How to Get Rid of Dull Skin—Just in Time for Spring!

After a long winter, it wouldn’t come as a total shock if your skin seemed a little sallow and lackluster. Whether you spent months cooped up inside or just haven’t soaked up much sunshine lately, we have the solution for you. Here are our suggestions for eliminating that dull skin just in time for spring.

Start with an Exfoliating Product

No question about it: Dull skin needs exfoliation. The problem is that dead skin cells collect on the skin, disturbing the natural appearance of a healthy visage and instead contributing to the slightly washed out look you’re trying to avoid. Unless you get rid of the cells that don’t naturally come off on their own, you won’t be able to truly enjoy that healthy glow. Try La Roche-Posay Physiological Ultra-Fine Scrub ($15.99), a gentle exfoliate that minimizes buildup without causing irritation.

Brighten Up with the Right Cleanser

Don’t make the mistake of using the wrong product when you cleanse your face. Some are so harsh that they can cause dryness, while others just aren’t effective enough to target your specific concerns. Revision Skincare Brightening Facial Wash ($28.99) is formulated to rid your skin of impurities, dirt, debris, and makeup while smoothing rough spots. The result is a more refined complexion that glows.

Treat It with a Targeted Mask

Masks are everywhere these days, of course, and it might be overwhelming to choose the perfect one if your goal is strictly to get rid of dullness. To the rescue comes Peter Thomas Roth Brightening Bubbling Mask ($34.89), a deeply nourishing treatment that provides the kinds of results you’d expect at a spa. Simply smooth it on for a near instantaneous boost. It’s filled with free radical-busting antioxidants that leave skin looking more youthful and healthier.

Don’t Forget Heavy-Duty Moisturizer

While it may seem counter-intuitive to use a heavy-duty facial moisturizer when the weather is finally warmer, it’s actually what many of us need to rescue our skin from a season of complete dullness. The reason is simple: the more moisture your skin needs, the more tired and sallow it looks. Your skin essentially appears thinner and less lively, resulting in that less-than-healthy look you’re sporting. Try PCA Skin Collagen Hydrator ($28.99), which contains soothing almond oil, shea butter, and olive fruit oil. The trio pack a punch and deliver much-needed moisture on contact, giving your skin that healthy glow you’ve been craving.

 
Add Retinol to the Mix

Another reason your skin might be looking a little less than fab lately is because your body is producing less collagen. That’s one of the unfortunately natural downsides of aging, but there are tons of fantastic collagen-boosting products out there that actually work. One we love is PCA Skin Intensive Brightening Treatment ($55.99). It’s enriched with retinol, which helps protect your existing collagen and boost the production of new collagen—in other words, your skin will look a lot healthier if you use it.

Images courtesy Vogue.com

Skincare 101: Everything You Need to Know

 Choosing the right skincare products can be a tricky thing. Once you’ve settled on a regimen, you have to make sure you’re using your products in the right order, applying them at the right time of day, and treating your concerns effectively. It can be mind boggling simply navigating the skincare aisle at the drugstore! That’s why we’ve broken down the fine art of caring for your skin. Here’s everything you need to know.

 

Q: In what order should I use my skincare products?

It’s no good having a great collection of products if you aren’t applying them in the proper order. The first step is to remove all traces of dirt and debris with an effective cleanser formulated for your skin type. The goal is simply to start with a clean canvas. Make a commitment to exfoliate dry skin two to three times a week with a gentle scrub. Focus on those areas where clogged pores are most prominent, like your cheeks and nose.

Follow with a serum that’s packed with ingredients that target your skin’s unique needs. Formulas enriched with retinol’s and hyaluronic acids are designed to target aging, while nourishing oils lock in moisture for dry skin. Remember to pat your serum on—don’t rub. Next, pat eye cream on gently, taking care not to rub or tug the delicate skin in this area. Work your way from the outer corners of your eyes and down along the orbital bone. Then apply moisturizer. Your final step is sunscreen, which is essential if you’re headed outdoors.

 

Q: Can I use a face oil if I have oily skin? 

It may sound counterintuitive, but face oils are remarkably effective even on oily skin. They key is not to go overboard in your usage, and to stick with nourishing ingredients that help balance your skin. We like Peter Thomas Roth Oilless Oil 100% Purified Squalene ($23.99) for its gentle, non-comedogenic formula. If you find that most oils feel too heavy, look for a product specifically formulated as lightweight. You might also want to add just a drop to your nighttime moisturizer instead of slicking it onto your skin full throttle. Nighttime is definitely an important qualifier, too: your skin is less oily at night, so it’s best to apply your face oil right before you hit the sack.

 

Q: What’s the difference between a hydrator and a moisturizer?

Thought the terms are often used interchangeably, hydration and moisturization are two different concepts. Hydrators are designed to increase your skin’s water content, while moisturizers lock in moisture to prevent that water content from being lost. This is why it’s advisable to apply moisturizer to slightly damp skin—it’s the water that keeps skin hydrated, while the moisturizer seals that hydration and keeps skin soft and supple. For extra dry skin, we love Skinmedia HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator ($329.89) to really ramp up your skin’s ability to combat fine lines while maintaining a smoother, healthier complexion.

 

Q: How long should I wait before applying sunscreen?

 

You’ve slathered sunscreen all over your face and body about 20 minutes before heading outside. You’re good to go—for now, at least. Pay attention to your sunscreen’s SPF rating. That number indicates how much time you can safely spend in the sun before your skin starts to show signs of damage (like pinkness or redness). As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to reapply sunscreen after two hours. If you’re using a water-resistant formula, note that their efficacy times may differ. So if you’re swimming or surfing, be sure to reapply as often as the packaging instructs. One of our favorite head-to-toe formulas is Avene Mineral Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ for Face and Body ($24.99).

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