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April 25, 2023
There are several types of dull skin, each with different causes and treatments. This time, we will focus on yellowish dullness, which can make people appear older and tired.
So find out what exactly it is, what causes it, and how to improve and prevent it now!
Yellowish dullness, as the words suggest, is a change in the color of the skin that makes it look more yellow than it originally is. What's worse is that rough texture, and loss of transparency, elasticity and firmness also tend to come hand in hand with it, as the causes behind yellowish dullness can also affect collagen in the dermis and cause sagging, resulting in a dull and aging impression.
Since on top of aging, yellowish dullness is also caused by diet and stress, one must take a holistic approach to truly improve and prevent it, rather than relying solely on skincare products alone.
Whilst yellowish dullness is a natural occurrence with age, it can be improved and prevented by certain daily lifestyle and skincare habits.
When we eat, the body breaks down carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables into sugars like glucose and fructose, which are the essential fuel for cells and energy metabolism. Glycation is a process in the body triggered by proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids reacting with sugar in the bloodstream. The end result of this reaction is the formation of Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). High levels of AGEs have been linked to the development of many diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, and Alzheimer’s, as well as premature aging.
Besides general health, AGEs are also detrimental for the skin. This is because, receptors for AGEs are found in both the epidermis and dermis, more so in the sun-exposed areas of the skin as compared to other areas. This essentially means, the AGEs will stick to the skin, affect keratinocyte and fibroblast function, adhere to existing collagen and elastin that normally help keep skin firm and supple and make them stiff, dry and brittle instead, accelerate inflammation and oxidative stress that further destroy these existing collagen and elastin, and lower the production of new collagen and elastin. Since AGEs are brown, they also cause yellowish dullness and hyperpigmentation.
The result, is skin that loses elasticity and firmness, sags, turns dull and yellowish, and forms wrinkles and fine lines, as well as inflamed breakouts and hyperpigmentation.
The appearance of glycated collagen is often first seen at the age of 20. It then accumulates at a rate of about 3.7% per year, reaching a 30-50% increase by age 80, whilst visible signs of glycation are usually seen by age 35, and worsen over time.
Excess sugar triggers the glycation process and produces AGEs, which then stick to existing collagen and elastin in the inner layer of the skin.
As a result, collagen and elastin become stiff, dry and brittle, while inflammation and oxidative stress further destroy them, and lower the production of new collagen and elastin. Skin then turns yellow with wrinkles and fine lines.
Even at normal glucose levels, some degree of glycation occurs, and the damage accumulates slowly over time. This essentially means, unless you do not eat at all, there is no way to completely stop glycation. However, there are food that you can stop eating, or eat less at least, to avoid the formation of excess AGEs and the subsequent acceleration of skin aging. These include carbohydrates, sugar (including too much fructose from fruits and juices), fried, seared, roasted and grilled foods, animal-derived foods, and high-fat foods.
In addition, when the blood sugar level rises suddenly, glycation occurs far more easily. To prevent a sudden rise in blood sugar levels, it is therefore important to (1) consume less carbohydrates and sugar; (2) start with salads and vegetables at meals; and (3) chew well and eat slowly.
While many people think that brightening skincare products are for "whitening" the skin, they are technically not designed for that purpose. Basically, the cell damages that cause yellowish dullness and hyperpigmentation accumulate everyday, and once the skin turns yellowish dull and develop hyperpigmentation, the damages have already accumulated for many many years, and won't go away easily, thus it is important to incorporate brightening and anti-glycation products into your daily skincare routine from an early age.
Some skincare ingredients that are good for glycation and melanin include:
Proven to help with all types of hyperpigmentation, retinol penetrates deep into the skin and reduces melanin by blocking the transcription of tyrosinase, induce desquamation, disperse keratinocyte pigment granules and enhance epidermal cell turnover. It also reduces cell damage, boosts repair, regulates oil production, treats acne, and boosts collagen formation.
Sculpture + A Overnight Enrichment Cream <- Click to shop
Stellar Restoration Corrective Complex <- Click to shop
Vitamin C is a necessary substance for skin health. It is also known to fight free radicals, stimulate collagen synthesis to prevent wrinkles and skin sagging, fade pigmentation and brighten skin. What most people do not know, is that many studies have shown that vitamin C also demonstrates excellent results in inhibiting the glycation process and AGE formation.
holi(c) The C Duo <- Click to shop
Unseasonal Kind Lipid Replenishment Oil <- Click to shop
Studies have found that with continued use, niacinamide at as little as 2% significantly brightens the skin and reduces hyperpigmentation, as it prevents the transfer of pigment within the skin by inhibiting melanosome transfer from melanocytes to keratinocytes. Better yet, because it is a very stable active ingredient, it is perfect for sensitive skin.
Wise Awakening Advanced Nourishing Toner
The new gold standard in skin brightening, hexylresorcinol is an age-fighting ingredient containing powerful antioxidant properties that brightens and promotes even skin tone. Clinical studies have demonstrated its performance in skin-brightening ability and diminishing dark spots and blemishes for all phototypes, with a significant reduction (20%) in skin age spots in 4 weeks.
Ân-dew 10% Azelaic Acid + PHA Serum <-Click to shop
Acting as a cellular messenger, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 inhibits glycation damage to the skin by reducing cell damage during inflammation and promoting glycosaminoglycan renewal. Studies have also shown that Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 can significantly stimulates the regeneration of collagen fibers in the dermis and the production of hyaluronic acid in the skin, which helps reduce wrinkles, as well as tighten skin by attracting moisture to the epidermis.
MARIE REYNOLDS LONDON
Skin Quencher <-Click to shop
Korean Red Ginseng
Apart from its many health benefits, studies have demonstrated that Korean Red Ginseng can significantly reduce oxidative stress, melanin formation and the formation of AGEs. It has also been shown in vivo to have an inhibitory effect on the cross-linking with existing collagen, thus the existing collagen and elastin structure is protected.
The Pure Wonder Active Serum <- Click to shop
All Day Radiance Light Concentration Cream <- Click to shop
UV-R™ <- Click to shop
holi(oil) Ageless Face Serum <- Click to shop
Brilliant Light Multi-Correction Repair Serum <- Click to shop
Turmeric is rich in a compound called Curcumin. Not only is it a spice and a health supplement with amazing antioxidant properties, it also exhibits antiglycation properties by inhibiting the formation of AGEs and the subsequent accumulation of AGEs in collagen. With less AGEs adhering to existing collagen and elastin, skin suppleness is preserved.
Serum Bioluminelle™ <- Click to shop
No. 9 Exfoliant <- Click to shop
Sage, Rosemary & Lemon Balm Extracts
Studies have shown that sage, rosemary and lemon balm extracts, all of which are rich in polyphenol and rosmarinic acid, can significantly inhibit the formation of AGEs, and suppress glycation-associated reactions such as yellowing of collagen and degeneration of elastin, which in turn improves skin elasticity. In fact, they are believed to even provide potential benefits with regard to glycation-associated tissue damage in blood vessels!
Ideal Brightening Corrective Serum<-Click to shop
The Eye Serum <- Click to shop
A lot of people tend to belief that face cleansers are drying, so they would skip face cleansers in the mornings. However, water alone cannot cleanse the skin of dust, irritants, and bacteria, nor can it break down oils and skincare products used the night before. When these oils and skincare products react with free radials that are always around us, not only will they block pores and lead to blackheads and acne, they will also cause yellowish dullness.
The truth is, high quality cleansers these days are filled with hydrating, nourishing ingredients, which means, instead of making the skin dry, they can actually add nourishment and hydration back to the skin. So never skip face cleansers in the mornings. You may also want to incorporate one with gentle acids, such as lactic acid, so the complexion can be brightened up, thanks to its gentle exfoliation action.
acid(wash) Lactic Acid Brightening Cleanser <- Click to shop
MARIE REYNOLDS LONDON
Goji Mallow Cleanse™ <- Click to shop
... all of these can cause friction against the skin.
When the skin is irritated or damaged by friction, it will try to cope by thickening itself to protect from these irritation repeatedly, just like calluses on your feet or hands. As a result, old cells will build up and cause dullness, and roughness, whilst skincare products won't be able to penetrate well.
In addition, when the skin is inflamed, a signal is sent to the melanocytes as part of an immune response. The melanocytes then overproduce the brown melanin pigment in an attempt to protect the skin, resulting in visible pigmentation and dullness. Furthermore, since friction will also disturb the cell turnover process, the melanin-filled cells cannot shed as they should, meaning dullness and pigmentation will linger.
So whether you are cleansing, putting on skincare or makeup products, or sleeping, be mindful about friction. You can refer to the details here: Why is Friction-Less Skincare the Way to Beautiful, Youthful Skin.
The surface of healthy skin is even, thus can reflect light evenly, giving it a radiant, luminous appearance. However, light can no longer be reflected evenly when the skin is dehydrated and dry, as keratin builds up and disrupts skin turnover, so the complexion will appear yellowish and dull.
So make sure the skin is properly hydrated and moisturized with water and oil, as the skin needs both to stay healthy and radiant (only water is not enough!).
holi(lift) Ageless Lifting and Firming Serum <- Click to shop
Immersion Serum Concentrate <-Click to shop
Not only does bad sleeping quality and quantity leads to dullness-inducing bad circulation and excess cortisol production that can break down elastin and collagen, lack of quality sleep can also result in an increase of the yellow pigment called "bilirubin", which is part of the red blood cells. Studies have shown that once bilirubin content increases in the skin, it can cause a yellow haze which lasts at least five days, and catching up on sleep cannot speed up its fading.
In other words, even if you sleep less just once a week, your complexion will look yellowish for the whole week, which means, if you do that every week, that yellow haze is going to follow you around every single day!
It isn't called "beauty sleep" for no reason! So sleep more, and try to sleep better.
MARIE REYNOLDS LONDON
Zedz <-Click to shop
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