Make Your Skin Glow

Exfoliation for young, healthy summer skin.
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Yearlong Summer Skin

Chances are you're already pulling out your tank tops and shorts in anticipation of the summer heat, but winter may have left your once-luminous skin looking a little dull. Fortunately, there's a number of ways for you to reclaim your skin's radiant, healthy glow, either with at-home products or simple salon treatments. Get ready to show off your skin!

Option 1: The makeup fix.

Perhaps the easiest option out there, the makeup fix involves using a luminizer to fake your skin's glow. We love luminizers -- products infused with shimmer to reflect light and create a glow -- that come in a cream-to-powder formulation. Usually oil-free and noncomedogenic, they're easy to apply and give a natural look (powders and liquids can sometimes be too concentrated). Apply across the tops of cheekbones, right under browbones and at temples for a natural look.

Option 2: The over-the-counter skincare fix 1

If you want a little more glow and don't want to contend with messy, shimmery makeup, try stepping up your exfoliation. Whether you choose a physical exfoliant (a scrub that sloughs off dead skin cells) or a chemical one (such as an AHA, which dissolves dead cells), you'll get similar results: The removal of dull, dead skin cells to reveal fresh, glowing skin cells.

Option 3: The OTC skincare fix 2

If exfoliation doesn't do the trick, try another OTC fix: Vitamin C. Vitamin C refines your skin tone, giving it a natural glow. Plus, it has been shown to actually add some natural sun protection. Look for Vitamin C in the form of L-ascorbic acid; try a powder formulation that you mix with your own moisturizer, since Vitamin C is an unstable substance that can break down if allowed to sit in a moisturizer too long.

Option 4: The Rx skincare fix

To get that healthy glow in a more assertive way, go the prescription route. Products like Renova and Retin-A, both made from Vitamin A, work to exfoliate the surface of your skin and boost collage production, eventually making skin plumper and more luminous. However, because these products are strong, you'll need to start slow for the best effect.

Option 5: The procedure fix

When you want results right away, consider microdermabrasion. A generally safe and effective way to exfoliate skin, microdermabrasion involves a technician directing a fine spray of mineral crystals toward your skin. These crystals blast off dead skin cells, revealing glowing cells underneath. For this procedure, your best bet is to have it done at your dermatologist's office.

Originally published on, December 2005.


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