3 Tips To Get Glowing Skin Without Exfoliators: From Supplements To Face Yoga

mbg Beauty Director By Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director
Alexandra Engler is the Beauty Director. Previously she worked at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com.
You Don't Have To Use Exfoliators To Get Glowing Skin: 3 Tips To Help

Exfoliators and glowing skin are practically synonymous in the beauty space. If you're looking for tips on how to liven up your complexion, sloughing off dead skin cells is sure to be one of the top pieces of advice. And while we're all for responsible exfoliation—we must note: It's not for everyone at all times. Personally, I know I can hardly stand more than once a week; if I'm having some sort of flare-up, I have to skip it altogether. 

This puts reactive skin folk in a tricky position: I want that highlighter-like shine—but we want it sans the acids or scrubs, or at the very least, I want gentle alternatives. Where does that leave us? Well, there are several routes to take:

1. Use a supplement with phytoceramides and astaxanthin. 

Smart skin care supplements help optimize health from the inside out by delivering target actives to the cells. As far as what to look for, ingredients run the gamut. However, we're partial to two, in particular, for their role in hydrating and protecting the skin. 

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Cellular beauty has arrived with this revolutionary formula, featuring phytoceramides and astaxanthin.*

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First up is phytoceramides, a plant-derived lipid that can support the delicate skin barrier from within. See, ceramides are naturally present in the skin, and they perform vital functions to keep our skin strong, calm, and supple. However, they can become depleted with age and environmental aggressors. But if you supplement with phytoceramides, you can help manage your natural levels. In one study, participants with clinically dry skin who took a phytoceramide-rich wheat extract oil for three months saw up to a 35% improvement in skin hydration. And you might not even have to wait that long for results; in another clinical trial, participants saw improved skin hydration after just 15 days.

Then, astaxanthin can come in to offer environmental protection and enhance skin cell function. Studies show astaxanthin delays UV-exposure-induced damage* Additionally, in a 16-week clinical trial, participants who supplemented with astaxanthin saw improvements in skin elasticity, while those who did not supplement saw worsening wrinkles.* And again in another, astaxanthin supplementation significantly improved skin elasticity, smoothness, and hydration in just 12 weeks.* Another study found astaxanthin improved skin wrinkles, age spot size, and skin texture.* And in a recent double-blind clinical trial, subjects reported significant improvement in moisture levels (especially around the eyes), overall improved elasticity, and appearance of tone.* We could really go on. 

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2. Try niacinamide, a gentle yet brightening topical. 

There are tons of topicals out there that promise brighter skin. However, so many of them can cause skin sensitization—like acids, retinol, even vitamin C. But the lesser-known, yet growing in popularity, B3 has brightening properties, too. "When applied topically, niacinamide helps reduce the appearance of brown spots, blotchiness, and redness and brightens the overall complexion," says board-certified dermatologist Caren Campbell, M.D. And it does this while also supporting barrier protection: niacinamide supports water retention so moisture stays locked in instead of seeping out.

3. Stick to a regular facial massage habit. 

Getting glowing skin isn't just about fueling it internally—or nurturing it topically. You can also work your phase with massagers, face yoga, or tools (like rollers or gua sha). These all help bring circulation to the face—and with it oxygen, nutrients, and blood flow. 

"Through facial massage, tension around the jaw is released, and tightness in the scalp loosens. Studies even show that massage improves circulation in the face; this helps firm the facial tissue by stimulating muscles, smooths fine lines, and helps aid in lymph flow," says licensed aesthetician Leah Klasovsky. "Not to mention, experts note that massaging in products may allow for deeper penetration of topical creams and serums since you're spending more time working in the elixirs. This all comes together to help achieve a natural glow."

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