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Fix my...Dull Skin

You say your skin has gone round the bend? That is, looking rather dull, lacklustre, drained of all energy? On the one hand, you must have been having FUN you lucky devil – perhaps frequent get-togethers with lots of scrummy party food and drink or you've been camping, fishing or hiking. 

On the other hand, too much of a good thing CAN be bad. In this case, an excess of rich food, smoking, alcohol, and/or “the elements” can wreak havoc on your facial skin. Since you were so busy, you most likely didn't sleep as much as needed. This, too, is rather unkind to the old mug.

Here are three, rather easy peasy “facial skin restorers”. Sticking to your chosen options(s) will bring your skin back to life. So, let's get cracking!

Water, water everywhere.

The NHS reports that two thirds of our total body weight is water. H.H. Mitchell in the Journal of Biological Chemistry 158 got a bit more specific. Mitchell said that, “the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%”. (quoted)

This means that we need to keep adequately hydrated. How much is enough? The U.K. Natural Hydration Council cites the European Food Safety Authority who says that men should have roughly 2.5 litres of fluid a day – about 10, 200ml glasses with the remainder from food sources. For women it's slightly less – 2 litres or eight, 200ml glasses plus food sources. We're talking mostly water here, gents, not your favourite lager. Unfortunately, most of us aren't doing so well. The Council tells us that on average, we drink just ONE 200ml glass of water per day. The Council has a nice FAQ section about drinking water here.

In addition to taking in enough water, our facial skin loves cold water. Cold water reduces puffiness and tightens the pores. So, cold water helps to keep infection out and “the glow” in.

Houseclean frequently.

Either you, your partner, or your cleaning person dust, vacuum and/or sweep your living quarters on a regular basis, right? (Well, that's a different subject, then.) In any case, your face needs to be “housecleaned” often. The name for such housecleaning is “exfoliation”. Coming from the Latin (ex “off” + folium “leaf”), this verb means to “strip off”. (No, not THAT kind of stripping, sorry.) Cleansers, such as Truefitt and Hill's Authentic No. 10 Cleansing Scrub, remove dead, flaky skin. It is this layer which contributes to skin dullness. You can exfoliate as much as twice a week or a little as once a fortnight, depending on your time and skin condition.

Moisture = a must.

Daily life dries out the skin. In particular, sunlight (yes, we know it doesn't appear that way, but we do get sun in the UK!) and air pollution reduce skin moisture. Applying a morning moisturiser helps a great deal. Some aftershave lotions double as moisturisers. Edwin Jagger does two – one with aloe vera and the other with limes and pomegranate. Then, there are just moisturisers, like the one made by Truefitt and Hill, which protect for 24 hours.

You can also give your skin a "moisture-retaining boost". Both flaxseed and fish oil supplements help skin to retain moisture. The reason is that both of these oils contain omega-3 fatty acids. The recommended dose is one capsule each day. Some people prefer to get their oils via food. Try incorporating 1-2 tablespoons of ground flax seed into your daily salads or yoghurts. You can also eat a daily portion of oily fish such as salmon.

Remember – keeping dull skin away is not a one-off. If you're too knackered to take the time, your skin will show it. But if you make a facial skin plan and faithfully carry it out, your skin will reward you brilliantly.

Who's been a naughty boy, up to no good? Confess how you're hard on your facial skin and we'll reward you with a personal fix-it tip.

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