How To Get Dewy Skin Naturally — Without Makeup

We love fresh, beautiful skin without foundation, and we’ve done a lot of clinical research to figure out how to get your skin red-carpet ready without makeup. Are you ready to learn from skincare experts how you can get dewy, glassy, red-carpet skin naturally?

In this article you’ll find:

  • What is Dewy Skin
  • How do I make my skin look flawless without makeup?
  • Myths and facts about dewy skin.
  • Steps to get dewy skin naturally.
  • Types of products that help achieve dewy skin.
  • Makeup expert tips on mastering dewy skin.
  • Unexpected and secret tips to get dewy skin (sharing is caring!).
  • Your 30-Second Guide to the Ultimate Instagram-Worthy Dewy Skin.

What is Dewy Skin?

Dewy skin is naturally healthy and is smooth, with tight pores. A smooth, tight surface refracts light well, giving skin a dewy, glowing appearance.

To get smooth skin with tight pores, you need a consistent skincare routine focused on rejuvenating and revitalizing your skin.

When most people think of “red-carpet skin,” the term they use is “dewy.” Think of Scarlett Johansson or Portia di Rossi: Their skin is fresh, glowing, and wrinkle-free. To put it another way, think of grass at the end of a long, hot summer day. Your lawn looks wilted, tired, and maybe even brown. Now, think about grass first thing in the morning, when it’s covered in dew, making it look full, vibrant, and perky. This is the way we want our skin to look all the time. This is dewy skin.

“Drink a bunch of water and get facials regularly. I take care of my skin.” — Angela Bassett

What you need to get dewy skin is a great skincare routine. Once you have healthy skin, you can pile on the makeup (if you want to). The benefit at that point is that you will have a strong skin base to start from and you’ll need less makeup and, particularly, foundation. As CEO Kristina Libby likes to say, “Free the Skin!” You don’t need foundation caked on to get a perfect complexion — you need to first get a perfect complexion with fresh, dewy skin.

We all have different motivations for wanting dewy, glassy skin:

  • Instagram-worthy photos
  • The red-carpet award season
  • Weddings
  • Date nights
  • Overall health and well-being
  • Self-confidence

Whatever your reason, we all know that having healthy, glowing, smooth skin makes us feel good about ourselves. In fact, one of the top reasons that people feel “old” is because they are dissatisfied with their skin.

If you want to learn more about why your skin looks unhealthy or dull, read this article in the Journal of Pathology. On a high level, when skin looks dull, it’s often because of a build-up of dead skin cells on the surface. Dulling can be a result of aging and/or poor skincare, but it can be combated with healthy skin practices.

“I’m a big believer in that if you focus on good skincare, you really won’t need a lot of makeup.” — Demi Moore

Myths About Dewy Skin

There are a lot of myths about how to get dewy skin:

  • You can only achieve it with makeup.
  • You need to try ludicrous, over-the-top skincare procedures like sheep’s blood facials or products that use snake venom or placenta.
  • You have to apply oils multiple times per day.
  • You must constantly carry a face mist or a face oil.
  • You should do face cardio and go to a face gym.
  • You should apply a small amount of Vaseline multiple times per day.
  • You must use bee propolis throughout the day.
  • You must drink coconut water to get dewy skin.

Facts About Achieving Dewy Skin

The facts about dewy skin are simple:

  • Dewy skin is healthy skin.
  • It can be achieved without foundation or an excessive amount of makeup.
  • It doesn’t require a ton of money.
  • Dewy skin is not necessarily soft skin, but the products that help you achieve dewy skin can also soften your skin.
  • It is well-nourished with a balanced pH level.
  • Natural dewy skin doesn’t happen overnight — it takes months.
  • You will need follow a simple skincare routine.
  • You must eat well.
  • You must drink enough water to stay hydrated internally and topically — i.e., you must drink enough water and moisturize your skin to ensure a long-lasting dewy glow.
  • You must get enough sleep.

Additionally, you can consider things like:

  • Skin-brightening treatments, serums, or facial washes
  • Stimulating cell growth and regeneration
  • Massages for both face and body to help with lymphatic drainage
  • Using products that have illuminating particles (largely makeup-related)

How Do I Make my Skin Look Dewy and Flawless Naturally Without Makeup?

Flawless skin is dewy — or, as is popular in K-beauty, “glassy” — skin that glows from the inside. It looks healthy, alive, and nourished. To get flawless skin without makeup, you need to follow these simple rules:

Cleanse. Cleansing your skin is an essential part of any skincare routine. For dewy skin, you’ll want to make sure to use a gentle cleanser. We recommend this Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser or Well Within’s Soothe + Soften Cleansing Emulsion. However, you may want to consider an oil-based cleanser that has products like marula oil, jasmine oil, almond oil, lavender oil, avocado oil, or argan oil as the base ingredient. These cleansers don’t have any alcohol- or water-based elements and instead cleanse using oil. You can make an oil-based cleanser at home if you can’t find one in the stores that meets your beauty needs. To do so, use your favorite base oil product and add castor oil at a ratio of 9:1 for dry skin, 8:2 for normal skin, or 7:3 for more oily skin.

    Tone. A toner can hydrate and reduce pore size. Not everyone needs a toner — however, it’s a good step for those who have large pores or oily or acne-prone skin. Toner also helps to regulate pH levels that may have been knocked off-kilter, brings back lost moisture, and tightens skin. When your pores are smaller and well-balanced, your skin refracts light better, appears smoother, and gains a natural glow.

      Exfoliate. Exfoliating a few times a week will help improve all-over skin texture by removing dead skin cells, prompting your skin to generate new cells that are fuller-looking and appear brighter in real life (or onscreen). The fuller your skin, the more light is refracted, resulting in a dewy or glass-like texture. We recommend this  Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze made with blackcurrant and calendula.

      Moisturize. Moisturizing after cleansing is essential for your skin’s overall dewy potential. You’ll want to look for an oil or serum full of products that moisturize and plump skin and improve its tone. This means it will likely have marula oil, plum oil, black seed oil, tamanu oil, or other powerhouse oil bases.
      While serums are everywhere as of late, you may not know exactly what they are. A serum is a product that rapidly absorbs into and permeates your skin, bringing more vital and active nutrients to the skin’s deeper layers. Therefore, serums provide more benefits than products that are applied topically, absorb more slowly, and penetrate only the top layer of the skin. Generally, they have higher dosages of active ingredients than other products and are identified by their ingredients’ benefits — i.e., deep moisturizing, brightening, plumping, etc. — which are dictated by the active particles within the formula.

      However, the amount you moisturize and the products you use are likely to change seasonally. Heavier moisturizers are needed in the winter if you live in a place with dry, cold weather. Summer often brings a more humectant climate, reducing the need for heavy moisturizing products on most skin types. Switching your products seasonally helps to ensure the smoothest, brightest, most luminescent skin.

      Use sunscreen. Dewy skin is healthy skin, and healthy skin is protected skin. Get sunscreen. You should wear the highest SPF that you can; however, we recommend anything over a 30 SPF for daily use. Apply daily before you leave the house and throughout the day if needed. For those who spend a lot of time outside, you should continue to apply regularly. We like this sunscreen from Hint because of its natural formulation.


      Do you know that many sunscreens have a lot of chemicals in them? Chemical sunscreens use one (or sometimes more) chemicals ingredients like oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, homosalate, octocrylene, and octinoxate. Many chemicals in sunscreen are estrogenic and endocrine disruptors, meaning they may interfere with hormonal processes in the body (like your thyroid). You should be particularly careful of the 96% of sunscreens that contain oxybenzone, which is a known endocrine disruptor. Because of this, finding all-natural sunscreens and products that are UVA/UVB protectant is essential. Indulge. Routine masks, overnight masks, LED treatments, and visits to the dermatologist are essential for dewy, glowing skin. You’ll want to consider things like laser treatments, facials, and other common practices as recommended by your doctor. In addition, you can supplement your skincare routine with at-home treatments — a perfect way to spend your Sunday night. A simple DIY mask can be made using cactus (one of our favorite skincare ingredients), aloe vera, and honey! Find the recipe here.
      For more options, check out the selection at our favorite store CAP Beauty.

      Why should you include masks?

      Masks are a great way to provide deep nutrients to your skin. There are a lot of masks to choose from — hydrating masks to give your skin an extra hydration boost (good for glowing skin!), clay masks to draw out pollutants and other impurities, exfoliating masks to slough off dead skin and draw out deep impurities, and more. Each can help you based on your specific skin type and the skin aesthetic you are going for.

      What dermatologist treatments should you include?

      There are many popular treatments, including lasers, LED treatments, and more. For a full list of treatments, please consult a licensed professional who can help you figure out the best solution for your skin type and overall skin health and wellness. Treatments that particularly improve dewy skins are those that help with your skin tone, reduce your pore size, and remove dead skin cells.


      However, great dewy skincare doesn’t stop at the basics of skin maintenance.

      The other reason for skin to glow is because of exertion. When you exert yourself, your circulation increases and sweat cleans out your glands while blood flows to the skin’s surface, giving you a boost of color. Athletes often have this dewy look post-workout. While you’re welcome to run a 5K before work, you can get this look all day long if you follow a healthy skincare regime.

      To get healthy skin, you need to think about holistic wellness. Holistic wellness is your entire healthy routine, which means sleeping enough, drinking enough water, and reducing overall stress.


      To get healthy, dewy skin, you’ll need to:


      Drink more water. For your skin to look plump and full, you’ll need to stick to or surpass the recommended eight glasses of water a day, and, no, that doesn’t mean coffee. However, while it’s not medically proven, many people argue that drinking tea every day helps improve overall skin health. Drink less alcohol. Have you ever gone overboard with the drinks for a few days and noticed your body feels squishy and your skin looks sallow? That’s because alcohol dries you inside and out. To get glowing skin like Kerry Washington, cut back. (Kerry notoriously only drinks a few times a year.)

      • Eat well. Science has shown that a diet high in fruits and vegetables — and their numerous vitamins and nutrients (like beta-carotene) — improves overall skin tonality. That means smaller pores, plumper skin, and, ultimately, dewy skin that refracts light. So load up on the fruits and vegetables for a myriad of reasons, at least one of which is glassy skin.
      • Rest. Skin health isn’t always dependent on doing more — sometimes, it’s good to do less. Take time to find rest and refuge in your daily life. These practices will improve overall skin and physical wellness. As your skin de-stresses, you’ll notice it naturally plump and tone, resulting in a dewy glow.
      • Sleep. Arianna Huffington and others have become the champions of sleep. Sleep allows your body to naturally reduce the levels of cortisol, which can lead to the inflammation that is the arch nemesis of dewy skin. You’ll need to get seven or more hours of sleep.
      • Take vitamins. Our skin may not get all the nutrients it needs from the food we eat. If that’s the case for you, you’ll want to also add a beauty vitamin routine to your daily practice. Vitamins C, D, and fish oil have been proven to help improve overall skin wellness. Vitamin C can promote collagen synthesis and fight oxidative stress. Vitamin D regulates your skin’s natural immune protective mechanism and has been shown to impact the aging process. Insufficient levels of Vitamin D can lead to brittle nails and dull skin. Finally, fish oil has been proven to reduce inflammation and help prevent eczema flare-ups. There are a variety of vitamin options to consider, but we like these by Well Within.

      To help you, we’ve also created a short video on our top five tips for creating healthy skin. Watch it here.


      The Best Make-Up Tips to Get Dewy Skin

      So, you want an even more flawless look? Makeup can take your natural skin and punch it up for photo ops, videos, or anything where you’d like a completely smooth complexion.

      • Top makeup artist Pat McGrath uses gold and bright pink pigments to create dewy looks.
      • A light foundation layer will help you look dewy, but too much makeup can take things from fresh-looking to cakey.
      • Contour lightly, relying on the natural structure of your face.. An overly contoured look doesn’t help skin look dewy.
      • Pink lips help to create an all-over dewy look that’s fresh, warm, and natural.
      • Apply a face mist, which is a light spray that gives instant (but short-lived) topical hydration. This is something people swear is a must-have for travel.

      The Best Unexpected Tips to Get Dewy Make-Up

      Are you looking for something a little extra to help you get that natural dewy glow? The below tips aren’t fixes, but they can be added to your skin and wellness routine to give an added burst of dewiness.

          • Apply Burt’s Bees chapstick on your cheeks. Its light pink color gives you a natural flush and the oil from the balm helps to highlight your cheekbones and create a natural-looking dew.
          • Use a light oil. You can spritz your skin with a light, easily absorbed oil to give an instant dewy, all-over glow.
          • Massage with ice cubes. Ice cubes naturally stimulate the surface of your skin and give you an instant dewy, flushed look. It’s short-lived, but great for impromptu photos.
          • Apply Manuka honey. Manuka honey is an anti-inflammatory and anti-redness skincare secret. Packed with antibacterial properties and amino acids, it helps reduce redness and unclog pores while balancing the skin’s natural pH.
          • Exfoliate and wash with a face cloth. The gentle texture acts as an exfoliant and can instantly polish your skin.
          • Give yourself a steam facial in the shower. Use the shower as a steam facial and wash your face there. Plus, who has time to do it somewhere else? Details here.
          • Mouth stretches and facial yoga. To be honest, this seems over the top, but many people swear by the benefits of facial yoga and mouth stretching to keep their skin tight and firm. It’s also the premise for Face Gym, a concept store that does work-out style facials. Our CEO, Kristina Libby, recently visited the gym and noticed an immediate impact on her skin tone: “I saw a lift in my cheekbones and a tightness in my skin from their electro-current therapy. It could potentially help create greater improvements over time.”
          • Acupressure. Acupressure has a “heavenly glow” point that’s below the bottom of the ear, just behind the jawbone. Put pressure on the point for a few moments; repeat as necessary. If you apply pressure regularly, it’s supposed to improve skin luster, tone your facial skin, and reduce wrinkles.
          • Acupuncture. Using 40-70 tiny needles, acupuncture specialists puncture the skin, creating microtraumas that stimulate your lymphatic and circulatory systems and prompt your body to begin the process of healing and repairing. This increases oxygen in your cells and delivers nutrients that nourish the skin from the inside out. This will even out your complexion, produce collagen, improve elasticity, and promote an overall glow.
          • Magnesium: We call this the sleep superdrug. Ingested before bedtime, this mineral can help you get deep sleep for the full recommended eight hours. Everyone in our company swears by it.

      What to Steer Clear of When Getting Dewy Skin

      If you’re taking care of your skin and yourself, you don’t want to destroy the results with bad makeup or lifestyle practices. In order to keep your skin glowing and happy, avoid the following:

      • Matte foundation, which will make your face appear sallow and less dewy — so be sure to use it sparingly (or for a different makeup aesthetic overall).
      • Powder. Unless you are overly shiny, it will make your face look dry. To ensure dewy skin, do not use any powders.
      • Foods that are known to cause breakouts or denigrate your skin, like dairy, processed carbohydrates, excessive sugars, and — if you can cut it out — coffee. All of these can reduce the appearance of soft, supple skin by either directly or indirectly impacting its overall health.


      The 30-Second Guide to the Ultimate Instagram-Worthy Dewy Skin


      While we all want to achieve year-round dewy skin, sometimes what we most care about is the perfect Insta moment. Even for all our talk of holistic wellness, we know how much a photo matters. It can be your whole day’s make-or-break moment.

      5 Steps to an Instagram Worthy Dewy Skin Glow

      To get an instant dewy glow for Instagram, follow these five quick steps:

      1. Drink coffee or a hot caffeinated beverage 5-6 minutes before the photo
      2. Massage your “heavenly glow” acupressure point
      3. Quickly rub an ice cube along your face
      4. Apply a touch of Burt’s Bees to your cheeks
      5. Spritz with a face mist

      You’ll instantly enjoy your Halle Berry-like celebrity glow in your next Instagram shot. Make sure to tag us @Lohmskincare!