 10 ways to get naturally glowing skin.
A quick recipe for glowing skin? Dr. Geddes-Bruce advises trying a consistent regimen of exfoliating off the old, dull, dead skin cells, then hydrating and moisturizing to lock in that dewy glow.
Prioritize Emotional Wellness
Sleep well, and keep your stress level down. Your skin is the window to what’s going on inside so Dr. Geddes-Bruce insists that prioritizing your wellness will show a natural glow.
An unexpected way to get naturally glowing skin? According to Dr. Geddes-Bruce, a good romp in the sack! All jokes aside, anything that gets endorphins up and increases blood flow to the skin will give a glow.
Treat hormone imbalances
It’s important to correct any hormone imbalances that may be contributing to your dull complexion. “Get those androgens down and you’ll see improvements in your acne, oiliness, and overall skin quality,” says Dr. Geddes-Bruce.
Our experts had a lot to say about how specific foods and drinks can help to give us naturally glowing skin.
Dr. Geddes-Bruce, who has a Master’s degree in nutrition, mentioned eating foods like almonds, flax seeds, chia seeds, berries, tomatoes, avocados, salmon, and soy. She also recommends drinking tea: “green tea for energy (the ECGC is a bonus for your skin and metabolism) or black tea with turmeric and ashwagandha.”
Dr. Geddes-Bruce continues, “Focus on getting enough of the following on a daily basis: vitamins A, C, and E (our powerhouse antioxidants), trace minerals like selenium and zinc, essential fatty acids, and enough healthy protein (I personally prefer plant-based). I’ve also included soy and flaxseed due to their estrogen-like properties, which directly help give our skin a glow. Think about that pregnancy glow and how the skin really changes in luminosity after menopause. Estrogen is key.”
Like Dr. Geddes-Bruce, Miller stressed the importance of “eating the rainbow.” He also says that “a balanced diet, leafy greens, keeping sugar to a minimum, and staying hydrated are all healthy habits that will reflect in your skin. Happy gut, happy skin!” He goes on to mention healthy fats like avocados, leafy greens, and green tea as well, which can help with moisture levels and redness.
As a board-certified dermatologist, one of Dr. Geddes-Bruce’s favorite ways to keep skin glowing is a seasonal medical-grade chemical peel. “But, if I’m on vacation or having an indulgent me-moment spa day I’ll go for a pampering facial,” she adds.
Using a facial roller and/or gua sha is a great way to give yourself a facial massage. According to Dr. Geddes-Bruce, facial massage increases circulation and improves lymphatic drainage. Miller adds that giving yourself a facial massage while cleansing your skin can help with stagnation and help with skin dullness as well—here’s how!
Dr. Geddes-Bruce swears by good old fashion aerobic exercise. A quick jog in the morning will physically leave you glowing for hours and mentally help combat stress and anxiety throughout your day. Miller agrees, adding that “exercise increases your blood flow, and blood helps carry oxygen and nutrients to skin cells.”
Dr. Geddes-Bruce’s favorite products for glowing skin include a topical Vitamin C and E serum, along with a topical hyaluronic acid, a moisturizer containing dimethicone, and a glycolic acid wash.
In addition to daily SPF, Miller agrees about the power of Vitamin C as an essential antioxidant that helps protect the skin against oxidative stress. It also is vital for collagen production and helps with brightening. “There are many forms/derivatives on the market today,” says Miller. “So if one doesn’t work for your skin, don’t let that discourage you from trying a different form. And Vitamin C is not only great topically, but great to consume for collagen production.” Yet another excuse to keep eating an alarming amount of my beloved citrus on a daily basis!
Retinol is also a great product to help with a nice glow. “It will constantly keep skin cells resurfacing, helping light reflect off the skin and give you a bright and luminous appearance,” notes Miller. “With any retinoid, start slow, you can increase usage as your skin adjusts.”
Take a look at some of our experts’ favorite products for naturally glowing skin:
This serum is a multitasking elixir that hydrates, smoothes, and plumps skin. Full of hyaluronic acid, it’s ideal for dry, dull, thirsty skin.
This dimethicone-rich moisturizer is also great for getting rid of redness, leaves it fresh and glowing, and is gentle enough for those with sensitive skin.
This glycolic foaming cleanser will keep your skin ultra-clean, smooth, and fresh.
Drench your skin in moisture with this affordable hyaluronic acid from The Ordinary.
This stuff is the real deal, it’s an investment but your skin will thank you for it. It’s an incredibly potent blend of Vitamins c and e, which, when combined with ferulic acid, packs a glowing punch.
This gently exfoliating cleanser has antioxidant properties via green tea. Also, the honey smells amazing!
This vitamin C serum helps with redness other inflamed conditions.
A gentle retinol serum that helps with skin cell turnover.
A hyaluronic acid serum that leaves a dewy finish without being sticky. It also helps to soothe the skin.
A super hydrating, yet lightweight moisturizer.
This SPF and moisturizer combo doesn’t feel heavy or greasy and has a nice natural glowy finish to it.