Healthy skin usually has a bright glow, no matter your natural complexion. This glow is elusive for many people and many assume that you have to be covered in layers of makeup to attain it. But if you know how, attaining and maintaining a bright complexion with a healthy glow is easy.
First, understand that dullness in your skin is often caused by dead skin cells. If you don’t have a proper skincare routine to encourage fast cell turnover and exfoliate dead skin cells from the surface of your skin, your complexion can become lacklustre – which might lead to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
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Dull skin can also be caused by other factors such as overexposure to the sun, pollution, poor lifestyle choices, stress, or medical conditions.
Unfortunately, many people turn to bleaching products to brighten their complexion. Prolonged use of such products is harmful to the skin – it can cause hyperpigmentation, redness and swelling, itching and flakiness, and long-term adverse health effects.
You don’t have to use skin-bleaching creams and lotions to have a bright complexion. You can brighten and lighten your complexion by undoing the darkening caused by factors such as lack of proper exfoliation, pollution, sun exposure and so on. Here is how:
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The first tip towards brightening your skin is simple: drink up! Dehydration reduces the volume of blood flowing to your skin, making it look dull and lifeless. Taking enough fluids – either in food, drinks, or water – boosts all of your body’s operations. It makes the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the cells more efficient, which keeps all the organs – including your skin – functioning properly.
Being adequately hydrated also improves your skin elasticity, which delays the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Moreover, hydration helps your skin control oiliness as it doesn’t have to compensate for a lack of moisture.
However, don’t think of hydration in the short term – make it a long-term lifestyle choice. Consistent dehydration leads to all kinds of damage to your overall health and skin appearance. It causes dryness, fine lines, sagging skin and the dreaded wrinkles.
Experts advise that you should aim to drink up to at least eight glasses of water daily. If you don’t like drinking water, you can make it easier and more nutritious by adding herbal or flavoured teas. When it is cold, soups are also a great option to keep yourself hydrated.
Get enough sleep
How many hours of sleep do you get every night? If the number is below seven, your skin might need more beauty sleep. Experts say that your body needs 7 to 9 hours of nightly sleep to adequately repair itself.
While you’re sleeping, your body gets busy repairing the wear and tear caused during your waking hours. It boosts blood flow to the skin, giving you a healthy glow when you wake up. Hit the snooze button and get some more sleep for a bright complexion.
Maximise your beauty sleep by adopting a good night-time skincare routine. Ensure that you include a night cream with retinol – it boosts collagen production while you sleep. Top it up with a moisturising overnight face mask to wake up with smooth skin that glows.
Exfoliate 1-2 times a week
You are probably washing your face at least once a day – which is good. But merely washing your face, even with a good cleanser, isn’t enough to slough off dead skin cells that make your skin look unnaturally dark and dull.
Dermatologists recommend that you should exfoliate twice or thrice a week, or as often as your skin can take it. Once exfoliation gets rid of dead skin cells from the surface of your skin it allows topical products to penetrate and nourish your skin better. Properly exfoliated skin also reflects light, making it look youthfully radiant.
The most effective complexion-brightening exfoliators are those that contain alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids such as salicylic acid and lactic acid. Lactic acid is recommended for dry, sensitive skin. Salicylic acid is great for those with oily and acne-prone skin.
Wear sunscreen all-day
The sun is a big culprit when it comes to skin darkening and dullness. Your skin produces a darkening element known as melanin to protect itself from sun damage. The more exposure you have to UV rays, the more melanin your skin will produce, making your skin darker.
To reduce the number of UV rays penetrating your skin, always apply sunscreen when going out during the day. If you will be spending the day indoors, you also have to wear sunscreen. This is because UV rays can penetrate through glass windows.
What about when it is cloudy or rainy? Yes, even then, your exposed skin should be covered with sunscreen. Clouds don’t block harmful UVA and UVB rays from penetrating your skin.
Look for a sunscreen formula with SPF 30+. Studies have shown that sunscreen with SPF above 30 – such as SPF 50 or 75 – doesn’t offer any additional protection and might block your skin from receiving enough sunlight for vitamin D.
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