Do you wake up in the morning and feel as though you look less radiant than you usually do? While highlighters may be able to save the day, don’t forget to solve the problem at its roots by considering the factors that may be costing you your natural glow. Here are five ways you might be causing your skin to look dull without even realising it:
1. You have not been exfoliating
Dead cells on the surface of your skin leave your skin looking lifeless if you do not clear them away. “Dead skin cells pile up, diffusing the light and making skin dull,” says Jeannette Graf, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.
If you’ve only been washing your face with facial cleanser, it’s time to start exfoliating. There are many ways to exfoliate your skin – go for the option that suits your skin type. Consider brushes and scrubs if you have oily skin, but choose milder options such as chemical exfoliants and washcloths if your skin is dry or sensitive.
DV Tip: Exfoliate at night rather than in the morning—you’ll remove all the grime collected through the day and your skin will be more receptive to your night-time skincare products.
2. Your skin is dehydrated
Now that your skin is clean after exfoliation, continue to pamper it by feeding it with moisture. Invest in a good moisturiser and each time you wash your face, moisturise afterwards. When your skin cells are plumped and nourished, you will shine with a healthy glow. Makeup also applies better on a moisturised face.
3. It’s your diet!
Your skin reflects your diet and lifestyle. Fried food and sugary food can trigger inflammation and glycation respectively, causing your skin to look red or yellow, instead of a luminous glow. Instead, fill your plate with vitamin and antioxidant rich foods to promote skin repair. Psst, you will never go wrong with fruits and vegetables.
4. You’re not sleeping right
Beauty sleep is called such for a reason. If work or YouTube has been keeping you up at night, you’ll lose precious sleep time, and that means less time for your skin to repair and rejuvenate itself to its glowy state. Most of us need at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
Apart from sleeping enough, make sure you’re sleeping at the right time. “From 8pm to 11pm is the time for hydration and stimulation, while 11pm to 3am is the time for nutrition and regeneration, and 3am to 5am is the time for resting,” says Geoff Wright, director of The Hair And Beauty Partnership in London, a clinic which specialises in analysing scalp and skin problems. Now you know why you still feel – and look – so tired when you sleep at 4am, even if you let yourself wake up at noon the next day.
5. Your environment doesn’t help
If your work requires you to head out into the sun often, prolonged exposure to UV rays may cause you to lose your radiance over time. Consider tinting your car windows and wearing protective clothing to shelter your skin, and slather on some sunblock or beauty products with SPF protection before you head out.
On the other hand, if you spend your entire day in the office, the cold and dry air may be depriving your skin of its moisture, which results in dull skin. Keep a moisturising mist with you in the office, and spritz it on occasionally to keep the moisture locked in. It also serves as a great perk-me-up.