“Have dull skin? A radiant complexion can be yours, thanks to these helpful tips.”
Everyone wants it, but few people are lucky enough to have it: We’re talking about glow-y, lit-from-within, skin. Few things can make your complexion look as instantly healthy and fresh as that natural radiance we all crave. Ahead, everything you need to know about how to brighten dull skin. It’s time to get glowing.
Let’s start with the basics. Skin appears dull when light doesn’t reflect off of it; the more light bouncing off your skin, the brighter it looks. And there are multiple reasons why this can happen. One of the main dull skin causes? A build-up of dead skin cells. While your skin naturally turns over cells every 30 days or so, not all of the dead ones always come off—and as they start to build up, they impede that light reflection, leaving skin looking dull and lackluster. There are also a host of environmental and lifestyle factors that can rob your complexion of its radiance, things such as pollution and smoking, neither of which do your skin any favors. But perhaps the biggest bad boy on the block? The dreaded ‘s’ word. We’re talking about stress. When you’re under extreme amounts of stress, your body concentrates blood flow to the vital organs (it’s part of the whole evolutionary ‘fight or flight’ response.) And while your skin is your largest organ, apparently, it’s not considered as vital in this context as say your heart or lungs—so it gets robbed of the blood flow that makes it look bright and radiant. All of this is just proof positive as to why it’s so important to consider not only the products you’re using, but your lifestyle as whole when thinking about addressing skin issues, such as dullness.
OK, now that we know why our complexion is looking lackluster, it’s time to talk about how to get radiant skin. For starters, when it comes to skin care for dull skin, regular exfoliation is your BFF. Keeping those dead, dull skin cells off your skin is of utmost importance. You essentially have two choices when it comes to how you exfoliate. Option one: a physical scrub. These use loufas or ingredients such as jojoba beads or powders, actual particles, to buff off the dead skin. Option two: chemical exfoliants. Usually acids (glycolic, salicylic, citric), these work by dissolving the ‘glue’ that holds dead skin cells together. Each one comes with its own set of pros and cons, and ultimately which way you go comes down to matter of personal preference and what works best for your skin. Regardless of which one you choose, it’s important not to overdo it. A little bit of regular exfoliation is good, but more is not better. Over-exfoliating can end up irritating your skin, leaving it raw, red, and anything but radiant. Your best bet? Stick with one or two exfoliation sessions weekly.
As far as lifestyle choices go, aerobic exercise is an excellent option. You know that flush you get after a good sweat session? That’s blood rushing to your face, and while sure, you don’t want to look red and sweaty, regular aerobic exercise is great for maintaining healthy circulation—which translates to radiant skin. Plus, exercise helps reduce cortisol, the hormone released when we’re stressed, and being less stressed is always going to do wonders for your skin. Believe it or not, diet can play a role, too. Just like healthy fats are good for your skin when applied topically, they have a similar benefit when eaten. Good-for-you omega fatty acids help keep skin supple, plump, and hydrated…and hydrated skin always appears more glow-y than dry skin. A few good sources: Olive oil, walnuts, avocados, hemp seeds. Pass that avocado toast, please.
Finally, when in doubt, fake it until you make it…with makeup. There’s no shortage of highlighters, luminizers, and more on the market that can help you at least fake a glow temporarily while you work on getting your skin more naturally radiant to begin with. One good rule of thumb is to seek out cream formulas whenever possible—foundations, blush, you name it. These are innately going to be more hydrating, and, as mentioned, hydrated skin is always going to look less dull. Keep in mind that there’s a fine line between lit-from-within skin, and skin that just looks full-on sparkly. (The first is good, the second, maybe not so much.) For the most natural effect, we’re big fans of layering luminizing primers and/or creamy highlighters on allover bare skin underneath foundation and concealer.
Enough radiance comes through to make skin look glow-y, without coming across as aggressively sparkly. The Skinsei Get Lit Illuminating Balm is the perfect product for this purpose. By reflecting light it provides an overall illuminating effect, leaving skin looking plump, healthy, and bright. Bonus: It also helps counterbalance the heaviness of any powder or full-coverage foundation, ensuring that you don’t end up with that flat, cakey foundation look, and a much more natural end result. Dab it on after moisturizer, before foundation. (Or, if it’s a no-makeup-makeup kind of day, you can even wear this alone. It’s the perfect thing to perk up your skin ever-so-slightly without a full face of makeup.) Then, as a finishing touch, you can dab another luminizer or highlighter on just a few strategic spots across your face-- your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, your chin, and under your brow bones. These are the high points of your face that would naturally catch and reflect light.