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Beauty

Here’s Exactly How to Make Your Skin Glow

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It’s easier than you think to restore a healthy complexion.

women smiling

There are certain things that usually have room for improvement, such as public transportation, your significant other’s laundry-folding skills, and, of course, your skincare routine. Because even if you do the usual steps—cleanse, moisturize, repeat—it still might not be giving you the supple texture and healthy glow you’re looking for. That’s because moisturizer can only do so much. Now, the good news: It’s pretty easy to tweak your routine to get the results you want. Try these smart swaps.

Switch to a Creamy or Oil Cleanser

There’s not necessarily anything wrong with foam cleanser, but if it’s a glow you’re going for, opt for a formula that offers more gentle cleansing and added hydration instead, like an oil or cream-based cleanser. This richer formula not only melts away makeup, but also does so without stripping skin of its natural, moisturizing oils. If you love your foam cleanser, limit its use to once or twice a week to avoid drying yourself out.

Swap Toner for an Essence

If you’ve ever swiped on toner after cleansing, you may already be familiar with the tight, squeaky-clean sensation that often accompanies this step. While toners often do the trick for deep-cleaning skin and absorbing any excess oil, they sometimes work a little too well, stripping and ultimately drying out skin. An essence, on the other hand, is all about delivering hydration to skin, so consider using that instead. Essences are usually lightweight, watery substances that lightly moisturize. (Think of it as dampening a sponge to activate its absorptive powers—but, of course, with your skin.)

Treat Your Lips With a Specially Targeted Product

If dry or chapped lips are keeping you away from your go-to lipstick, treat them to a hydrating lip scrub designed specifically for that delicate skin. Try ChapStick Total Hydration Lip Scrub, which gently buffs away flakes and dry skin, revealing lips so smooth and soft that you might not even want to top them off with color. If you do like to top them with a bit of sheen, try ChapStick Total Hydration Vitamin Enriched Lip Oil, which will help moisturize them, too.

woman putting on face cream

Exfoliate Regularly

Layers of dead skin can inhibit your face’s dewy glow and create an uneven texture, which is why exfoliating regularly is essential for a bright, soft complexion. You can choose between a chemical or physical exfoliating product to do the trick. (The first involves using a product containing an ingredient that chemically dissolves dead skin cells, while the latter manually scrubs them off using beads, crushed shells, or some other gritty material.) Whichever way you prefer, know that exfoliating comes with an added perk: By removing those dead, dull skin cells, the products you apply afterwards can better penetrate healthy skin, which in turn can give you better results in the long run. If you have sensitive skin or have never exfoliated before, start slow by exfoliating once a week, so you don’t irritate your face.

Use a Hydrating Serum

Give your moisturizer a helping hand by adding in a hydrating serum. Look for one that contains hyaluronic acid, a molecule that can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, to draw and lock moisture into skin. It can super-charge your usual moisturizer and prep skin before you use it. (Head here to learn more about acids in skincare.)

Try a Moisturizing SPF

Sun protection now comes with all sorts of added benefits and ingredients, such as tints for different skin tones and antioxidants to up its protective powers. But a simple one that shouldn’t go overlooked is a moisturizing sunscreen and lip balm with SPF. With the extra bonus of hydrating ingredients, it goes above and beyond its original purpose of protecting against UV rays.

Get more great health and wellness stories at MarthaStewart.com/Strive.