If there’s one thing everyone wants, it’s even, glowing skin. A naturally radiant complexion can help your skin look better without makeup, minimize the appearance of age-related concerns like wrinkles, and contribute to an overall healthier-looking complexion. But figuring out how to get glowing skin isn’t all that straightforward.
That said, we’ve been at this for a while—nearly 170 years, in fact—and in that time, we’ve developed a solid understanding of what ingredients can help boost brightness and promote a more radiant complexion, as well as what causes dull skin in the first place. Learning the source of your lack of glow is essential; common causes are aging, sun damage, and not exfoliating. Ahead, we’re sharing our secrets and providing recommendations on the best Kiehl’s products to help you achieve a healthy-looking glow year-round. Read on for our top glow-up tips.
Tip #1: Take Your Vitamins
You already know that vitamins are an essential part of a healthy diet. As it turns out, they’re crucial for healthy-looking skin, too. Vitamins—many of which are antioxidants—help neutralize skin-damaging elements in the air called free radicals. Scientifically, free radicals are known as reactive oxygen species. They result from various environmental stressors, like pollution and UV radiation, and alter the molecules that make up your skin barrier. Over time, exposure to free radicals can lead to fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of premature aging.I
One of the most useful (and popular) vitamins in skincare is vitamin C. In addition to helping to neutralize free radicals, vitamin C stimulates collagen production, a protein responsible for giving skin its elasticity.II This can help give skin a firmer, more radiant appearance. It’s also known to inhibit melanin production, which makes vitamin C particularly useful in treating dark spots and other discolorations.II
Our best-selling Powerful-Strength Vitamin C Serum contains hyaluronic acid and 12.5% vitamin C to firm the skin and boost radiance. With regular use, it helps diminish fine lines and wrinkles, minimize the appearance of pores, and smooth skin texture for a glowing complexion.
For extra protection against environmental stressors, pair your serum with Daily Reviving Concentrate. This non-comedogenic facial oil contains a potent blend of antioxidant-rich plant ingredients, including sunflower oil, tamanu oil, and ginger root essential oil. Wear it alone or under makeup to boost radiance for a fresh, healthy-looking glow.
Tip #2: Exfoliate To Boost Brightness
We’re constantly shedding dead skin cells and making new ones. But as we age, that process slows, and a buildup of dead cells on your skin’s surface can lead to a tired or dull-looking complexion. Exfoliation can help to remove this buildup of dead cells and promote a smoother, more radiant-looking complexion.III
There are two types of exfoliation, chemical and physical, and both can help brighten the skin. However, for immediate results, we recommend reaching for a mild face scrub that won’t strip the skin, such as Clearly Corrective Brightening & Exfoliating Cleanser. This effective cleanser features volcanic ash-derived pearlstone to remove dead skin cells and visibly brighten the complexion. The mild formula is suitable for all skin types and gentle enough to be used morning and night for smoother, more radiant-looking skin.
Tip #3: Keep Your Skin Hydrated
One of the key features of healthy-looking skin is hydration: Without it, the skin may appear dull, rough, or dehydrated. As such, keeping the skin barrier well-moisturized is vital if you want a glowing complexion. Hydration is also essential for maintaining skin’s elasticity and keeping early signs of aging, like fine lines, at bay.IV
After cleansing your skin, we recommend applying a soothing toner to help restore your skin’s natural balance and prepare it for the rest of your skincare routine. Try a hydrating formula, such as Clearly Corrective Brightening & Soothing Treatment Water. This gentle toner contains activated C, licorice root, and white birch extract, which work together to smooth and refine skin’s texture and visibly boost brightness. It’s also clinically-demonstrated to strengthen the skin’s natural moisture barrier, which can lead to a more radiant, healthy-looking complexion over time.
Of course, a toner alone isn’t enough to keep your skin hydrated—you need a moisturizer, too. For glowing skin, try Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream. It’s formulated with 99.6% naturally-derived ingredients, including antioxidant-rich manuka honey and red ginseng root.* The lightweight cream works to renew and fortify your skin’s natural barrier. Use it day and night for a smooth, youthful-looking complexion.
Tip #4: Don’t Skimp On The SPF
You may think a natural tan is the key to a healthy-looking glow, but in reality, the opposite is true. UV radiation is one of the leading causes of skin damage, and it’s also responsible for myriad complexion concerns, including sun spots, fine lines, and overall dullness.V Instead of laying out when the temps soar, use a self-tanner if you’re intent on getting that golden tan. More importantly, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 (30 if your skin is fair) every day, and follow all expert recommendations to protect your skin and keep it looking healthy and radiant for longer.VI
We recommend using Super Fluid Daily UV Defense 50+ as the final step in your skincare routine every day. This lightweight sunscreen contains antioxidant vitamin E and broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin from environmental aggressors, such as UV radiation and pollution. It’s suitable for all skin types and absorbs quickly for an even, matte finish.
Tip #5: Indulge In a Mask
Incorporating a mask into your skincare routine has many benefits. It’s relaxing, it’s a nice way to pamper yourself, and the right formula can help your face glow. For a boost of brightness, look for a formula that contains turmeric, such as our best-selling Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Mask. Research suggests that turmeric can help address various skin issues, from minor irritation to more serious concerns like psoriasis.VII In this treatment mask, it’s paired with antioxidant-rich cranberry and jojoba seed oil, which work in unison to invigorate and brighten dull, tired complexions. This unique formula also contains crushed cranberry seeds, which gently exfoliate the skin for a smoother, more radiant appearance.
Next: 5 Re-Texturizing Products To Smooth Rough Skin
*We consider ingredients to be naturally derived if they retain more than 50% of their molecular structure after being processed from a natural source.
I.Addor, Flavia Alvim Sant'anna. “Antioxidants in dermatology.” Anais brasileiros de dermatologia vol. 92,3 (2017): 356-362. doi:10.1590/abd1806-4841.20175697
II.Pullar, Juliet M et al. “The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health.” Nutrients vol. 9,8 866. 12 Aug. 2017, doi:10.3390/nu9080866
III.Rodan, Katie et al. “Skincare Bootcamp: The Evolving Role of Skincare.” Plastic and reconstructive surgery. Global open vol. 4,12 Suppl Anatomy and Safety in Cosmetic Medicine: Cosmetic Bootcamp e1152. 14 Dec. 2016, doi:10.1097/GOX.0000000000001152
IV.Gibson, Lawrence E. “Does drinking water cause hydrated skin?” Mayo Clinic. 6 Feb 2019. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/hydrated-skin/faq-20058067
V.Pandel, Ruža et al. “Skin photoaging and the role of antioxidants in its prevention.” ISRN dermatology vol. 2013 930164. 12 Sep. 2013, doi:10.1155/2013/930164
VI.“Sunscreen: How to Help Protect Your Skin From the Sun.” United States Food and Drug Administration. 2019. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/understanding-over-counter-medicines/sunscreen-how-help-protect-your-skin-sun/#spf.
VII.Vollono, Laura et al. “Potential of Curcumin in Skin Disorders.” Nutrients vol. 11,9 2169. 10 Sep. 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11092169