reasons why your skin is dull & how to brighten it

reasons why your skin is dull & how to brighten it

Noticed your skin is looking more lifeless and lacklustre than usual, despite there being no obvious signs that something is wrong? No, you’re not imagining it. Dull skin may not be as distinguishable as a breakout or dark spots, but it can stop your skin from looking its healthiest and most radiant.

Though a bit more inconspicuous, a dull face can be determined by a few characteristics. In this blog, we’ll take you through the signs to look for, reveal the best brightening ingredients and professional-grade products for dull skin treatment, and share some PRO tips to help keep skin dullness at bay. Let’s get your glow back!

what is dull skin?

As opposed to affecting a localised area or region of your skin, dull skin is more of an all-encompassing skin condition. No matter your skin type, anyone can experience skin that looks washed out and lifeless. Dull skin can become more prevalent with age, but there are a few ways to define skin dullness.

how to tell if you have dull skin

  • Lack of radiance — Skin has lost its ability to reflect light and appears flat.

  • Ashy appearance — A grey or whitish tone overlays the skin’s natural colour.

  • Uneven texture — As a result of dead skin cell build-up, skin is also dry, patchy and not uniformly smooth. 

  • what causes dull skin?

    Along with investing in a dull skin treatment, assessing the cause of skin dullness will greatly help in determining how to correct it. There are many different factors that play a part in driving dull skin, from diet to lifestyle and daily skin habits. Let’s take a look at the leading causes of skin dullness in more detail:

    • Insufficient cleansing or exfoliation — Dirt, oil and dead skin can accumulate on the skin’s surface, clogging pores and suppressing the skin’s natural radiance.
    • Vitamin deficiency — There are a few vitamin deficiencies that can contribute to the appearance of dull skin, including vitamin B and C. Both Vitamin B and C are known to help fade uneven skin tone and promote a more radiant skin. To maintain healthy, balanced skin, it’s important to consume a well-balanced diet, along with applying vitamins topically to the skin. In fact, the bioavailability of Vitamin C in the skin can be inadequate when it’s administered orally and therefore, applying Vitamin C via your skincare is favoured in the practice of dermatology.
    • Lack of sleep — Failing to get an adequate amount of sleep can slow and impair overnight rejuvenation, leading to tired, dull-looking skin, along with increased accelerated skin ageing.
    • Tech time - We spend a lot of time on our smart devices, scrolling social media, responding to messages and taking calls, all of which can transfer built-up bacteria to our face i.e. a skin brightness blocker.
    • Unbalanced diet — Consuming low-quality, salty foods and not receiving enough nutrients can slow cell production, reduce water intake and weaken the skin barrier.
    • Sun damage – Unprotected sun exposure can deplete the skin’s barrier whilst overstimulating pigment production, resulting in dry, dull and uneven skin tone.
    • Alcohol intake — Many of us enjoy a glass of wine, but it’s important to know  that alcohol can cause dehydration, irritation, premature skin ageing and other visible effects that can enhance skin dullness.
    • Environmental triggers – If you live in a highly polluted city, you could be exposed to age-accelerating free radicals that affect the skin’s microbiome.
    • Seasonal changes – With less moisture in the air during winter, skin can become more dry and dull than at other times of the year.

    Whether it’s one or several of the above, the causes of dull skin are best combated by combining treatment steps with preventative measures and lifestyle tweaks. Ready to begin?

    discover the dull skin treatments available at dermalogica

    By utilising a combination of ingredients that are high in Antioxidants and provide exfoliation, hydration and detoxification, you can help the skin rejuvenate and regain its radiance. Activated charcoal, Vitamin C and Glycolic Acid are among the top ingredients to look for to brighten skin — Glycolic Acid is a type of Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) that helps to gently exfoliate and slough away dead skin cells, to reveal more radiant layers underneath.

    Backed by scientific research, Dermalogica’s specially-formulated line of dull skin products can slot easily into your skincare routine, to help keep dullness at bay, revive your natural luminosity and support overall skin health. Here are our go-to products for dull skin:

    • PreCleanse — A thorough and hydrating pre-cleanse will melt away makeup, impurities, layers of excess sebum, sunscreen and residual products that build up on skin throughout the day. Removing oil without clogging pores, this lightweight, hydrating formula ensures a clean base, so your follow-up products can penetrate the skin more effectively.
    • Daily Glycolic Cleanser — Cleanse away the daily build-up of brightness blockers while maintaining the skin’s moisture barrier with this gentle brightening and conditioning cleanser, used for your second cleanse. Glycolic Acid helps to unglue dead, dull skin cells for smoother, more radiant skin, while Jojoba Seed Oil and Calendula Extract soothe and moisturise,leaving skin calm, conditioned and luminous.
    • Daily Microfoliant — Our best-selling, Rice powder exfoliant polishes skin to perfection, revealing radiance with every buff. Gentle enough for daily (once a day) use, it contains a Skin Brightening Complex of Phytic Acid from Rice Bran, White Tea and Licorice, to help balance uneven skin tone. Activated by water, dispense half a teaspoon of Daily Microfoliant into very wet hands, to create a creamy lather once rubbed together, then lightly massage over skin for 1 minute before rinsing off.
      PRO Tip: Can be used around the eyes,to re-energise and brighten tired-looking eyes.
    • Rapid Reveal Peel — For fast results with no downtime, our maximum-strength at-home exfoliant is clinically proven to enhance radiance and visibly reduce fine lines. Using a unique complex of phytoactive AHA extracts, 10% Lactic Acid and 10% Pumpkin Fruit Enzyme, it helps the skin rejuvenate, to reveal a more radiant, firmer and smoother surface. Use once a week, ideally in the evening, applying to cleansed skin for 3 - 7 minutes, then rinse away with cool water.
    • Biolumin-C Eye Serum – Deliver a supercharged dose of ultra-stable, bioavailable Vitamin C to the eye area, to brighten the skin and protect against the visible signs of premature skin ageing.
    • Biolumin-C Serum — Enhance your skin’s natural defence against stress and age-accelerating free radicals with this high-performance serum. An ultra-stable, bioavailable Vitamin C complex delivers a dose of brightness, while simultaneously providing skin-firming benefits. Slot it in between cleansing and moisturising for a potent dose of Antioxidants that will help to prevent free radical damage, while brightening and evening your skin tone.
    • Biolumin-C Gel Moisturiser — Enjoy weightless hydration with a radiance boost thanks to this plumping gel moisturiser. Ultra-stable, bioavailableVitamin C is paired with Squalane and five different types of Hyaluronic Acid, to deliver essential hydration and a brightening effect. Be sure to follow with sunscreen during the day, to protect against dark spots and skin damage.
    • Skin Perfect Primer SPF30 — Smooth fine lines while prepping the skin for makeup application with our velvety smooth primer. This multitasking primer contains Pearl Powder to provide a neutral tint and visible luminosity, potent peptides to support skin firmness,and Broad Spectrum SPF  that protects against sun damage triggered by UVA and UVB rays.
    • Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque — Rescue skin from the stress of free radicals and fight skin dullness with a powerful concentration of Vitamins A, C and E, plus, Linoleic Acid. Apply once a week for 10 to 15 minutes, to increase skin resilience and regain your glow.
      PRO Tip: Sleep in this rich, brightening masque and rinse off in the morning for increased skin glow!

    how to brighten skin

    While skin dullness can appear and reappear without warning, you can do several things to provide your skin with the best defence against dull skin. Follow our preventative tips to ward off lifeless, lacklustre skin and increase your everyday skin luminosity:

    • Never skip cleansing — Washing your face every day without fail will ensure you’re removing any dullness-causing build-up. Double cleansing morning and evening will help to truly clean skin and clear the path for your treatment products.
    • Nourish from within — Consume more foods that are high in fatty acids to maintain healthy skin and strengthen the skin barrier. Fish, particularly salmon, walnuts, avocados and chia seeds are all great options.
    • Exfoliate regularly — Whether it’s daily, every couple of days or once a week, find what works for your skin and stick to it. A consistent exfoliating routine will slough away dead skin cells, encouraging new ones to come to the surface, plus allow brightening actives to penetrate more effectively into the skin.
    • Start your day with Vitamin C — As one of the most powerful antioxidants available, Vitamin C not only helps to brighten a dull face, but will protect your skin against environmental aggressors, such as UV and pollution, looking to steal your glow throughout the day.
    • Protect your skin — Combine your Vitamin C with an SPF each morning and you’ll be protecting your skin with two of the best skin health bodyguards. 
    • Stay hydrated — Dryness and dehydration go hand in hand with dull skin, so stay hydrated by moisturising daily and drinking plenty of water. Try using a moisturiser and/or serum with Hyaluronic Acid, which retains water and plumps skin.
    • Try a PRO Bright Skin Treatment — If your skin tends to become lifeless and lacklustre seasonally, a professional dull skin treatment could be the antidote. Combining the right home care with a professional skin treatment is the best way to maximise results and live in your brightest skin. Dermalogica’s PRO Bright Skin Treatment combines a brightening peel with professional-grade Vitamin C, Niacinamide and Hexylresorcinol to powerfully reawaken your radiance. Find a Dermalogica qualified skin therapist near you and book in with us today.

    dermalogica — home to the best dull skin treatments

    If you’re looking to combat skin dullness, you’ll need a tailored skincare routine that targets your unique skin. From powerful peels to daily exfoliants, our professional-grade skincare products include formulas specifically designed to rejuvenate skin and combat skin dullness. Build a routine from start to finish using our brightening cleansers, exfoliants, serums and moisturisers, or opt for a masque that you can use as a weekly treatment. We also work with professional skin therapists around the country who provide in-clinic skin services, featuring our exclusive range of PRO products (only used by trained skin professionals), for enhanced treatment results. Developed by the International Dermal Institute since 1986, our entire range is cruelty-free, gluten-free, vegan-friendly and made from science-backed, high-quality ingredients.

    For personalised recommendations, try our AI-powered professional online skin analysis tool, book a complimentary skincare consultation with a professional skin therapist, or get in touch with our expert team for further guidance.
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