How to Fix Dull Skin Instantly

Natasha Burton
Julie Anne Images / Getty Imaegs

Julie Anne Images / Getty Images

Ever wake up and find that your face is just not as perky and ready to take on the world as you’d like? (Yep, us too!) Dull skin happens to all of us every now and then: Maybe you didn’t drink enough water the previous day, or you had one too many martinis at happy hour, or you’re getting over a nasty cold. Whatever the reason, you’ll want to brighten up your face ASAP.

Good thing that you’re only five easy steps away from transforming your skin from dull to dewy, according to top beauty pros.

1. Brighten up with citrus

According to Julia Teren, formulator for Thesis, “a fresh-squeezed lemon or orange juice can work as a fabulous base for pore purifying face masks and also have an ability to lighten skin in a rather mild way.” Applying citrus to your face by cutting an orange or lemon in half, smoothing it on your skin, then rinsing with lukewarm water may instantly brighten you up. (Note: Super sensitive skin types might be reactive to this technique, so be sure to stop if you experience more than just a mild sensation.)

2. Try a refreshing toner

Continue to wake up your skin with a soothing, pore-purifying toner, skincare expert Cecilia Wong, suggests. (She recommends her Chamomile Toner Mist.) Rose water and witch hazel can also gently perk your skin up and reverse that dulling effect.

MORE: Learn How to Find the Right SPF For Your Face

3. Exfoliate

“Dull skin happens because your skin is not normally exfoliating and the dead skin cells are just sitting on the surface,” explains dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman. She recommends doing some gentle exfoliation in one of three ways: with a Clarisonic, impregnated pads that contain salicylic, glycolic or lactic acid, or a physical exfoliate with rice and papain.

4. Give skin a fresh finish

To counteract any dullness that’s still there, apply a moisturizing foundation, says celebrity makeup artist Carol Shaw, founder of LORAC Cosmetics, to get that dewy, natural-looking finish. (Try LORAC POREfection Foundation, she recommends.)

5. Play up your cheekbones

Another makeup trick for counteracting dull skin, Shaw says, is applying a highlighter on the cheekbones and a luminizing bronzer on the apples of your cheeks— these two products will work together to give you a radiant glow. (Try LORAC TANtalizer Highlighter/Matte Bronzer Duo and LORAC Baked Bronzer in Golden Glow.)