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Want Glowing Skin? We Have 50 Best Tips for a Healthy Shine

No contest, a radiant complexion is number one on our beauty wish list. And sure, good genes have a role to play, but even Queen Bey herself would never go to bed with her makeup on (we assume). Lifestyle factors, product choice and daily habits can all have an impact on your skin. Here, 50 genius tips for glowing skin. 

Additional Reporting: Jenny Jin

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1. Know Your Skin

To properly care for your complexion, you need to know what type it is. (That fancy $100 moisturizer is never going to work if it's designed for oily skin and yours is dry.) Discover your skin type here.

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2. Moisturize While Skin Is Still Damp

Make like the Koreans and try the three-second rule, i.e., going into your skin-care routine within—you guessed it—three seconds of washing your face. This seals in moisture and allows products to absorb into skin better.

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3. Keep Showers Warm, Not Hot

Hot water strips away your skin’s natural oils, which can lead to dryness and irritation. It can also exacerbate skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Instead, keep washes lukewarm (or cold) and short.

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4. Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Unwashed brushes accumulate bacteria, dirt and grime, which translates into clogged pores, irritated skin and breakouts. Use a brush cleanser (we like Japonesque) or what you have at home each week.

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5. Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate

Facialist Diane Higgins advises doing so once a week to help slough off dead skin cells. “Exfoliators work wonders in keeping the skin clean and better able to receive hydrating ingredients,” she says. Find the best one for your skin type.

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6. Slather on the Sunscreen

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times. Use. Sunscreen. Every. Day. This will protect your skin from sunspots, wrinkles and premature ageing. Here are five ultra lightweight picks we love (so no excuses).

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7.  Get Into Vitamin C

“A vitamin C serum at night will help reduce brown spots, promote collagen and firm skin,” says Dr. Neal Schultz. For best results, look for the active form of vitamin C, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. (A great version: Perricone MD’s Ester Serum.)

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8. Layer in a Serum

Designed to deliver potent ingredients directly into skin, highly-concentrated serums are a great tool for targeting specific skin-care concerns, such as hydration, dullness, fine lines or inflammation, says dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner.

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9. Don’t Neglect the Neck

Or the chest, for that matter. That means cleansing, moisturizing and applying sunscreen to these delicate areas as well.

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10. Invest in a Humidifier

And sleep next to it during the colder months. Dry skin = dull skin.

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11. Clean Your Smartphone 

Your cell harbors a lot of bacteria and germs, and since you touch it pretty much every second of the day, all that nastiness gets transferred right to your face. Clean daily by wiping your phone down with tech-specific antibacterial wipes.

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12. Wear Sunglasses

Squinting isn’t exactly the skin’s friend, so keep those crow’s feet at bay by donning shades when you’re outdoors.

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13. Take Your Makeup Off Before Bed…Always

Never skip washing your face—no matter how tired you are. Clogged pores can make the texture of skin look rough and bumpy.

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14. Get Enough Sleep

Skin cells turn over while you snooze, and a recent study published by Royal Society Open Science actually found that even missing just a few hours of sleep has an effect on your appearance.

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15. Incorporate a Toner

Forget the ultra-drying, alcohol-laden toners from your teen years—nowadays, toners are designed to nix any remnants your cleanser missed and help skin to absorb creams. We like Clarins’s Toning Lotion with Chamomile.

True Botanicals

16. Find Products with Vitamin C or Kojic Acid

Both ingredients will help brighten and even out your complexion. We swear by True Botanicals' Vitamin C booster

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17. Eat More Omega-3s

These healthy fats can boost hydration, prevent acne and stave off wrinkles. Find them in seafood (especially salmon and mackerel), walnuts and flaxseeds.

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18. Be Gentle When Cleansing

You want to wash off grime without irritating your skin. Try a powder cleanser for a mild exfoliation or a single-double cleanser for hydration.

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19. Keep Stress in Check

Under-eye bags, dryness, breakouts and fine lines—these are just some of the skin issues linked to stress. While you may not be able to avoid your job, in-laws or, um, life in general, you can take steps to put yourself at ease.

20. Cut Back on Sugar

Sorry, those mid-afternoon candy bars aren’t doing your skin any favors. Sugar can break down collagen and elastin, resulting in resulting in sagging skin and wrinkles. Try a healthier pick-me-up instead.  

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21. And Caffeine, Too

No need to give up your morning cup of joe entirely, but remember that caffeine is a diuretic. Too much (say, four cups of coffee a day) can leave your skin looking parched.

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22. Apply Products in the Right Order

Cleanse first, then apply toner, serum (if using), moisturizer and sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher), says Dr. Charlotte Hwa Vuong. You want to apply products from lightest to heaviest consistency to maximize the absorption of ingredients.

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23. Get Moving

Exercise promotes better circulation and brings more oxygen to the skin (hence that post-workout glow); plus it lowers stress. Try to get your heart rate up a few times of week (even if it’s just for ten minutes).

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24. Use a Highlighter

Why? Well, they’re designed to attract light. Mix a couple of drops of highlighter with your foundation before applying for an all-over, healthy glow.

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25. Stay Hydrated

Did you know that under-eye bags are commonly caused by the retention of water to that delicate area? Aim for at least eight large glasses of water a day to minimize puffiness. (Or better yet, try a gallon.)

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26. Don’t Touch Your Face

That’s because your fingers contact germ-infested surfaces (keyboard, phone, door handles) all day long and all that nastiness goes right to your face with every touch. And never, ever use your fingers to pop a pimple.  

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27. Stick to Liquid or Cream Makeup

Powders can make your skin look flat, whereas lightweight liquid products even out your complexion and add a healthy sheen.

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28. Give Your Face a Rubdown

“Massage your face daily to improve circulation and relaxation,” says skin-care guru Ling Chan. She recommends a jade roller to release tension in the face and get that post-facial glow.

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29. Pop a Collagen Peptides Supplement

Natural collagen keeps the skin looking young and wrinkle-free, but it starts to break down after the age of 21 (ugh). But collagen peptides can reverse this (plus reduce joint pain and inflammation). Find where to buy them.

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30. Wash Your Pillowcase (a Lot)

Dirt and oil love to accumulate on your pillowcase (oh hello, morning breakouts), so make sure you swap it for a fresh one every week.

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31. Make Your Concealer Work Harder

Creased makeup is never a good look. Help your concealer stay put by using a primer underneath and setting it with a finishing powder.

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32. Look for Moisturizers That Contain Ceramides

This complexion-boosting ingredient will help reinforce your skin's barrier, thereby creating a plumper and more hydrated appearance.

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33. Pamper Yourself Often

Professional facials are lovely and all, but for a more affordable option, slap on a face mask once or twice a week to nourish your face and target your skin’s specific needs.

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34. Quit Smoking

Maybe a vanity reason will help those of you trying to quit: Smoking reduces blood flow, leaving skin dry and discolored. It also depletes nutrients, like vitamin C, that help keep skin looking healthy.  

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35. Protect Your Lips

The skin around your lips is ultra delicate and has less natural protection against the elements, so make sure you’re applying an SPF protective balm daily. It’ll ward off those vertical fine lines.

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36. Sleep on Your Back

Sorry, tummy snoozers—sleeping in certain positions can cause wrinkles, says the American Academy of Dermatology. Hit the sheets face up instead, so nothing is, well, smushed.

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37. Use Retinols

These powerful exfoliants can help treat sun damage, fine lines or acne. “Retinols are applied before bedtime and in general a pea-sized amount is enough for the face,” says Hwa Vuong. But they’re not for everyone—check with your dermatologist before using.  

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38. Invest In an Eye Cream

The skin around your eyes is the thinnest, and prone to dryness and signs of fatigue (like what happens when you stay out past your bedtime). Here are the best eye creams for crow’s feet, puffiness and every other issue.

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39. Keep Hair Products Away From Your Face

Cover your face with a clean towel when spraying hairspray or texturizer, and use a sweatband (so ‘80s) when working out to stop products from dripping down into your face.

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40. Snack on Berries

Packed with antioxidants, berries protect skin from free-radical damage and help produce collagen. Translation? Munching on these fruits promotes younger, healthier-looking skin. Try adding half a cup to your breakfast cereal or smoothie.   

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41. Nix Razor Burn

A few simple steps—like shaving with the grain, opting for a moisturizing cream and replacing your razor often—can easily minimize irritation. And remember to store your razor away from the shower.

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42. Give Yourself a Spritz

Reduce dullness and give your skin an instant radiance boost with a few spritizes of facial mist. We’re obsessed with Caudalie Beauty Elixir.

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43. Sip on Green Tea

A study published in Experimental Dermatology found that green tea could help treat inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis and dandruff. More research is needed, but hey, it can’t hurt to sip a few cups a day. Matcha latte, anyone?

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44. Exfoliate Your Brows

Exfoliating the area around your brows will help prevent ingrown hairs, and make the application of any brow products (like pencils or powders) much smoother. It may also encourage new hair growth.

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45. Test Everything First

If you have sensitive skin, introduce new products one at a time so that you can identify if they cause irritation. And always test products first on the inside of your wrist 24 hours before applying to your face.

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46. Try Dry Brushing

Increase circulation and get rid of dead skin cells with dry brushing. A couple times a week before showering, use a soft, natural-bristled brush and gently brush in circles from your feet up to your arms and chest.

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47. Cool Down with Aloe

Aloe vera preparations have hydrating, soothing, cooling, anti-inflammatory properties,” explains NYC dermatologist Dr. Doris Day. “It has also been shown to accelerate wound healing.” Use on red or irritated skin.

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48. Try Purple Makeup

Of course the goal is to have a naturally glowing complexion, but when you need to fake it, lavender-tinted color corrector can add instant radiance. Just apply evenly over your face (or spot-treat problem areas) and then top it off with foundation.

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49. Color With Care

New season, new ‘do. But when choosing a new shade, make sure you opt for one that doesn’t wash you out. (Don’t worry, a good colorist will advise about picking the perfect, ultra-flattering hue.)

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50. Never, Ever Use a Tanning Bed

But you knew that one already, right?