Too much sun can actually hinder your glow, Hughes says. Some sun is beneficial to your overall health – we do need vitamin D, and getting enough of all the nutrients our bodies need gets reflected in our skin. But too much sun can leave skin looking dry and older than it is – no thanks! Despite the fact the negative aspects of too much sun are widely known, people continue to ignore the warnings.
"If you achieve a tan, you have damaged your skin. If you are applying a sunscreen and then spending the day in the sun without any other protection, you have damaged your skin, even if you did not get sunburnt," Hughes says. We all need to become much more sun savvy to keep skin looking smooth, healthy and glowing.
Improper exfoliation can also affect the luminosity of your skin, explains Hughes. "All skin needs some exfoliation, and I find that most individuals are either not exfoliating at all, using the wrong exfoliator or have gone overboard and over-exfoliated their skin," she says.
If you're not exfoliating your skin at all, it could feel drier than it actually is and because the dead skin cells aren't being sloughed off, any serum or moisturizer your apply will be less effective because skipping exfoliation makes it harder for skin to absorb the good stuff you put on it. Hughes has seen individuals who think they have dry skin and, after exfoliating properly, have come to find out their skin is actually normal.
If you over-exfoliate, the skin gets broken down to a point where its natural defenses are greatly impaired, leaving the skin more susceptible to damage from UV, pollution, products and more.
Take a look at our guide to finding the best exfoliator for your skin type >>
Cleanse morning and evening, including a double cleanse in the evening to thoroughly remove all makeup, oil and accumulated debris.
If you are using a toner, choose one that is free of alcohol and includes ingredients that will benefit your skin. We like keeping ours in the fridge for mega skin-cooling and soothing benefits.
Find a product best suited to your skin type (see above) and exfoliate once a week for smooth, even-toned skin.
Everyone should have a serum, Hughes says. A serum is a lightweight concentrated product that will saturate your skin with the nutrients it needs. Choose a serum with high levels of bioavailable nutrients (good- for-you ingredients that are easily absorbed by skin). "To put it into perspective, your serum should be doing for you topically what a multivitamin does for you internally," she explains.
Use a moisturizer that is appropriate for your skin now, and if you need to tweak your routine later, don't be afraid to do so. Many of us get in a rut with our routine when we should be altering what we put on our skin as it changes (with age or seasons) to achieve optimal results. Make sure your skin is getting what it needs with our guide to choosing the best moisturizer.