What actually is “glow” and how can we get it?

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Five things to help us in our quest for radiance

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By Elle Turner on

"Glow." It's a word that's bandied around the beautysphere time and again. Seemingly, we're all on the hunt for it. Type "how to make skin..." into Google and the second-most-searched term is "how to make skin glow". It's increasingly big business, according to Mintel. In fact, it's a market now worth £1.11bn and growing, as women are turning their attention to "focus on radiance" above other "concerns", says the market-research company.

The thing is, do we actually know what it means and, more importantly, how we can get it?

Put simply, "glow" is "healthy, hydrated skin that reflects the light evenly", explains Elizabeth Arden's UK & Ireland training manager, Anja Skytte-Mosbaek. Of course we can achieve it with make-up, but by focusing on maintaining our skin's natural radiance (so, looking after its "texture, pigmentation and hydration", says Deciem's founder Brandon Truaxe), our skin will do the work itself. Which means less time spent applying highlighters, foundations and illuminators in the morning. 

5 ways to get glow


Just like your kitchen table won't look its best covered in dust and grime, in order for skin to glow a thorough deep clean is in order. Pixi's dual cleanser comprises an oil, which draws away impurities like a magnet, and a cleansing agent to get rid of any remaining residue. It also contains nourishing skin-perking ingredients to leave your skin smooth and comfortable, rather than stripped and tight.


Exfoliate skin: Elizabeth arden retexturizing pads

Smooth skin is essential for a glowy complexion since light will reflect more easily off it. Exfoliating a couple of times a week will buff away the dead, bumpy layer of skin sitting on the surface, revealing fresh new skin beneath. "Anything with glycolic acid [which lifts away dead skin] will help create smoother skin," says Skytte-Mosbaek. Elizabeth Arden's Skin Illuminating Retexturizing Pads swept across your chin, cheeks and T-zone after cleansing are great for this. The pre-soaked pads are textured on one side for a bit of manual, as well as chemical, exfoliation.


BOOST YOUR hydration: Origins Ginzing energy-boosting moisturiser

Whether or not you suffer from dry skin, a good dose of hydration will do wonders for healthy-looking, glowing skin. Origins GinZing feels like dipping your face into a sink full of cool water – it's refreshing and skin-quenching, yet lightweight. Laced with firming panax ginseng and antioxidant-packed coffee bean, think of it as a brightening, early-morning espresso shot for your skin. 


ADD a bit of bronze: Hylamide Glow Booster

Although a little vitamin D is helpful, too much sun exposure is damaging to skin and can cause uneven pigmentation. Instead, Hylamide's genius Glow Radiance Booster triggers the production of our body's own melanocytes (the cells that help us to tan), giving you glowing bronzed, skin without the damage.



"A mist with humectants [moisturisers] is one of my secrets to really ensuring that skin is kept at optimum levels of hydration," says Pixi Beauty's founder, Petra Strand. They feel weightless, can be thrown in your handbag and can be spritzed on over make-up. Caudalie Beauty Elixir is particularly well-loved in the office and smells heavenly, while Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner contains softening aloe and hydrating cucumber to give skin a smooth, radiant canvas, as well as balm mint to cool and lavender to calm.




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