When it comes to skin care, everyone has different goals. Some want to achieve clear skin free of blemishes, and others want to reduce the signs of aging. One common skin goal—especially during the winter—is maintaining the appearance of dewy, glowing skin.

In the summer, radiant skin is easier to achieve. The skin glistens and glows from the sunlight and rising temperatures. In cooler seasons, figuring out how to get dewy skin takes a little more effort, but it's possible if you know your skin type and address your skin's needs amid the seasonal changes.

What Is Dewy Skin?

The key word here is "dew." Dew is a form of moisture—little droplets of water that appear on objects or surfaces, such as the grass, due to condensation.

If you liken dewy-looking skin to the morning dew, your understanding of it may get a lot clearer. While dewy skin isn't characterized by actual water drops forming on the skin's surface, it does paint a picture of very hydrated and glowing skin. Dewy-looking skin has a natural, youthful glow. As you move, the light hits your face and bounces off your skin in a flattering way.

Dewy-looking skin can sometimes be confused with oily skin. Oily skin is a skin type that will naturally appear shiny throughout the whole face. Skin that's dewy may look shiny in certain areas, such as the cheekbones and tip of the nose, but it's more balanced. It doesn't look overly greasy like oily skin sometimes can; instead, it has just the right amount of hydration, making skin appear healthy and youthful.

How to Get Dewy Skin in Cooler Weather

You can mimic the dewy look with makeup techniques, such as using a radiant foundation and highlighter on your high points, but you can also achieve it naturally with proper skin care. Consider the following tips to get dewy, healthy skin in the winter months.

1. Learn Your Skin Type

Your skin type will influence a lot of the decisions you make about how to care for your skin year-round. So, when trying to achieve that dewy look, remember your skin type matters.

People with dry and oily skin types have opposite conditions to work with. Dry skin lacks oil, and oily skin lacks water. However, oil and water are equally necessary for healthy skin. Both skin types should use a mix of hydrating and moisturizing skin care products, which will offer balance and help give the appearance of dewy, glowing skin.

If you have dry skin, a hydrating skin care regimen consisting of a cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer, oil, and sunscreen can create the illusion of dewy and radiant skin. Over time, your skin may respond well to the routine, increasing levels of moisture, so you start to glow naturally from within.

You might assume that oily skin is already dewy, but remember the two are not the same. If your skin is oily, you need to balance it out with hydration. Excess oil can cause makeup to break up on the skin, and skin may appear shiny all throughout the face. To combat excess oil, consider using oil-free products that are also hydrating, like the EltaMD Skin Recovery Essence Toner. Blotting or powdering certain parts of the face, like the center of the forehead and the inner cheeks, may help reduce excess shine. Regular cleansing and exfoliating are also important for keeping excess oil at bay.

2. Consider the Season

There are many trends in skin care and makeup that rotate like the seasons. Dewy, glowing skin is usually trending during the warmer months when skin naturally appears more luminous. In cooler months, when dry skin takes over, maintaining dewy-looking skin can be a challenge.

In the winter, dry skin can benefit from facial oils or skin care products that contain squalane, like the EltaMD Skin Recovery Light Moisturizer. Squalane is especially beneficial for dry skin in cooler seasons given that it softens dryness and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, which are more noticeable when your skin is dry. It's a moisturizing ingredient that's oil-soluble. Use your squalane product toward the end of your routine to help lock in your thinner skin care applications, like toners and serums.

Oily skin can still get dry, so maintaining that dewy look may be difficult for your oily skin—because you run the risk of going overboard with too much moisture. When there isn't enough water content in your skin, oil production goes into overdrive, making your skin appear extra shiny.

3. Keep Skin Hydrated and Moisturized

Hydration and moisture levels are indicators of general skin health—although your skin type can cause an imbalance. If dewy-looking skin is your goal, your skin care routine should contain a mix of hydrating and moisturizing products.

Begin your routine with gentle hydrating options. Even your facial cleanser should be gentle so it doesn't strip your skin. Look for toners and serums that contain hyaluronic acid. Sodium hyaluronate, a form of hyaluronic acid, is a key ingredient in the EltaMD Skin Recovery Serum. It helps retain moisture and supports skin barrier health, which contributes to the dewiness you want.

Dry skin might also benefit from the practice of slugging. The EltaMD Moisturizer is perfect for this trend, which involves applying a thick layer of an occlusive moisturizer containing petrolatum. (Note: Slugging may be too moisturizing for oily skin.)

4. Use a Hydrating Sunscreen

Even in cooler weather, you shouldn't leave the house without applying sunscreen. The sun is still shining in the colder months and can actually bounce off snow, rain, and clouds. If you're going for the dewy look, opt for a sunscreen that adds brightness and luminosity while offering sun protection. The EltaMD UV Glow Broad-Spectrum SPF 36 is an aptly named sunscreen that creates the gorgeous dewy, glowing skin of your dreams.

Dewy skin is so appealing because it's a sign of well hydrated, healthy skin. You may have to adjust your routine based on your skin type and the season, but soon, you'll be glowing from the inside out.


  • Lacey Muinos

    Lacey is a Southern California-based freelance writer who combines her passions—fitness, health, and a vegan lifestyle—with her work to help readers feel and be their best. Her work has been featured in Healthline, Livestrong, Verywell Fit, Eat This Not That, KinderBeauty, and more.

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