The onset of summer is usually a tumultuous time for my skin and me, typically rife with tension, irritation, and a bountiful array of pimples. But earlier this year, I decided things would be different. I've already taken a couple of key steps toward regaining the health and clarity my complexion deserves, but I've also had a handful of other small yet strategic tricks up my sleeve. Of course, if I had been even more strategic, I would have implemented each new habit gradually and separately, in a very controlled, scientific kind of way.
But being me (sometimes impatient and eager for results—it's the Taurus in me), I decided to basically overhaul my routine with a bunch of new things all at once. Which, in hindsight, could have been disastrous. Thankfully, however, the game plan has worked in my skin's favor. And I've been taking meticulous notes.
So to celebrate summer and my skin's newfound glowy glory, I've compiled a list of the new summer habits I've formed which, it seems, have contributed to my all-around improved complexion. And while there are a few skincare product–related switch-ups involved, there's not an ounce of makeup to be found. Keep reading for the seven (kind of random) things I've started doing every day in the quest for brighter skin.
1. Pop a Gummy
I've already been very vocal regarding my love and loyalty for Hum Hair Sweet Hair Gummies ($25), so when the brand announced its newest, skin-focused launch, Glow Sweet Glow, you can imagine the excitement that ensued at my desk. I've been taking the recommended dose of two (tangerine-flavored) gummies per day for about a month or so, and my skin has brightened in conjunction. A coincidence? I think not. The secret: vitamin C, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, and amla fruit.
2. Try Pearl Powder + Collagen
Rich in calcium and antioxidants, pearl powder is said to have many benefits when it comes to hair, skin, and nail health. (Although, like many non-Western wellness remedies, there isn't a ton of legitimate research to back the claim.) Skeptically, I began putting a half-teaspoon into my morning smoothie or cold brew concoction (which I usually blend with some kind of nut milk, cinnamon, and two scoops of collagen peptides), and my skin has seemed smoother, softer, and more radiant since.
3. Kick Up Hydration
I've been using (and loving) Renée Rouleau's Elderberry Soothing Toner ($34) for months now, but after I tragically ran out a few weeks ago and my editor roomie Amanda Montell offered this formulation as a temporary substitute, I've become an official convert. And no, I haven't give it back to her. An esthetician had actually told me just a few weeks earlier my skin was dehydrated, but being acne-prone, I was scared to make any major moves to my skincare routine. That being said, this niacinamide and black raspberry seed oil elixir from Rouleau seems to be the perfect antidote.
(Psst! Niacinamide is the skin industry's best-kept secret when it comes to brightening ingredients.)
4. Get a Facial
As any skincare professional will tell you, there's only so much we can do at home in terms of clearing out a congested complexion. Therefore, to thoroughly rid the face of blackheads, acne, whiteheads, and cell buildup, sometimes a high-quality facial is just what the doctor ordered. I've been getting one every couple of months, which has served as a maintenance routine to keep things clear, bright, and consistently cleaned out. (If you're in L.A., I stopped by Face Haus last week and was completely blown away with my wonderful experience.)
5. Prioritize Sleep
Though I should practice what I preach and am notoriously horrid at getting the full seven to nine hours of sleep my body needs, tricking myself into going to bed and falling asleep faster has served as a strategic method for logging higher-quality shut-eye. It's no secret our faces look more radiant when we're not deprived of z's, so adding a teaspoon of Moon Juice Dream Dust to a beverage before bed has been helpful in improving my sleeping habits and, in conjunction, the overall appearance of my face.
6. Wake Up With a Brightening Serum
Though my nighttime skincare routine is 100% ingrained, I've always been so much more lackadaisical when it comes to my morning one. Translation: For many years, I didn't even have one. Lately, however, I've really doubled down and adopted a strict cleanse, tone, serum, SPF, and eye cream regimen, which has lent a helping hand in the health and brightness of my skin. I switch off using both of the discoloration-banishing serums above.
7. Perk Up Your Under-Eyes
Eye cream, my ride-or-die skincare product. As someone with perpetual dark circles, and a graveyard of formulas that haven't made a dent, when I find a new eye cream that truly does the job, I want to sing its, or in this case their, praises from the rooftop. Both of the formulas above are relatively new finds for me and almost instantly diffuse the look of my signature shadows—all while offering hydration and calming comfort. I'm obsessed and probably apply too much of both on a daily basis.