Does your skin appear dull?

Many women cite dullness as one of their prime skin concerns. Skin dullness can be attributed to various factors. The most common causes are skin colour changes due to UV, spots such as dark spots, uneven pores, fading radiance and clarity caused by skin roughening and hardening, and the ageing symptoms of wrinkles and sagging. Dullness can be classified into chronic dullness caused by ageing and periodic dullness caused by fatigue, lack of sleep, and the effects of the seasons.

Causes of dull skin?

Dull skin is often caused by two things—lack of hydration and a buildup of dead skin cells. As we age, the natural hydration our skin creates in our youth can decrease due to the ageing process. One of the first things you can do to combat surface dullness and dryness is to find a moisturizer and as always, sunscreen is a must to prevent future sun damage and ageing to the skin. In addition to a lack of natural hydration can cause a dull appearance on the skin. As we grow older, chronological age, sun exposure, and free radial damage can all cause that cellular turnover process to slow down. Dead skin cells on the surface of the outermost layer of your skin scatter light, causing the skin to appear dull and lifeless.

Some people notice that at different times of the month and seasons, their skin fluctuates between glowing and dull—what causes this? Skin is sensitive to its environment. The winter months can wreak havoc on skin. Cooler, dryer weather deprives skin of vital moisture and is exacerbated by going in and out of the cold and into heated environments like your house or office building. Less moisture in the air means less moisture in your skin.Alternatively, in the summer months, more people spend time outdoors, exposing their skin to UVA/UVB rays and free radicals, resulting in not only excess oiliness and loss of glow, but photo damage as well. In addition to seasonal changes, your body’s hormonal changes can influence your endocrine system, creating hormonal fluctuations which influence your skin. At different times of the month, hormonal shifts affect  decreased circulatory activity, a lack of blood flow to tissues, can contribute to a superficial dull appearance.

How to get rid of skin dullness ?

Hydrate: First things first, hydrate yourself and your skin. Make sure you drink ample amounts of water as it clears out toxins from it. Also, using moisturising products will help in its upkeep which will make sure that it does not dry out or look dull.Breathe: Yes, a simple way to get more oxygen into your system and also the glow back is to breathe. If you think you breathe all the time and your skin is still dull, you may want to try breathing exercises like pranayam, anulom vilom, etc.

Cleanse: Make it a point to cleanse your skin in the morning and night to remove make-up, dust and any other impurities from it. Also, go for regular clean-ups which involves a massage and a pack and will improve blood circulation to the skin.

Eat healthy: Making a few dietary changes such as reducing the consumption of oily, junk food and drinking less and quitting smoking will go a long way in clearing the dullness. Limit alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and as always, it’s a great recommendation to drink plenty of water to hydrate from the inside out. A healthy diet, rich in fiber, lean protein, antioxidants (plenty of fruits and vegetables) supports healthy skin and a radiant glow.

Exercise: Exercising helps in better blood circulation and getting good oxygen in your body. When you work out, you also sweat which releases toxins and all these combined efforts leads to a glow in your skin.

Regular skin care: With proper skin care such as exfoliation, sun protection, and topical antioxidants, you can help minimize many of the extrinsic signs of ageing that affect the appearance of your skin. To truly limit dull skin, you need to ensure that cells, specifically skin cells, are turned over optimally. Try using a keratolytic agent such as retinoids, retinols or AHA/BHA’s. These ingredients will help transform skin that has been affected by the ageing process.

Beauty treatments: If the medi-facials are done regularly and include an exfoliating treatment that involves a keratolytic agent, and when needed treatments like microdemabrasion, peels, AHA/BHA’s, retinoids and some antioxidants can also help give skin a healthy glow.

Aesthetic Treatments

1. Microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion is a skin resurfacing treatment that works by gently abrading the top layer of the skin with the help of micro aluminium oxide crystals or diamond tipped wand, leaving a new, fresh layer underneath. It is a non-invasive, non-surgical cosmetic procedure which can be performed at dermatological offices.

2. Peels: A peel is a skin-resurfacing procedure in which a  solution is applied to skin to peel away the top layers. The skin that grows back after a  peel is smoother and younger looking. Peels are used to treat wrinkles, skin discolouration and scars - typically on the face. A peel can be done alone or in combination with other cosmetic procedures.

3. Laser Toning: Laser toning is a gentler alternative to ablative laser treatments, with no patient downtime and a low risk of complications for all skin types. As a gentler alternative to ablative laser treatments, this therapy offers many benefits over traditional resurfacing methods. Laser toning treatments have become popular because they produce similar skin resurfacing results as some aggressive laser peels, but with little to no healing time. Laser toning treatments can reduce fine lines and wrinkles, reduce/improve acne scars and removes brown spots.

And don’t forget, the body and skin renew itself at night, so let yourself unwind, reduce your stress level, and get plenty of sleep!