Do you look like you have a grey cloud hanging over you all the time? Charlotte Turner, National Training Manager for La Prairie Australia and SEA (pictured right), tells us why your face hasn’t been looking too bright lately.

“People assume dull skin is due to a build up of dead skin cells, but it’s also because your oil glands stop producing oil as you age. It’s this oil or sebum which gives you that glow.”

Not eating enough protein
“Protein gets transformed into amino acids, which are the building blocks of collagen. People with low protein diets have worse skin. Extreme diets can cause even young women to look like they have post-menopausal skin i.e. paper-thin, parchment-like, pigmented, less springy and less hydrated looking.”

Cosmetic procedures
Those chemical peels may get rid of layers of dead skin cells but beware of doing it too often as skin can become too thin, says Ms Turner. “And women don’t maintain their skin after having the procedure done, when in fact they need to take care of it even more with nourishing products.”

Not drinking enough water
Here’s another reason to get your eight to ten glasses worth. “Once your tissues have enough hydration, your skin will look brighter,” she says.

“But go for pure, natural water and not substitutes because drinking soft drinks, fruit juices or alcohol will make you think you’re drinking enough fluids when they’re not the same. And, drink at least 3 glasses of green tea a day for the antioxidants.”

Too much sugar
One word: glycation.

Ms Turner explains the process: “Skin becomes the body’s dumping ground as you age. Your liver gets tired and ends up sending toxins to the skin. As sugar is sticky and has a high affinity with proteins, it will attach itself to the elastin in skin and absorb the moisture which keeps the fibres flexible. They then end up snapping and that’s how skin becomes saggy and dull.”

If you’re suffering from a few skin problems, Ms Turner suggests treating the most acute one first before trying to combat dullness.

For example, if you have acne, then it’s best to re-balance your skin to get it back on track. That means not using physical scrubs as skin is already vulnerable but gentle chemical exfoliators like La Prairie’s Cellular 3-Minute Peel to alleviate congestion.

Your makeup
“You should use makeup only as an enhancement or to reinforce the action of your skincare.” Look out for makeup with treatment properties like La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Concealer Foundation SPF 15 or Anti-Aging Foundation SPF 15.


La Prairie’s newest brightening product is Cellular Radiance Emulsion SPF 30 ($750). It will be available at all La Prairie counters in May 2011.