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The Best Treatment for Dull Skin

Ellie Taylor
Reading Time
6 min read

Dull skin saps the skin’s natural glow, where an increasingly pale and tired looking appearance may mean something in your skincare routine, diet or lifestyle is causing your brightness to go amiss. Discover the causes of dull skin and how to encourage, and welcome back, healthy looking skin.

What causes dull skin?

  • Lack of exfoliation and dead skin cell build-up

Dull skin often occurs because of a lack of exfoliation and a build-up of dead skin cells on the skin’s surface. Dead skin cells obstruct the skin’s natural shine where an excess layer of debris, oil and bacteria acts as a physical cover over the skin.

When you exfoliate, any congestion is removed, enabling the skin to better reflect light and appear visibly brighter.

  • Dehydration

Dehydration can also deplete the skin of the vital nutrients and vitamins which promote radiant skin.

When your skin does not get an adequate water supply through bodily fluids and moisturising, it can become dry and itchy, resulting in the visible symptom of dullened skin.

  • Underlying health conditions

Certain underlying health conditions can cause skin dullness, including anaemia, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, malnutrition and dermatitis.

  • Environmental aggressors

Environmental aggressors can dullen the skin. Relentless exposure to harsh environmental elements such as humidity, strong winds, sun exposure, high air pollution and smog, can all sap the skin’s natural vitality.

When the skin ages, it loses essential firming and youthful proteins, like collagen and elastin. This may cause dull skin among other symptoms such as dry, sagging and sunken skin.

Air pollution and smoking also causes premature ageing and dullened skin. The toxins found in smog and tobacco increase the levels of free radicals in the skin and cause unstable chemical reactions within the body, which result in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkling, loose and sagging skin.

  • Diet

Diet is an influential factor in establishing a brighter skin complexion and overall stronger skin health and structure.

Imbalances or deficits may implicate your complexion and the exclusion of Omega-3 fatty acids in favour of high alcohol, sugar and salt diets, rids the skin of skin-brightening vitamins.

  • Stress

Stress can make your skin look grey, dull and more visibly tired. When you are stressed, significant hormonal changes occur within the body.

Cortisol is one of the stress hormones released and can impact your skin’s appearance. High levels of cortisol affect the immune system and blood flow which may directly impact the performance of the skin’s barrier when faced with external irritants. This can result in your skin looking pale and ashy.

How to improve dull skin at home

Most of the above factors can be fought through lifestyle and skincare changes made at home, however if you have chronic dull and dry skin, professional methods may be more suitable to treat ongoing depressed skin.

  • Regularly exfoliate

Finding the balance between healthy and harmful exfoliation can be tricky. Too much exfoliation can strip the skin of essential oils and increase irritation and inflammation. Too little causes an excessive build-up of dead skin leading to breakouts and dullness.

It is recommended to exfoliate two/three times a week. Physical, abrasive and hot exfoliation can damage the skin’s surface, so be sure to apply gentle chemical exfoliants instead.

Use lukewarm water to wash your face to avoid further depletion of natural oils.

  • Protect your skin

Toxins are everywhere and strengthening and protecting your skin’s barrier is essential in maintaining good skin health.

Applying SPF regularly, using a thicker moisturiser in harsh, cold weather and keeping hydrated equips your skin to fight daily aggressors.

It is also recommended to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day to boost hydration and brightness.

  • Get into a routine

Consistent skin care is essential and by incorporating specific ingredients into your skin routine helps improve dullness. Ingredients like aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, retinol, glycolic acid, vitamin C and alpha hydroxy acids can all help brighten, regenerate and renew the skin.

  • Eat well

A well-balanced diet can significantly improve the appearance of the skin and body health. Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, tuna, chia seeds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and flaxseed oil are fundamental to enhance the skin’s complexion.

Foods rich in vitamins and antioxidants like green vegetables, limes, sweet potatoes, dark chocolate and avocados also help brighten dull skin. Cutting down on high acidity foods, coffee, fried and processed foods may also improve a pale complexion.

  • More exercise

Aerobic activity, like running, cycling, swimming and brisk walking, boosts circulation and increases oxygen levels in the body to promote a healthy and bright appearance. Exercising more can also improve your mood, reduce stress and stimulate collagen production.

  • Rethink alcohol and cigarettes

Alcohol and cigarettes have many detrimental effects on the skin and body. From serious illnesses, like lung, liver and pancreatitis cancer, to high blood pressure and depleted, grey and prematurely aged skin.

Significantly reducing your tobacco and alcohol intake (if you cannot do so completely) will be one of the best things you can do for your skin – with positive effects being seen tenfold!

Benefits can all relate to the improvement of complexion, with increased radiance and reduced dullness.

Best facial treatment for dull skin

Professional dull skin treatment is the best way to improve your skin tone and is a much quicker option than at home methods.

At DestinationSkin, there are many options available, from skin peels, microneedling, microdermabrasion and IPL skin rejuvenation, however HydraFacial is most recommended.

HydraFacial is most effective in treating dull skin as it is suitable for all skin tones, skin types and conditions. It is an advanced facial, that uses six unique steps to leave the skin immediately brighter and glowing.

Its amazing rejuvenating qualities can help boost brightness, restore an even skin tone, reduce fine lines, age spots, wrinkles, acne and pigmentation – it is an absolute all-rounder that leaves your skin looking it’s most beautiful!

The patented six step process works to:

  • Detox
  • Cleanse and Exfoliate
  • Brighten and Refresh
  • Extract
  • Hydrate
  • Stimulate

All these steps work together to deeply replenish, hydrate, nourish and exfoliate the skin. After one HydraFacial, you can expect your skin to be flooded with essential antioxidants, botanical extracts, vitamins and active, anti-ageing ingredients to promote a beautifully younger look and enhance skin health.

For more information on the range of HydraFacials available, click here!

Key things to remember

  • HydraFacial is the best treatment for dull skin and leaves your skin brighter after just one facial – it also has anti-ageing properties, so you’ll look younger too!
  • Dull skin can result in dryness and dehydration and be caused by external damage, diet, stress and age
  • Smoking and alcohol causes significant damage to your skin, making it appear grey, depressed and prematurely older
  • Professional treatments are safe, convenient options for revitalising your complexion and are faster than any lifestyle and skincare changes (but of course doing both is best!)

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