How to Brighten Your Complexion

Different Ways To Get Your Skin Glowing

If you have a dull complexion, it's hard to feel naturally confident about your skin, but a brighter complexion is possible. By assessing your diet, lifestyle, and daily skincare habits you can find out what's causing your dull skin and how to correct it.

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Minimize Alcohol

Woman examining her skin
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Alcohol, although it can be healthy for your body in moderation, can seriously dehydrate and dull your skin. It can also increase the blood flow to the skin's surface, resulting in a flushed appearance that can become permanent over time for some people. If you feel the need for a drink and don't want to see the effects of drinking on your skin, drink clear alcohol and sip water along with your drink.  Just remember - keeping your alcohol intake at a minimum is an easy way to achieve healthy skin.

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Eat the Right Foods

Raw Wild Salmon With Seasonings
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You are what you eat. The quality of food you eat and the types of foods you consume do affect the health and look of your skin.

Incorporate more foods into your diet that are high in fatty acids: fish, especially salmon, walnuts, flax seed, etc. Fatty acids are crucial to healthy skin because they boost collagen and cell production below the skin's surface. This helps to counteract or slow down the aging process. Think of it as nourishing your skin from within.

Eat foods that are rich in antioxidants to fight skin inflammation and free radical damage.  Eat nuts and seeds like walnuts and pumpkin seeds in order to protect and rejuvenate your skin.  Tomatoes can protect your skin from sun damage, and dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants that can make your skin supple.  Also make sure your diet is rich in probiotics because the healthier our gut is, the healthier our skin is too.


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Slough Off Dry Skin

Woman exfoliating with a sugar scrub.
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You cannot moisturize dead skin away. Dead skin is not only dead, it is also dry and can look flaky, and it's not going to go away with just a moisturizer. Even if you moisturize often, if you don't exfoliate, ashy skin will always come back as soon as the moisturizer wears off.

Exfoliation is key to a brighter complexion and you can exfoliate many different ways. You can gently exfoliate with a washcloth, use an exfoliating cleanser or scrub, or go even deeper with microdermabrasion treatments or a skin cleansing brush.  You need to remember to exfoliate both your face and the skin on your body regularly which means at least once a week and sometimes more often.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a skin cleansing brush, we recommend trying out the Clarisonic Mia Skin Cleansing brush. It's great at getting rid of dead skin cells and deep cleans pores for soft skin. Check out the Clarisonic Mia 2 Sonic Skin Cleansing System on

If you exfoliate on a regular basis, you are consistently sloughing off the dead skin and allowing new and plump skin cells to come to the surface of your skin, which is a crucial step to achieving a brighter complexion.

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Start Your Day With Vitamin C

Orange still life
Eating fruit is great, but Vitamin C infused serums are even better. Westend61/ Getty Images

Sure, a daily dose of orange juice loaded with vitamin C is good for keeping colds away, but vitamin C is also a nutrient-rich antioxidant that fights off the signs of aging, and it's a known skin-brightening agent, too. Your skin will definitely benefit from vitamin C applied topically.

There are quite a few skincare companies with vitamin C lines that hit every price point. My favorite is The Body Shop's Vitamin C Skin Care line, especially the Vitamin C Facial Radiance Capsules for Dull Skin. Break open one of these best-selling, paraben-free capsules and apply it to your skin after washing and before moisturizing. Users can't get enough of these magic capsules. Buy on

There are many drugstore brands that offer vitamin C lines as well, including the Avalon Organics Vitamin C Renewal line. The Vitamin C Renewal Crème is a great moisturizer you can wear under your makeup to brighten and plump skin. Buy on

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Brighten with Makeup

Woman using mineral makeup
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While radiant skin definitely comes from within, there's no harm in using a little makeup to enhance your complexion. Just make sure to use the most skin-friendly products. Don't bog your skin down with heavy liquid or cream foundations that don't allow your skin's natural glow to shine through. Instead, try mineral makeup for a healthy, bright-looking complexion.

Our favorite mineral makeup line is Everyday Minerals. The products are high quality, the prices are lower, and they have many color options. Buy Everyday Minerals Makeup on

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Boost Your Skin's Moisture Level

Are nighttime moisturizing creams necessary? Do you need an evening moisturizer?
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You should wash your face every day, twice a day: first thing in the morning and before bed. This gets rid of built up dirt and oil on the skin's surface, and it also removes makeup. Untouched dirt, oil and makeup can clog pores and weigh down your skin.  If you wear makeup you need to actually do a double cleanse in the evening to make sure you have really gotten rid of all your makeup, dirt, oil, and skin care products.

The only problem is that washing your skin can reduce your skin's natural oil levels and leave your skin feeling dry. Pay attention to the skincare products you use, as dry skin is almost always attributable to products that are too harsh.  Even someone with oily skin will benefit from using a mild cleansing instead of an anti-acne one.

Either way, you need to moisturize. Skipping moisturizer will cause skin to look older and fine lines to appear more visible. Use a daily moisturizer with SPF in the morning and a hydrating nighttime moisturizer before bed. Consider an illuminating moisturizer for an added glow. Buy Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream on

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Use a Weekly Brightening Facial Mask

woman in face mask
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There are facial masks for all types of skin, from dry to oily, that you can pick up at the drugstore, but there are also plenty of DIY complexion brightening facial masks you can concoct yourself.

Check out our favorite brightening facial masks on