Why does your skin look dull and how to make it glow?

Why does your skin look dull and how to make it glow?

Jan 06, 2023Zaryab Fayyaz

Does your skin have lost its radiance and now you feel your skin is dull and dehydrated?

Then you might be wondering what the causes of your dull skin are and how you can achieve a healthy, vibrant glow. Skin is the largest organ of your body and maintaining radiant-looking skin can be an onerous endeavour, especially if you are not aware of the reasons for dull skin.

Many factors can contribute to the lack of radiance but once you understand the causes of dull skin, you can restore its glow. Here are some reasons for dullness on the face and what you can do to fight them.

What Is Dull Skin?

Dull skin is characterised by a lack of radiance, moisture, and firmness of the skin. A buildup of dead skin cells on the skin's surface further adds to a dull skin tone which can appear lifeless and sallow-looking. In a nutshell, dull skin is the opposite of glowing, youthful-looking skin.

Causes of dull skin

  1. Dehydration 

The amount of water you intake is directly related to the health of your skin. Not drinking enough water can cause dehydration which in turn decreases the volume of blood flow to the skin, making you look dull and pale. Failing to give your skin the hydration it needs can also cause damage such as breakouts, fine lines, sagging skin, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and more. So, keep your skin hydrated by drinking eight glasses of water every day. Moreover, you should apply a hydrating face serum or a moisturiser to keep the upper layers of your skin hydrated.

  1. Not exfoliating

Many times, we tend to skip exfoliation, which is one of the most popular reasons for dull skin. Exfoliation helps to remove dry, dead skin cells and creates a fresh canvas that allows topical products to penetrate better into your skin. Scrubbing is one of the best ways to smoothen the skin’s surface and make it appear glowy. Use a mild exfoliator one or two times a week to remove oil, debris, and bacteria from the surface of your skin and reveal a rejuvenated complexion. But remember to be mindful. Do not over-exfoliate as that can eradicate your skin’s protective layer, resulting in loss of moisture. This too can result in dull skin. 

  1. Skipping moisturisation

Dryness is the most common cause of dull skin. Skipping on moisturiser can cause dead skin cells to build up and can make your complexion uneven. Hydration is the key to nourishing and healthy skin. Even people will oily skin types need to moisturise regularly. 

  1. Sun damage 

Not only does unprotected sun exposure impact the top layers of your skin, but it also breaks down the important proteins in your skin and damages the skin’s barrier resulting in dull and dry skin. Apart from this, environmental aggressors like pollution could also be one of the causes of dull skin and signs of aging. Hence, you must always wear a cream with broad-spectrum SPF, even on cloudy days to protect your skin from the harsh UV rays and external aggressors. 

  1. Smoking 

Smoking can impact the production of collagen and degrade the elastic fibers of your skin. This can speed up the aging process and contribute to dull skin. Try to reduce and eventually, quit smoking. 

  1. Lack of sleep 

A tired body is what causes dull skin. Anything that keeps you awake, including stress, can stand between you and glowing skin. Your cells repair and regenerate themselves when you sleep and if that period is shortened or altered then they will not be able to perform at their optimum level. Make sure that you get about seven to nine hours of sleep per night. For added benefits and to achieve dewy, soft, and supple skin, we recommend applying a night cream regularly. 

  1. Sleeping with makeup 

Going to bed without removing makeup leads to the accumulation of dirt and debris on your skin’s surface, clogging your pores and making it appear dull. Leaving a layer of makeup on the skin can also prevent it from breathing and repairing itself as you sleep. Additionally, wearing makeup to bed can also lead to a nasty breakout and premature aging. So, make sure that you’ve completely got rid of makeup, dirt, and dust from the skin before sleeping. To do so, use a gentle cleanser and follow it up with a soothing face wash to refresh and revive your skin thoroughly.

    8. Aging

Aging is inevitable and as we move away from our most youthful years, our skin loses its radiance and firmness. Cell renewal slows down, collagen is distributed drop by drop, wrinkles suddenly appear and our complexion becomes dull!

   9. Poor diet

An unbalanced diet low in fruits and vegetables can have harmful effects on the skin. Besides the lack of vitamins, your skin will suffer from glycation, a chemical reaction that results in sugar binding to proteins.

In the long run, glycation will accelerate the aging of the skin by preventing the proper development of collagen and microcirculation. Glycation is particularly strong in people who eat too much sugar or grilled meat.

  10. Poor blood circulation

Blood serves as a distributor of oxygen, nutrients, and vitamins throughout our bodies. If the blood circulates poorly, our skin doesn’t get enough of the vitamins and nutrients it needs. It then loses its glow and the characteristic pinky color.

   11. Winter

Cold and fresh air, wind when outside, warm and dry air, and heating when inside all these conditions specific to winter have a harmful effect on the skin. In particular, because of excessive dehydration, the skin suffers in such conditions. This is why it is particularly important to hydrate your skin well in winter!

  12. Hormonal imbalance

Hormones play a vital role for both our inner well-being and that of our skin. Estrogen is essential for a rosy and fresh complexion while cortisol, the stress hormone, can make the complexion dull and prone to pimples if secreted in too large quantities.

When our hormones are well balanced, cell renewal, the health of our muscles, and our general well-being is ensured. But when certain hormones are in overdrive or run low, even our skin suffers the consequences.

   13. Stress

Cortisol is the cause of stress and can be harmful to the skin. This hormone, naturally present in our bodies and usually secreted in reasonable quantities, begins to spread from the inside when we stress too much. The skin is then attacked by free radicals which harm our beautiful skin cells.

Even though it is not always possible, we should aim to control our stress levels as it is beneficial for our overall health, as well as for the skin.

  14. Alcohol

On the extensive list of negative effects of alcohol, one of the top ones is dehydration! Even if you just have one drink, it still severely dehydrates the body and especially the skin. It becomes dry, making the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and a dull complexion more visible.

  15. Pollution 

The harmful chemicals found in cigarettes cause the multiplication of free radicals on the skin and lead to oxidative stress. Collagen is poorly renewed, and skin cells lose quality, and this shows on the skin: it loses its glowy complexion, and its elasticity and wrinkles appear on the dull skin. 

8 Ways to make the skin glow

  1. Reduce Your Alcohol Intake

 Alcohol can dehydrate and dull the skin. It can also increase the blood flow to the skin's surface, resulting in a flushed appearance that can become permanent over time for some people. If you feel the need for a drink and don't want to see the effects of it on your skin, try sipping water along with your drink.

  1. Consume a Balanced Diet

You are what you eat. The quality of food you eat and the types of foods you consume affect the health and look of your skin. Incorporate more foods into your diet that are high in fatty acids such as fish (especially salmon), walnuts, and flaxseed. Fatty acids are crucial to healthy skin because they boost cell production below the skin's surface, reinforcing the skin barrier and reducing inflammation. Think of it as nourishing your skin from within.

Also, eating foods that are rich in antioxidants can help to fight skin inflammation and free radical damage. Nuts and seeds like walnuts and pumpkin seeds as well as tomatoes may protect your skin while dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants that keep skin healthy. Also, make sure your diet is rich in probiotics-the healthier your gut is, the healthier your skin is, too.

  1.   Protect Your Skin From Sun Damage

The sun depletes the skin of its levels of essential fatty acids and hyaluronic acid, which can lead to dullness as well as pigmentation called lipofuscin. "Use of SPF is very important every day, and the level of SPF depends on the time of exposure. Use an SPF 30 for every day and an SPF 50 for activities such as hiking, swimming, walking, or jogging.

  1. Exfoliate Regularly

Exfoliation is the key to a brighter complexion, and when it comes to incorporating it into your routine, you have options. You can gently exfoliate with a washcloth, or use an exfoliating cleanser or scrub (just make sure you're using a gentle product that won't cause any microtrauma to your skin).

  1.   Start Your Day With Vitamin C

A daily dose of orange juice loaded with vitamin C might be good for keeping colds away, but vitamin C is also a nutrient-rich antioxidant that fights signs of ageing, and it's a known skin-brightening agent, too. Vitamin C also protects the skin from UV-related free radicals, lightens up dark spots, and improves your skin's overall appearance.

  1. Get Adequate Sleep

Not only is it important for your body to get proper shut-eye, but it may be key for your skin, too. Cell regeneration occurs during our sleep, and that lack of sleep will directly play a role in poor skin regeneration, resulting in tired and dull skin. 

  1. Never Skip Cleansing

Try washing your face every day, twice a day: first thing in the morning and before bed. This gets rid of built-up dirt and oil on the skin's surface, and it also removes makeup depending on the cleanser's formula. Untouched dirt, oil, and makeup might clog pores, weigh down your skin, and lead to a dull complexion. 

  1. Combat Environmental Triggers With Skincare Products

The environment has a direct influence on our skin. Some factors that can cause dull skin are oversensitivity, which pushes the epidermis to build a thicker layer of protection on the skin, which leads to a dull and rough texture. Also, pollution has been proven to disrupt the skin microbiota and increase sebum production and acne.


Dull skin, a common dermatological complaint, is characterised by the loss of a healthy glow to the skin and the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes, and uneven skin tone. Stress, pollution, poor diet, lack of hydration, and certain lifestyle factors like smoking may cause your skin to appear dull but there are several ways to restore your skin glow.

By adopting the right routine and taking the right steps, you can transform your dull skin into radiant and luminous skin. So, now say goodbye to dull skin.

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