A good portion of my beauty struggles consists of wanting glowing skin like J.Lo, but being hindered by my dry skin. Seriously, even without makeup her skin just has a healthy, hydrated, and plump look to it. Whenever I’ve tried to fake it in the past, I’ve either looked greasy, or not dewy enough. Lately, I’ve been able to achieve a similar look, with probably a lot more effort than she puts in, but with good results nonetheless. I find that on a good skin day, I can get the glow with just skincare, and for me, achieving that healthy glow starts with my skincare routine the night before.
Cleanse: Foaming cleansers dry my skin out if I use them too often, so I usually start off with a hydrating gel cleanser or cleansing milk. Some really great inexpensive options are: Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser Creamy Formula (which is really a gel cleanser) and Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser.
Toner(s): I follow up with an exfoliating toner (2 to 3 times a week), it helps to break up the bonds that hold the dead skin cells on the skin. Getting rid of that layer of dead skin makes skin glow, reduces the appearance of dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and allows any further treatments to work better. As far as chemical exfoliants go, Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) work best with dry skin, and they are far more effective than scrubs. My favorite kind of AHA is glycolic acid, but lactic, citric, and mandelic acids are also options (more on AHAs will be discussed in a future post). I swear by the Sanitas Skincare Glycotoner 5%, but if you’re new to using glycolic acid, I’d suggest you start off with the Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner (only contains 2% glycolic acid) and be religious about using SPF in the daytime, as glycolic acid increases skin’s sensitivity to the sun.
After using an exfoliating toner, you will feel a slightly uncomfortable tingling (tingling is normal, burning is not), to quell that, I use a calming toner which restores PH balance, and calms the tingling. Currently, I’m using the Derma E Soothing Toner, but the Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner works great as well.
Serums/Oils: After toner(s) and eye cream, I follow up with a serum and then an oil. I go for serums that contain great hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, or great brightening ingredients like vitamin c, and turmeric. I love using oils at night, using the right amount can hydrate, balance, and plump up the skin without causing greasiness. I tend to go for oils that are low on the scale of comedogenicity e.g. jojoba, and argan oils. My favorite is the Derma E Hair, Skin, and Nail Oil, it doesn’t contain any fragrance or filler products, just argan, jojoba, and kukui oils.
Moisturizer: I end my nighttime routine with moisturizer, to me, a good nighttime moisturizer is fragrance-free, doesn’t contain mineral oil, contains very emollient ingredients, antioxidants, beneficial oils, and repairs skin. Sometimes (about 2 – 3 times a week), I’ll use one that contains glycolic acid for extra exfoliation/glow, for that, the Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Moisturizer works wonders. Other times I’ll use the Clinique Super Rescue Antioxidant Night Moisturizer for dry combination skin, which is really great for anti aging and tackling the effects of the sun, and free radical damage on the skin.
Honorable Mentions: The key to glowing skin (at least for dry skin) comes down to regular exfoliation, and keeping the skin hydrated/moisturized. Using a hydrating mask (overnight or for a few minutes), and a gentle overnight peel are really nice treatments to do on a weekly basis. I’m still on the hunt for a good overnight mask, but the Derma E Overnight Peel is a good one.