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Actifs cosmétiques contre le teint terne.

Dull complexion: The radiance-boosting active ingredients used in cosmetics.

Do you have a greyish complexion and a tired appearance? The skin's radiance can diminish for various reasons. A lack of glow can result from inadequate oxygenation due to exposure to stress, pollution, lack of sleep or even smoking. The accumulation of dead skin cells on the skin's surface is also one of the main causes of a dull complexion. If this is the case for you, which active ingredients should you prioritise in your daily skincare routine? Let's focus.

Published October 28, 2022, updated on February 23, 2024, by Maylis, Chemical Engineer — 7 min read

Vitamin C.

Several studies have demonstrated thelightening powerof topical application of Vitamin C. Therefore, this active ingredient can be used to give abrightening boost to one's complexionand/or tocombathyperpigmentation, a skin disorder that can occur at any age, manifesting as brown spots on the skin's surface.

The mechanism of action of Vitamin C is based on theinhibition of the amount of melaninproduced by the skin's pigment cells. Vitamin C interacts with tyrosinase, an enzyme responsible for converting the amino acid tyrosine into melanin, thereby reducing pigmentation.

In order to enhance your skin's radiance while protecting it from oxidative stress, we recommend using a Vitamin C skincare product morning and evening. Typology has developed five products containing this active ingredient at various concentrations: the radiance face serum, the antioxidant face cream, the radiance toner, the tinted serum and the wrinkle and firmness loss serum.

Alpha-hydroxy acids (A.H.A.).

The A.H.A., or alpha-hydroxy acids, are water-soluble acids. They are generally recommended for dry skin as they exfoliate the surface while maintaining epidermal hydration. In skincare, there are several types of AHA, includingglycolic acid,lactic acid and mandelic acid.

How do A.H.A.s act on dull complexion? Thanks to their peeling action, these acids effectively remove dead, dull and dehydrated cells from the surface of the epidermis. This exfoliating action therefore allows healthy cells to emerge (cell renewal), which restores radiance and brightness to the face. They also reduce hyperpigmentation. Indeed, depending on the concentration of A.H.A. in a treatment, exfoliation helps to get rid of melanin-rich skin cells on the skin's surface. This phenomenon can even go as far as provoking cell renewal at the level of the skin's basal layer, which is the deep layer of the epidermis, where the melanocytes, the melanin-producing cells, are located. This therefore allows todiminish brown spots caused by age, hormonal fluctuations or sun exposure, and thus to lighten the complexion.

Lemon hydrosol.

Be careful not to confuse lemon hydrosol with lemon juice, which has a very acidic pH that can irritate the skin. The differences in biochemical compositions between lemon juice and lemon water are due to different extraction processes. Lemon juice is extracted by mechanical pressure, while lemon hydrosol is the result of steam distillation of whole lemons.Unlike lemon juice which has a very acidic pH, thelemon hydrosol can be used in cosmetics because it has a significantly less acidic pH (between 5 to 7). Furthermore, it possesses lightening, sebum-regulating, toning and purifying properties, making it suitable for all skin types, particularly oily, acne-prone, dull, combination and pigmented skin.

Thus, you can enjoy the benefits of theaqueous lemon extract safely to revive the radiance of your dull skin.

At Typology, we even offer you products based on this natural extract such as:

Some plant-based oils.

Somevegetable oils are rich in carotenoids, compounds that enhance the skin's radiance. This is the case with theburiti oil and the carrot macerate for example. Mainly recognised for its effect on the complexion, thecarrot oil serves as an excellent radiance-boosting treatment. Indeed, this vegetable is very rich in vitamin A, which it provides in the form of beta-carotene, a pigment that gives it its orange colour.

Ourburiti botanical blend is composed of 6 plant extracts rich in beta-carotene, including buriti oil and carrot macerate. It revives the complexion's radiance and provides an immediate subtle tan. Please note, this is not a self-tanner. Apply a few drops to the face and neck in the morning and/or evening as the final step in your usual facial care routine.


  • HEARING V. J. & al. Applications of hydroxy acids : classification, mechanisms, and photoactivity. Clinical Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology (2010).

  • CHIANG N. & al. Topical vitamin C and the skin: Mechanisms of action and clinical applications. Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology (2017).


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