7 Ways to Get Glowing Skin When Fancy Treatments Aren't an Option

glowing skin


Many of us strive to achieve the glow of a fleet of Victoria's Secret angels. But since the majority of us don't have a team of professionals at our disposal or access to thousand-dollar facials, injectables, or fancy light machines, we sought out the best secrets for getting supermodel skin—without spending our life savings.

Sound intriguing? If you’ve longed to try laser resurfacing or get regular microdermabrasion but simply can't afford to, this roundup of advice is just for you. Ahead, a doctor and a facialist share their top tips for getting the lit-from-within look at home. Bonus: These tricks will make you healthier from the inside as they're working to induce that outward glow (talk about a win-win). Each of these DIY treatments is professionally spoken for and will cost you between $0 and $40. Keep reading for seven awesome—and effective—ways to get glowing at home!

1. Embrace Bone Broth

bone broth in a bowl and mug

Frank Lipman, MD, founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center and author of The New Health Rules, can’t sing the praises of drinking bone broth enough. Aside from being an all-around skin-and-hair-and-gut saver, bone broth is uniquely great for glowing skin because it's so nutrient-rich. It contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, silicon, sulfur, and phosphorous that many of us don't get enough of from our regular diets. “When we are depleted of nutrients, our skin looks pale and dull rather than glowing and vibrant,” explains Lipman.

He recommends ingesting a cup a day, whether you sip it pure or incorporate it into soups and stews. 

Epic Homestyle Savory Chicken Bone Broth
Epic Artisinal Epic Homestyle Savory Chicken Bone Broth $7

2. Exfoliate and Dry-Brush

Aromatherapy Associates Polishing Body Brush $32

Though it’s often skipped in people’s at-home beauty routines, exfoliation is a critical step on the road to radiance. Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Salon and Skincare Collection, recommends all-over exfoliation in the shower to make skin fresh and bright. “Dry brushing is my favorite method of body exfoliation because it is multitasking—it's actually incredible as a cellulite treatment and increases skin's elasticity, too,” she says.

Don’t know how to dry brush? Don’t fret, Vargas shared her method with us:

“Start at the tops of the feet and brush upward toward the heart. Spend extra time on areas that tend to be more stagnant, like the inner thigh, and don't forget to include the backs of the arms and the back. Dry brushing immediately increases circulation, so you will feel warmer when you are done. Try it before you get into the shower for two minutes in the morning, and you will see a difference in your skin quality in days,” she instructs. Fair warning: it's scratchy at first, but it's supposed to be.

If you're not into dry brushing, try a sugar or salt scrub.

menthe sea polish in a jar
French Girl Mint Sea Polish $40

3. Take a Supplement

colorful pills over a white background
Nakhorn Yuangkratoke/EyeEm/Getty

Your mom probably nagged you about taking your vitamins, and she was right. A good hair, skin, and nail formula—which includes vitamins, minerals, and amino acids specific to skin health—will improve their overall quality and appearance. “Skin products work externally to try to create the desired effect of glowing skin, but while these products may help a bit, the real change takes places from the inside out,” explains Lipman. “A supplement works at an internal level to correct any deficiencies or imbalances.”

We recommend the Hush & Hush Time Capsule Supplement ($75), which is specially formulated to block blue light damage and give you your best skin, with marine collagen, folate, and green tea extract. It also contains zinc, selenium, manganese, and even tumeric.

time capsule supplements
Hush & Hush TimeCapsule $75

4. Eat More Avocados

Avocadoes and baby spinach on a cutting board

Our skin needs fat in order to stay hydrated and glowing, and avocados supply the skin with healthy fats and phytonutrients to do just that. “Avocados are nature’s own moisturizer, rich in healthy fatty acids, which will keep your skin supple, moist, and glowing,” explains Lipman. Add avocado to your salads, make fresh guacamole at home (our personal favorite), or use Vargas’s sneaky tip: Throw half an avocado into your morning smoothie. It provides a rich, creamy texture and you won’t even taste it. 

5. Drink Green Juice

a green smoothie with a ribbon and yellow striped straw

Full of minerals, chlorophyll, and antioxidants, fresh green juice is like a powerful multivitamin. “The nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream and reach skin cells quicker thanks to the lack of fiber in the juice,” Lipman explains. Vargas says drinking green juice is her number one skin fix for girls who want clean, clear, glowing skin. “It’s a great replacement for afternoon coffee and it will literally transform your skin in a matter of days,” she says. “It helps oxygenate the skin and stimulates lymphatic drainage so it's de-puffing too.”

Lipman advises staying away from green juices that are high in fruit (to avoid the extra sugar) and instead looking for ones that are mainly greens with low-sugar additions like lemon and ginger. Alternatively, you can go straight to the source: “If I have a client who doesn’t eat salad or drink green juices, I tell them to go to Whole Foods and buy liquid chlorophyll,” says Vargas. “It tastes like mint, it oxygenates the skin, and works in a matter of days.” 

Effervescent Super Greens Dietary Supplement
8Greens Effervescent Super Greens Dietary Supplement $14

6. Apply a Mask

Kiehl's Avocado Nourishing Hydration Mask
Kiehl's Avocado Nourishing Hydration Mask $45

In addition to eating avocados, Lipman suggests applying an avocado face mask to get the glowing benefits both inside and out. “Mash half of a soft avocado with a fork. Stir together one tablespoon of raw honey with two tablespoons of hot water, and add the mixture to the avocado to create a rich mask," he says. "Apply to your face (avoiding the eyes), let it do its magic for 10 minutes, and enjoy a refreshed face.”

Vargas suggests a simultaneously rejuvenating and anti-aging mask made from grape-seed oil, rose oil, honey, and ground almonds. “The grape-seed oil is an awesome antioxidant, while the rose oil will restore that amazing glow we’re all looking for. The honey will hydrate the skin and erase fine lines, while the ground almonds will gently exfoliate. It’s great for anyone who feels their skin looks dull and tired,” she says. “Combine six teaspoons of grape-seed oil, two drops of rose oil, one teaspoon of warmed honey, and five of teaspoons of ground almonds to form a paste. Leave on the skin for 20 minutes. Then, rinse.”

Y.S. Eco Bee Farms Raw Honey $12

You can also, of course, go a less natural route and purchase a mask that will give you effects like these—

7. Snack on Cucumber

Watermelon, mint, cucumber, and lime

Repeat after us: There is no glow without hydration. In addition to being low-calorie and delicious to snack on, cucumbers have a high water content. “Cucumber is both hydrating and cooling for the body, and staying well hydrated is rule number one for great looking skin,” says Lipman. Try snacking on cucumber every chance you get, and for an added dose, look for green juices that contain the ingredient. 

Fake it Til You Make It

Want more dewy skin tips? Check out these 12 superfood-infused products that give you glowing skin.

This story was originally published on January 8, 2015, and has since been updated.

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