glowing skin

For those of you whose takeaway from Marta's The Best Thing I Love About My Skin was "No way could I ever walk out of the house without makeup," we have news for you—yes, you can! Glowing skin is all about following these five simple steps:

1. Cleanse

This one's a bit of a "no, duh." We all know we need to, at a minimum, wash our face, regardless of what else we do to beautify. But finding that one indispensable cleanser to keep on hand, one that's gentle, effective, and gives you glowing skin without any nasties isn't necessarily as easy as it sounds.

CLEANSERS WE LOVE

suki exfoliate foaming cleanser - Here's what we love about suki's exfoliate foaming cleanser: almost anyone can use it, given its exfoliating-plus-moisturizing power. It's great for acne-prone skin, as AmyB attests in her, ahem, glowing review, but isn't at all drying thanks to ingredients like seaweed (algae) extracts, essential oils, and healing calendula and chamomile.

Red Flower Lymphatic Phytopower Sea Cleanser & Masque ($42 in the shop) - For those of you who like a smoother, non-exfoliating but equally hard-working cleanser, try Marta's favorite, the calming and moisturizing Red Flower Lymphatic Phytopower Sea Cleanser & Masque. 

2. Tone

If cleansers are the equivalent of a basic, healthy diet for your face, toners are your facial aerobics. At their best, they go that extra step, ensuring those pores are clean and closed, and adding a pleasantly-nourishing pull that gives you glowing skin without being tightly dry or feeling stripped.  

TONERS WE LOVE

Snowberry Gentle Remineralising Toner ($53) As it happens, one of our favorite toners does double duty as a cleanser as well. It is indeed gentle, with amino acids and mineral-containing mother of pearl extract, which has been shown to hydrate skin cells, promote skin cell metabolism, facilitate repair of damaged skin cells, and enhance peripheral circulation. 

La Vie Celeste Restorative Illuminating Toner ($35) Marta loves that the first ingredient of La Vie Celeste's Illuminating Toner is nourishing aloe, followed by vitamin B and packed with rich antioxidants. She recommends using it in combination with another mother of pearl-packed product, La Vie Celeste Restorative Mother of Pearl Illuminating Cleanser ($40 in the shop).

3. Clear

Clearing, like brightening, is the weightlifting portion of your beauty routine, going that extra distance to build healthy, strong and glowing skin.

CLEARING TIP

Facial brushing is one of the most effective ways to keep skin well-exfoliated. Just ask celebs like Cindy Crawford who swears by dry brushing. But a powerful, vibrating device should also be one that is kind and gentle to delicate aging skin. Marta recommends Ultra Clear Facial Brush, but do your research before picking one that works for you.

4. Brighten

If there's one thing no one wants themselves or their skin to be, it's dull. Nothing suggests youthful energy than a face with a dewy glow. Transform your complexion from tired to refreshed with one of these top-notch masks.

MASKS WE LOVE

La Vie Celeste Restorative Exfoliating Gel Mask ($60 in the shop) One of the reasons Marta is so keen on La Vie Celeste products is due to the hard-working ingredients used throughout the line. Marta calls this pure glycolic acid-based gel mask, set in an aloe base "one of my favorite products of all time."

Royal Nectar Face Mask with Bee Venom ($68) There are many potent ingredients in the Royal Nectar Bee Venom Mask as well, namely the venom, which acts as a strong anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, containing 19 different active components. Manuka honey is also among the good stuff, making this mask a good choice for oily skin and acne sufferers.

5. Target

Think of target treatments as the squats or tricep curls of skincare. Everyone has a unique skin profile, and it's important to focus on products that give those trouble spots the extra attention they require. These issues are some of the more common ones we hear about from the TIA community.

TARGETED TREATMENTS WE LOVE

Redness and Rosacea

Medik8 Red Alert ($60 in the shop) This serum combats redness and flare-ups caused by skin hypersensitivity, irritation, and erythema. Marta also found Red Alert to be effective in treating her rosacea symptoms and wrinkles due, she thinks, to teprenone, its active ingredient.

Sevani Complexion Corrector ($39 in the shop) Sevani's Complexion Corrector spray goes on effortlessly, quietly working on redness and rosacea under your other beauty products. And work it does. The deceptively simple formula is dominated by soothing aloe juice and willow bark, a BHA that is a natural exfoliant, as well as a source of salicilin, flavonoids, and tannins. Panthenol (a vitamin B) reduces itching and inflammation, while another B, niancinamide, has been shown in studies to reduce rosacea.

Dark Spots

E'shee Intensive Brightening ($119 in the shop) E'shee Serum Intensive Brightening treats hyperpigmentation and dark spots with m-tranexamic acid, a cutting edge active ingredient that works by inhibiting UV-induced hyperpigmentation and melanocyte activity. It's one of our Five Best for Dark Spots.

Scarring

Treatment for scarring, whether for minor ones due to acne or other more intense scars, requires commitment and patience. It can take months before a noticeable reducing in scarring is seen. But a regimen of exfoliation, copper peptide or growth factor serums, plus red LED light treatments can be an effective, non-invasive way to lighten or eliminate visible signs of scarring. Here is the combo we recommend:

EXFOLIATE
Your Best Face Prep Microdermabrasion ($80 in the shop). As Marta describes it, YBF Prep Microdermabrasion is an antioxidant-filled exfoliating mask containing "Tego Pep 4-7 and Relistase based on the peptide tetrapeptide-17, which is supposed to have collagen-, hyaluronic acid- and fibronectin-boosting activity. Another great addition is Relistase, a tripeptide that inhibits elastase activity and boosts collagen 1 synthesis. It has also been designed to treat sagginess and restore firmness to the skin. Spicy turmeric, with its powerful antioxidant activity, has also been included along with natural skin lighteners, aspen and licorice."

Sciote Micro Derm Crème ($60 in the shop). This gentle exfoliating creme uses spherical granules of silica to buff away dirt and dead skin cells while softening with shea butter, jojoba and grapeseed oil, and natural emollients. Even on days when you don't use it, it'll leave your skin feeling soft and velvety smooth. TIA community reviewer Imelda swears by it.

SERUMS
Medik8 Growth Factor (30ml/ $160 in the shop) Rich in peptides and epidermal growth factors, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid make this serum effective at reducing wrinkles, yes, but also as a part of a scar-reducing regimen.

Stemulation Facial Serum ($185) Formulated with Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (HMSC) designed to improve skin texture and tone, this winning serum is made especially for dealing with stubborn complexion issues like scarring.

LED
Truth Vitality Lux Renew ($279 in the shop) Created to TIA specifications, this cost-effective LED device has three settings, with red being the one to use for scarring.

BONUS!

MINIMAL COVERAGE WE LOVE

Now that you've got pristine, glowing skin, we're pretty sure you look gorgeous without a drop of makeup. But just in case you want a little boost, these products add an extra bit of evenness.

Osmotics Inner Light Complexion Enhancer ($30) - The owner of Osmotics believes foundation makes aging skin look older. She created this Complexion Enhancer to remarkably smooth imperfections without any tint and lay an impressive glowing skin base for any other makeup you put on over it.

W3LL People Universalist Multi-Use Color Stick - Creamy, easy-to-use, and oh so versatile, W3LL people truly understands that some of us yearn for simplicity, without nasty chemical additives, from our beauty products. Beauty mags have discovered and praised this color stick. It comes in seven shades that can be applied lightly or with deeper color saturation on eyes, lips, and cheeks.

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream - This tough multitasking cream evens skin tone, protects and repairs with SPF 30, and reduces the appearance of fine lines. Rich in antioxidants, the cream increases cellular turnover, improving elasticity and creating a bright and glowy complexion.

Share your best glowing skin tricks in the comments section below.