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How To Brighten Skin & Protect It

Do you feel like your skin just isn’t as vibrant as it could be? Maybe your skin doesn’t have any major issues, but it’s still missing something that you can’t quite put your finger on? If so, you may have dull skin. 

“Cleansing is essential for healthy skin, but also to allow your brightening products to work their magic!”

  • Shani 

Everyone gets dull skin every now and again – it’s just your skin letting you know that it needs a little something extra! If you have dull, uneven skin, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn what causes dull skin and what you can do about it.

What Causes Dull Skin?

The number one cause of dull skin tone is dryness, as dry skin will generally be dull and lackluster. The dryness itself may be caused by a number of things, including inadequate water intake, less-than-optimal moisturizing, free radical damage, and aggravating skincare products.

Other causes of dull skin include sun damage, dead skin cell buildup, unhealthy diet, stress, lack of collagen, and ill-fitting skincare products. Your dead skin cells will start to build up if your exfoliating routine is sporadic, leading to a dull top layer of skin.

Your skincare routine could also be to blame – if you use products that aren’t designed for your specific skin type, your skin may react with irritation, dryness, and dullness. 

To optimize your skincare routine, you first need to determine your skin type. Then you can build your routine around that skin type.

How Can I Tell if My Skin Is Dull?

Dull skin isn’t hard to spot — if you have dull skin, you’ll likely notice dryness, some red discoloration, dark spots or hyperpigmentation, and maybe a blemish or two. Beyond the obvious signs, you may also notice that your skin is generally lackluster. You may also notice a dark under-eye area or a generally less-than-radiant complexion. 

On the contrary, bright skin appears vibrant and full of life. Healthy skin will be pink with rosy cheeks. Your skin will be soft to the touch, and you’ll have a glowing complexion.

How Can I Achieve Brighter Skin?

Do you think you may have dull skin? Read on for some more tips on how to brighten up your complexion.

Upgrade Your Beauty Routine

The first order of business is determining your skin type. Once you’ve found your skin type, you can evaluate your current skincare routine to see if it is helping or hurting your skin. Products designed for dry skin may aggravate oily skin and vice versa.

You’ll also want to introduce regular exfoliation every other night to help you get smooth skin by removing dead skin cell buildup. I recommend using a chemical exfoliator like my Lactic Acid Serum

This exfoliating serum uses lactic acid to gently tone and hydrate dry skin while also giving you radiant skin. Skincare experts recommend lactic acid, a gentle hydroxy acid, for skin brightening – and this formula is perfect even for sensitive skin!

Hot water can also aggravate dull, dry skin. To keep your skin bright and healthy, it’s best to keep showers between five and ten minutes and use warm water instead of hot. Temperature extremes on either side of the spectrum can shock your skin and escalate any dry skin issues you may be having. Experts also recommend using a humidifier to help skin hold onto hydration.

Examine Your Diet

If you have dry skin, your diet may be the culprit. Excessive processed foods and refined sugars can irritate your skin – and irritated skin ages faster. Other foods that can cause dull skin include dairy, carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats. 

These foods taste tasty and can be great in moderation; however, you may want to track how they affect your skin and adjust your intake accordingly.

For a good skin glow, try increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamin C. Omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods include fish, chia seeds, and some nuts. You can increase your antioxidants by eating chocolate, tomatoes, and grapes, and drinking coffee or tea. 

Finally, foods such as strawberries, broccoli, and almonds are rich in vitamin C and vitamin E, which can support healthy skin.

Optimize Your Schedule

Did you know that you can get healthier skin by making minor adjustments to your daily routine? Healthy skincare doesn’t just mean having a nightly routine – it means living a healthy lifestyle. 

You can incorporate skincare into your everyday schedule by drinking plenty of water, removing your makeup every night to let your skin breathe, and getting your recommended amount of sleep. A regular exercise routine may also have noticeable skin-brightening effects.

What Is a Good Skincare Routine for Brighter Skin?

Are you ready to start your journey to brighter skin? I have a few tips for each step of your routine to help you get the glowing skin of your dreams.

Step One: Cleanse Twice a Day

Cleansing is important to remove any dirt and oil buildup and keep your pores clean. A cleanser should also help keep blemishes away. Look for a gentle cleanser that is formulated for your skin type for the best results. 

You should cleanse twice a day for maximum skin brightening results. If you don’t already have a morning routine, make sure that you cleanse and moisturize each morning to set your skin up for success. 

You should also cleanse after extensive time outside and after every exercise session – basically, every time you sweat. 

Step Two: Use a Brightening Serum

After cleansing, use a serum that is specifically formulated for your skin type. I recommend a dual-action serum like my Retinol Reform

This power-packed formula includes lactic acid to brighten your skin and encapsulated retinol to reduce signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles.

Step Three: Hydrate

You should moisturize every time you apply serum, because a layer of moisturizer helps seal the serum in while also protecting your skin barrier.

It is especially important to choose a moisturizer according to your skin type – a lightweight moisturizer for oily skin will not be hydrating enough for dry skin.

 Likewise, a moisturizing lotion for dry skin will cause oily skin to act up and clog your pores.. Exfoliating will also increase your skin’s risk of drying out, so make sure you invest in a good moisturizer.

If you have dry skin that is causing dullness, try iS Clinical’s Reparative Moisture Emulsion. This deeply hydrating moisturizer is specifically designed to soothe irritated skin and protect your skin from outside stress. 

For maximum effects, pair the moisturizer with iS Clinical’s Hydra-Cool Serum.

Step Four: Sunscreen 

Finally, use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day. Sun damage is a large factor in dull skin, and protecting your skin against the sun will help brighten your skin. Choose a sunscreen that fits your skin’s needs, and apply it every morning. For best results, find a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum coverage. 

Many serums can increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunscreen. Exfoliating can also increase your likelihood of sun damage if you don’t regularly use sunscreen. To avoid this, make sure you make sunscreen an integral part of your daily routine!

What’s the Takeaway?

Many factors can cause dull skin, including diet, skincare products, and dehydration. Dull skin is characterized by dryness, redness, and lackluster appearance. 

If you have dull skin and want to brighten it up, you’ll need to upgrade your beauty routine, turn up the exfoliating, examine your diet, and adjust your daily schedule. Finally, you’ll also need to incorporate hydrating and brightening products into every part of your skincare routine. 

Are you ready to get started? I am here to help. Check out my other tips on how to get healthier skin and watch your skin transform.


Skin Care and Aging | National Institute on Aging

Dermatologists' Top Tips for Relieving Dry Skin | American Academy of Dermatology

23 Foods To Eat for Healthier Skin | Cleveland Clinic

Skin Care: 5 Tips for Healthy Skin | Mayo Clinic


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