A matte finish has its place in the world of beauty: on lips, it’s classic and gorgeous; on nails, it’s an unusual yet not-too-bizarre choice. But when it comes to skin, doing the matte thing can read as flat, dull and (gasp) aging. On the flipside, the elusive dewy skin we read about and naturally, want more than just about anything, seems impossible to achieve past age 15 without looking like a teenage wannabe. The good news? We investigated and—thanks to breakthroughs in skincare, makeup and nutrition—the dewy look really isn’t that hard to create. If your complexion wish list involves descriptions like glowing, luminous and fresh (yes!), here’s how to get it.
1. Encourage Your Natural Glow
Dennis Gross, M.D., a New York City dermatologist, suggests flooding skin with a steady supply of ingredients that hydrate and brighten. He’s partial to radiance-boosting vitamins C and D (both are found in Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Glow Moisture), powerful antioxidants that help protect against UVA damage and prevent signs of aging, resulting in radiant skin. Vitamin A is a proven favorite, found most potentially in prescription Retinols. And, Olay Pro-X Spot Fading Treatment contains niacinamide to speed up your skin’s cell turnover to increase radiance while clearing away dark spots.
2. Exfoliate to Get Smooth
Light reflects better off a uniform surface, so you need to get rid of the dead cells and flaky patches that rise from your skin like microscopic mountains. Gross suggests a routine of gentle chemical exfoliation (try REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask) to eliminate dullness. If you haven’t already been indoctrinated into the cult of Clarisonic, give it a go once or twice a week to discover why everyone’s obsessed with its ability to smooth and soften. Joanna Vargas, founder of Joanna Vargas Salon and Skincare Collection, likes this natural exfoliating option: Mash strawberries into yogurt, spread a thin layer onto the face and rinse after 20 minutes.
3. Try a Facial Oil
Applying facial oil gives your skin a super-moisturizing treat that helps heal from within, so it’s time to get over the fear they’ll break you out (they won’t; in fact, most also have anti-bacterial properties!). Check out Nude ProGenius Treatment Oil, which contains a plethora of nourishing plant oils, Josie Maran Argan Infinity Cream Intensive Creamy Oil, or the East-African favorite, Marula Oil. Use them at night and you’ll look luminous, not greasy, come morning.
4. Drink Green Juice
Vargas relies on green juice—both inside and out—for a healthy complexion. Dark, leafy greens like kale pack a whopping punch of vitamin C, a nutrient that’s proven to help skin stay supple. Parsley, kale, collards and spinach also contain vitamin K, a potent anti-inflammatory that helps promote glowing skin. Vargas says green juice hydrates even better than water, and suggests her Daily Serum applied topically; it contains the green pigment chlorophyll to protect against environmental damage and help increase circulation.
5. Get Moving
Gross says many celebrities work out just before an important event to give their skin a rosy hue; it’s one of the best-kept beauty secrets of those who regularly walk the red carpet. Even if you’re not headed to the Oscars, exercise is a free and easy way to give your skin a natural glow, not to mention how it relieves stress and provides an endorphin boost.
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