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“Glazed donut skin”: How to get the hydrated look

Moisturizing tips to help your skin look glowy, dewy, and fresh.

Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Jul 6, 2023 • 6 min read
Medically reviewed by Donna McIntyre, NP-BC
young woman with clear skin
Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Jul 6, 2023 • 6 min read
Medically reviewed by Donna McIntyre, NP-BC
We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

Popularized by celebrities and seen all over TikTok these days, “glazed donut” skin is all the rage. The term refers to skin that’s glowy, dewy, and fresh—thanks to skincare, not makeup! The trend puts moisturization front and center, something we’re all about here at Curology. While there’s no defined set of steps to specifically follow if you want to get on the glazed train, here we’ll tell you what you need to know if you’re looking to up the hydration in your skincare routine.

Of course, you’re the expert on your own skin and what your skincare routine looks like is ultimately up to you! Remember, everyone’s skin is unique—the best way to get advice on what’s best for yours is to talk to your dermatology provider.

What is “glazed donut” skin? 

“Glazed donut” skincare is all about looking glossy, shiny, and hydrated. Seen below on model and influencer Hailey Bieber, one of the people who has helped popularize the trend through social media, the look has pushed matte finishes to the side in favor of skin hydration that just won’t quit. Maintaining adequate hydration helps keep your skin barrier intact, which in turn helps your skin look dewier and younger. “Whether you want to look like a glazed donut or just snack on one, taking the time to properly moisturize is vital for your skin’s health!” says Kristen Jokela, a nurse practitioner at Curology.

haley bieber portrait

Potential benefits of hydrating your skin 

Hydrated skin looks—and feels—great. One of the reasons why we love the “glazed donut” makeup look is it promotes moisturizing, which is one of the most essential steps in maintaining intact, healthy skin.¹ According to our experts, these potential benefits should put hydrating at the top of your skincare to-do list: 

  • It may help your skin retain moisture: Topical moisturizers are designed to help increase the skin’s water content, and commonly used ingredients in these products may help prevent transepidermal water loss.²

  • It may nourish your skin: The lipid components of some moisturizers may provide nutrients beneficial to your skin’s overall health.³

  • It may make your skin look and feel better: Moisturizing skin helps improve its appearance and function.⁴

  • It may reduce other skin problems: Moisturizing every day can reduce your chance of developing extremely dry skin or oily skin, both of which may contribute to conditions like acne.⁵

  • It may calm inflammation: If your skin is inflamed, hydrating it may help calm it.⁶

  • It may soothe irritation: If your skin feels tight, painful, or itchy (all symptoms of dryness), applying moisturizer may relieve these symptoms.⁷

  • It may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles: Some hydrating products are designed to help improve the appearance of aging skin.⁸

“Glazed donut” skincare steps 

Again, there are no official steps to get the glazed look, but our dermatology providers very helpfully outlined a potential routine you can follow before bed. These steps will help make your skin look glowing in the morning: 

  1. Cleanse your face: Use a gentle option like the Curology cleanser, or try one of these cleansers for acne-prone skin

  2. Pat it mostly dry: Instead of completely drying your face, leave it slightly damp.

  3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: Apply a serum or a light moisturizer to your damp skin. You may want to try a product containing hyaluronic acid!

  4. Add an occlusive: Layer on an occlusive moisturizer, like Vaseline. Occlusives seal in the products you’ve applied and prevent water loss from the skin.

If you want to achieve this look during the day, add the following steps to your routine after you cleanse, tone, and moisturize in the morning: 

  1. Try an oil: If you prefer not to wear serums and other moisturizers during the day or if you want an extra moisturizing step, apply a few drops of face oil. These are some of our favorites. 

  2. Use sunscreen: Let’s shout it from the rooftops: Never forget your SPF! After applying moisturizer, add your favorite sunscreen on top. Choosing a moisturizing formula may add to the “glazed donut” look. 

  3. Apply an essence: After you get your foundation just right (if you use it), spray an essence mist to finish that “face glaze” beauty look. We’re fans of Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence and Caudalie Vinoperfect Brightening Glycolic Essence.

antiaging emulgion glass

Tips for oily skin 

If you have oily skin, all is not lost—you can still achieve the “glazed donut” look! Switch to lighter products like gels, and avoid pore-clogging ingredients in all your skincare, makeup, and hair products. If you’re using creams that feel too heavy, swap them for hyaluronic acid serums or light lotions, and stick to water-based facial essences. We always recommend reaching out to your dermatology provider for product and routine recommendations. 

The finishing touches

Finally, if you’re going for “glazed donut” skin, there are a few extra things you may want to consider. While these steps aren’t necessary to achieve the dewy skin of your dreams, they do provide additional hydration. If you want to go the extra shiny mile, try the following: 

  • Add a nourishing lip balm: The Curology lip balm hydrates your lips with ingredients to help lock in moisture. It’s also vegan and non-pore-clogging. 

  • Use a lip mask: A handful of our experts swear by using a daily lip mask to keep their lips plump and smooth. Apply it as the last step in your pre-bed skincare routine and pucker up to morning-after results. 

  • Pamper yourself with an eye cream: Complete the overall hydrated look by moisturizing the area around your eyes. Using a product that’s specially formulated for this will help protect your most delicate skin. 

Curology knows skincare trends 

Curology was founded in 2014 by board-certified dermatologists on the belief that everyone’s skin is unique. Whether you’re interested in learning more about skincare trends or achieving your own skincare goals, we’ve got your back.

curology family products

We’re a full-service skincare company offering products made with proven effective ingredients, including those that treat acne, signs of aging, rosacea, and more. Our experts will help take the guesswork out of your skincare routine by creating a personalized prescription formula to help you tackle your skin concerns. Our personalized prescription formulas can include active ingredients like tretinoin, azelaic acid, and niacinamide

Signing up is easy. Just answer a few questions and snap some selfies to help us get to know your skin. If Curology is right for you, we’ll pair you with one of our in-house licensed dermatology providers. The best part? Your new skincare routine can come with any of our recommended products, like our cleanser, moisturizer, or sunscreen.

FAQs

What is “glazed donut” skin?

“Glazed donut” skincare is all about looking glossy, shiny, and hydrated. Maintaining adequate hydration helps keep your skin barrier intact, which in turn helps your skin look dewier and younger.

What are some skincare steps to get a “Glazed donut”?

These steps will help make your skin look glowing in the morning: 

  1. Cleanse your face: Use a gentle option like the Curology cleanser, or try one of these cleansers for acne-prone skin

  2. Pat it mostly dry: Instead of completely drying your face, leave it slightly damp.

  3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: Apply a serum or a light moisturizer to your damp skin.

  4. Add an occlusive: Layer on an occlusive moisturizer, like Vaseline.

If you want to achieve this look during the day, add the following steps to your routine after you cleanse, tone, and moisturize in the morning:

  1. Try an oil: If you prefer not to wear serums and other moisturizers during the day or if you want an extra moisturizing step, apply a few drops of face oil.

  2. Use sunscreen: Let’s shout it from the rooftops: Never forget your SPF! After applying moisturizer, add your favorite sunscreen on top.

  3. Apply an essence: After you get your foundation just right (if you use it), spray an essence mist to finish that “face glaze” beauty look.

• • •

P.S. We did the homework so you don’t have to:

  1. Lodén, M.The clinical benefit of moisturizers. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. (2005).

  2. Harwood, A., et al. Moisturizers. StatPearls. (2022).

  3. Bouslimani, A., et al. The impact of skin care products on skin chemistry and microbiome dynamics. BMS Biology. (2019).

  4. Harwood, A., et al. Moisturizers. StatPearls. Ibid.

  5. The Importance of Moisturizing. The University of Tennessee Medical Center. (2018).

  6. Sethi, A., et al. Moisturizers - the slippery road.Indian J Dermatol. Ibid.

  7. Sethi, A., et al. Moisturizers - the slippery road.Indian J Dermatol. Ibid.

  8. Sethi, A., et al. Moisturizers - the slippery road.Indian J Dermatol. Ibid.

Donna McIntyre is a board-certified nurse practitioner at Curology. She obtained her Master of Science in Nursing at MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, MA.

* Subject to consultation. Subscription is required. Results may vary. 

• • •
Our medical review process:We’re here to tell you what we know. That’s why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyone’s skin is unique—the best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.
Our policy on product links:Empowering you with knowledge is our top priority. Our reviews of other brands’ products in this post are not paid endorsements—but they do meet our medically fact-checked standards for ingredients (at the time of publication).
Curology Team Avatar

Curology Team

Donna McIntyre, NP-BC

Donna McIntyre, NP-BC

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