The 411 on Glowing Skin

Eleni + Chris Arctic Mist

We’ll start with Skincare 101: If you want glowing skin, do not sleep with your makeup on. You’re clogging your pores, and not letting your skin breath! You’re also blocking your skincare products from working as efficiently as possible.

dr. dennis gross, clarisonic, eleni + Chris, Pixi, Urban RX, It Cosmetics brightening productsExfoliation is key! (you have options)

Make sure to exfoliate to help dissolve dirt, environmental damage and whisk away dead skin cells. There are a lot of ways to do this starting with exfoliating pads. There are not a shortage of great glow pads on the market, although I always bow down to Dr. Dennis Gross when it comes to getting my skin glowing. The Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Peel (available in original and Extra Strength are always in my beauty draw). I also like ExuvianceDr. Jeannette Graf, MD Skin Rejuvenation Exfoliating & Firming Pads and a handful of others.

Essences with exfoliating properties, glycolic/AHA acid, micellar water, or products with lactic acid are also great to help dissolve dead skin cells. There are loads of wonderful ones on the market like Caudalie Vinoperfect Concentrated Brightening Essence, Pixi Glow Tonic, It Cosmetics 3-in-1 Micellar Cleanser or new comer Ren Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic. You can also turn to SK-II Facial Treatment Essence which uses it’s iconic ingredient, Pitera, that’s packed with vitamins, organic acids and amino acids (it also exfoliates) to improve skin texture and make skin glow. Retinols also exfoliate and are great in the evening for anti-aging.

There are also loads of exfoliating masks on the market, like Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask. Don’t overdue it with the exfoliation but start adding them into your regimen.  Some can be used daily, others weekly, read the directions and don’t over exfoliate.

Pick me ups!

Skin mists are great for keeping skin hydrated and glowing throughout the day! and an awesome reboot if your skin is starting to feel/look dull or dry. I’m obsessed with the Eleni & Chris Face Mist (actually the whole line, see my review HERE), hailing from the fjords of Normay whatever they mix with their glacier water (it’s +SEA3oil) makes my skin sing. If you want something less clean and more dewy you can’t fail with, Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist. On a budget, Vichy and Mario Badescu are great options!

Look for these in your Serums + Moisturizers

Look for peptide rich products filled with brightening ingredients like Vitamin C, Licorice extract, niacinamides. These ingredients can also be in your serums for a more concentrated dose of nutrients, just make sure to seal all your products with a moisturizer (or sleep mask in the evening). AHA’s + Vitamin C are a winning combination — Skinceuticals actually has a C+AHA dropper that’s one of my favorites (They also have an epic C E Ferulic as well). You can also mix a Vitamin C liquid Serum — like an Urban Skin Rx Super C Brightening Treatment or the legendary Triple C Lightning Liquid by COSRX, into your moisturizer or do a more conventional serum consistency like Sunday Riley CEO Brightening Serum. Vitamin C is a larger conversation which I’ll do a whole blog post about but as far as moisturizers, at moment I’m loving Kat Burki Vitamin C Cream and also for skin brightening Origins Ginzing Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturize, which brings me to my next point…

Google your products! I started using Clarins Double Serum and Origins Ginzing Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturizer and saw an immediate boost and glow with both brightening but didn’t see any of the usual suspects in the formula. Apparently it’s the Tumeric in the Clarins Double Serum (or combination with), And mix of the Panex Ginseng with Coffee Bean (coffee is great for circulation and de-puffing in eye products) in the Origins moisturizer that gives skin it’s glow. I’m familiar with these ingredients for other benefits but after seeing this result I’ll be more mindful when I see them in future products.

Quick Fix: Mask.

Masks are a great quick fix. Healthy skin takes work, and when we’re stressed, sleep deprived or just busy it can take a toll. So go extra hard on the hydrate mask and self care in hard times. I you fly a lot (or notice your skin is dehydrated), sheet masks are a great way to reboot. I’ve used and loved many but the Eleni & Chris Hydrate Sheet Mask post flight took my skin from zero to hero (they also have a GLOW mask but as far as I’m concerned the whole Eleni + Chris collection makes my skin glow). James also brings me back loads of K-beauty brightening masks when he comes back from Korea, the only issue is I never know what’s in them since they aren’t in english. There are a ton more brightening sheet masks on the market, post plane or as a pick me up they are the best! 

Bring on the highlighters

When all else fails, makeup to help you fake it until you make it. Skin Illuminators and liquid highlights are dull skin’s temporary best friend. Depending on the concentration, use alone or mix in with your primer or moisturizer for an added glow. Watch some strobing/highlighting videos as well. Highlighters come in liquid, balms and powders, making it a very convenient to get your ideal finish and glow. For a natural glow, that make it look like you woke up like this (but really you did not), I love The Celestial Skin Liquid Lighting. For something more dramatic it’s usually reach for my Becca, NARS or Laura Geller highlighters, but there are not a shortage of new one launching everyday.


Beauty gadgets and tools are a great way to increase your skin health. This is a larger blog post but the cliff notes are, Dr. Dennis Gross Pro Facial Steamer (it’s changed my life, steaming your face opens your pores), a cleansing gadget (like NuSkin LumiSpa, Clarisonic or Foreo, which also has a mini that’s perfect for travel) to cleanse deeper, Michael Todd Sonic Eraser that you use with your skincare to have it penetrate deeper. I’m also obsessed with the new Dermaflash for at home dermaplanning that exfoliates skin meticulously while removing the peach fuzz/hair off your face.

Diet + Collagen supplements

Just as important as the outside, is what you put inside your body. Cutting down on dairy, sugar and overly processed foods and instead loading up on nutrient and antioxidant rich foods and supplements are a great start. (This will also help if you suffer from acne). Many also recommend Collagen supplements (which generally also include peptides, Vitamin C and Biotin in the mix). I started with a liquid collagen. I tried Skinade and the first month didn’t notice anything and then month two my skin was so plump, someone even asked me if I got fillers — that is a firm negative. It’s also packed with folic acid, niacin, B12, and a ton of other great ingredients, and highly effective if taken twice daily! I then switched to the a powder collagen because of the price and benefits (powder is MUCH cheaper than the liquid). This is actually a great article to read before buying a powder. I still think the liquid is the most effective based on how we digest food, but the powder is very convenient, especially since it’s flavorless and can be added to any beverage from water to coffee.

Sweat + Sleep

The better we take care of our bodies — sweating, exercising, reducing our stress level and getting enough sleep is going to make a difference in our skin. Sleep is a big one, thats when our body repairs itself and getting only 5 hours a night can lead to twice as many wrinkles as 7 hours. I’m also obsessed with Shapehouse for sweating, it’s my ultimate lazy girls workout — also your skin looks amazing after!


Some other major deterrents that are fairly obvious but often difficult to conquer them all… don’t expose your skin to the sun (I need to keep drilling the wear SPF point), stay out of polluted cities, don’t smoke, drink or do anything that dehydrates your skin but lets be honest for most of us this is not a reality.

So instead, be mindful of all of the above and how to counteract some of the negatives. Make sure to stay hydrated, drink lots of water and eat water rich vegetables like cucumbers.

Lastly oxygen or brightening facials, chemical peels, and other treatments can all help. Some of my favorite skincare centers include Dr. Dennis Gross Dermatology, Dr. Schultz, NKD, and  Juva Skin & Laser.