Let me tell you one thing right off the bat: you won’t find the secrets to glowing, ageless skin in the pan of a highlighter palette.
It’s the truth. Take it or leave it.
That’s not to say that there are no products that melt into your skin and help you fake that dewy look that makes you seem as though you swallowed a bulb. Those products exist—and I encourage you to use them.
What I encourage you to do more, though, is to get a complexion that permanently looks as though you just got back from vacation—healthy, clear, radiant skin. Getting this required a combination of products, practice, and patience. The good news is that if you are short on patience, there’s a lot of quick-fix solutions.
The chief component of healthy skin is a natural glow, but agents like lack of sleep, age, stress, and bad diet can rob your complexion of its radiance.
These tips I’m about to give you go beyond the general tips plastered everywhere on the internet—cleanse your face twice daily, get a skincare routine, don’t pop your pimples, yada yada yada.
Those tips are great, but they are generic. Everyone knows that you cannot get clear skin without cleansing your face and having a good skincare routine.
The tips in this article will help you transform dull, tired skin to luminous, glowing skin, no matter how much time you have: months, a week, overnight, or even minutes!
How can I make my skin clear and glowing?
Ain’t that the question we all ask ourselves?
First thing you should know is that, for most people, you cannot pull a lumos maxima spell and magically get glowing skin.
Glowing skin is a product of a good lifestyle—eating plenty fresh foods, getting enough sleep, and targeted skincare routine that involves active ingredients like vitamins B3, C and E, exfoliating acids and retinol.
Following healthy habits and implementing a strong skincare routine will put you on your way to luminous skin.
So if you need advice that will actually lead to results, both in the short and long runs, no matter your time limitations or skill level, why don’t you make a good cuppa coffee, sit down and read on?
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase through these links, I will get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). I only recommend products that I have used and loved.
In a rush? Why don’t you pin for later? Thank you!
- Apply SPF Daily
I know, I know—you’ve heard it a gazillion times from a gazillion different sources, but wearing sunscreen is the BEST way to keep your skin healthy and glowing for the longest time, through any weather.
Did you know that 90% of wrinkles are from sun exposure?
That’s right. 90%!
Just imagine how wonderful your skin will feel once you apply a product that can actually block the harmful rays of the sun and prevent it from ruining your skin.
Prevention is better than cure. Truly.
It is so much easier—and cheaper—to prevent damage than it is to fix it afterwards. Even during the colder months (winter), you should still use SPF (sun protection factor).
This is because, though the sun might not be so hot, the rays are still there shining through those beautiful clouds.
Don’t forget to apply when you’re working from home by a window, too. cell-damaging UVA rays can penetrate glass.
Look for a formula that offers broad-spectrum protection that guard against UVA rays (causative agents of premature aging) and UVB rays (causative agents of skin cancer).
Make sure you reapply your sunscreen every two hours. It’s very important.
I recommend these sunscreens:
- Finish Your Veggies and Antioxidant-rich Food
If you frowned at this, I feel you. I dislike veggies, too. Especially spinach and kale. Like why do those things even exist?
Too bad, they are absolutely necessary for healthy skin.
While it may seem like it, not every skin-boosting ingredient sounds like something from an organic chemistry textbook. What you eat certainly affects your skin’s glow.
Load up on your veggies (kale, spinach, lettuce, carrots, aubergines, cucumbers, etc), grapes, berries, and fruits (tomatoes, mangoes, apples, etc.).
Also, up your intake of nuts (pecans, walnuts, etc.) which are rich in polyphenols e.g. ellagic acid and resveratrol.
Research has shown that these antioxidants and nutrients combat free radicals and help protect skin cells from UV damage like hyperpigmentation.
Aim to incorporate them into your diet every day in meals (breakfasts, brunch, lunch, salads, desserts, supper, etc.) or alone as a snack.
Quick bonus tip: For all my peeps who hate veggies, you can incorporate them into a sweet, creamy daily smoothie.
Just blend up some frozen fruits (bananas, apples, mangoes), room temperature fruits/juice (pineapples, avocadoes, orange), some veggies (kale and spinach are my go-to).
Add a spoon of honey and some crushed nuts on top. The sweet fruits will mask the taste of the veggies and make it bearable.
- Reduce the Booze
I know some of y’all might hate me for this but I gotta say it anyways. Drinking might feel good but it ain’t good for you—or your skin!
You see, drinking causes your glow to fade into nothingness.
How, you ask?
Well, you know how vitamin A intensifies cell turnover so that new, light-reflecting skin cells come up to the skin’s surface?
Yeah, alcohol deprives the skin of vitamin A by preventing its absorption, speeding up its breakdown and reducing its storage in the skin.
That’s not all. Alcohol—and this is the biggest skin sin—actually dehydrates you.
A little biology here, shall we?
Alcohol increases water loss in the kidneys by suppressing the hormone vasopressin which helps you to reabsorb water.
The effect of that on the skin cells is that they dry out leading to inflammation, sallowness and more prominent wrinkles/lines.
- Add Acid into Your Routine
It’s absolute nuts how something that is so tiny can feel so big, but enlarged pores are one of the most common, most frustrating skin troubles.
I have them. You might have them, too.
Pores appear larger when they’re filled with oil, dead skin cells, dirt and keratin, which is a protein that lives on the skin’s surface.
When you remove those cloggers, pores seem to shrink.
To clear out your pores, use a cleanser or exfoliant that contains a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) two to three times a week.
BHA, a skin-friendly acid works to chemically exfoliate dead skin cells and dissolve gunk that is lodged deep within your pores.
Ergo, it gives you great-looking skin.
I recommend these BHA exfoliants/cleansers that are suitable for all skin types:
- Amp Your Vitamin D Levels, Babe
This one is kinda tricky.
On one hand, too much exposure to UVB rays can cause skin cancer. On the other hand, too little exposure to UVB rays reduces your body’s ability to naturally produce vitamin D, otherwise known as the sunshine vitamin.
This is bad news for your skin because vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties that help protect skin against free radicals and can even help prevent acne.
To balance your intake/body’s creation of vitamin D, you can do two things:
- If you easily get sunburns or have pale skin, expose yourself to the sun unprotected (without sunscreen) in the hours before 11 am and after 4 pm. You only need about 5 – 10 minutes of exposure.
If you tan easily or have a darker skin tone (like mine), spend between 10 -30 minutes in the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- Add an oral vitamin D supplement to your beauty arsenal. It can make all the difference. If it contains trace minerals, that’s better as these help to boost the skin’s protection levels.
I recommend the second option, by the way. Speak with your doctor as regards the best Vitamin D supplement you should take.
- Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
I know just how tempting it is to hibernate in the winter months/cold months. You just wanna curl up in a ball, covered in ten blankets, hot chocolate in one hand, popcorn bowl in the other, eyes glued forever to Netflix.
I understand. I’ve been there—and I will be there again, das fo’ sho.
It is important, though, to keep up the outdoor exercises you pursued during the summer/hotter months. They will get your blood circulating and give your skin a healthy glow.
They also help you drink more water, too. Win, win, I say.
The physical activities we, as human beings, undertake impact every phase of our lives from sleep patterns to posture, and even mental health, all of which affect our look/complexion.
Exercise is a wonderful way to improve the appearance of your skin because it helps all the other bodily functions and systems run smoothly.
- Incorporate Retinol into Your Skincare Routine
If you have fine lines and dull skin, then you will need to add retinol your skincare arsenal.
Retinol and retinoic acid are both derivatives of vitamin A. When you use them on your skin correctly, they can speed up skin cell turnover, unblock pores, and boost collagen production.
Retinol has great anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it very effective at treating wrinkles, fine lines, and other aging signs.
However, you should use retinol with caution, because it can easily dry out your skin. Retinol can also cause redness and create pigmentation issues if misused or overused.
This is because retinol temporarily weakens the barrier of the skin, so it should only be applies at night. It is also essential that you apply a high protection SPF the morning after.
I suggest that you start with a serum that has a low percentage of retinol, about 0.3%. You can use one with a higher percentage once your skin has built up a tolerance to it.
To combat the dryness, use a moisturizer that contains glycerin, propylene glycol and/or urea.
Quick Tip: Do NOT mix retinol with many other products with major active ingredients. It might make your skin worse, instead of better.
I recommend these retinol treatments:
- Buy—and Use—Vitamin C Products
There are tons of researches that support the benefits of the topical application of vitamin C.
For example, vitamin C helps your skin fight free radical damage.
I know I have mentioned free radical a couple of times in this article, but do you know what they really are and why they are harmful?
No? Okay, lemme break it down real quick for ya chemistry-style. (I was a science student in high school).
There is a type of short-lived molecule called a photon (free radical). Photons are generated by UV light and pollution, and have lost an electron. This electron loss makes photons unstable and able to damage DNA, proteins and lipids in the skin leading to premature skin aging.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, has the unique ability to donate an electron to this free radical. This added electron stabilizes the photon so that it’s unable to cause harm.
It also aids collagen production because its acidity triggers the skin to heal itself. Collagen is the thing in your skin that is responsible for maintaining support, suppleness and elasticity of the skin.
Lastly, vitamin C helps brighten the skin by blocking an enzyme known as tyrosinase. Tyrosinase is responsible for speeding up melanin production—yeah, that same one that causes dark spots and acne scars.
I recommend these Vitamin C products:
- Try a PHA Face Peel/Mask
This is one of my fave, fave skincare ways to get glowing skin, no lie.
Rejuvenating face peels are one of the key ways to maintain beautiful, clear skin.
With these peels, you no longer have to worry about using peels or masks that might thin your skin and make you look like your skin has fallen off.
Now, you can have regenerating peel treatments regularly to achieve long-lasting results.
I recommend using superficial skin peels or facial masks that contain active polyhdroxy acids. These peels and masks are known to exfoliate and smooth the skin’s surface. They also stimulate collagen to create a strong and healthy skin structure.
- Apply Your Skincare Products In the Right Order
I cannot emphasize this enough.
The order in which you apply your products are even more important than the products themselves.
I know that might seem surprising to you but it is true.
No matter how great, effective and perfect your skincare products are, if they are not applied in the right sequence, they might end up ruining your skin.
The general rule of thumb is to go from the product with the lightest texture to the one with the heaviest.
Therefore, you should start with your cleanser, follow it with a toner, and then a serum.
Make sure to use the serum before a moisturizer. This is because a serum has the ability to penetrate much deeper into the skin than a moisturizer. Serums also contain the most active ingredients.
They are the most powerful product in your entire routine and you want to apply them directly onto your skin. Serums are more concentrated than creams, so you only need a small amount every day to see results.
Look for serums that contain antioxidants, as they are the skin’s major defense against stress and free radicals.
If you are using more than one active serum (like an antioxidant-rich serum and Retin-A), start with the one that has a thinner texture. Water soluble serums should go on first, followed by the product that is thicker.
If you do it the other way round, the heavier product will block the ingredients from the thinner one from penetrating the skin, so they won’t work.
Follow serums with moisturizer and then SPF.
Related Read: The Best Skincare Routines for Every Skin Type
- Don’t Ignore Your Neck
I think I need to take this tip more seriously myself.
Sometimes I just wonder the level of jealousy our neck skin feels watching us ignore it while piling product upon product on our face skin.
I know I’m not alone in this. Many of us are guilty of stopping skincare at our chins.
This may not seem like much of a big deal when you are in your 20s, 30s, and even 40s. But as you age, signs will begin to show on your neck and chest, and you will begin to regret not paying your neck area as much attention as your face.
You can apply the same products you use on your face to your neck. I advise that you start lightly when you are applying active ingredients like acids or retinol because they may cause some initial irritation.
You can apply them every other day and work up from there.
- Massage Your Face
Two minutes, that’s all it takes.
This works exceptionally well when you feel like crap. A two-minute face massage can help you—and your face—come alive in the short term. Over time, this massage will firm and contour your face.
To do this, use your fingertips to massage a serum or oil into your face before applying makeup.
The goal with this massage is to promote blood circulation to your face. This wakes up your whole complexion.
If you don’t want to massage your face, you can practice the exercise below.
- Bend Over
It’s that simple.
Hanging your head upside for three minutes a day is a smart strategy to getting that glow that comes from within.
Bending over helps with blood circulation as it increases blood flow and oxygen to your face.
Just don’t do it for more than three minutes.
All right, guys! This is it.
Do you have more skincare tips you’d like me to add to the list? Comment down below what they are.
I reply every comment, don’t worry.