Luminous, dewy skin is always in style. But maintaining radiance isn't always easy, especially during fall and winter. Skin continually sheds dead skin cells. However, if this process isn't working efficiently, your complexion can easily become unhealthy, dull, and tired-looking. Here are seven culprits behind lackluster skin and what to do about it:
1. Dead skin cells
The skin sheds millions of dead skin cells every day. Unless you actively remove the ones that don't fall off naturally, you're going to have a dull complexion, no matter your skin tone. This buildup of dead cells creates a dingy layer that prevents your skin from reflecting light.
Solution: Gently exfoliate the skin once or twice a week. Look for scrubs containing sugar, jojoba esters, or pulverized nutshells. Peels that use alpha and beta hydroxy acids are also good because they effectively remove dead skin cells.
Polluted air contains tiny particles, like dirt and sulfur dioxide, that create free radicals on the skin, which damage collagen and cause uneven pigment. When your skin's tone and texture are uneven, it looks dull.
Solution: Wash your face at night, every night. Since exposure to pollution causes inflammation and can disrupt the skin barrier, choose a gentle cleanser that helps nourish the skin. In the morning, load up on serums containing antioxidants like vitamin C.
Stress results in cortisol levels rising, causing the skin to look sallow. This is because, when your fight-or-flight response kicks in, blood flows to your vital organs and not your face.
Solution: Other than relaxing, try a facial massage while you cleanse or apply moisturizer. This'll help stimulate blood flow, adding healthy color and plumping skin.
Without adequate moisture, your skill looks dull and dry. It can also decrease the thickness of the skin. This is partly due to the loss of hydration from below the skin's surface.
Solution: Apply hyaluronic acid serum to the skin and then layer with a moisturizer containing powerful emollients. This creates a thin, transparent film over the skin's surface, resulting in glowing skin.
5. Lack of sleep
During sleep, skin cells repair themselves and regenerate. But, if you don't get enough or interrupted sleep, skin cells can't perform at their optimum.
Solution: Aim to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night to look and feel your best. For even more moisturizing power, apply a hydrating overnight face mask weekly.
6. Matte makeup
Over-mattifying cosmetics can reduce that glowy appearance. A little oil is needed for that. You should also skip makeup removers containing alcohol since they can be overly drying.
Solution: Use a foundation or BB cream that has light-reflecting pigments. That'll make your skin appear more luminous and dewy.
It's true -- you are what you eat. Salty and processed foods contribute to tissue swelling through fluid retention, which causes a dull, unhealthy complexion. Refined sugars and fats also cause inflammation in the skin.
Solution: Eat a diet rich in antioxidants, healthy fats, whole grains, and lean proteins, such as red beans, blueberries, broccoli, tofu, brown rice, and avocadoes.
Achieve glowing skin effortlessly
The secret to achieving glowing skin is ensuring you follow a healthy diet, get enough sleep, and reduce stressors as much as possible. You should also invest in high-quality skincare products that contain emollients, antioxidants, exfoliators, and SPF. Follow these tips, and you'll be well on your way to radiant skin all year long.
- "7 Reasons Your Skin Looks Dull -- and How to Get a Glowing Complexion," Allure, June 8, 2019.
- "The 9 Sneaky Reasons Your Skin Looks Dull -- and How to Fix It," Good Housekeeping, April 18, 2019.