10 Easy Ways to Get Glowing Skin Without Makeup
Dermatologists and skincare experts share their best tips.
The right makeup—whether foundation, concealer, blush, or balm—can give your complexion a dewy glow. Yet dermatologists and other skincare experts say there are ways to get perfect, polished skin without using any makeup at all. From how you eat and sleep to the products you use, there are some simple swaps that will help you snag the skin of your dreams. Read on to learn the 10 easiest ways to get gorgeous, glowing skin, so you can always feel your best—with or without makeup.
The easiest secret to glowing skin without makeup? Staying hydrated throughout the day. In fact, Anna Chacon, MD, a Miami-based board-certified dermatologist who works with My Psoriasis Team, says you should aim to get between eight and 10 glasses of water per day.
"Drinking plenty of water is essential for maintaining healthy, glowing skin. Water helps to flush out toxins from the body and keeps the skin moisturized," she explains.
Maintain a healthy diet.
Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is another way to improve both your skin and your overall health.
"It is highly recommended to consume a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats," says Chacon. "This can greatly improve the health and appearance of your skin. Foods rich in antioxidants, such as berries, spinach, and nuts, can help fight off skin-damaging free radicals."
Try red light therapy.
Red light therapy (RLT) is an at-home skincare treatment that uses low-wavelength red light to improve the appearance of wrinkles, scars, redness, and acne.
"Red light therapy is a newer innovation in skincare, but it's taken the world by storm!" says Fawn Bowe, a skincare expert and the founder of Skincare Stacy. "Treatment with red light can help boost collagen production, reduce inflammation, and even improve your skin texture."
Bowe says that she uses her own red light mask for at least 10 minutes every other day: "When I first started using red light therapy with an LED mask from CurrentBody, I was amazed at the results—a blister on my face healed in just 48 hours, and my acne breakouts cleared up much more quickly!"
Drinking too much alcohol can also leave you with dull, prematurely aged skin.
"Consuming excess sugar and alcohol creates these compounds called Advanced End Glycation (AEG) products that wreak havoc on your skin," explains Bowe. "AEGs destroy your collagen and cause premature wrinkles, sagging skin, and uneven complexion. It sounds cliche, but it's true: Beautiful skin starts from the inside out."
You already know that getting regular exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health. However, many people don't realize that it can also specifically benefit the health and appearance of your skin.
"Physical activity increases blood circulation, which helps to nourish skin cells and keep them vital. It also promotes the cleansing of your skin from the inside, leading to a healthy and radiant complexion," explains Chacon.
Randall Higgins, PharmD, a pharmacist and skincare specialist at Good Glow, agrees that the link between physical activity and skin health is undeniable. "Engaging in at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, whether it's walking or weightlifting, increases blood flow and oxygenation. This nourishes skin cells, diminishes eye puffiness, and ushers in a post-workout glow," he tells Best Life.
Get a good night's sleep.
Sleeping well can also help you achieve glowing skin without makeup—not to mention it comes with a whole host of other benefits for your physical and mental health.
"Sleep is vital for skin health," Chacon says. "A lack of sleep can lead to a dull complexion, fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes. Aim for at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night to allow your skin to repair and rejuvenate itself."
Customize your skincare routine.
Knowing your skin type and customizing your routine accordingly can help you get glowing skin and meet your skincare needs.
"Skin types are as diverse as the individuals they adorn," says Higgins. "Recognizing your unique skin type is a keystone in the edifice of skincare. For instance, acne-prone individuals would benefit from salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, while those with dry skin should seek hydrating cleansers."
Viktoryia Kazlouskaya, MD, PhD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Dermatology Circle, notes that you should select your products with an eye for healthy ingredients. While she agrees that you should tailor your routine to your skin's needs, she adds that "every effective routine should include moisturization to keep your skin hydrated, sun protection to shield against harmful UV rays, and gentle cleansing to maintain a clean and healthy canvas."
See a dermatologist.
Another way to get glowing skin without makeup is to seek professional guidance from a dermatologist as soon as possible any time you notice skin abnormalities.
"Don't let acne or inflammatory skin issues linger," Kazlouskaya advises. "Timely intervention can make a significant difference in preventing scars and addressing chronic skin concerns. Your skin's long-term health is worth the investment in expert care."
Bowe says that using retinol products between four and five nights per week can also help you get glowing skin.
"Retinol, a derivative of vitamin A, is a powerhouse ingredient in skincare," she says. "It encourages skin cell turnover which improves overall skin texture and uneven skin tone. Retinol is also a first-line over-the-counter treatment for aging as it stimulates collagen production and fights fine lines and wrinkles."
Remember to wear sunscreen.
Finally, every expert we spoke to emphasized the singular importance of sunscreen. "Without sunscreen, your skincare routine is pointless," says Bowe. "It shields your skin from the damaging effects of UV radiation and therefore prevents premature aging, dark spots, and skin cancer."
The skincare expert advises using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to keep your skin happy and healthy. In particular, she recommends nontoxic, mineral sunscreens, which have fewer chemical ingredients compared with other types.
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