Instantly brighten your skin with a good exfoliation! The main reason for tired skin is a build up of old skin-cells. Shed these away with either a mechanical (with bits) enzymatic (without bits) or daily resurfacing (acid-based) exfoliant. Generally we should be exfoliating 1 – 2 times per week (unless you’re using a daily resurfacer).
* Mechanical exfoliator: these are your basic ‘scrubs’ that use bits to slough away old skin-cells. Be sure to opt for something containing spherical beads (such as jojoba or rice bran) and not jaggedy grains (such as apricot or nut kernels) which will cause damage to the healthy cells. Also please check your exfoliator doesn’t contain the micro-beads that harm our environment.
*Enzyme peels: these are more like masks that contain fruit enzymes (usually from Papaya & Pineapple), which nibble away at the dead skin-cells. Enzyme masks are great for brightening without causing micro-damage. However, get one too weak and you might not notice the benefit, one too strong could cause a reaction. So ensure you choose something reputable and follow the instructions. Tingling is good and means it’s working …burning…not so much – probably best to remove.
* Resurfacers: Resurfacing products are a great way of maintaining bright and youthful skin. They have a gentle exfoliating quality that, when used daily, consistently smooths & regenerates the skin. AHA’s (such as glycolic & lactic acid) are brightening & BHA’s (such as salicylic acid) are great for oily / acneic skins. My personal fave is (a good quality) retinol because it’s also anti-ageing.
Feed the skin!
After a lovely exfoliation, you’ll have exposed all the fresh skin beneath. Now it’s time to apply your products onto healthy cells.
Ingredients you need to be aiming for are:
* Vitamin C: Vit C is key to brightening dull skin! It’s an antioxidant that repairs and rejuvenates as well as playing a vital role in the production of collagen. It’s best to choose a product that contains a stabilised ‘absorbic acid’ which is much easier for our skin to process.
* Hyaluronic Acid: HA is found naturally in the body as part of connective tissue. In skincare, it can hold up to 1000 times it’s own weight in water and therefore extremely effective for rehydrating the skin.
* Peptides: Peptides have been a huge buzzword in the skincare industry for some time. In the correct concentration, peptides are an excellent way to deliver results. They’re short chains of amino acids (building blocks of protein), are capable of penetrating the top layer of skin and sending signals to our cells to let them know how to function.
Skin dehydration causes teeny-tiny crepey lines, making us look old and tired before our time. Consuming water helps, but to make a real impact, we need to give our skin a thirst-quencher. Applying a good quality hydration mask (ensuring it contains Hyaluronic acid as above) 1 – 2 times per week (or whenever you remember) will plump out dehydration lines making you look instantly brighter and more youthful. You could also try introducing a serum every day to prevent skin dehydration in the first place.
Professional skincare treatment
If your skin is looking tired and grey then nothing beats a good facial! Your skincare specialist will do all the above …and more….to instantly revitalise your skin. They will also advise and suggest methods of keeping your skin looking amazing with a sound home-care regime.
For more information on great facials please read some of my other posts or visit my treatments page here.
Ditch the rubbish: Layering up products that strip, sensitise or block pores is the quickest way to dull skin, so here’s a list of ingredients to ditch!
* mineral oils & petroleum products: sit on the skin, act as a barrier and block pores
* sulphates: can be a skin irritant
* skin wipes: strip the skin, irritate and block pores
* propylene glycol: this draws moisture away from the bottom layers of skin
* artificial colours / fragrances: just unnecessary!