5 tips for pretty, glowy skin (the best part? they each cost very little!)

Advertisers might have us believing we need to invest a lot of money and time into beauty treatments in order to have nice skin. In my experience, however, most dermatologists recommend just a handful of products (which always include sunscreen and retinol) and we forget about the little health habits that can have a beautiful effect on our skin.

5 tips you can try for pretty, glowy skin include:

1. Hydrate!

Drinking lots of water for beautiful skin is one of those pieces of advice that floats between being perceived as a myth to being the solution for clear skin. Anecdotally we have all heard actresses claim that drinking tons of water is why they have lovely skin, but is it really true?

In 2018, a meta analysis concluded that drinking water “may increase stratum corneum hydration” but added that more research was needed. Some might see this is evidence that water doesn’t do much for skin, but I think there’s no harm if there are potential benefits.

When I gave blood, the nurses would always tell me to drink lots of water during the day before I donated. Water allowed my donations to go more quickly because circulation was increased. If drinking water helped my blood flow more easily, wouldn’t there be benefits for circulation to the skin?

2. Sleep deeply

This is one that I struggle with, deeply! Ever since that horrifying 2010 British Medical Journal study found that sleep-deprived people were rated less healthy and less attractive (😬) I’ve been very aware of how sleep affects our looks.

Dr. Michael Breus, a sleep researcher, notes that we need deep sleep to secret growth hormone, which “acts like a natural cosmetic, restoring skin elasticity, smoothing wrinkles, and tending to hair and nails.” (139)

Sleep more deeply to wake up with healthier and happier skin!

3. Massage your Skin

While there isn’t a ton of research to support the practice (a few small pilot studies), face massage naturally increases micro circulation to the skin and relaxes tense muscles in the face (potentially smoothing tension lines). Read my latest blog post for more on the topic and some techniques to try!

4. Walk in the fresh air

Walking is a great way to boost your mood, exercise your body and get fresh air. Gayelord Hauser (bless him) wrote a great deal about walking in his 1961 beauty book Mirror, Mirror on the Wall. He lists celebrities who love to walk (from Marlene Dietrich to Ingrid Bergman) and promotes the mood-boosting effects of walking. He even believed strolling in the rain for a lovely glow (with a reference to the ‘English Rose’ complexion).

5. Practice Inversions

Inversions can be as simple as a forward fold or as challenging as headstand. Inversions are believed to bring fresh blood flow to the head, improve lymphatic drainage and increase energy. I’ve heard inversions described as cleaning the skin from within and, while I could not find any research on the topic, inversions do leave me with rosy cheeks and glowy skin. Of course inversions are not for everyone so be mindful when attempting to practice.

Gayelord Hauser was a proponent of inversion tables or slant boards where the legs would be elevated above the head for the same benefits.

I will forever remember my elementary school physical education teacher telling us that if did a headstand every day we would never have bad skin. Perhaps she was on to something!


Akdeniz, M, Tomova-Simitchieva, T, Dobos, G, Blume-Peytavi, U, Kottner, J. Does dietary fluid intake affect skin hydration in healthy humans? A systematic literature review. Skin Res Technol. 2018; 24: 459– 465.

Axelsson, John et al. “Beauty Sleep: Experimental Study on the Perceived Health and Attractiveness of Sleep Deprived People.” BMJ341.7786 (2010): 1287–1289.

Breus Michael. Good Night : The Sleep Doctor’s 4-Week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health. Penguin Group 2006.

Hauser Gayelord. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1961.

Okuda, Itsuko et al. “Objective Analysis of the Effectiveness of Facial Massage Using Breakthrough Computed Tomographic Technology: A Preliminary Pilot Study.” Skin research and technology28.3 (2022): 472–479.

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