4 Easy Steps to Fending Off Dull, Lackluster Skin

Rachel Krause


A dull complexion is the enemy of the makeup lover: Healthy skin is the best canvas for any look, so it’s always a struggle when things are looking a little less than radiant. From an instant fix to a long-term solution, these four easy steps will fix you right up in a flash.

Use a chemical exfoliant.
Physical exfoliants, like scrubs, can be tough on skin, but their chemical counterparts gently do away with dead skin cells and clogged pores without the risk of over-scrubbing or creating small tears in the skin. Look for alpha-hydroxy acid ingredients and “peels” with glycolic acid, as well as fruit enzymes. We’re partial to leave-on peels more so than chemical exfoliators that come as pads because pads can be too harsh on sensitive skin.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Though moisturizing alone isn’t enough to fend off a lackluster complexion, it is a really, really important part of your defense. When piling on the moisturizer just won’t do, layering a serum underneath is the best way to infuse your skin with hydration without heaviness. Look for gentle brightening ingredients in your serums and moisturizers, like vitamin C and lactic acid.

Fake it until you make it.
When your skin just won’t oblige—or when it’s in the process of getting into good shape—makeup can totally make it happen. Slather on a super hydrating primer, layer a lightweight tinted moisturizer with a good glow factor on top (we love bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream), then follow it up with as much highlighter and blush as you see fit. A little bit of a neutral shimmery eyeshadow can also work wonders.

Tone up.
Toner is a seriously underrated part of any good skin care routine. However, not just any toner will do—the ingredients are way important, because they make the difference between a toner that’s an essential and a toner that’s just an extra step. Skip anything that lists alcohol as a main ingredient, and seek certain ingredients depending on your skin type, like aloe for easily irritated skin or witch hazel for the breakout-prone. Rose water is always a solid choice, as it accomplishes all the basics of hydrating and balancing the skin without exacerbating potential issues.

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