How to get the holiday glow all year long

Healthy, bronzed skin plump with hydration, with a hint of shimmer, is how most people describe the holiday glow.

It’s the look that one would have after spending a few weeks relaxing on a daybed on the shores of a distant island somewhere in the summer.

Despite society’s many advancements, secrets of how best to maintain and care for our skin – the largest organ in the human body – are still only just being uncovered. Take, for example, the range of ingredients to have garnered popularity over the last three decades – everything from antioxidant-rich snail mucin to exfoliating salicylic acid.

What most of us want from these ingredients is protection from the sun and other elements, pore minimisation, blemish and pigmentation reduction, hydration, care for the cells beneath our skin’s outer surface and, most importantly, a healthy outer glow reflecting the skin’s inner and outer health.


Rest is one of the single biggest contributors to our overall health and it has benefits for our skin too. It is recommended that to receive the advantages that sleep has for our skin, at least 8 hours of rest should be taken every night. While we rest our bodies repair our skin, turn over cells and produce collagen. Sleep also contributes to the reduction of the stress hormone cortisol which is thought to stimulate blemish-causing oil production through the sebaceous glands.

Vitamin D 

Vitamin D aids skin through its work in creating a protective barrier on the skins’ outer layer which helps to filter out the sun’s harmful rays. It also works to aid the cellular reproduction cycle and stimulates antioxidant defences. Some sources say that Vitamin D3, in particular, works to brighten skin and reduce dullness. It is widely known that exposure to the sun promotes the production of skin-boosting Vitamin D, D3 in particular however during the colder months, this same effect can be reproduced by taking Vitamin D3 supplements.


Nature has afforded a range of natural contributors to skin health, many of which come in the form of fresh whole foods and oils. “Just like with other health concerns, many common skin concerns can be addressed through a healthy diet and gut. It is recommended that fresh foods be used before supplements where possible to promote glowing skin” says Sabashni Naidoo, Managing Director at Amani Spa Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront.

“Particularly beneficial are nuts, seeds, healthy fats such as salmon and probiotic-rich foods like sprouts, kimchi, sauerkraut and miso as well as green leafy vegetables. One should also never discount antioxidant-rich ingredients like red peppers, blackberries and grapes with seeds,” adds  Naidoo.


Achieving a healthy glow through the removal of dead skin cells has long been a popular method for attaining a healthy glow. Salt, sugar and coffee scrubs have become popular methods for exfoliation but should never replace the daily use of a cotton cloth when bathing.

Other non-physical forms of dead cell removal include exfoliating BHAs, salicylic acid and tretinoin.  Be careful to always test ingredients on a small patch of less sensitive skin such as the forearm a day before using them on your face. Exfoliation with physical products such as cloths, back scrubs or pumice stones should always be done gently to avoid over-exfoliation.


“Contrary to popular belief, hydration is achieved through a mixture of salts, water and electrolytes being absorbed into the body. While it is important to drink plenty of water, food also plays an important role in adding hydration to the skin,” comments Naidoo. Some recommend including electrolyte-rich foods in diet such as those containing potassium, sodium and magnesium. Great examples of these foods are sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, spinach, bananas, milk and mushrooms.


Self-tan is made using a mixture of henna and other moisturising ingredients. It is widely used to replicate a glowing sun-tanned look and can also help to even out the appearance of blemishes and stretch marks and give pigmented skin an even glow. Many retailers now stock self-tan in varying shades of tan for use on white and brown skin tones. Tips for using self-tan are to make sure the skin is dry and skin that has not been moisturised before applying and if not going to a spa for application, make sure to utilise a self-tan mitt or brush to give your skin a non-streaky look after application.


While it might seem counterintuitive to achieving a sun-kissed glow, using sunscreen is an important step in everyone’s daily skincare routine. It not only helps to protect skin from getting burnt but also protects against the sun’s harmful rays. “Overexposure to the sun can lead to skin dryness, hyperpigmentation and cancer. Make sure to use a daily moisturiser which contains at least SPF 20 and when enjoying time in the sun look for higher SPFs such as 40 to 50,” recommends  Naidoo.


While there is no one method used to boost the appearance of our skin, there are many tools that one can use to promote its overall health. Done together these will aid in giving skin much-needed care and contribute to its healthy appearance no matter what the season.

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