Everybody loves to have great skin. Nobody wants to be covering bad skin with concealer and colour corrector all the time. In any case, concealer and colour corrector should not be a long-term solution.

Here is a peek at what causes skin be lacklustre and what we can do to have it return to a glowing state.

UV Damage
We live in Southeast Asia where it’s summer all year round and exposure to the sun is more intensive. While the sun is an essential part for life, the resulting UV damage may be damaging if we do not take care. We are more susceptible to skin pigmentation due to extensive sun exposure. The most common advice for everyone, in Southeast Asia or anywhere else, is to wear sunscreen.

Diet has a big role in our skin’s appearance. A diet high in processed foods, especially meat, or those that are cooked with high heat tend to be higher in AGEs (advanced glycation end products). These can result in more free radicals which wreak havoc in our bodies, including our skin. The easy fix is to incorporate more basic whole foods into the diet and lots of fruits and vegetables. A more colourful diet usually equates to a healthier body and skin. Colourful foods (not from food colouring) have more antioxidants which combat free radicals. Whole grains—whole wheat, or brown rice—can also help. Balance is always the key when it comes to diet!

Don’t forget about drinking water too! The skin is the body’s largest organ and is commonly believed to have over 70% water content. Consuming an adequate amount of water is important for skin health and its ability to function properly. Some interesting research has confirmed that higher water consumption in a regular diet can have a positive impact on skin’s everyday function, especially in those who begin to add water into their daily routine when water intake was previously low.

Unfortunately, drinking water doesn’t always mean the water is going to stay in the skin. All skin has transepidermal water loss (TEWL) which refers to the process when water evaporates from the skin. Excess TEWL can result in dry skin which feels tight and could feel a little itchy. It can also make the outermost skin cells more apparent which is where light reflects unevenly, and skin lacks radiance and looks dull. A good skin hydrator can help remedy this. Moisturizers will have different types of ingredients within the formulas to help skin hydrated. Look for these ingredients when choosing a moisturizer:
• Humectants are ingredients that attract water. They can help bring water to the skin. Common humectants include glycerin, hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA, and sugars.
• Emollient ingredients sooth and soften skin. These ingredients contain some occlusive properties but are light. Common emollients are shea butter, cocoa butter, squalane and fatty acids.
• Occlusive ingredients help to restore the barrier and hold moisture to the skin (i.e. reducing TEWL). Occlusive ingredients can feel heavier like waxes, but others can feel light like dimethicone and other silicones.

Skin Brightening Ingredients
Lastly, other skin care ingredients can help brighten the skin’s appearance by targeting areas of discoloration. This results in an even looking skin tone. Common ingredients include vitamin C and niacinamide. These work through different mechanisms but provide the same results—skin radiance due to reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation aka gives you radiant looking skin and reduces dark spots.

Skin that is dewy, soft, and has an even complexion will have a luminous glow. There are lots of small changes you can make to your skin care routine and/or diet that can help you achieve the brilliance of glowing skin that you are looking to show off.

Adeline Heng