Looking in the mirror these past few weeks, we've been feeling a bit "meh" about our faces. Maybe it's our skin's version of SAD, but the dull, washed-out complexions we're sporting aren't doing us any favors. According to L'Oréal Paris consulting dermatologist Dr. Gervaise Gerstner, the main reason for our skin's lack of joie de vivre is a loss of brightness, which can be attributed to a build-up of dead skin cells and changes in texture. Fine lines, crepiness, and enlarged pores all have a hand in making your skin look blah as well.
So what's the solution to this dull-skin depression? Exfoliating your way to brighter skin. "I recommend enzymatically exfoliating your skin with glycolic acids to help skin glow," says Dr. Gerstner. Meaning that instead of scrubbing your face into submission with a grainy scrub, which can irritate skin and do more harm than good, you should use a product that has acids or brightening agents in it to dissolve the dead skin instead. According to the good doctor, there are lots of new brightening ingredients out there to help you get glowing — vitamin B3, procysteine, recoverine, vitamin Bg — plus old standbys like alpha-hydroxy acids, horse chestnut, vitamin C, and retinol. Here, find five of our fave new glow-boosters that promise to help improve clarity, dissolve brown spots, and give your skin an overall zhushing.