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3 reasons your skin has lost its glow (and what to do about it)

Last Updated: 26/07/2022

It’s difficult to quantify but when you skin has lost its glow, you know. Sapped of its natural lustre, {skin} can start to look grey and a little bit ‘meh’ for a multitude of reasons, which is why we’ve highlighted the three main aggressors (and talked you through how to avenge them). Take that skin saboteurs – your luminosity-leaching days are over!

1. Hormone havoc

No surprises for guessing your hormones have their part to play in your complexion’s radiance (or lack thereof). Responsible for wreaking havoc — blemishes, excess oil, pigmentation… you name it! — your hormones also have a lead role in the play we’re calling ‘anti-glow’. During the course of your cycle, oestrogen dips as testosterone rises, which leads to a surge in oil synthesis. This accentuates the visibility of pores and contributes to blackheads and congestion so your skin looks more uneven and less light-reflective.


Although there’s little you can do to stop your hormones going bonkers (consult your doctor if things feel really off-kilter), keeping blotting papers in your handbag helps to ‘mop up’ problem-causing sebum to prevent it plugging pores. Hello, NYX Professional Makeup‘s {oil-absorbent sheets}. On top of this, make sure you cleanse carefully every evening to eliminate the make up, grime and urban dirt that ‘sticks’ to skin and leaves a greasy film.

Oil attracts oil so try Tata Harper’s {Nourishing Oil Cleanser} to eliminate every last trace of the day. It’s also packed with vitamins A, C and  to exhibit brilliantly brightening and softening benefits. Two birds, one stone and all that.

2. Stress, stress and more stress

Overworked, underpaid or simply grappling with the conveyor belt of life (“Stop this, I want to get off!!”), stress is linked to hormones and is terrible for your complexion… Whether you’ve a deadline looming, have been burning too much of the midnight oil or have had an emotional upset, stress triggers your body’s ‘fight or flight’ instinct, which diverts blood to your vital organs leaving skin high, dry and sallow.


If you’re going through a stressful time, try stimulating micro-circulation with a morning-time facial massage. Not only does this give you ‘thinking space’ to get your head in gear, but the act of encourage blood to skin’s surface will help to recapture that ‘lit from within’ look we crave. Use a gentle, refreshing cleanser and take time really ‘working’ product into skin, then use a fingertip technique to maximise absorption of your serum, eye cream, moisturiser… you’ll restore your skin’s ‘bounce’ and exude youthful luminosity.

3. Environmental damage

The everyday environmental onslaught has a lot to answer for… pollution is rife and its insidious, cell-damaging side-effects cause city skin to look dull, grey and older than your years (eeek!). Free radicals compromise collagen, and also stimulate melanin synthesis so your once-even visage quickly becomes lined, lacklustre and uneven.

{SOLUTION} Take the day off carefully -The Nue Co.’s {Barrier Culture Cleanser} quickly breaks down surface dirt without compromising your skin’s natural defences. Using a gadget – such as Foreo’s {LUNA Mini 3} – helps slough away those dreadful micro-particles that linger and disrupt DNA as you slumber, while a brightening mask helps to ‘lift’ dulled dead surface cells and encourage regeneration.

To maintain skin’s strength, build up an arsenal of defence’s against the harmful, dullness-inducing toxins caused by pollution and city-dwelling. We recommend Dr. LEVY Switzerland’s {Pollution Shield 5PF} and Dr. Barbara Sturm’s {Anti-Pollution Drops} find a place on your shelfie, stat.


Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Verity is our Content Editor and a Cult Beauty veteran. Currently on maternity leave, raising Cult Beauty’s honorary ‘word nerd’, Tabitha, she speaks fluent ‘beauty’ and loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm (and cleanser and candles… ad infinitum). Nothing can stop her from quoting Nancy Mitford, treating herself to yet another Bella Freud candle for her desk or buying that pilgrim-esque collared or heavily fringed outfit she’s been eyeing. You can trust her to debunk widespread beauty myths and dispense invaluable advice with ease…