1 – Out with the old
If your skin is appearing drier or duller than usual, your solution might be to apply a layer of concealer to mask any signs of tiredness; however, sometimes this approach can be counterproductive, especially if it’s your make-up that could be causing the problem! Cosmopolitan estimates that 72% of us will never wash our make-up brushes and this can present a serious problem.1
Think about it – all the dirt and bacteria on your brushes can easily spread to your skin, triggering breakouts, clogging your pores and even instigating a nasty skin infection! Not ideal if you’re trying to maintain a glowing complexion, but it isn’t just our make-up brushes we need to be worried about – the vast majority of us often forget that our make-up and skincare creams, just like our food, also have expiration dates too!
My top tip: Ideally, you should be cleaning your make-up brushes and sponges on a weekly basis. You can do this by rinsing them with warm water and lathering gently with soap. When it comes to your make-up bag, I’d recommend giving it a good clear out every four months or so. Finally, and most importantly, no matter what make-up you’re wearing, remember to take it off your face before you go to bed – if you leave your make-up on, it can clog your pores overnight and degrade the overall health and lustre of your skin!
2 – Don’t forget your beauty sleep
In my blog, ‘Is beauty sleep real?’ I go into more detail about the importance of a good night’s sleep for your skin but, suffice to say, getting an adequate amount of rest is essential for your skin. You need plenty of good-quality sleep to help detox your body (skin included), produce plenty of healthy collagen, and to support other areas of your body that can impact your skin, such as your immune system, digestive system and nervous system. Ideally, most experts estimate that, depending on your age, you should be getting between 7-9 hours of restful sleep a night.
My top tip: Getting a good night’s sleep isn’t always easy, but it’s something all of us should aim for. Our Sleep Advisor Marianna always recommends that we try to make the hour before bedtime a relaxing one – this means ditching our tablets and smart phones in favour of pursuing more restful activities, such as meditation, reading a good book or indulging in a restful bath. If you want to learn more about how to get a good night’s sleep, I’d highly recommend checking out her blog, ‘7 surprising habits that are ruining your sleep’.
3 – Get your blood pumping
Exercising can be tricky if you suffer from an existing skin condition such as eczema or rosacea but, nevertheless, it’s something that I encourage you all to do. Getting your blood pumping can help to improve your circulation, ensuring that plenty of oxygen-rich blood and nutrients make it to your skin, enhancing your complexion. If you’re more active, it can also have benefits for your mood, sleep and immune system too, all of which are extremely important for the overall health of your skin. I go into a bit more depth in my blog, ‘6 fantastic ways exercising benefits your skin’ so please feel free to give this a read if you want a better understanding.
My top tip: Going for a brisk jog or a long-distance cycle might suit some people but, for many of us, this type of exercise can be a bit daunting. My advice here would be to try and find something that works for you – it could be a low-impact exercise such as yoga, an aerobics class or even something more adventurous like climbing or kayaking. It doesn’t matter how, so long as you’re moving, your body (and skin!) will be reaping the benefits!
4 – Drink plenty of water
Your skin cells, just like every other cell in your body, rely on an adequate supply of water. If you’re not drinking enough fluids each day then, not only can this affect your energy levels and cognitive function, it can also influence your skin. Collagen, for example, is one area that can be impacted as your body will prioritise conveying fluid to your major organs rather than here. This can mean that your skin might lose some of its elasticity and become more vulnerable to fine lines and wrinkles. You might also notice that the delicate skin surrounding your eyes becomes puffier – this is because, when you’re dehydrated, the flow of blood to your eyes can become obstructed, causing the tissues in this area to swell!
My top tip: We should all be aiming to drink between 1.5-2 litres of water a day but at times this demand can increase depending on your level of activity. Your body loses fluids every day through sweat and urine, so if you’re going to be exercising or are visiting a warmer climate, keeping a bottle of water handy could be a good idea. If you need to rehydrate in a hurry, you can try our Balance Mineral Drink which is chockfull of electrolytes like potassium and calcium!
5 – Give yourself a cold blast
Okay, so you’ve had a good night’s sleep and done a quick workout in the morning before breakfast – by now you’re probably desperate for a nice, hot shower. Hot water can be challenging for sensitive skin and, while I’m not about to recommend subjecting yourself to an icy soak, a quick blast of cold or lukewarm water might actually be a good thing for your skin; it could help to increase the blood flow to this area, diminishing dullness and the appearance of tired skin.
My top tip: Around 30 seconds of cold water is all you need to get the benefits, so please don’t go drenching yourself in icy water! Lukewarm water, in fact, is probably best but if this doesn’t appeal there are other things you can do. For example, when I notice my eyes are appearing a bit puffy, I quite like to apply a cold compress to them to ease the swelling and improve the blood flow here. You could even try mixing up cold cucumber in a bowl and applying this to your face as a DIY facemask – not only is cucumber extremely moisturising, it also contains nutrients such as biotin, vitamin C and potassium which can help to nourish your skin.
6 – Exfoliate
Dull skin can often be caused by a build-up of dead skin cells, in which case exfoliating can be one way to ensure that your skin appears more invigorated. The problem is that many conventional exfoliators can be quite harsh which could create problems if your skin is sensitive. I would try to opt for a more natural product and make sure you're exfoliating in the morning. This is the best time for dull skin as, not only does it help to get rid of any accumulations from the previous night, it brightens your complexions considerably too!
My top tip: As I’ve mentioned, natural skincare options are best which is why I’m always trying to urge people to turn to their local health food store if they need make-up, hair care products or exfoliators. Here you should find a variety of options!
7 – Use a good, high quality moisturiser
If you’re familiar with my blogs then you’ve probably heard this a hundred times before, but there really is no overstating the importance of moisturising your skin! It can help to maintain your skin’s natural moisture balance, preventing excess dryness or oiliness, plus it can help to fight premature ageing and acts as a way of conveying plenty of nourishing nutrients! Ideally, you should be moisturising multiple times a day, but especially as part of your morning routine!
My top tip: If you’re looking for a natural moisturiser that’s free from added chemicals and harsh ingredients, our Bioforce Cream is a great option. This preparation was made with dry skin in mind but it contains a range of soothing ingredients, including calendula, St John’s Wort oil and witch hazel, which makes it ideal for dull skin that’s in need of a little pick-me-up.
8 – Try a massage
If you’re trying to achieve bright, glowing skin and are looking to get rid of tiredness and dullness, a facial massage could be the way to go. Gently massaging your face can help to get rid of tension, stimulate your circulation and aid your lymphatic system, meaning that toxins and other impurities can be better directed away from your skin. Of course, you might presume that facial massages are only for spa days but there are plenty of DIY massages you can do from the comfort of your own home.
My top tip: If you’re trying to experiment by massaging your face, I’d start with warm, clean hands. You might wish to cleanse your face beforehand or rinse your skin with some lukewarm water. Once you’ve done this, you can apply a gentle oil – argan oil, almond oil or even coconut oil could work here! – then simply begin by using wide circular motions along your jawline and over your cheekbones. You can then move up to your forehead and start at your temples, working your way inwards. Finally, move down to the arch of your brows and move your fingers gently around the corner of your eyes and under your eyes using gentle circular motions.
9 – Eat the right foods
Your skin needs a healthy balance of nutrients to thrive, most of which will come from your diet. If you’re bingeing on salty, sugary foods then this can negatively impact your skin, as I discuss in my blog, ‘The bitter truth about sugar and your skin’. If you want bright, clear skin, you’re better focusing on getting as much fresh fruit, veg and healthy fats into your diet as possible. Think brightly coloured bell peppers, avocados, berries and oily fish!
My top tip: Soups and smoothies can be great ways of incorporating more fruit and veg into your diet, but I’d also suggest checking out Biotta’s Carrot Juice. This vibrant juice contains a range of vitamins and minerals, including beta-carotene and lycopene. Plus, it’s lacto-fermented which means it contains plenty of gut-friendly L+ lactic acid!