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Cool, dry weather is just one of the many possible causes of dull skin. Other culprits include pollution and poor lifestyle choices like smoking, drinking and sun exposure. If your skin has lost its luster, all is not lost. If radiant skin is your goal, you’ll want to clean up your act and quit or limit your less than wholesome lifestyle choices. No matter what else might be causing a decline in your “glow factor,” there are some simple solutions.
- DO THE DOUBLE CLEANSE. Pollution, oil, makeup and sunscreen can leave a buildup on your skin that keeps it looking dull. It’s important to be methodical about cleansing and for many that might mean double cleansing. How do you know if you need this extra step? If you live in a polluted climate and apply sunscreen liberally this step is definitely for you, and in general, unless your skin is extremely sensitive and reactive and you stick to gentle cleansers removing these impurities can’t hurt. Besides thoroughly removing impurities, double cleansing allows your treatment serums and creams to be better absorbed so they can more fully work their magic. At night, use a gentle cleansing oil followed by another gentle cleanser and finish with your usual treatment products.
- SLOUGH THE ROUGH PATCHES. A buildup of dead skin cells can cause dull looking skin. The remedy is gentle exfoliation once or twice a week. At home options like scrubs and light peels give great results, as do in-office options including microdermabrasion and stronger acid peels. New York City plastic surgeon Bryan G. Forley adds, “For dry, dull complexions, we use the SilkPeel Dermal Infusion System with their signature hydrating serum that transforms skin instantly for a welcome ‘wow’ factor.”
- HYDRATE, AND THEN HYDRATE SOME MORE. Dry, dehydrated skin can contribute to a lackluster appearance. Hydrate from the inside out by drinking enough water — at least 8 glasses a day — and eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, and hydrate from the outside in with topical hyaluronic acid and a nourishing moisturizer to help lock moisture in from the cold.
Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil ($46) cleanses, soothes and moisturizes your skin thanks to a blend of Jasmine Flower Extract, and kukui nut, sunflower, olive and jojoba oils. To use, simply smooth it on your dry face, add a touch of water to emulsify and massage into skin before rinsing clean.
Alastin Skincare Gentle Cleanser ($45) is a sulfate free, self-foaming cleanser that won’t dry out or irritate aggravate the skin. Specific ingredients like D-Panthenol, Oat Beta Glucan, Bisabolol and Oat Kernel Extract combine to purify, calm and soften while promoting optimal moisture levels. Apply a small amount to damp skin and gently massage before rinsing clean. Note that it’s gentle enough for a sensitive and/or post-procedure complexion.
ZO Medical Glycogent Exfoliation Accelerator ($70) promotes cell turnover by gently breaking down the older, duller skin cells to reveal the fresher, more radiant skin below, thereby minimizing an unevenly toned and textured complexion. It’s formulated with a 10% glycolic and lactic acid complex, and Vitamins A and E to exfoliate, boost circulation and protect against irritation and future cell damage. According to Park Avenue facial plastic surgeon Andrew Jacono, “The ZO product range contains high levels of potent ingredients that stimulate a positive improvement in skin tone, texture and overall skin health.”
Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Serum ($65) works well for all skin types. This 75% hyaluronic acid complex attracts up to 1,000 times its weight in moisture from the air drawing it to the skin so it improves hydration level. Its list of ingredients also includes Silk Proteins for a softer, smoother feel and a mineral-rich blend of bio-fermented zinc, copper, manganese, iron and silicon for a boost in moisture levels.
NOTE: All products were purchased or sampled in store. Opinions are my own.