THE IN-TRAY

The two skincare products you *need* for glowing skin

When it comes to beauty, we have it all. This month, we’re inviting you to brush up on your beauty alphabet with the MECCA A-Z of Beauty. G is for glow: for radiant, happy skin that beams with health? Exfoliate, hydrate and glow.

Sure, good skin can be hereditary, but two specific genres of skincare will get you there—‘there’ being clear, glowing, blessed-by-an-angel-skin—regardless of your DNA. And that’s precisely why you need to understand the almighty powers of exfoliating peels and dew-defying glow drops.

In their own unique ways—peels taking away to add glow, and drops adding-to—these illuminating skincare game-changers are the epitome of ‘glow’ in a bottle, pad, dropper, or pump. For the sake of good-skin-kind, please keep reading.

EXFOLIATING PEELS

While you might be glowing within, a layer of dull, dead skin cells can stop the world from seeing that glow on the outside. Dissolve them away with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic and lactic acids, salicylic acid; a beta hydroxy acid (BHA), or fruit-derived enzymes, and nothing—we repeat, nothing—will stop your glow.

Enter the not-so-humble peel. The balagan of a physical, ‘bitsy’ scrub is ditched for an acid or enzyme-powered solution that sweeps over your face to fizzle out texture and dullness.

Dr. Dennis Gross’ Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel—a two-step system that everyone who has ever worked at MECCA will gladly chew your ear off about—is a fail-proof option to shed away that outer layer in an instant (two minutes, technically). Start gentle, and work your way up to extra strength.

If you like a peel pad, goop’s GOOPGLOW 15% Glycolic Acid Overnight Glow Peel is a top choice, too—it refines, retexturises and brightens in just one step, and has been proven to maintain healthy skin barrier function (something you should keep at top of mind when experimenting with acids).

READ MORE: What does stronger skin mean, anyway? And why does it matter?

For a wash-off option (opt here if you’re the sensitive type), look to Verso’s Enzyme Peel. It’s part-mask-part-peel, combining acids, enzymes, and skin-clearing niacinamide in a cooling gel that works to accelerate skin cell renewal in its three-minute call time.

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GLOW DROPS

Drops of skincare goodness that, well, make you glow. Almost-kind-of bridging the gap between makeup and skincare, a glow drop—typically formulated with hydrating hyaluronic acid and brightening niacinamide—plumps, hydrates and nourishes the skin while leaving a visibly glassy, light-reflecting and sometimes shimmery effect that doesn’t completely soak into your skin. “I’m not like other serums!” it would say.

Glow or ‘dew’ drops can act as a skincare cheat-sheet—delivering on a juicy, fountain-of-youth-type glow even if you’ve skipped the groundwork of exfoliation and moisturisation (but we won’t tell anyone).

If you’re on TikTok, you probably already own Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Dew Drops, a watermelon-spiked highlighting face serum that gives skin the most amazing dewy glow, sans glitter, pearls, or mica. Point blank it’s a no-makeup must have, but also makes for an incredibly good foundation and/or concealer base.

READ MORE: 7 watermelon beauty products in honour of the great Harry Styles

Like everything from Dr. Barbara Sturm, their Glow Drops didn’t come to play. Working at a molecular level to build bounce and radiance into the skin (think hyaluronic, purslane and vitamin B5), they take a layered approach to glow, nourishing deeply while lingering on the surface with light-reflecting pigments.

If you love a bit of bronzy hue to your glow, Drunk Elephant’s D-Bronzi™ Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops are a go. Pairing vitamin F (a.k.a. linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid rich in omega-6) and virgin marula oil with Theobroma cacao and twinkling mica particles, it’s the kind of product that makes you look alive even when you’re not feeling it.

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