6 Reasons Your Skin Looks Dull, Plus What You Can Do to Restore Radiance

We all want healthy radiant skin! So what can you do if your complexion is looking dull? Ahead, find six reasons you could be looking less than radiant — and how to get your glow back.

What Causes Dull-Looking Skin? 

Dull skin is usually used to describe skin that lacks radiance or luminosity, that dewy look we all strive for. Healthy, well-cared for skin normally doesn’t have a dull appearance, so there may be an underlying issue at hand. 

Dull Skin Tone Cause #1: Dull or Dehydrated Skin 

Have you been skipping out on skin hydration?

Dry, dehydrated skin lacks the moisture it needs to look luminous. Dry skin looks parched and loses its radiance.

When skin isn’t hydrated, fine lines look more pronounced, skin texture appears and feels rough and skin tone can look lackluster. If you are hoping for bright, dewy-looking skin, you should steer clear of oil-absorbing, mattifying formulas when shopping for makeup and skin care. Make sure to cleanse your face with lukewarm water (too hot of a temperature can strip your skin of good oils) and increase hydration and brightness with a curated regimen of serums and moisturizers. I recommend a Vitamin C serum for a dose of brightening and a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid to plump and hydrate the skin. 



Dull Skin Tone Cause #2: Build Up of Dead Skin Cells 

The buildup of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin can contribute to dullness. Just like dry skin, a build-up of dead skin cells can leave the skin looking muted and tired. Make sure to exfoliate weekly to restore a healthy glow and slough away dead surface cells. Incorporating a chemical or physical exfoliant can reveal brighter-looking skin that’s been hiding underneath the dead cells.

I suggest a Glycolic acid product in your routine to help get rid of those built up cells.



Dull Skin Tone Cause #3: Age 

Unfortunately, dull-looking skin is more likely as we age. As we get older our skin’s natural cell turnover rate slows down. This lowered rate of cell turnover can lead to a lackluster skin tone. Aging skin also tends to show more visible sunspots and wrinkles. To help, try incorporating a retinol or retinoid into your night routine. 



Dull Skin Tone Cause #4: Poor Diet

Like the age-old adage says, you are what you eat. Certain food and drinks — like alcohol, caffeine or sugar — may contribute to skin looking dull and dehydrated. If you’re skipping out on vitamin-rich fruits and veggies and heading for the chips and dip, it may be time to switch things up. Even if you have a healthy diet, make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day to get your glow from the inside out. What’s more, smoking can also cause skin to look dull.  

Dull Skin Tone Cause #5: Changes in Weather 

Ever notice how your skin can become dry and dehydrated in low-moisture environments? This is because a lack of humidity in the air during winter can cause dry, dull skin. Try adding a humidifier on your desk or in your bedroom. 

Dull Skin Tone Cause #6: Stress and Fatigue 

Whether it’s caused by a your to-do list or a few overwhelming tasks looming on the horizon, stress can affect the skin in a number of ways, including a lackluster complexion. Additionally, not getting enough sleep at night can take away your skin’s chance to renew and refresh. Make sure you’re getting to bed at a reasonable hour. Keep your cell phone and other distractions out of your bedroom, so you can get a good rest every night. 

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Disclaimer: This site only provides information about dermatology and this information is not meant to be taken as medical advice. For more information about dermatology, contact Dr. Houshmand

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