7 Reasons Your Skin Looks Dull — and How to Get a Glowing Complexion

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If the day’s filth lingers, it will damage your skin while you sleep. (But feel free to skip a morning wash. ) “Because pollution causes inflammation and can disrupt the skin barrier, it’s important to choose a gentle creamy cleanser that helps build it back up,” says Zeichner. (Try Olay Luminous Brightening Cream Cleanser. ) Studies have shown that using soap with a cleansing brush is more effective at removing nanoparticles of pollution than manual cleansing. (Facial wipes aren’t thorough enough to remove pollution, but if you’re too tired to wash your face, they’re better than nothing. ) In the morning, load up on serums and lotions that contain antioxidants, like vitamin C and idebenone. “It’s like having a safety net to minimize potential damage from pollution’s free radicals,” says Zeichner. Allure Magazine3.

But you are going to need to gently exfoliate once or twice a week. “Scrubs with sugar or jojoba esters are mild enough for even sensitive skin, and grainy scrubs with pulverized nut shells are good for everyone else,” says Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. (Try Fresh's Sugar Face Polish Exfoliator. ) Peels use alpha and beta hydroxy acids to remove dead skin cells; look for formulas that contain soothing ingredients, like aloe and green tea, to minimize irritation. (We like Drunk Elephant T. L. C. Sukari Babyfacial. 2.

SOLUTION: Pat on a hyaluronic acid serum with damp fingers to drive moisture deep into skin. (Try SkinCeuticals H. A. Intensifier. ) Then layer a moisturizer with powerful emollients, like cetyl alcohol or dimethicone, on top. (A good choice is
First Aid Beauty's Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration. ) “Emollients create a thin, transparent film over the skin’s surface,” says Zoe Diana Draelos, consulting professor of dermatology at Duke University.

No, you’re not seeing things — that probably is an ashy tint on your face. “We shed millions of skin cells a day, so unless you do something to actively remove the ones that don’t fall off naturally, you’re going to have a grayish look no matter your skin tone,” says Mona Gohara, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine.

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