Let's be honest: Even if you apply your daily sunscreen religiously and spend your summers under wide-brimmed hats, exposure happens. And it can lead to a dull, mottled complexion. We're not talking cute freckles here - although those are UV by-products too. We're talking splotches that are nobody's idea of cute, plus an allover, lackluster eh.
But, there are brightening options. Here are some from the experts.
Add sparkle to your shower. You likely already use a body wash but make your next one exfoliating to slough off skin, and add in glow: many now leave behind a trail of shimmer. PLUS: Do this to elevate your shower experience.
Rethink your bronzer. "Mix your summer bronzer with a fresh pink blush," says film makeup artist Tricia Sawyer. "You'll look healthy, not tan." Use bronzer in the hollows of your cheeks, "then sweep a pink shade on the apples," she says. PLUS: We've got seven secrets to faking a summer tan.
Go green. It might look a little gross, but algae can make you gorgeous. "Algae stimulates microcirculation - hello, healthy flush - and helps push out all that pore-clogging junk," says Janine Graf, M.D., a dermatologist in Great Neck, NY. Find it in Kiehl's Algae Masque, $25.50. PLUS: Keep it healthy with natural beauty products.
Adjust your foundation. "Seasons, hormones, and lack of sleep can all affect the color and texture of your skin," says Sawyer. So it makes sense that your foundation needs might change from day to day. Sawyer suggests keeping two different shades and textures - a creamy formula and a sheer foundation - on hand. Blend them together for a customized complexion. PLUS: Do your makeup in minutes.
Soak in more moisture. "A well-moisturized face looks more luminous," says Sawyer. So sneak extra moisture into your cleansing routine with a cream-based cleanser. PLUS: Don't forget to moisturize the whole body.
Take your vitamin C ...topically. The immune-boosting vitamin is a tried-and-true skin brightener that helps to lighten age spots, explains Graf. We like Prescriptives Vibrant-C Skin Brightening Cream Moisturizer, $46, with micro-optic luminizers for instant gratification. PLUS: Learn how to fake flawless skin.
Get your beauty sleep. After an average day of UV exposure, pollution, and stress, your skin needs some R&R. "Nighttime is when skin renews itself," says Graf. You can help the renewal process along with ingredients such as vitamin A. Get it in Apivita Express Skin Renewal Night Mask With Carrot, $24 for 6. PLUS: These snacks can help you sleep.
HOPE IN A BOTTLE
Scientists and chemists are constantly coming up with new potions to make you look softer, smoother, and, of course, younger. But how do they work? We asked the pros to weigh in on three ingredients to look for.
Coffeeberry: This is the newest skin-care antioxidant on the block. "It's the fruit of the coffee plant and is said to have higher antioxidant levels than powerhouses green tea and blueberries," says Graf. "It's definitely worth using." For maximum benefits, Graf suggests cocktailing a coffeeberry product with other antioxidants. PLUS: Find the right anti-aging plan for your skin.
Immortelle: This Mediterranean-grown flower is known for its amazing resiliency - it never loses its petals, even after it's been picked. And when its essential oils are applied to skin, it stimulates circulation at the surface and encourages cell renewal. "It's smart to look to plants and how they survive and protect themselves from the sun," notes Doris J. Day, M.D., a New York City dermatologist. "We need to tap into that energy to protect ourselves." PLUS: Here's how your favorite celebs protect themselves from the sun.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: The essential fatty acids touted for their heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory effects are good for skin, too. "They promote emolliency and help skin retain moisture by reinforcing the lipid layer," says Graf. Find them in Wynne Omega Silk Serum Vitamin A, $112, and Garnier Nutritioniste Ultra-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Firming Night Cream, with omega-3, $15. PLUS: Soothe your skin woes with these instant fixes.
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.