Biting winds, freezing rain and a distinct lack of vitamin D can be a washout when it comes to winter skin. For those feeling sentimental for skin that glows with dewy sunlight, the trawl through the colder months can certainly be a challenge. But how do you slough away the raw greys of winter and bring a hint of health back to your skin? Take a look at our tips on how to glow again…
How Skin Becomes Dull, In The First Place
So what are the causes of dull skin? It can often be a combination of everything from lifestyle to dehydration, a build-up of dead skin cells, colder weather causing dry skin, and a lack of moisture. All these things can strip our skin of its glowing skin tone and lead it to look dull and dry. Here's a little more info on the common causes of dull skin...
Keeping your water bottle topped up is a sure-fire solution to the quandary of how to brighten dull skin. Water helps to hydrate your skin from below the surface and along with a dewy youthful look can also bring better elasticity to your skin A study in 2015 showed a direct correlation between drinking lots of water and having healthy-looking skin.
Dead Skin Cells
A build-up of dead skin cells can make your complexion look dull. While your skin knows how to shed the dead cells to make way for the new cells, sometimes it skips a beat and those cells build-up on the surface of your skin. This causes a dry and flaky appearance making it look dull rather than bright and healthy.
Lack of moisture and a change in weather can lead to skin looking dull. While moisturizers aren't a magical fountain of youth, they can encourage healthy cell turnover in your skin. There are some dubious claims made about moisturizers and while they may not replace the oil in your skin they can trap water which in turn leads to higher moisture levels and better skin health.
Bad news for all those tobacco smokers out there, this habit most certainly will make your skin look dull and grey. Tobacco smoke has been proven to cause premature skin aging as it impairs collagen production, degrades elasticity, and is even associated with acne, psoriasis, and other skin irritation conditions.
Dull skin doesn't have to be a part of your cycle. There are ways in which you can help brighten your skin without relying on expensive products to do the job for you. A few tweaks to your skin care routine and a few beauty tips can truly bring radiance, better blood flow to your face, and can nurture healthy happy skin that shines. Take a look at our tips on how to leave dull-looking skin behind...
How To Brighten Your Skin Naturally
Winter wreaks havoc on your skin and one of the most common complaints is dry flaky skin that feels rough to the touch...
... and can be a cause of why your skin looks dull.
Exfoliation plays a massively important role in keeping your skin glowing and maintaining smooth, even complexion. Exfoliation helps to bring a fresh layer of skin cells to the surface and can even stimulate collagen production too. To make your skin look dewy, choose gentle exfoliating products or even a natural exfoliator and spend a little time in the shower regularly sloughing away that buildup of dead, dull skin.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends choosing an exfoliation method that is most suitable for your skin type. After all, not everyone will respond the same to exfoliation. Those with sensitive or acne-prone skin are best off using a soft washcloth or something like alpha hydroxy acids. Those with oily and thicker skin may prefer stronger methods, like using a cleansing brush.
2. Keep Fresh
Adding a humidifier to your room and ensuring you drink an extra glass of water or two during those harsh winter days can stop your environment (and your skin) being too dry. This is especially true if you find yourself cranking up the central heating at home as this can strip the moisture from your skin and lead to added levels of dryness.
A change in our lifestyle habits can massively contribute to drier and more sensitive skin in the winter months, especially as we eat less healthy foods, don't exercise as much, and sit indoors with the heating turned up.
Besides causing dull skin complexion, dry skin is also one of the main reasons why most of us end up with fine lines on our face.
The solution? Moisturizer, from the inside-out.
To help harness year-round beauty, keep your face nice and moisturized. Try keeping the air around you less dry. Also ensure that you are getting those much-needed ingredients, like vitamin C and other minerals, that can help your skin appear healthy throughout the seasons. Look for a gentle moisturizing all-natural face mask products with vitamin C or a refreshing spritz of all-natural rosewater to make your skin glow.
3. Get Thick
While summer and spring may call for zesty light barely-there moisturizers, winter skin may need a little more of a helping hand. Choose a thicker and heavier moisturizer rich in vitamin E for your parched skin to gobble right up. Look for balms, moisturizers and oils that come dressed in natural oils, silicone and lanolin for beautifully soft and dewy skin. Moisturizers can help provide a healthy skin barrier that keeps out free radicals and pollution, which can can fine lines, wrinkles, and acne.
Want some extra protection?
Try making your own hyaluronic acid serum to protect your skin from harsh free radicals. And always use a broad spectrum sunscreen with ingredients safe for the skin.
4. Limit Shower Temps
While nothing says warm-up like a long steamy hot shower, you won’t be doing your skin any favors. Intense heat and steam can irritate and dry out skin whereas lukewarm temps and even a cooling blast can keep your skin naturally rosy and your blood circulation going strong. Limit showers to 5-10 minutes a day so not to be stripping back your skin.
5. Skip the Toner
While many of us still think we need to religiously stick to the three-step program of skincare, it actually makes sense to adapt your routine depending on the season. Try making your own all-natural rosewater, instead. It will help freshen dull skin, provide a boost of vitamin C, and just smell really nice.
6. Know Your Ingredients
Skincare is ever-evolving and the more we brush up on our knowledge on ingredients in our cleanser, which serum suits our skin, and which face masks work and which are fads, the better equipped we are to adjust our regime and to make educated choices that work every morning and every night. Knowing the information around what to look for in your product choices can truly make a difference.
- water - while oil-based moisturizers will feel good on the face, they will not lock in moisture unless water is the main ingredient in your moisturizer.
- occlusives - this is the oily substance that will block the evaporation of water. Some prefer all natural oils to lock moisture into their skin cells, while many others enjoy petrolatum-based occlusives.
- humectants - this is what pulls moisture from both the inside and outside of the skin's surface to your skin. Glycerin, honey, and vitamin B5 are commonly used humectants. When used by itself, it can actually cause further dull skin as it sucks the moisture out of the deepest layers of your skin. When paired with occlusives, however, it traps the moisture on the skin's surface.
- emollients - this is what will leave the skin feeling smooth and radiant.
- vitamins - vitamin A helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles, though only topical retinoic acid has a noticeable effect on fine lines. Other types of vitamin A, such as retinyl palmitate, merely work as a humectant. Vitamin C and vitamin E are also beneficial to the skin because of their antioxidant properties.
It can be easy to let the likes of SPF protection slide through our fingers come the winter months. Unlike summer when we slather it on, we somehow forget that winter sun can also cause damage. UV rays have been proven to have a definite impact on the visual signs of aging. These rays can lead to fine lines and wrinkles and the appearance of dark spots and dull skin. Not only will choosing to wear sunscreen give a safe skin barrier to keep those harmful rays out in the long term, but it also keeps skin fresh and young in the short term too. It helps to pick a high-quality moisturizer that has built-in sun protection, that way you are less likely to forget to apply it.
8. Light Layers
Scratchy wool and heavy wet clothing can also bring irritation and other skin issues. Make sure you combat discomfort by wearing light layers spun from breathable materials. From thermal underclothes to cotton tops and even silk liners for your woolly gloves – this is a surefire tip to keep you soft and supple throughout the chill.
9. Hydrate Your Diet
Finally, one of the best tips for keeping skin in glowing glory is to make sure you are hydrated from the inside out. Sip tea, drink water and be sure to stock up your diet with plenty of water-rich fruits and vegetables. High water content can be found in cucumbers, melons, vitamin C rich citrus fruits, celery, zucchini and carrots. Also, make sure that you are getting all those very important vitamins that will keep skin elasticated and feeling fresh.
What does your winter skincare routine look like? Do you simply wash your face and go or do you indulge in sheet mask evenings and load your shopping bag with hyaluronic acid serum and other face mask products? Share your skincare routines in the comments.
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