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How to build a skin brightening routine for youthful and radiant skin

To remove dullness and brighten dark spots on your skin, you’ll first need to know how to protect your skin. Then, adopt a skin brightening regime and you’ll regain beautiful and radiant skin, naturally.

Yumi Narasaki

Renowned Beauty Writer

The desire for unblemished skin is common among many of us. And the reality is that you can have lustrous, blemish-free skin that is radiant and supple without any special intensive care. What we are going to share is a holistic approach to skin brightening that can be easily incorporated into your daily skincare regime.

Here are some insights to the skin problems you might encounter after extensive exposure to UV radiation.

Skin texture becomes rough

Skin becomes dry and will lead to, or worsen, conditions such as dull skin and uneven skin tone

Reduced skin barrier function

Increase in skin pigmentation which causes dark spots and freckles

UV rays are not only known to cause skin problems such as dark spots, wrinkles and saggy skin, but they are also responsible for skin dullness, rough skin texture, reduced barrier function, thus impeding the process of achieving dewy and supple skin! Only skin that is smooth and well-moisturized can reflect light – the effects from UV exposure prevent exactly this!

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SK-II’s unique image analysis on human skin that has experienced excessive UV radiation revealed three types of cloudy skin.

Melanin accumulation creates a blotchy skin effect that looks like a brownish shadow on the skin. It does not surface as dark spots and that’s why it is sometimes referred to as hidden or invisible dark spots.

When melanin is scattered throughout the skin, it creates ‘melanin dust’, or grayish spots which account for the skin’s grayish dullness.

Skin inflammation and damage caused by UV exposure create redness on the skin. This scattered redness appears like sediments and causes the skin to look cloudy and dull.

The lack of skin moisture can be attributed to various factors, including dryness as a result of reduced barrier function, poor blood circulation, hyperpigmentation caused by skin rubbing and frictional damage, among others. Adopt a holistic approach to skincare so that your skin issues can be resolved once and for all.

Since the skin is the body’s largest organ, you should extend the same tender-loving care to it as you do for your face. Here are some practical ways to take care of your body:

  • Instead of just a quick shower, enjoy a soak in a warm bath to promote relaxation and improve blood circulation. If a bathtub soak is not possible, or inconvenient, a warm foot bath is just as effective.

  • Keep yourself warm in an air-conditioned environment by using a shawl or sweater, and wearing socks.

  • Avoid iced or cold drinks whenever possible; opt for drinks that are warm or at room temperature.

Keeping your body as close as possible to its natural body temperature is an effective way to maintain moisture-balanced and healthy skin. Do this on top of a regular review and adherence to your daily skin care routine.

Skin needs to be well-moisturized in order to appear dewy. When your skin is sufficiently hydrated, the protective function of the skin barrier will help to restrict the damages UV rays can cause. Use cleansing foam developed just for face washing. Be gentle and avoid rubbing during cleansing. After washing, apply milky lotion with a gentle hand press and patting motion to effectively seal in moisture. You will be able to see the difference these simple steps can make to your skin!

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Protection against harmful UV rays is essential to the care of your skin. Prolonged exposure to UV rays not only tans the skin, it can also cause inflammation, hot flashes, and other skin irritations. Over time, the visible effects include dark spots, skin dullness, dryness and skin that lacks elasticity and firmness. The underlying issue of cloudy skin in the deeper skin layers as a result of UV radiation damage will also be a cause for concern. Always use sunblock and be generous with it! Check in the mirror that you are applying it evenly, and around often neglected areas like your temples, ears and lower neck. Repeat this every two hours to protect yourself from UV rays if you are exercising or perspiring more than usual.

Skin regeneration is disrupted by the process of aging and damages caused by UV radiation. This causes old keratin to accumulate and form thickened layers of skin. At this point, moisturization will not be effective since it is unable to penetrate the calloused skin. The solution would be to use cleansing lotion to remove the old keratin which contains melanin. After this, you can moisturize generously to regain your skin’s smooth texture. The results of this keratin care will surely motivate you to continue caring for your skin.

We all know that a brightening serum is highly effective in preventing dark spots and freckles caused by sun exposure. It is also an ideal option to counter the effects of excessive melanin production. At the same time, it is a potent brightening care product. Use the serum on areas that are more prone to becoming cloudy (more sun exposure), such as the cheekbones, then spread it across the entire face. You can apply an additional layer of serum to areas that you are particularly concerned about.

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Haruka Ayase

“My skin is prone to dryness so I address this by using generous amounts of skin lotion during my daily skincare routine. After applying skin lotion, my skin feels fresher and more comfortable. I’ve kept to this routine as it’s visible that my skin is more stable now, and it is clearer than before. I take special care to apply UV protection so that my skin does not get tanned, and I also make the effort to stay away from the sun and protect myself against damages from UV rays. If I happen to be in the sun, I will not only apply my moisturizer, but also my brightening care product immediately! I’m an advocate of brightening products – I use my brightening serum frequently and brightening face mask regularly – as I can see how including it in my skincare regime has helped to revitalize my skin and give it a glow.”
At night, I enjoy a hot soak in the bathtub to warm my body. It not only relieves me of the stresses of the day, but also refreshes my mind. It is like a relaxing form of therapy and one that I would recommend to everyone.

We know many of you wish for dewy and clear-looking skin but don’t know where to start, or what is the best skincare method to use to achieve it. The answer is surprisingly simple. Just use the right skincare products and follow the steps on how to apply it. You can get that radiant and dewy-looking skin like Ayase too!

Choose this regimen to start enjoying clear and radiant skin now, and in the future.

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Yumi Narasaki

Renowned Beauty Writer

As a beauty and cosmetics writer, Ms. Narasaki is actively involved in research in this field, with a special interest in how cutting-edge technology and new trends shape this industry. Ms. Narasaki is part of the editorial team for top Japanese publication, VOCE, and is a prolific online contributor to beauty-centric websites. She has also authored several publications in the field of beauty. In her spare time, Ms. Narasaki enjoys spending time outdoors and in particular, camping.