Experts Explain What It Is And How To Achieve It

If you’re into all things skincare, you may have already heard of the term “glazed donut skin.” For the uninitiated, the term has been all over social media these last few months, and it’s been popularized by skincare enthusiasts like New York-based aesthetician and content creator Tiara Willis and Rhode Skin founder Hailey Bieber to describe skin that is undeniably glowing, radiant, and vibrant.

“My standard when I go to bed at night is if I’m not getting into bed looking like a glazed donut, then I’m not doing the right thing,” Bieber said in a recent YouTube video detailing her skincare routine.

The term is pretty self-explanatory—it’s a fancy way of describing glowy skin. But if you’re curious about what you can incorporate into your skincare routine to achieve the look, WH got answers straight from a few trusted sources.

Meet our experts: Tiara Willis, a New York-based aesthetician and content creator, Mona Gohara, MD, associate clinical professor for the department of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine, Reneé Rouleau, celebrity aesthetician and founder of Reneé Rouleau Skin Care.

What is glazed donut skin?

According to New York-based aesthetician Tiara Willis, glazed donut skin is “shiny, dewy, (borderline greasy) and hydrated skin.”

Rouleau adds, “Essentially, it’s what us oily-skinned people have always had and tried to manage by mattifying it with oil-blotting papers, but now we’re in style! For years, people would always tell me that my skin had such a glow to it, and I would simply say, ‘Thank my oil production for this!'”

Think of the trend as a way of getting that glow you love from your favorite highlighter—minus the makeup—plus all the feel-good products your skin loves to soak up.

How can I achieve glazed donut skin?

“To get that glazed glow, your skin can’t be ashy, dull, or dry. It has to be hydrated and moisturized,” says Willis. ICYDK, she’s a big fan of rich moisturizers and ointments like the CeraVe Healing Ointment. Rouleau also recommends using “gentle, non-drying products as well as barrier-repairing products” to ensure that your moisture barrier remains intact.

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If your skin doesn’t vibe with thicker ointments, Willis recommends gel-based products on damp skin instead such as Peach & Lily Glass Skin Serum, Cosrx Snail Mucin, Paula’s Choice Resist Super Antioxidant Serum, and Ixora Botanical Beauty Sea Moss & Centella Calming Gel Toner. And for sunscreen, Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50.

For a long-term glow, Dr. Gohara recommends Dove Beauty Bar as a gentle cleanser that moisturizes skin while keeping it clean. Follow that up with L’Oreal’s Revitalift Serum. “Hyaluronic acid is in our skin naturally and decreases as we age,” she says. “It absorbs water to leave the complexion plump. As it fades, the skin becomes more sallow.”

La Roche Posay Lipikar Triple Repair Moisturizing Body Cream is also a great barrier repair cream that can lock all that moisture in. And if you want to treat yourself, opt for a hydrating sheet mask.

What should my skincare routine look like?

According to Rouleau, your glazed donut skincare routine should go as follows:

  • Step 1: Cleanse with a gentle, low-foaming, sulfate-free face wash or even gentler, use a cleansing lotion.
  • Step 2: Next, wipe over the skin with an alcohol-free toner, ideally with an essence. “An essence is like a toner, but it is serum-infused with water-binding ingredients,” she says. “It has a slippery gel-like texture as opposed to the watery consistency of toner. This really helps to deeply permeate the cell membrane with moisture.”
  • Step 3: Use a hydrating skin serum. Rouleau recommends one with antioxidants such as vitamin C, but if you have sensitive skin, you can use a gentler form like tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate.
  • Step 4: Apply a rich moisturizer like the Reneé Rouleau Glow Enhancing Cream, and follow it with SPF if it’s daytime. “The ideal moisturizer contains emollients, which are lipid-based ingredients that can fortify and imitate your skin’s natural oils,” Rouleau says. “Emollients help fill in any gaps in your skin’s barrier. They ultimately help improve smoothness, softness, hydration, and flexibility within the skin to help give that glowy, shine.” Examples of common emollients include shea butter, squalane, cetyl alcohol, and jojoba oil.
  • Step 5: To really bring the glazed donut look to the skin, mist your skin lightly with a facial essence. “Because essences are serum-infused, when misted lightly over foundation they bring a really nice pop of shine to the skin to give that dewy radiance,” she says.

    Willis also recommends getting regular monthly chemical peels or using a chemical exfoliant a few times a week.

    “At night, cleanse, use a retinoid to increase skin cell turnover to liberate dead skin cells (they leave you looking grey), and moisturize with a cream instead of a lotion,” explains Dr. Gohara. “If you do not have oily skin, use an oil after retinoid, then lock it in with a cream.”

    I have oily skin. Can I achieve the glazed donut look?

    Oily skin or not, you too can look like your best-glazed self. It’s just about finding the right products. In her skincare video, Bieber mentioned that if she’s experiencing breakouts in certain areas, she avoids using heavy products in those spots to dodge causing a bigger flare-up.

    “If you have oily skin that tends to get congested with thick products, I recommend applying gel-based products on damp skin to get the same effects,” says Willis. “Applying an oil rich in linoleic acid like hemp seed oil can also help oily skin achieve a glazed donut look.”

    According to Dr. Gohara, it might also be a good idea to modify your routine by adding a hyaluronic acid serum and light lotion since too many hydrators or heavier creams can clog pores. Rouleau adds that if you have oily skin, you can stick to your regular skincare routine and try out highlighters, brighteners, and facial mists to give yourself a glow.

    “This type of skin can also mist a facial essence on the face since many essences are water-based and shouldn’t add additional oil,” she says.

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