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  5. What is Dull Skin: 10 Causes & How To Treat

We all have those days when our skin looks dull, grey and lifeless. Well, there is no need to lose your calm as it can be turned over with simple solutions. Firstly, it is vital to understand what causes dull skin and then look at how you can prevent it.

What Is Dull Skin?

When your skin lacks a healthy radiance, and starts appearing lustreless and tired, you may be experiencing dullness. Common symptoms include:

  • Dehydrated skin
  • Dark undereyes
  • Skin appears less radiant than usual
  • Skin appears darker than usual

10 Causes Of Dull Skin

There are a number of factors that can contribute to dull skin, ranging from poor lifestyle habits to accumulation of dead skin cells. Here’s a detailed explanation of each cause:

1. Dead Skin Cells

As you age, your skin starts producing less oil compared to your youth. This can cause dead skin cells to build up on your face, making it appear less radiant, dry and dull. Dry skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis also contribute to the accumulation of dead skin cells on the surface of your skin, making it dull.

2. Dehydrated Skin

When your skin lacks water, it appears dull. You may also experience shadows around your eyes and prominent under eye circles.

3. Diet

An unhealthy diet can steal your skin’s brightness. As it is rightly said, you are what you eat. Diet plays an essential role in maintaining your skin health. Eating water-rich foods and raw fruits can contribute to youthful and healthy-looking skin.

4. Lack Of Or Over Exfoliation

Exfoliating your skin one or two times a week is important to remove dead skin cells and dirt that accumulate on its surface. However, exfoliating too often or too hard can eradicate your skin’s protective layer, resulting in loss of moisture. This can also make your skin appear dull.

5. Lifestyle Habits

Smoking and consuming alcohol regularly can dehydrate your skin, causing it to appear dull and less radiant. It can also cause changes in the skin's texture, pore size and appearance (1). Following a healthy lifestyle is vital to maintain good skin health.

6. No Moisturization

Hydration is key to bright, youthful and healthy-looking skin. If you don’t moisturize regularly, your skin will lack hydration and softness, making it dull. (2)

7. Wrong Skincare Products

If your skincare regimen doesn’t contain products that suit your skin type, it can break down your skin barrier. This can be a major cause of dull-looking skin. Using harsh soaps or products on your face can also result in loss of moisture and essential oils.

8. Lack Of Sleep

One of the signs of a tired body is dull skin. If you have not had enough sleep in the past few days, you may develop shadows under your eyes and puffiness. Your skin needs rest as much as your body does.

9. Not Removing Makeup

Cleansing your face is important before you sleep. Sleeping with makeup on leads to accumulation of dirt and debris on your skin surface, clogging your pores and making it appear dull.

10. Stepping Out Without Sunscreen

UV rays break down important proteins in your skin and can also damage your skin barrier. Not wearing sunscreen can eventually make your skin look tired, dark and dull.

How Can You Prevent Dull Skin?

1. Choose The Right Skincare Products

Pick a mild, pH balancing cleanser for your face. Your skin’s pH levels lie between 4.7-5.7, making it weakly acidic. We tend to pick foaming cleansers under the assumption that they clean better. But the more the foam, the more alkaline the base of your cleanser. Ask your dermatologist what cleanser is recommended for your skin type.

If you have dry skin, get yourself a cream-based heavy moisturizer. Heavy moisturizers don’t irritate the skin, giving it a glow and making it appear brighter than usual. If you have oily skin, avoid creams and use a light lotion-based or gel based moisturizer to prevent grease. Moisturize as soon as you’re out of the shower and before you hit the bed.

2. Exfoliate 2-3 Times A Week

Exfoliate your skin to get rid of dead skin cells and expose new, healthy skin cells beneath them.

Using exfoliators with hydroxy acids in them are ideal.

3. Wear A Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen

Most sunscreens protect you only from UVB rays. That’s not good enough. Purchase a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays of the sun. To keep your skin barrier and moisture intact, it is important for you to wear sunscreen every time you step out in the day.

4. Try A Face Mask

Different face masks serve different purposes. If your skin lacks hydration, get yourself a sheet mask. They are packed with moisture and serums to target specific skin issues, leaving your skin looking radiant and young. If your dull skin is the result of dirt and grime, you can get yourself a deep-cleansing face mask to get rid of the unwanted debris.

5. Remove Your Makeup Before Hitting The Pillow

Every night before you sleep, make sure all your makeup is off. Your skin requires breathing space that cannot be achieved if you have your makeup on all the time. Makeup can also clog your pores if left on for too long.

Home Remedies For Dull Skin

1. Lemon

Lemon is rich in Vitamin C and ascorbic acid. It has anti-oxidant and anti-pigmentary properties, making it a good solution to achieve radiant and healthy skin (1).

How To Apply

  • Squeeze out the juice of a lemon into a bowl.
  • Soak a cotton pad in the juice and dab it on your face.
  • Leave it on for 15-20 minutes and rinse off.

How Often To Apply

Applying lime juice twice a week is ideal to help you achieve bright skin. However, lime juice can cause burning sensations. If you experience too much burning, wash it off immediately.

2. Honey

Honey has moisturizing properties that soothe your skin and leave it feeling soft and plump. This can help improve your dull appearance (2) (3).

How To Apply

  • With your fingers, gently rub it into your skin.
  • Leave it on for 10-15 minutes.
  • Rinse off with lukewarm water.
  • You can add a few drops of lemon to your honey face pack for better results.

3. Aloe Vera

This magic ingredient serves a number of purposes to help you achieve healthy skin. Aloe vera inhibits tyrosinase, responsible for hyperpigmentation (4). You can purchase any aloe vera gel from the market. However, extracting it directly from the leaf is recommended for better results.

How To Apply

  • Apply the gel directly to your face for 15-20 minutes.
  • Rinse off with water.

4. Yogurt

Yogurt inhibits tyrosinase activity and is a good option to get rid of dull skin. It contains L-cysteine that is effective in reducing the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation (5).It can bring back the skin’s radiance and glow.

How To Apply

  • Mix it with honey.
  • Apply the mixture to your face and leave it on for 10-20 minutes.
  • Rinse with lukewarm water.

5. Cucumber

Cucumber is a cooling agent, packed with Vitamin C and other compounds that can help brighten your skin (6).

How To Apply

  • Add half a cucumber to a blender.
  • Add one tablespoon of aloe vera gel.
  • Blend the two ingredients to form a paste.
  • Apply the mixture to your face and leave it on for 10-20 minutes.
  • Rinse with lukewarm water.

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