In part 1 of 'Reasons Behind Dull Looking Skin' we discovered some important environmental factors that have a surprisingly important impact on the health and look of skin. In this second part of the series we'll look at the effect diet, essential vitamins, minerals and relaxation has on our skin.
Skin health often reflects your diet - if you are eating mainly processed foods, lots of sugar, alcohol and factory farmed meat, you will likely see the impact on your skin. Your skin is an organ—the largest in your body, in fact—so you want to treat it like you would any other organ like your heart or brain.
The Solution: Omega-3s in particular have been shown to decrease inflammatory chemicals that age the skin. Focus on foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as nuts, plant oils (think flaxseed and hemp), and cold-water fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and halibut, and minimize processed foods. Finally, wine-lovers will be glad to hear that while drinking too much alcohol regularly can lead to a sallow complexion, a glass of antioxidant-rich red wine every now and then may actually be good for your skin. Bonus!
6) Sagging Skin
Skin sagging is one of the signs in the inevitable skin ageing process, but it can also be caused by a mixture of environmental factors, pollution, smoking, alcohol, stress, hormonal changes and loss of fat tissue around the face.
A deep tissue facial massage will help to tighten loose skin by reattaching the skin to the bones. This sagging skin treatment is temporary and is recommended monthly to maintain the effect.
For a topical solution look for skin firming and skin plumping ingredients like collagen, vitamin C, Retinol, Peptides, Humectants, proxylane, Niacinamide, Matrixyl 3000. You don't need to find all the ingredients listed here in just one jar of cream. Some products will incorporate just one of them or perhaps two or three. Just go with the one that is most aimed to solve your skin issue.
If you’re a fan of natural skin care and want to avoid synthetic chemicals the Body Pure Daily Moisturiser contains essential vitamins, peptides and humectants in a light easily absorbed blend.
We call it beauty sleep for a reason! While you sleep your skin is working hard to repair, detox and reboot itself! On average we need 7-8 hours sleep a day - any less and your skin can start to look dull and tired, as it isn’t getting the time it needs to rest and repair.
The Solution: Try using a night cream that not only promotes a good night sleep but also gives your skin the nutrients it needs to repair and renew itself as you sleep. A night cream containing lavender extracts will help you to sleep soundly with active ingredients like retinoids to work to repair and renew skin.
A lot of us recognise when our skin is dry and lacking oil. But a lot of us aren’t as clear when our skin is lacking moisture (water). Dehydrated skin can look dull and tired and can actually lose volume at the deeper levels of the dermis, which can leave skin looking hollow and saggy.
You need to boost moisture held in and against your skin. This isn’t as simple as washing your face - you need skincare ingredients that put back moisture into the deeper layers. One great choice is hyaluronic acid, this active ingredient holds up to a thousand times its weight in water and can penetrate deep into the skin.
Sometimes the most simple answers are the most effective. Keeping your body hydrated will directly reflect in the glow on your skin. Drink plenty of water it’s universally the most beneficial beverage you can drink and is important to maintain hydrated healthy skin. Add a few thin slices of lemon, or cucumber alternatively use some fresh mint leaves to enhance the taste of water.
9) Dead Skin Cells
A big culprit of dull looking skin is excess dead skin cells sitting on top of the skin. Your skin sheds millions of skin cells every day so it’s not surprising that they can get stuck on top of the skin. If you imagine it a bit like a layer of dust building on the skin, you can see how it can leave your skin looking dull and tired.
The Solution: There are two types of exfoliators. Physical exfoliators use abrasive ingredients to physically remove dead skin cells. Chemical exfoliators dissolve the bonds between dead skin cells to remove the dead cells.
When it comes to chemical exfoliation ingredients to remove dead skin cells, there are three main types found in skincare products, depending on your skin concerns.
- Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) - don’t let the word acid put you off(!) that’s just a description of the type of molecules in these plant-based ingredients which work as a chemical exfoliator on the skin’s surface to get rid of dead skin cells. They work best for dry to normal skin concerns.
- Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) - similar to AHAs in the way they work but they have smaller molecules so can penetrate into the deeper layers of skin and into the pores. It makes them a good option for oily and combination skin concerns as it deeply removes dead skin cells.
Important note: An important factor to remember with both AHAs and BHAs is you must wear a daily SPF 15 or higher! This is because where they exfoliate the skin’s surface, you’ll be more vulnerable to sun damage. So apply your AHA or BHA product at night before bed, so it has time to really work on the skin, then apply SPF as part of your morning routine to keep you protected.
- Fruit enzymes - you’ll often find these in peels. They are similar to AHAs and BHAs but they won’t increase cell turnover, which means they won’t work to expose a new layer of skin. This is great news if you have sensitive skin.
A physical facial exfoliator usually comes in the form of an exfoliating powder, they’re usually rice-based and activate on contact with water releasing ingredients like Papain, Salicylic Acid and Rice Enzymes that micro-exfoliate dead cells, leaving skin smoother and brighter. Also look for a balance of exfoliating ingredients along with super soothing ones like Green Tea, Ginkgo and Colloidal Oatmeal to help calm your skin.
I can't stress enough the benefits of colloidal oatmeal for eczema prone skin. Avena Sativa – also known as Colloidal Oatmeal - is made from oats that have been ground and boiled to extract their skin-healing properties. It’s an ingredient which has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties which assist the skin in improving dryness, rough scaling and soothing the intensity of the itch.
For body care exfoliation we can use more slightly more scrubby ingredients such as sugar, salt or coffee grounds for effective removal of dead skin cells. The Body Pure Citrus Zest scrub is a highly moisturising body exfoliator which stimulates lymph glands while you massage it in detoxifying and smoothing skin along the way. Made with the nutritional powerhouses of Jojoba, Coconut, Macadamia and Poppy Seed oils.