Because dull skin is never in and you need a brightener now

In the summertime, we believe glowing skin is the ultimate accessory. Now, with Memorial Day right around the corner, it’s time to shake the wrinkles out of your sundresses and dust off those strappy sandals—and metaphorically, you should do the same for your complexion, too!

If you’ve been wondering how to brighten dull skin, we’ve got you, boo. Here are our favorite glowing skin secrets; now get after it, ‘cause it’s your time to shine.

The difference between lightening and brightening

Before we get into the nitty-pretty-gritty of how to brighten dull skin, we want to draw an important distinction between skin lightening and skin brightening. If you are a person of color, depending upon the culture(s) that contributed to your marvelously melanin-rich complexion, you may have encountered cultural beauty standards that hold up “light” or “fair” skin as the ideal. First, WRONG! Second, that’s not what we’re talking about here—at all.

Skin lightening products, whether it’s straight-up skin bleach from India or controversial hydroquinone-based products hailing from the U.S., are intended to gradually fade the baseline color of your skin. Honestly, there’s nothing about that concept that’s okay. Skin brightening products, by contrast, are meant to equalize uneven skin tone by targeting areas of hyperpigmentation and boost radiance by smoothing away dry, dead surface cells. To recap, skin lightening is about trying to be somebody different—skin brightening is about trying to be the very best version of you. Now that we’ve cleared that up, here are our glowing skin secrets: 

1. Stage a Skintervention

Some scientists estimate that we shed about a million skin cells every day, and your top layer of skin completely replaces itself about once a month. But until the moment until we officially “shake it off,” each dead skin cell is part of your skin’s outermost protective layer—it’s technically nonliving tissue, waiting to be replaced by new cells forming beneath the surface.

As we age, this process becomes less efficient; new cells don’t form as quickly, and dead cells may shed unevenly. So if you’re thinking, “my skin looks dull and tired” or just looking for ways to make skin brighter, you might want to start with professional treatment, like a light glycolic peel or a series of gentle microdermabrasion sessions. These non-invasive dull skin remedies can give your skin the kind of “jump-start” that you can’t really accomplish at home.

2. Keep That Glow Going

After your gentle resurfacing treatment(s), you’ll want to take ALLLLL the steps to extend—and even improve—your results. To make skin brighter on a daily basis, consider adding a Vitamin C-based potion to your regimen; this proven skin superfood works beneath the surface to help erase environmental damage like fine lines and sunspots at the cellular level.

If you have dry skin, add a few drops of Beautycounter’s No. 1 Brightening Facial Oil (an Allure Best of Beauty award-winner) to your regular moisturizer. And of course, we’re pretty partial to Masktini's Metal Head Metallic Brightening Mask. We’ve blended stabilized Vitamin C and glow-getting pomegranate stem cell extract with micro-milled mica; not only will you sport a “sexy C3PO” look while you’re masking—it also leaves behind a subtle golden glow while working towards stunning long-term results.

3. Fake It ‘Til You Make It.

What is glowing skin, really...and is it cheating to use a highlighter? Important questions, y’all. While the ultimate goal is to have a radiant, #iwokeuplikethis complexion before you address your wicked bedhead, we realize this isn’t always a realistic goal. You have a life. So while most of the Masktini team isn’t super heavy-handed when it comes to makeup, we’re thoroughly in support of using glowing skin products to fill in the gaps between fantasy and LYFE.

We’re absolutely enamored with Charlotte Tilbury’s Wonderglow Face Primer; the light, creamy formula is glowy without being glittery. Add a dollop to your foundation for a brightening summer-skin reboot. Also on our love-list: Marc Jacobs Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter, which contains five forms of coconut to help YOU DEW YOU. If your skin is on the oily side, opt for a soft-focus powder like Hourglass Ambient Lighting Finishing Powder, in Ethereal.

HOT TIP: highlighters are all the rage right now, so everybody’s trying to find a unique angle—which means all kinds of crazy color options. With apologies to Fluttershy and friends, our recommendation is to steer clear of MLP-inspired palettes featuring lavender and seafoam shades. Instead, stick to quartz, golden and opal looks...and always use sparingly.

Ready to get your glow on? We’d love to see pics of you masking around with Metal Head. So get to grammin’, and don’t forget to follow and tag us @masktini / #masktini when you do!