Most Common Causes of Dull Complexion and Treatment

Written by - Reviewed by Consumer Health Digest Team

Published: Nov 16, 2013 | Last Updated: Sep 29, 2018

The occurrence of dull skin is usually not noticed due to its gradual onset. For this reason, many people suffering from dull skin let it go for long periods of time before taking action. The result of this is continued damage of the skin. Dull skin is brought about by certain factors as discussed below. Most of these factors are related to lifestyle habits and can be easily avoided.

1. Smoking

Causes of Dull Complexion

Smoking dehydrates the skin thus making it appear dull and wrinkled. Apart from starving the skin of moisture, smoking also increases the rate of aging of the skin and also exacerbates any ongoing skin problems.

2. Eat Foods that are Unhealthy for the Skin

This is one of the major causes of unhealthy skin. To prove it, go for a whole week eating mostly fruits and vegetables in addition to drinking lots of water. At the end of the week you should notice immediate improvement to your skin. It will be glowing and healthy looking. Go on with the experiment for the rest of your life. Healthy foods provide much needed nourishment to the skin.

3. Excessive Sun Exposure

As you try to attain a healthy skin, your biggest enemy is the sun. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can very easily damage the skin. Prolonged exposure leads to a dull skin and over time more serious consequences manifest themselves. The best solution is to avoid excessive sun exposure. If you have to go out into the sun, use sunscreen or wear protective clothing. You should also consider tinting your car windows to prevent entry of UV rays.

4. Heredity

This is the most challenging cause of dull skin to deal with. If you have a member(s) of the family who has naturally dull skin, then there is a danger of that dull complexion being passed down the generations.

5. Stress

It does not matter that your dieting is perfect or that you follow or other measures to prevent dull complexion; as long as your emotions are not healthy, it will show. Stress causes the skin to grow old, dull and unhealthy. The first thing you should tackle therefore is stress before moving on to diet, exercise and sun exposure. Being around friends and family who can encourage you and provide support can go a long way in beating stress and depression.

6. Hormonal Disorder

Hormonal disorder occurs when estrogen levels in the body decrease drastically and testosterone levels increase. With a fall in estrogen, the skin becomes dull, sags and starts to wrinkle. Basically it starts aging. An increase in testosterone levels on the other hand has been associated with increased hair on unwanted areas of the skin such as lips and chin. It can also lead to acne and other skin breakouts.

7. Dehydration

Moisture ensures that the skin remains elastic and glowing. With the onset of dehydration wrinkles appear as the skin loses its turgidity. At the same time, dullness sets in. The only way to beat dehydration is the opposite; hydration. This will help to moisturize the skin and revive it. Drink a lot of water and if possible use moisturizing lotions on the skin.

8. The Environment

People who live in areas with high levels of pollution are at high risks of skin problems including dull complexion. Pollution may include dust, smoke and industrial substances. Airborne pollution is the worst since it spreads over a large area and affects many people. Short of a change in the environment, there is no other way to avoid dull complexion brought about by environmental pollution.

9. Age

Ageing means that the body is not in as good a shape as it was before. The skin therefore, loses its ability to regenerate. So when skin cells die, they are not replaced quickly enough. This results in dulling of the skin. There are various products that can be used to counter skin ageing effects.

10. Late Night Sleep

The body utilizes the hours you are asleep to rejuvenate itself. Sleeping late means that your skin will not get enough time to regenerate. Late sleeping also leads to stress and fatigue all of which have been found to contribute towards dull skin.

11. MakeUp

Can’t get out of your house without makeup? It may be the culprit in your dull complexion. Some makeup products contain dangerous ingredients that lead to skin dulling. In addition, too much makeup blocks skin pores thus preventing exit of waste substances. The secret is not to overdo makeup and to be very careful about the makeup products you use.

12. Drinking Too Much Alcohol

Just like smoking, alcohol dehydrates the skin thus starving it of much needed moisture.

13. Body Weight Fluctuates Rapidly

This occurs mostly in people who go on extensive dieting periods and then relapse. Frequent gain and loss of weight affects the skin negatively.


Treatments of dull skin range from simple home made products such as lemons to skin brightening creams. In more serious instances, medical procedures such as demarbrasion or chemical peeling are sought. As the person grows old, the skin loses its ability to reform, which can lead to a dull complexion, but we can keep our youthful look by taking help of Control Corrective Intensive Skin Lightening Cream.


Prevention is as simple as avoiding the causes of skin dulling. Avoid excessive sun exposure, eat a good diet, exercise frequently, drink a lot of water, avoid polluted environments and seek regular medical skin care.

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