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How to (really) put the glow in glowing skin

How to get really glowy skin in winter
Getting really glowy skin in winter is a challenge. (Photos: Pretty Designs, Flickr)

Everyone wants healthy, glowing skin. Then temperatures drop, radiators snap on, and the air gets bone dry—all of which pretty much ruin the agreement you have with your skin not to freakout.

But don’t let it all unravel without a healthy fight.

The solution might seem obvious—just load up on moisturizer. But experts say that line of thinking could leave you wondering why your skin still looks lackluster.

(Photo: Montage Hotels and Joanna Vargas)
Agne Jankauskine and Joanna Vargas. (Photo: Montage Hotels and Joanna Vargas)

So what does the trick? We tapped New York City-based celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas and Agne Jankauskine, lead facialist at Spa Montage at the Montage Beverly Hills, to explain what can help maintain your skin’s healthy balance—and how to get it in seriously glowy shape.

Take their advice, below. Your healthy complexion will thank you.

1. Wash up—without stripping your skin: Sometimes getting up and walking to the sink can seem like climbing Everest, but washing your face at the end of the day—and after a workout—is important to giving your skin a chance to glow. Don’t go for the cleansers that strip your skin to the point of tight and dry. “You want to use something that has anti-inflammatory ingredients,” says Vargas, who likes turmeric or chamomile. These ingredients can help calm and soothe the skin, and that’s your first step to restoring your natural glow.

2. Exfoliate smartly: Exfoliating is key to creating a healthy, even skin tone, and to brightening your visage. But there are lots of ways to slough. “In winter, I would go for something with fruit acid, which has lower pH levels and will get rid of dead skin cells without scrubbing,” says Montage facialist Jankauskine. Scrubbing can quickly take your skin past the point of healthy glow and into irritation land.

3. Use a face mask—AKA avocado: Face masks are key. And although you usually have to be careful with pairing your mask to your skin type, Vargas suggests an almost universal crowd-pleaser. “For winter, I love putting straight up avocado on my face,” she says. “It’s got omega-3 fatty acids, and is rich but very anti-inflammatory.” Save some of that lunchtime avocado for your face.

4. Replenish with the right products: Toss that water-based moisturizer from CVS in the trash right now. “What people don’t realize a lot of time is that those moisturizers pull moisture out instead of putting it in,” Vargas says. “Facial oils and facial balms without water will lock in hydration.” And yes, there are even facial oils for acne-prone skin.

5. Treat dry patches or acne flare-ups: If you start seeing dry patches of skin, Vargas recommends a chamomile tea wash. Just cool down a cup of tea. “It’s super soothing,” she says, and dab on a salve or balm. As for winter acne, or if your face feels dry but you’re breaking out, Vargas likes an anti-inflammatory mask with lactic acid. Or try a DIY yogurt mask with manuka or raw honey. Both ingredients hydrate the skin while they calm and exfoliate it.

6. Get a facial: Don’t assume products alone are going to solve your skin-care woes. Checking in with a facialist can expedite your glow-getting goals. “Not just in winter, but every four to six weeks,” Jankauskine advises. “Facials are soothing, cleansing, and exfoliate and hydrate the skin more thoroughly and deeply. So that afterwards,” she says, “you’re getting better results from your home-care regimen to keep that healthy, glowy skin.” —Jamie McKillop

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