Have you ever noticed certain products and ingredients have a call out saying ‘for tired and dull skin’ or something related? Well, there are plenty of such products reading similar labels. But what does ‘dull skin’ mean, how can you tell whether you have it, and how can you take care of such skin?
In this blog, we are going to be answering all of these questions and more.
What is dull skin?
Do you sometimes wake up in the morning and find that your skin is lacking in its usual radiance and glow? Does it seem to be missing its natural luminosity? Does it look a little lackluster? If any of these apply to you, it means you have dull skin.
But what is the reason behind this? Let us take a look.
What causes dull skin?
There are a couple of reasons why your skin is missing that healthy glow:
1. Dry skin
Think of it like this – a dry shrivelled grape vs a plump one. Without adequate moisture, the skin becomes flaky and can begin to look dull. This becomes worse as the weather becomes colder so it is of the utmost importance that you are using a moisturiser that works well for you and are avoiding hot showers.
2. Dead skin cells
Over time, our skin sheds its dead cells while new ones take their place. But sometimes what happens is that the dead cells do not fall off naturally. This is why it is important you exfoliate regularly. Otherwise, the dead skin cells will build-up making your skin look dull and might also start clogging your pores, resulting in acne.
Depending on which you prefer, you can opt for physical or chemical exfoliation (to read more about exfoliation, head over to our blog) but remember to neither overdo nor underdo it! Do exfoliate more than 2 to 3 times a week.
As we start to age, a lot of changes take place in our body. For one, our cell renewal rate reduces. This means that it takes a lot longer for our skin cells to be replaced with newer ones and our skin can begin to look a bit dull and lack that natural glow.
4. Environmental stressors
Thought pollution is bad just for your lungs? Well, it is pretty terrible for your skin as well. Factors such as air pollution, UV damage, and dust can affect the health of your skin, making it dull and lacklustre. Pollutant particles and dust can clog your pores, resulting in a lot more than just dull skin – acne.
Exposure to the sun for an extended period of time can cause your skin to become dry and uneven in texture. UV rays also affect the collagen production in our skin, slowing it down; so make sure to always wear sunscreen – even if you are indoors.
5. Imbalanced diet
We have talked about this before – check out our blog on how what you eat affects how you look – and we will say it again – your diet makes a big difference in the health of your skin! Minerals such as Selenium, Copper, Iron, and Zinc play an important role in helping the body create natural antioxidants which in turn help preserve the skin’s health and glow.
These trace minerals are not often found in our diets so it is advisable to check in with your doctor and find out if there are any multivitamins that you should be taking. Head over to our blog to know more about how your diet affects your skin.
Smoking is terrible for your lungs and your skin. It is an established fact that smoking causes premature ageing. It depletes the Collagen production in your body, degrades the elastic fibres and connective tissues of the skin, and increases the oxidative stress in your body, making your skin look dull and sallow.
7. Lack of blood circulation
Notice how fresh and glowing your face looks after a workout or a run? That is because the blood circulation in your body increases and the skin cells are replenished with vital nutrients in the blood.
8. Hormonal imbalance and changes
Whether it is because of puberty, menopause, medications, or any medical condition, a change in hormones or a hormonal imbalance can affect the appearance of your skin. You may find that your skin is getting oilier, your pores are becoming more prominent and you look more greasy than glowing.
9. Lack of sleep
When your sleep cycle and sleeping patterns take a hit, the skin is impacted pretty strongly. If you have not been getting enough sleep or are sleeping at odd hours, it affects the health and glow of your skin. This is because, while you sleep your skin cells work to heal and repair any damage done throughout the day. If you are not sleeping enough, it is a problem!
It could be a work deadline, an assignment submission, an event, or anything else. If you are stressed, your skin is too. Think about it – when you are stressed, your Cortisol levels go up and your body enters fight-or-flight mode. In such a case, the blood supply goes primarily to your vital organs and not your skin, making it look dull.
Moisturisation is one thing and hydration is another, and you need to be doing both. You need to use hydrating products in your skincare routine and make sure that you are sealing in all that moisture well. You also need to ensure that you are drinking enough water.
But how does hydration affect dullness? Well, hydration makes your skin plump and supple. Have you ever noticed how a deflated balloon does not quite have the shine of an inflated one? It is a similar concept.
12. Damaged Skin Barrier
If the Stratum Corneum is compromised, moisture escapes more easily from the skin. Lack of moisture means more dryness, more fine lines, and irritation.
Treating dull skin
Skincare plays an important role in giving your skin that healthy and radiant glow. So let us take a look at certain products that you can incorporate into your skincare routines.
1. Face Oils
Face oils are a great way to make your skin look bright, plump, and glowing. What is even better is that there is a face oil for every skin type! Head over to our blog to know which oil is the one for you.
2. Choose a hydrating and gentle cleanser
Getting that hydration and moisturisation is important. The last thing you want to do is to strip your skip off its natural oils and moisture, causing dryness and irritation (that might also potentially damage your skin barrier). Mystique Earth’s Bubble Facial Cleanser is a great option. It contains anti-inflammatory Royal Jelly and nourishing Custard Apple and gets the job done without being too drying.
3. Pick the Right Moisturiser for your skin
It is well within the realm of possibility to have oily skin that is dull. So picking the right moisturiser for your skin type is essential. Check out our blog on which moisturiser is the one for you.
Here are a few tips on how you can apply your moisturiser properly:
- A great tip for applying moisturisers is to do so on damp skin. So if you are using a toner, mist, or serum, do not wait for it to dry down on your skin. Instead, apply the moisturiser while your skin is a little moist and wet. This will help the product absorb better. Do not apply it when your skin is drenched though as that will simply dilute the product.
- It is also a good idea to gently massage your skin and face as you apply your moisturiser or even any other product. The massaging motion helps increase blood circulation and that is always a good thing. You can even opt for massaging tools. Head over to our blog to know more about those.
4. Get a nourishing serum
Serums are great as they deliver a concentrated dose of ingredients to your skin. The Swisse Hyaluro Natural Skin & Facial Hydration Serum is a great option for those of you looking to add a serum to your nighttime routine. It contains the Senna plant which is a natural alternative to Hyaluronic Acid, a humectant. Jojoba and Sweet Almond oil are nourishing and healing for the skin, as is vitamin B3.
People with dry skin tend to often think they need to exfoliate less and that is not at all true. Irrespective of your skin type, you need to find an exfoliant that works for you and stick to a regular regime. Check out our blog to know more about which exfoliant you should opt for.
6. Add an antioxidant
Antioxidants are great for your skin. They help delay the signs of ageing, can promote Collagen production, and give a healthy glow to your skin. Vitamin C and Niacinamide are two great antioxidants that are bound to do wonders for your skin. Both are available in a wide variety of formulations. To know more about Niacinamide, you can head over to our blog.
In regards to vitamin C, you can opt for:
- Face Wash: If you are starting out, a face wash or cleanser is a good idea. Enn’s Closet’s Spy-C Foaming Face Wash contains Grapefruit extracts and Tea Tree oil that have anti-inflammatory properties. The former is rich in vitamin C while the latter is effective against acne as well.
- Ampoules: Ampoules are a more concentrated version of serums, which do not have oxidation issues unlike regular Vitamin C Serums due to their amber glass format. Martiderm’s Vitamin C Ampoules deliver a concentrated dose of vitamin C to your skin, which ranges from 5 to 15% and helps to tackle every skin concern from pigmentation, wrinkles, fine lines, dehydration, etc.
7. Wear sunscreen
Sun protection is a must and is the first line of defence against premature ageing and dullness. The Moms Co’s Mineral-Based Sunscreen offers great protection from UV rays. Given that it is a mineral sunscreen, this one works well for sensitive skin as well.
Dull skin is something all of us may end up dealing with at some point. It is a consequence of under-exfoliating, ageing, unhealthy lifestyle habits, and possibly hormonal changes. Sticking to a skincare routine with antioxidant-rich, moisturising, and hydrating ingredients can make a huge difference.
- Gauri Sindhu