Wouldn’t it be nice to have no need for makeup? We’re talking about stepping out every day with gorgeous, glowing skin. Recently, we sat down with our own Obagi Education Managers, Aimee and Perri, to talk about skin dullness, why and when it occurs and how to restore skin to its naturally radiant appearance.
When it comes to skin care and Obagi® products, few know more than Aimee and Perri. They are responsible for educating our staff and physicians about all things Obagi. With a range of knowledge on skin care issues including fine lines and wrinkles, melasma, acne, rosacea, dry skin, oily skin and everything in between, Perri and Aimee were the perfect pair to discuss one of your skin care concerns—dull skin.
What causes dull skin?
Obagi Experts: 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, from GAG’s—or glycosaminoglycans—can decrease due to the aging process. One of the first things you can do to combat surface dullness and dryness is find a non-occlusive moisturizer like Obagi Hydrate™, which is a great compliment when patient’s skin feels tight and dry. And as always, sunscreen is a must to prevent and ward off future sun damage and aging to the skin.
In addition to a lack of natural hydration, an excess buildup up of dead skin cells (that make up 90% of the epidermis), and a slower epidermal cycle can also 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?
Obagi Experts: Your 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 photodamage 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 angiogenesis, which is the creation of new blood vessels. Decreased circulatory activity, a lack of blood flow to tissues, can contribute to a superficial dull, sallow appearance.
It’s a common concern that skin will become more dull-looking with age. How do you prevent this?
Obagi Experts: With proper skin care such as exfoliation, sun protection, and topical antioxidants, you can help minimize many of the extrinsic signs of aging 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 aging process. The Obagi Nu-Derm® System is a great choice with products that exfoliate, brighten skin tone, hydrate and contain a broad spectrum sunscreen.
Can facials help to treat dull skin?
Obagi Experts: If the 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.
Should I make adjustments in my lifestyle and diet to help prevent dull skin?
Obagi Experts: Yes! Maintaining a healthy diet and an active lifestyle are also great ways to improve circulation, and contribute to the overall health and appearance of your skin.
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.
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!
For more information about how you can prevent and treat dull skin speak with a skin care physician.
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