As you age cell turnover slows down and dead skin cells pile up, which contributes to a dull complexion. And if your skin is dry or dehydrated its ability to reflect light is reduced further. Not to worry. Although pigment issues take time to address, you can turn up your glow factor by making a few key tweaks to your routine.
What you can do in 1 hour
1. Give your face a mini massage
Manipulate light like a pro. Use luminising skin care and make-up to help your complexion shine in all the right places. Before you apply your make-up, take a few minutes to massage in your skin-care products. This gets the blood going and plumps up your skin to help make it look brighter.
2. Look for luminous make-up
For skin to look radiant, make-up should work synergistically, not mask it. Avoid anything with a matt finish and look for a primer or foundation with luminosity or light-reflecting properties. A sheer tinted moisturiser is another good option. If you want a bit more coverage, pat on a second layer around your nose and under your eyes.
3. Highlight strategically
Use a highlighter to bounce light off key features. Apply a stick formula along the sides of the face, down the centre of the nose (but not the tip), and on your cupid's bow. Complement it with shimmery blush along your cheekbones and a matt version on your apples.
What you can do in one week
1. Buff it
Regular exfoliation (Once or twice a week) helps get rid of those top layers of dead skin which result in a dull appearance. Pick your preferred method – physical or chemical, not both – and always follow with a moisturiser.
A physical scrub has an immediate brightening and smoothing effect because it removes accumulated dead skin. Use a gentle circular motion. If your skin moves around when you're scrubbing, lighten the pressure.
2. Dissolve it
Chemical exfoliants, such as alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic, lactic) or beta hydroxy acids (salicylic), slough the skin without being abrasive. A great thing about AHAs for anyone with dry or ageing skin is they exfoliate and brighten the complexion and stimulate collagen.
BHAS are good for breakout-prone skin because they're oil-soluble and penetrate into clogged pores.
3. Mask it
Masks with fruit enzymes, like papaya or pineapple, offer a gentle approach to improving skin radiance and tone. These natural chemical exfoliants break down dead skin and tend to be milder than a scrub or acid. Look for one with aloe vera and cucumber to hydrate and soothe at the same time.
What you can do in one month
Think long-term and establish brightening skin-care habits to improve pigment problems and boost your moisture levels along the way.
1. Use glow-getting skin care
The ingredients all dermatologists agree on are retinoids (such as retinol). The vitamin A derivatives stimulate collagen and thereby plump skin, plus an exfoliating effect results in a dewy look. Retinoids regulate the process of new cells being born and moving to the surface, which needs to happen regularly for radiant skin.
TRY: Vitamin A 0.5%, $69.95, Alpha-H
2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
A deeply moisturised complexion better reflects light, so for maximum luminosity, layer a hyaluronic acid serum under your regular face cream. Hyaluronic acid acts like a sponge, pulling hydration into the skin's layers, leaving it plump and dewy. Other key moisturising ingredients to look for are ceramides. They strengthen the skin barrier and prevent water loss in the skin.
3. Neck and neck
A brightening regime shouldn't stop at the jawline. The same retinol product you're using on your face, will also work on your neck, back of hands, and decolletage. But proceed with care. Skin on the upper chest is among the thinnest of the body, so it may be more susceptible to irritation even from products that are well-tolerated on your face.
TRY: diluting your retinol cream with a basic moisturiser.