Let me tell you something: luminous dewy skin doesn't require ten steps to achieve. I’ve tested enough products to know that common denominator in the quest for glowing skin is hydration. “The first step is consistently good skincare, which reduces the likelihood of dryness,” explains Glowbar co-founder and CEO, Rachel Liverman. “On top of that, cream products—not powder ones—always enhance a dewy look. So look for cream blushes and highlighters, then add a face mist and a humidifier during winter months." Got it?
Wanna know more? Here are five dewy-skin centric tips experts want you to know, plus a list of essentials to help you achieve and maintain that covetable glow.
Commit to a Good Routine
A gentle cleanser, a hydrating toner and a hyaluronic acid serum should all have a place within your current skincare routine. For the winter months, opt for more occlusive creams versus runny lotions—and in the summer try a gel that won't get sticky in the heat. “The point is to build your hydration by starting light with products like essences, followed by serums, moisturizers,” explains Liverman.
Dr. Sapna Palep of Spring Street Dermatology in New York City adds that “just the right amount of exfoliation helps the skin to look fresh and dewy. At-home products with fruit acids are a great add-on. In the office, facials with microdermabrasion techniques, like the Hydrafacial, are other solid options." Because winter means that humidity also drops—dry heat is real—Palep encourages clients to lean towards humectants—products that hold on to moisture—to prevent dry, flaky skin. “I like Alastin's Restorative Complex this time of year. The mushroom extract gives it a particularly beautiful finish,” she adds.
Prioritize Evening Skincare
And, don’t sleep on your bedtime skincare routine, either. “The primary focuses at night should be on repairing the skin and addressing personal skin issues,” explains oculofacial plastic surgeon and founder of epi.logic skincare, Chaneve Jeanniton, MD, FACS. “Nighttime is the preferred time for active ingredients like retinol or a chemical exfoliant like glycolic acid. Before bed can also be an opportunity for richer, more indulgent moisturizing creams and masks.”
Acne-Prone Skin Should Reconsider Facial Oils
Unfortunately, oils and heavy moisturizers can trigger breakouts for those who are susceptible. “Those with acne-prone skin should be especially careful not to use ingredients that might cause breakouts, like alcohol, heavy oils or petrolatum,” explains Jeanniton.
"I tell my patients with acneic skin to avoid ingredients like coconut oil, cocoa butter and Vitamin E. However, there are less problematic oils to choose from. Squalane is a lightweight and noncomedogenic option. It's ultra-hydrating and improves the skin's moisture barrier without feeling heavy on the skin.”
Hyaluronic Acid is the Real MVP
According to Jeanniton, all skin types benefit from incorporating a hyaluronic acid-based serum morning and night. “This step provides a hydration boost due to its natural ability to attract and hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. This translates to skin that looks healthy, plump and dewy,” she explains.
“For oily skin types, I know adding moisture may seem counterintuitive, but the oil-free hydration provided by hyaluronic acid helps reduce sebum production and balances skin moisture levels." Still, though, achieving a true dewy glow without looking like an oil slick requires paying attention to your skin's specific needs.
Start by applying a hyaluronic acid serum and observe your skin to determine if further hydration is necessary. (Meaning, if it still looks parched, keep going.) Opt for a moisturizer with a light or rich finish depending on your needs. And application can always be tailored to outside the T-zone to avoid excess shine.
Another trick? “Most people think of placing glowing products underneath makeup, however, using a hyaluronic serum on top of your cheekbones can help maintain the glow in all the right places!” adds Liverman.
You Only Need A Little Makeup
The heavy contour wave might be over, but highlighting is still a winning technique. “You want to highlight your cheekbones when possible with a light-reflecting cream or gel—this makes the face look youthful and slimmer. Also, 70 percent of the beauty of a female's face originates with the cheeks, so use it to your advantage when choosing makeup that will accentuate those contours and peaks,” adds Palep.
You can also fake flawlessness with one of her favorite foundations: line for that dewy, barely-there makeup look. “It has a fabric weave technology so that it'll last a full work day and doesn't cake into fine lines and wrinkles,” she adds. See below for a few more dewy skin essentials.
Dewy Skin Essentials
Aloe Facial Spray Mario Badescu $7.00 SHOP NOW Glow Stick Sunscreen Supergoop! $25.00 SHOP NOW Water Sleeping Mask Laniege $25.00 SHOP NOW Rose Facial Toner Thayers $7.99 SHOP NOW Master Plan Serum Epi.logic $210.00 SHOP NOW Rare Light Luminizer Rituel de Fille $17.40 SHOP NOW Futuredew Serum Glossier $24.00 SHOP NOW Radiance Elixir Oil Essentials by Temi $25.00 SHOP NOW Janell M. Hickman Janell M Hickman is a writer and editor based in New York.