A Celebrity Facialist Teaches Us Her Go-To Trick To Revive Dull Skin In Minutes

mbg Associate Editor By Jamie Schneider
mbg Associate Editor
Jamie Schneider is the Associate Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and health. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
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Professional facials, luxurious as they are, do carry a certain allure—there's just something special about expert hands working products into your skin. It's a similar sort of pleasure as getting your hair washed in the salon bowl: It definitely doesn't happen every day, but if you do opt for a treat-yourself-moment, it's good. A few moments spent under professional palms, and you'll likely walk out the door with fresh, rejuvenated skin; a dewy glow; and marble-cut cheekbones. 

While it takes tons of skill and practice to coax dull skin back to life in a matter of minutes (they are professional facialists for a reason), you can achieve similar results at home. Take this go-to hack from Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Salons and Skin Care: "It's an old-fashioned trick that really works!" she says. Read on for her expert secrets. 

A facialist's trick to revive dull skin. 

"If your skin is dull and dry, then you need to apply your masks and face products in an upward motion, encouraging more circulation in the tissue," she explains. So if you're one to gently press on skin care products with your palms, consider this a reason to dabble in a little massage: Floating your hands upward can stimulate blood flow, which delivers oxygen and nutrients to the cells and offers a lit-from-within radiance—in mere minutes. (It's exactly why many experts encourage stimulating blood flow—either with a massage or some physical exfoliation—right before an event since it provides an immediate glow. Just a little tip to have in your back pocket.)

Of course, getting to the root of your dull skin is important (oxidative stress, dead skin, and dehydration are all important factors to mind). But if your skin just looks a little blah one day? This trick is like a kick up the backside. 

OK, but what if you have the opposite problem—your skin isn't dull but is irritated or inflamed? According to Vargas, the reverse requires a counter solution: "If your skin is inflamed, red, or breaking out, you should always apply your products in a downward motion on the face toward the sides of the neck," she explains, as it encourages lymphatic drainage. Since stagnant lymph is associated with inflammation and swelling (and anecdotal accounts of jawline acne), plenty of experts recommend a light massage to sweep it all downward to the drainage center at your collarbones.

Whether you massage upward or downward, though, make sure you do so gently and with tons of slip—you never want to be pulling or tugging at your delicate facial skin.

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The takeaway.

For an immediate glow, try Vargas' tip and apply your products in upward motions, as the increased circulation can liven up dull skin in minutes. Get ready for all the "Have you had a facial?" inquiries. 

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