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6 Steps to making your skin glow

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

Essential steps for great skin

Is it time to get your glow back? If so, we can help. Now that it's colder out and days are shorter, skin can start looking pale and lackluster. But glowing skin is never out of reach, no matter the season. Follow our six-step guide to your most glowing skin — ever.

Know your skin type

Stop what you're doing, step away from the sink and put down that bottle of cleanser. Is it the best cleanser for your skin type? If you don't know (and maybe you just bought it because it was on sale), it might be hindering rather than helping your skin. If, for example, you have dry skin but you're using products geared more toward complexions that produce a lot of oil, you won't get very good results from that product. If you're not sure of your skin type, consider the following:

  • Does your skin get shiny soon after washing your face? You likely have oily skin.
  • Does your skin feel tight mere minutes after washing and drying it? It's likely dry.
  • Do you have a shiny T-zone and tighter-feeling skin on your cheeks? You probably have combination skin.
  • Does your skin react (get irritated, red) when you use certain products? You have sensitive skin.

Find products that best cater to your specific skin type.

If you don't cleanse your face and remove things like makeup and oil and whatever else builds up on your skin after a long day, how will it ever look its best? First off, cleanse for longer than you think you need to (count to at least 10 before rinsing). If you really want results, leave your cleanser on your face for another 10 to 15 seconds so it has more chance to do its job. Next, don't use super-hot water — that will just dry out your skin. Stick to lukewarm or even cool water. Finally, use a cleanser that won't dry out your skin and does a good job of taking the day off (i.e. leaves no makeup residue and rinses clean away).

Exfoliate

There's no need to scrub your skin raw using products that feel like sandpaper, but you do need to find an exfoliating product that works for you and that helps slough off dead skin cells and keeps pores clean and clear. Exfoliate once a week if you have very dry or sensitive skin, but otherwise aim to add this important skin care step to your cleansing routine two or three times per week. There are many types of exfoliating products, for all skin types so choose the one best suited to your complexion.

Hydrate

No skin can glow without being hydrated, both inside and out. That means drinking lots of water (yes, how much you sip can affect the state of your skin). Not drinking enough water could lead to pale, tight skin. It's also important to moisturize (even in summer, even when your skin is oily). Find the right moisturizer for your skin and use it daily. If you need an extra surge of hydration, consider applying a serum (which soaks in deeper than a regular cream or lotion) before you apply your regular moisturizer. One we love? L'dara Advanced Anti-Aging Serum!

Go au naturel where possible

Avoid overloading products on your face (both skin care and makeup products) because that can lead to breakouts and skin that can't really breathe properly. On weekends, skip the makeup (or go sparingly with just a tinted moisturizer), and when you can, use products that don't come with a list of 300 ingredients (what is all that stuff anyway?). Opt for chemical and fragrance free if you can to give your skin more of a chance to glow and stay healthy.

Live a healthy lifestyle

Along with drinking enough water, your skin's health (and your glow) also depends on what you eat. For example, if you're living on processed foods, your skin won't look as good as it can. Instead, load up on fruits and veggies and good fats (like the stuff in flax seeds and fish) for a mega beauty boost. It's also essential to get enough sleep (tired skin doesn't glow) and keep stress to a minimum, which can cause all sorts of issues, from breakouts to flaky patches.

More skin care tips

How to customize your skin care by "multi-masking"
The skinny on oil-based face products
5 Areas you're forgetting to anti-age

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