The season’s winding down, but your look doesn’t have to.
By Jenn Sinrich September 11, 2015
1.Keep up Your Daily SPF Habits
It might be tempting to stash your sunscreen away until next summer, but experts agree that it’s necessary to wear year-round if you want your complexion to look its best. “Sunscreens act not only to protect your skin but to ensure you retain your healthy glow,” says Joel Schlessinger, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and RealSelf.com advisor. “Collagen damage from UV light will lead to dull and mottled skin over time, and sunscreen is the antidote.” Bottom line: Slather on the SPF 365 days a year for skin that’s healthy enough to glow naturally.
2. Exfoliate Once a Week
“Without proper exfoliation, skin can develop a dull appearance that can be hard to mask with makeup,” says Schlessinger. That’s especially true once colder weather kicks in. There are three main types of scrubs: Physical ones, which remove skin cells through friction thanks to ingredients like salt, sugar, or jojoba beads; chemical ones, which use alpha hydroxy acids (such as glycolic acid) to break down the glue-like substance that holds dead cells together; and enzymatic ones, which contain fruit enzymes that literally eat away at the dead skin cells. “Using any type of exfoliator once a week in the shower can provide an instantly rejuvenated skin tone,” says Michael Lin, M.D., a California-based dermatologist. We’re fans of Cane + Austin Face & Body Retexture Scrub ($42, caneandaustin.com), which contains both glycolic and salicylic acid.
3.Try This DIY Scrub
You don’t have to shell out major dough to exfoliate, though. Whip up this super easy recipe for face and body with ingredients in your kitchen, courtesy of Allyson Myette, a professional makeup artist and hairstylist in Swampscott, Massachusetts: Mix ½ cup cocoa powder, ½ cup ground coffee beans, one cup milk, and one tablespoon of olive oil. “Feel free to play around with the consistency, but I use it weekly to keep my skin fresh and glowing,” she says. Olive oil, coffee, and cocoa all contain glow-boosting antioxidants.
4.Get Sun-Kissed Color—the Safe Way
As if we need to tell you again—tanning beds are a total no-no. “Especially if what you’re looking to attain is healthy glowing skin, artificial tanning is the wrong way to go about it and will leave you with dryer, less-radiant skin before you know it,” says Dendy Engelman, M.D., board certified dermatologic surgeon at Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery. “Salons often filter out UVB rays in order to reduce the risk of burning, and so the main component is UVA, which is the more cancer-causing wavelength.” So stick with self-tanner—and follow the directions on the packaging as closely as possible to ensure the best results, says Schlessinger.
5.Fix Any Self-Tanner Goofs ASAP
“The active ingredient in most self-tanners is called dihydroxyacetone, which is essentially sugar, so it’s completely safe to use on the skin,” says Engelman. We like Infinity Sun Glow on the Go ($40, infinitysun.com), which also contains essential oils and antioxdiants. Make a mistake? Myette suggests exfoliating the area immediately and applying toner to remove any leftover pigment. If you’re a faux color novice, Jergens Natural Glow Revitalizing Daily Moisturizer ($10, ulta.com) is virtually foolproof.
6.Brush on a Shimmery Powder
The safest and easiest way to fake color on your face? Using bronzer, of course. Lightly dust a powder one on areas where the sun naturally hits, like your forehead, nose, and collarbones, to recreate that sun-kissed glow, says Myette. Her favorite: Nars Bronzing Powder ($39, sephora.com). She also recommends Nars Blush in Orgasm ($30, sephora.com) because it has a peachy-golden tone with added shimmer that gives skin a natural-looking glow.
7.Repair Your Skin at Night
As the weather starts to get colder, you’ll need to add something a bit more heavy-duty to your routine to prevent dullness. So after washing your face, apply a cream or serum that has alpha hydroxy acid and retinol—two ingredients that help dissolve dead skin and promote cell turnover. “Using a cream or serum before bed, when you’re exposed to minimal environmental factors, gives your skin the proper space and time to lose its dullness and flakiness, allowing more radiant skin to reach the surface,” says Engelman.
8.Add Glow-Boosting Produce to Your Diet
As the saying goes, you are what you eat! Popular fall foods packed with skin-nourishing nutrients like beta-carotenes, found in carrots, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes, can help your complexion out. “This organic compound is a strong red-orange pigment that can provide your skin with a radiant glow,” says Lin. “It’s also an antioxidant that can help your body fight UV damage.