How Can I Take Care Of Dull Skin?

Ah, fall—sweaters, pumpkin spice, and the ongoing exhaustion of a pandemic that’s stretching into yet another season. For many of us, the only bags we’re packing are the ones under our eyes, and our summer skin is less glowy and more…oh-no-ey. (It’s not just me, right?)

Basically: I am tired, and my skin is showing it. 

Since I’m a little short on time for more beauty rest these days, I am updating my skincare routine for fall. I had the opportunity to try out a skin regimen from 100% Pure to help me brighten up my dulled skin. But as a “more is more” person who tends to layer products on a bit carelessly, I wasn’t quite sure what I even needed. (My poor pores). I asked the team at 100% PURE what they’d recommend for visible fatigue alongside changing seasons.

We are just coming back from spending a lot of time in the sun, so we should focus on repairing skin.
— Susie Wang, Founder of 100% PURE

“We are just coming back from spending a lot of time in the sun, so we should focus on repairing skin,” explains Susie Wang, founder and chief creative at 100% PURE to me over email. “I recommend a blend of skin-beneficial vitamins for that reason. Vitamin C is a great one to incorporate to suppress and prevent the formation of age spots.”

Further, Wang shared that exfoliating products buff dull skin before applying Vitamin C, which brightens skin as well. Add in Vitamin E, a potent antioxidant and skin-healing ingredient, and hydrating moisturizers and you’ve got a great foundation for transitioning dull skin into colder seasons.

So I started with the “Skin Care Finder” on the brand’s website; it’s only two questions (skin type and main concern), and I was happy that I didn’t have to input my email to get my results. I have normal skin and was looking to combat dehydration, so I ended up with these results for a skin care routine recommendation. The team at 100% PURE then sent me a curated selection from the results (because there were quite a few recommendations) with my particular concerns in mind. 

Exfoliating products buff dull skin before applying Vitamin C, which brightens skin. Add in Vitamin E […] and hydrating moisturizers and you’ve got a great foundation.

I gave this new routine a few weeks, and have to say I do feel like I can see a little more glow than my previous tired skincare routine was providing. Here’s what I did!

1. Cleanse & Exfoliate

While I didn’t have any particular exfoliating products in the routine, I started with the luxuriously softening Calendula Milk Cleanser. I noticed after a few days of use, that my crepe-y skin patches felt a little more like those expensive Kleenexes that are infused with lotion. I have a hunch that’s because the first ingredient is aloe! 

I especially love the creaminess of milk cleansers, this one feels substantial and lingers on your skin in a pleasing way. The hydrosols and flower oils in the cleanser left my skin gently scented and made the cleanser fun to use in the mornings, as the scents helped me wake up

I’ll probably add in one of my existing exfoliating masks once a week, or give the Acai Pulp Facial Scrub a try, since it was one of the other recommended products for my skin type.

2. Nourish & Moisturize

In my own research, I’ve read time and time again that hyaluronic acid is a winner for brightening skin and increasing elasticity. So I was excited to see it as one of the ingredients in the next three steps (four, if you count the PM routine!)

I typically only use witch hazel for toner, but I did enjoy the more complex formulation of the Restorative Sea Culture Hydrating Toner. It layers moisture on nicely on top of the milk cleanser without feeling like it strips the nourishing layer off my skin. Since I don’t often use more complicated toners, I find it a bit pricey at $42 for four fluid ounces. So I might just enjoy the experience of this bottle with the understanding I might not repurchase.

[The serum and moisturizer] absorbed quickly and left my skin feeling smooth.

The real test of a routine, for me, is whether the moisturizing layers leave a sticky or overly oily layer on my skin (because I still wear some makeup when working from home!) The Restorative Sea Culture Replenishing Serum and Extra Riche Créme absorbed quickly and left my skin feeling smooth without that extra drag or cakey-ness before I applied tinted SPF. The $50+ price point seemed more appropriate for what is important to me in a routine, since serums and moisturizers have become my friends in my 30s.

Each night, I gently applied the Multi-Vitamin PM Eye Treatment—a product with Vitamins C, D3, and E, alongside retinol. I use eye products with optimism, although I can never tell if they’re working. They’re a little tough to measure for effectiveness, since I transition from contacts to glasses at night, and wear a darkening eye mask to bed. But I like gently swiping any extra eye serum upwards on my neck, imagining that it’ll be helpful for that thinner skin. 

3. Add Colors That Make You Feel Good

One important part of feeling my best, for me, is to wear colors that inspire me and excite me.  So after my face felt fresh, smooth, and a little plumped, I topped off my look with bright lipstick and blush! I requested 100% PURE’s Fruit Pigment Pomegranate Oil Lipstick in Magnolia, wondering if it would really show up as vibrant and pigmented as it did on the website. And, oh. My. Goodness. I feel like Malibu Barbie in this shade, and no one can tell me I can’t wear this summery color into fall.

Then I dusted the fruit-pigmented powder blush (in Chiffon) on my cheeks. Like the lipstick, it’s also extremely vivid—which means it’s easy to overdo. 😳  Plus, powder blush can dull my final look, especially if want more of a subtle glossy finish. I ended up putting a couple drops of the Intensive Nourishing Facial Oil in my hand, rubbed my fingers lightly into the powder, and mixed into the oil to make a tinted cheek gloss. I ended up looking wind-kissed in the cutest way and the face oil added some glimmer without having to layer on highlighter. The oil added in an extra layer of Vitamin E, yay!

I ended up looking wind-kissed in the cutest way.

Overall, I feel that 100% PURE balances a luxurious experience with a more affordable price point than some other *very fancy* skincare brands. The experience of using these botanical oil-rich products was what really won me over—I love using products that stimulate my senses and these were vibrantly scented. Which means it’s great for me, and makes me remember to do my routine more often!

But if you experience sensitivities to scents or particular essential oils, you might want to build your routine slowly and thoughtfully (the brand lists all their ingredients on the product pages).

Cheers to another season of self-care and establishing routines that make us feel lovely and celebrated. And here’s hoping you’ll find an effective and affordable balance of ingredients, no matter how sleepy your skin is right now. 

100% PURE balances a luxurious experience with a more affordable price point than some other *very fancy* skincare brands.

But mostly, I’m wishing you lots of rest—and whether or not you can get it, lots of water, a little exfoliant, and a vitamin-rich moisturizer too. ✨

Use code TGT15 through 10/31 for 15 percent off full-priced products.

This review is in partnership with our friends at 100% Pure.


Emily Torres is the Managing Editor at The Good Trade. Born and raised in Indiana, she studied Creative Writing and Business at Indiana University. You can usually find her in her colorful Los Angeles apartment journaling, caring for her rabbits, or gaming.