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Dreaming of fresh, glowing, dewy, lit-from-within skin? Let’s face it, this is our collective complexion goal. For some of us, there may be a few more obstacles (aka dead skin cells) in our path towards achieving that brightness, that luminosity we all crave. The good news is there are some likely culprits contributing to your dimming complexion wattage, and some easy ways to course correct. And, of course, in the meantime, you can always faux your glow with foundations and highlighters, but getting that natural radiance IRL all starts with your skincare approach.
The Concern: Dead skin cells are one of the main contributors to lackluster, tired-looking skin. Given that we shed millions of skin cells a day, if you’re not exfoliating, the cells that don’t fall off naturally will build up and form a dull layer on the skin’s surface, creating an ashy tone to your complexion.
The Solution: To promote brightness and clarity, it’s all about cell turnover. By exfoliating, you’re not only sloughing away dead skin cells, you’re also promoting turnover, improving your skin’s overall texture and appearance.
Exfoliation should be a big part of all skin rituals. There isn’t a skin type that can’t benefit from it, but it’s also a very individual process, so it’s about finding the right product and frequency that’s best for your skin. Less is always more to start. Building up gently is the best approach, to help your skin adjust. For more sensitive skin, chemical exfoliants are preferable to physical - scrubs, as there’s less friction with the skin.
Recommendation:Hydra-Bright Pro 5 Liquid Exfoliant. This is truly a transformative product. What I love about it is that it’s suitable for all skin types. It has a unique combination of five alpha hydroxy acids including glycolic and lactic, also mandelic which is great for brightening, and poly hydroxy acid gluconic for additional hydration while it exfoliates. It brightens as it smooths, and it helps boost the efficacy of your other products too.
Hyperpigmentation + Dark Spots
The Concern: Pigmentation issues can arise from several key factors including sun damage, environmental pollution causing free radicals to build up on the skin, or can also be hormonal such as melasma, or age-related.
The Solution: Look to natural brighteners to target and treat hyperpigmentation issues. Alpha Arbutin is one of my go-to ingredients as it inhibits the function of the enzyme tyrosinase, which prevents formation of melanin, so it’s super effective in working to brighten hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
Recommendation: For this, I love the Hydra-Bright Alpha Arbutin Drops - you can use full-strength all over the complexion or spot-treat areas and really start to diminish any splotchy, uneven appearances, and tackle any dullness too.
Pollution + Sun Damage
The Concern: More often than not people don’t realize what the sun and pollution can do to their skin, or what the signs of damage are. Both cause free radicals to build up on the skin, which damages collagen production, disrupts the skin’s barrier, and stimulates pigmentation issues. This then affects the appearance and brightness of the complexion, not only creating uneven pigmentation and dullness, but also a roughness or build-up of dead skin cells - atypical cells that contribute to that overall general lackluster appearance.
The Solution: First up, it’s vital to make sure you’re thoroughly cleansing your face at night. Using the Hydrating Gel Cleanser or a more potent Glycolic Resurfacing Cleanser for a little more exfoliation power is key to ensuring you’re removing any dirt and impurities that have built up during the day and can cause damage and disrupt the skin barrier while you sleep. Choose a cleanser that replenishes as well as cleanses.
Recommendation: Also equally important is wearing SPF every day - even in winter and even indoors, to ensure skin is protected. Try Oil Free SPF 40 or Moisturizing Tint SPF 30+ depending on your texture preference. Also, adding in a vitamin C antioxidant serum with blue light protection like the C-Shield Anti-Pollution Serum will also give a boost of skin-shielding benefits and neutralize free radical damage.
The Concern: Another big factor playing against your glow is dry skin. If you have a dry complexion or aren’t appropriately hydrating your skin, that will create dullness due to the build-up of dead skin cells. In short, a damaged, under-nourished skin barrier can contribute to that lack of radiance, that lack of freshness, and can also contribute to skin looking aged, with fine lines and wrinkles appearing more pronounced due to dehydration.
The Solution: Staying hydrated by drinking water is a must, but you can also look to skin treatments too to help rehydrate skin’s moisture barrier. I’m a huge fan of hyaluronic acid in serum form for treating dehydrated skin. Hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule that occurs naturally in skin. It’s a humectant, so it helps bind and trap water to our skin cells and collagen. This helps skin appear more plump and hydrated, improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles too.
Recommendation: You can’t go wrong adding a hyaluronic acid serum to your ritual - the HA-Revive Hyaluronic Drops are perfect for this. It’s also just as important to make sure you’re using a deeply nourishing, conditioning face cream too like the Hydra-Bright AHA Hydrator. It's a next generation moisturizer, infused with amplified antioxidants which get to work under the surface to brighten and smooth, while the mineral luminosity complex delivers instant radiance.
Using products that are formulated to work synergistically together, to target specific goals like brightening, will really help boost their efficacy and help you get your best glow ever.