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Dull Looking Skin: Causes and How to Fix It

A glowing, luminous looking skin never goes out of style, but nobody likes a dull looking skin. Of course, maintaining skin radiance is not always easy. However, there many reasons your skin could be missing its glow. Naturally, our skin is constantly shedding dead cells, which is an important process for its overall health. When this process isn’t working efficiently, your complexion takes a hit and may take on a dull, unhealthy and tired appearance.

Luckily, it’s not doom and gloom for your skin. There are sure ways you can utilize to reverse dull looking skin and get back that much needed glow. If you notice that your skin has become dull, there are chances that you could be making one or more of these mistakes below.

To avoid making things worse, make a point to break these habits responsible for dull looking skin.

You are Dehydrated

When the skin is hydrated, blood flow to the skin is significantly decreased. This can make you look pale and sickly. Dehydration might seem temporary or a short term problem, but you should take it seriously and plan long term.

How to fix it: One glass of water will not solve it. Dr. Janet Prystowsky, a certified dermatologist, insists on proper moisturizing and hydrating. She advises on eight glasses of water per day. Make hydration a consistent part of your skin care routine as one way to avoid dull looking skin.

You are Skipping Exfoliation

Another common culprit that causes dull looking skin is skipping exfoliation. Scrubbing is a crucial step in healthy skin. This is the process that helps the skin get rid of the dirt and dead cells. By exfoliating, you are giving the skin a fresh canvas on which to operate. Skipping these crucial steps leaves your skin dry and this leads to dullness and possible blemish.

How to fix it: Get your hands on a proper exfoliator and add it to your skin care regimen. Avoid mixing exfoliators as this might cause irritation and damage to the skin. The Golden Salt Scrub from Gold Elements is a great place to start. This exfoliator combines salt scrub with 24k gold powder for added luxury and to nourish the skin.

You are Breaking your Moisturizer Routine

Sometimes, your dull looking skin is simply a way for your skin to call out for some moisture. Daily pollutants and environmental stressors are always gunning for your skin, making it dull. As such, you should be fighting the elements of your daily skin care routine. Moisturizing is part and parcel of that.

How to fix it: Always use a quality moisturizer in your daily routine to fill in the fissures in your dry skin. A moisturizer with skin-friendly ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid is perfect for the job. On one hand, ceramides help with water retention as well as repairing the skin barrier function. Hyaluronic acid, on the other hand, plumps the skin cells by attracting water to nearby tissue.

Proper Moisturizing Techniques: How you apply your moisturizer is also important as well. Make sure to use gentle, upward strokes which helps boost blood circulation while stimulating the cells around the face and neck. This also brings oxygen to the skin surface, making for a nourished and healthy-looking skin.

You Are Stressed

You probably know that stress is not good for many things, including skin. Stress affects skin directly as it triggers the release of cortisol, which can directly affect blood flow and circulation. When blood flow is affected, this affects skin repair on its tracks. Stressors can be anything from business deadlines, fights and arguments, or simply frustration. Although stressful situations are not necessarily your fault, they have an impact on the skin. As such, you should learn how to manage some of these factors to avoid dull looking skin.

How to fix it: Stress management goes a long way to a better mood and better looking skin. Take the time to de-stress with some fun activities at home or outdoors. Also, try adapting a more positive attitude towards things or learn and practice strategies that help you calm your mind.

By keeping stress at bay, you can say hello to a better looking skin complexion for the short and long term.

You Lack Sleep

Whatever might be keeping you late at night eventually gets in the way of your best-looking skin. Sleep is the time when the body does its own repairs while generating new cells. If you take away that repair time or shorten, your body and skin especially will not perform at their best.

Consequently, your mission of getting rid of dull looking skin will have failed.

How to fix it: When it comes to poor sleeping habits, there is no two way about it. You can’t fix sleep deprivation with anything else except sleep. Get at least 7-9 hours of sleep if you want to stay fresh and achieve and maintain better-looking skin. While at it, add some extra moisturizing power with an overnight face mask. You can do this on a weekly basis or make it an alternative to your night cream routine.

You Are in the Wrong Environment

Like we mentioned above, environmental pollutants can wreak havoc on your skin. Air pollutants, harsh climate, low humidity, UV ray exposure are some of the culprits that cause dull looking skin. A switch from rural to the urban setting or vice versa can have a noticeable difference to your skin. Your skin may not be used to cold or hot weather or different humidity levels for everywhere you visit. Hence, it is up to you to take the necessary precaution should you need to make such a switch to either side be it for family or work.

How to fix it: In many cases, you do not need to relocate to keep your skin smooth and healthy. Following the right skin care routine for different environments should be enough to maintain good looking skin. To begin with, wash your face before bed to clean out the radicals collected during the day. Next, keep your skin hydrated with the right moisturizer for your skin type. Lastly, always wear sunscreen every day to protect the skin from harmful UV rays and other pollutants.

You are Still Smoking

Maintaining a perfectly healthy skin might require you to change a few habits. One of those habits is smoking. Smoking not only contributes to a dull looking skin, it causes other long term effects not to mention cancer. Cigarette smoking causes collagen in the skin to breakdown, causing it to appear sallow and wrinkled over time.

How to fix it: You don’t need to be hear this again, but smoking is detrimental to your skin.

It might be easier said than done, and you can always get help to quit smoking. Your body, your skin, and loved ones will thank you for it.

You Are Not Eating Well

If you thought the age old phrase ‘you are what you eat’ is simply a cliché, then you couldn’t be more wrong. Whatever you put in your body reflects in your complexion. As such, you should not expect magic when eating an undernourished diet.

How to fix it: Where skin care is concerned, simply avoid salty and processed foods. The two are responsible for tissue swelling caused by fluid retention. Also, stay clear of the ‘typical Western diet’ that consists of high sugar and carbs. These foods are all major culprits in dull looking skin.

Instead, go for foods rich in fiber, high quality proteins, vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids.


We all want healthy, luminous and glowing skin. Most of us will spend countless hours at the facials and money on skin care and make up products to achieve this. However, all that won’t work well without the right discipline and dedication. Make sure none of the factors above are coming between you and your best skin.

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