9 Secrets to Getting Bright, Dewy Skin, No Matter Your Skin Type

woman with dewy skin


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I care endlessly about keeping my skin looking good. And, by good, I mean bright, dewy, and glowing at all times. It pretty much tops my list of priorities every single day (save for those times when I'm tired and carrying out a 10-minute skincare routine is not in the cards). So, it serves my interest to check in with experts in the industry for the most up-to-date information on skincare. That being said, there are a ton of tips that are very niche—as in, they only apply to one specific skin type or texture. I wondered if there was a list of advice that could be universally applicable, no matter the condition of your skin. Turns out, there is.

After reaching out to a few of Byrdie's most trusted sources, I compiled all their information into a neat and tidy list of nine secrets to know. Our experts (which includes a dermatologist, pro facialists, and celebrity estheticians) offer up product recommendations, easy-to-follow steps, and tricks for keeping your skin at its most supple, smooth, and plump. Read on to learn experts’ top tricks on how to get dewy skin.

1. Cleanse With a Vitamin C Cleanser

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"There is no powerhouse ingredient better than vitamin C to help brighten your skin, combat pigmentation, and contribute to overall better skin health," says Cindy Kim, co-founder of Silver Mirror Facial BarKim. That's because it works by interfering with pigment production and reducing inflammation, all while protecting your skin against free radicals and environmental damage. Dr. Luigi L. Polla, founder of Forever Institut and Alchimie Forever agrees, noting that if dewy skin is the goal, you should look for cleansers with enzymes or fruit acids that provide a deep cleanse and slight exfoliation, such as this AHA and vitamin C cleanser from Pacifica.

2. Tone Immediately Post-Cleansing

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Celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau notes that without water, your skin’s health is compromised—which is never ideal in the quest for plump, dewy, and bouncy-looking skin. And, get this: After washing your face and patting it dry with a towel, you have a 60-second window before moisture evaporation will occur. "I immediately apply an alcohol-free toner to deliver water to thirsty cells and avoid that awful dry, tight feeling," she says. Try this pick from Nuria—it boasts a serum-y, silky formula that coats your face in moisture post-cleansing. And, it's especially lovely for dryer skin types, as it contains glycerin, mallow root, and rose oil.

3. Incorporate Niacinamide Into Your Routine

Skin Inc. Vitamin B3+ Niacinamide Serum
Skin Inc. Vitamin B3+ Niacinamide Serum $35
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Rouleau says that since circulation can be impaired with age, skin careproducts with ingredients such as peppermint, vitamin B12, niacinamide and ginseng root extract work to improve blood flow activity to bring about a fresh radiance. "When applied topically, they may dilate the blood vessels, allowing the skin to accommodate more nutrient-rich blood," she adds. Nicotinamide, a derivative of vitamin B3, is especially great for brightening, as it helps restore cellular energy, repair damaged DNA, and reduce the effects of sun-induced UV rays.

4. Consider Your Moisture Barrier

Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer
Biossance Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer $52
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Fact: Dry and flaky skin are byproducts of a damaged moisture barrier. So, naturally, to get beautiful, glowing skin you need to start by repairing the skin barrier. Rouleau says to look for a product designed to repair the skin barrier and rescue dry, red or sensitive skin with soothing and hydrating ingredients.

Biossance created a moisturizer that does just that. It's a nontoxic, sustainably sourced, and clinically proven brand, and it's one of the best when it comes to hydrating dry skin. Each of its products is made with squalane (our bodies produce its own version, known as squalene, but the amount retained in your skin decreases over time). It's ultra-hydrating and, when mixed with probiotics (like in the case of this gel moisturizer), it improves your skin's moisture barrier and leaves it brighter and more balanced.

Key Ingredients

Seaweed is a very powerful concentration of seawater and is able to uptake minerals by absorption and active transport from seawater. Because of these processes, some seaweeds have a dense concentration of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, and lipids, which all pose benefits for the skin.

5. Exfoliate Wisely

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"As we age, the skin naturally loses its glow or dewy look for a couple of reasons, including the natural sloughing off of dead skin cells slowing down," says Polla. "This means that a look of dullness will be apparent if you don't help these dead skin cells slough off through exfoliation." He recommends weekly exfoliation, noting that it becomes more essential as you age. Kim agrees, explaining that a buildup of dead skin cells can make even the dewiest skin look dull and sad. "Regular and gentle exfoliation with an enzyme mask or glycolic and lactic acid-based peel pads can immediately brighten your skin by sloughing dead skin cells away," she says. In addition to using gentle methods of exfoliation, limit it to three to four times a week to avoid stripping your skin.

What's more, exfoliation also helps your skincare products absorb into the skin better since it's removing a layer of dead skin cells that would otherwise block your other products from penetrating into the skin. Tata Harper's offering instantly creates that glowing, dewy skin, offering up a bright, smooth pre–night out canvas (and even works to stave off my Botox appointments).

6. Give Yourself Regular Facial Massages

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"Regular massaging (I love to use this Rose Quartz Butterfly Stone) helps to drain puffiness and toxins," says celebrity facialist Georgia Louise. Massaging your skin, even for just a few seconds, brings about "more blood cells to the skin, more oxygen, and better absorption of products," explains Sonya Dakar, Beverly Hills esthetician and founder of Sonya Dakar Skin Clinic. Plus, it works to de-puff those inevitable tired, morning eyes with lymphatic drainage.

For dry skin esthetician Joanna Vargas instructs to massage in circular motions upward. "Start at the base of the neck where your arteries are and massage in gentle circles upwards, toward the jaw, up the sides of the face, and around the eyes," she says, noting that this will help coax nutrients into the tissue. Prone to breakouts? Do the opposite motion and start on the top of the face by the eyes—this will draw the waste away. "A lymphatic drainage massage can completely change the look of someone’s face and is a great, under-the-radar skincare tip," says Vargas.

7. Don't Skimp on Serums

Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Ampoules
Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Ampoules $127
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No matter your skin type, a serum will help. There are so many different formulas—ones to hydrate, anti-age, brighten, exfoliate, everything. More often than not, a dermatologist or esthetician will also recommend a hyaluronic acid serum. Kim explains, "Incorporating a hyaluronic acid-based serum in the morning and at night will provide the ultimate boost in hydration for all skin types—this is a must in every skincare regimen." See, hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in your skin and attracts and holds up to 1000 times its weight in water. This means that your skin looks and feels replenished, plump, healthy, and super glowy.

Key Ingredients

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring polysaccharide found in the human body. It acts as a cushioning and lubrication agent for our joints, nerves, hair, skin, and eyes. When used in skincare, it acts as a moisture binder, which means that it will attach itself to the water in the cells (while also attracting and holding water from the air) making them plump.

8. Use a Ceramide-Rich Face Cream

Curél Intensive Moisture Facial Cream
Curél Intensive Moisture Facial Cream $30
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Polla says that the purpose of ceramides are to enhance the skin’s barrier function, prevent loss of moisture, and maintain water within the stratum corneum and epidermis. "In other words, they help the skin not get dehydrated by ensuring that the skin can adequately keep its moisture though a more effective barrier function," he explains. This ceramide-rich facial cream from Curél checks every dew skin box—it's lightweight and doesn't feel greasy, and repairs the skin's natural protective barrier by keeping hydration intact.

9. Rehydrate With a Mist

Emma Hardie Plump & Glow Hydrating Facial Mist
Emma Hardie Plump & Glow Hydrating Facial Mist $55
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"Facial mists aren’t just spray bottles filled with fancy water," Kim says. At least, not the good ones. Instead, she explains that the mists you should invest in contain skin-healthy ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide, which work to calm the skin, rehydrate, and provide instant dewiness throughout the day. Our favorite is Emma Hardie's Plump & Glow Hydrating Facial Mist ($55)—it features a combination of aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, wild water mint, and rosehip oil to effectively reduce signs of aging, pollution, dryness, and redness. A few spritzes will also provide soft-focus and luminous finish, it's perfect for setting your makeup or as a light skin refresher throughout the day.

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