Dull Skin: Identification, Causes, Types, Beauty Tips and More

Written by - Reviewed by Consumer Health Digest Team

Published: Aug 8, 2013 | Last Updated: Sep 29, 2018

What is Dull Skin?

The skin is one of the most sensitive organs of the body. Being the largest, it is exposed to a lot of harmful substances. This exposure affects it in different ways. Additionally, lifestyle habits and the environment also have considerable effects on the health and state of the skin. This article explores dull skin, its characteristics, causes and ways on how to deal with it in a safe manner.

Dull skin is basically just that; skin that has lost its luminosity and brightness over a period of time. In some individuals however, dull skin exists from the moment of birth. Dull skin has an unhealthy look that can be attributed to a number of factors.


Dull Skin

Once your skin loses its radiance, it is very easy to notice. Normal skin usually has a bright look that is maintained by natural body oil. Dull skin usually loses this brightness due to dryness and lack of enough water. Additionally, the texture of dull skin may change. If you touch the skin, it will feel dry and a bit rough. Dull skin is as a result of some sort of skin damage and may therefore be accompanied by skin conditions such as rashes.

Causes of Dull Skin

There is a wide range of factors that play a role in the dulling of the skin. These factors can be biological, genetic, environmental or physical. Genetic factors are the most challenging to deal with. This is because even after treatment, they may still recur. Dull skin can be passed down genetically within a family. The second reason for the development of dull skin is the environment. People who live in urban areas that have high pollution levels are more likely to suffer from dull skin than any other people. Lifestyle habits such as smoking, lack of exercise and poor nutrition also contribute greatly towards a dull looking skin. Another very common cause is exposure to the sun. When it comes to skin health, the sun is an enemy. Prolonged and unprotected exposure to the sun destroys skin cells. Finally, with old age, dull skin may set in. this can be attributed to the loss of the skin’s ability to generate new cells.


Dull skin can have far more serious effects on the whole body. As mentioned, dull skin usually denotes a damaged skin. Therefore, you could experience other bad skin conditions such as clogged pores as a result of dead cells build-up, roughness of the skin and age spots. With time, wrinkles may develop due to lack of moisture.


The effect of the skin dulling is that it loses its youthful radiant look. This may occur in other parts of the body in addition to the face. You may not notice it quickly enough, but over time, your skin will look older and unhealthier. Eventually this may affect your self esteem and confidence.

Types of Dull Skin

Dull skin will usually appear in two ways. One, it can appear as a standalone skin problem or it can occur hand in hand with either dry skin or oily skin. Therefore, one may experience dull and dry skin or dull and oily skin. Dull and dry skin is caused by lack of moisture while oily skin results from an excess build up of oil on the skin.

Beauty Tips for Dull skin

  • Do not try to hide the problem by applying all sorts of lotion and creams on the skin. Instead start by using an exfoliating cleanser to get rid of dead cells.
  • Get a cream or cleanser that also has hydrating elements. This will help to keep your skin moist and healthy.
  • The most important thing is getting rid of dead skin cells so as to expose the radiant skin beneath. This can be done using a variety of treatments and home remedies.
  • Eat healthy and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Most importantly, drink a lot of water.

How to Brighten Dull Skin?

  • Exfoliation. This is the first thing you should do. Get rid of dead cells using either an exfoliating cream, cleanser or scrub.
  • Hydration. To keep your skin turgid, smooth and bright, you have to nourish it with moisture. You can do this by drinking more water or using hydrating creams and lotions. Eating a lot of fruits can also help.
  • Treat It. If the condition is serious, consider treatment options such as a chemical peel.
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