When we look at the images of models and actors in glossy magazines, on Instagram and starring in fancy adverts and Hollywood films we can easily get swept along in believing that their perfect, glowing skin is real.
Often, filters, expensive cameras, really good lighting and an awful lot of good makeup applied by an awfully good makeup expert has actually been at play to achieve this look, even when a model or actor is seemingly ‘au naturel’.
But that doesn’t mean that glowing, radiant skin doesn’t exist. We just need to get a bit realistic and appreciate that real radiant skin looks amazing, but probably not as perfect as the skin we have the day we’re born.
That said, we can all take a few steps and add a few products to our skin care regime to achieve a more radiant look.
Here’s our tips on getting the glow…
What makes the skin dull?
First up though, we need to understand what factors can make the skin dull and sullen. A major cause of dull skin is a build up of dead skin cells.
The skin is constantly renewing itself and older skin cells die and are replaced by newer, fresher ones. In fact, we shed millions of skin cells every single day. The old skin cells can then accumulate on the skin, causing it to look dull and ashen if we don’t actively exfoliate them away to reveal the fresh new skin cells underneath (but more on that later).
Another cause of dull skin is the pollution and environmental toxins that our skin is exposed to every day. This, along with dirt, grime and oil can form a thin, dulling layer on the skin. This layer might not be noticeable in itself, but its effects - dull skin - will be.
Being dehydrated will also have a detrimental effect on our skin’s ability to glow as it can cause the skin to lose plumpness, causing it to appear sullen. This means being dehydrated both from the inside and the outside - so, not drinking enough water, drinking too much dehydrating caffeine or alcohol and not applying the right moisturiser.
As anyone who’s suffered the effects of sunburn will testify - exposure to the harsh and harmful rays of the sun can cause the skin to appear red, and this certainly isn’t the glow we’re looking for. Sun damage can also cause areas of hyperpigmentation where the skin appears darker in patches.
Sun exposure can also damage the collagen in our skin - the protein that’s responsible for the biological scaffold the skin sits on, keeping it plump and wrinkle free. We naturally lose collagen as we get older so we don’t want to accelerate the process by having too much sun.
Finally, our hormones can cause our skin to feel fed up. If you’ve ever noticed your skin appearing dull or experiencing more breakouts than usual around the time of your period, then it’s probably your hormones at play.
Going through puberty or the menopause, or being pregnant can all lead to the same thing - hormone related dull skin.
This is all caused by a rise in male hormones called androgens that can cause the skin to produce more sebum (the waxy, oily substance that is naturally produced by the skin to keep it supple and hydrated). This sebum then settles on the skin and in the pores, making it appear greasy and dull.
So, what can we do about all this dull skin?
What makes the skin glow?
It’s not always easy to identify what’s causing our dull, non glowing skin. Is it dehydration? A lack of sleep? Or maybe it’s because we live in a busy city full of cars and pollution? Perhaps we don’t use the right skin care.
No matter what the cause of our dull skin is, most of us will agree that taking steps to fix the problem will help both our skin and our confidence. After all, it is all about that elusive inner glow as well as the outer radiance, isn’t it…?
So whatever your cause, here’s our tips on getting rid of dull skin and replacing it with glowing, radiant skin.
We think they’re all good steps to take as part of a whole body, holistic approach to looking after your skin. So even if you’re not dehydrated and you live in the greenest of non polluted idyllic countryside villages, they’re all well worth adopting. They could just give you the best skin of your life!
Exfoliate, exfoliate exfoliate
Ok, maybe just exfoliate or exfoliate, exfoliate. Three times a week is probably too much and could lead to irritated, stressed out skin.
But the important thing is, to never underestimate the power of a good exfoliant. Whether you use a mechanical exfoliant (such as a brush or exfoliating sponge) or a chemical exfoliant (not as harsh as it sounds, salicylic acid is an example of a chemical exfoliant and can be very gentle), make sure you use it once or twice a week.
Exfoliating helps to rid the skin of dulling dead skin cells as well as a build up of dirt, grime, excess oil, cellular debris, old makeup and pollution. And whilst we don’t believe in quick fixes for the skin, exfoliating is perhaps the one exception to the rule and can make the skin instantly appear glowier and more radiant.
Always cleanse and moisturise twice a day
Sweat from hot weather, heating exercise or being hot overnight, day old makeup, dirt, grime and pollution needs to be cleansed away from the skin in order for it to glow. It’s as simple as that. Without proper and twice daily cleansing, our skin will never have that elusive glow.
Always use a gentle, skin nourishing cleanser and a separate day and night moisturiser to give your skin its best chance at radiance. Our range of gentle skin care products, expertly formulated with natural plant botanicals and alkalising silica salts is ideal for stressed out skin crying out for some glow giving love and attention.
Moisturising the skin helps to replenish lost moisture and will supply the skin with nutrients ideal for keeping it in its best condition.
Eat your five a day
Filling up on fresh fruits and veggies means that you’ll be eating lots of antioxidants that help to neutralise free radicals - unstable molecules that can cause oxidative stress and inflammation that can cause disease and dull the skin. Antioxidants also help to protect the skin from sun damage.
Diet wise, it’s also a good idea to avoid inflammation causing (and skin dulling) sugary foods as much as possible.
Stay hydrated too, by drinking plenty of water and herbal teas, and avoiding too much caffeine and alcohol.
Treat your skin well and your skin will treat you well
Looking after our skin by making sure we cleanse and moisturise twice daily, eating and drinking well, exfoliating regularly and taking steps to protect it from the sun will do any skin type a favour.
Make your skin care a priority and it truly will represent you. Now, go get that glow!
This article is not meant to treat or diagnose. Please visit your doctor for advice about any health concerns you may have.