We’ve all been unhappy with our skin at one time or another. And while there are numerous skin issues and changes we can’t control, dull skin is often easily transformed into healthy, glowing skin with just a few lifestyle and skin care tweaks.
What Is Dull Skin?
Dull skin is a term we use when skin doesn’t look like its usual, healthy self. Dull skin typically has a loss of volume, suppleness, softness, color, elasticity — that healthy glow we all love so much no longer shines through. Skin can also appear tired, similar to what happens when you’ve come down with something.
How To Brighten Dull Skin Naturally
Below we’ll review our top 10 ways to make dull skin glow again.
1. Eat Nutrient-Rich Whole Foods
First and foremost, healthy skin starts with what you put in your body. Consuming foods rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants supports healthy skin function. Topical products should never play the leading role in caring for your skin, rather compliment your internal efforts. A holistic approach is one of the best ways to keep skin in tip-top shape, helping you to enjoy healthy skin now and for years to come.
2. Use Science-Based Active Cosmetic Ingredients
Using skincare formulas that incorporate the best of science-backed cosmetic ingredients will help to support your efforts in eliminating dull skin. We recommend ingredients that are gentle, yet provide major results, such as:
— Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
— Panthenol (Vitamin B5)
— Vitamin C
— Vitamin E
— Vitamin A
Organic. Phytoactive. Skin Nourishment.
Reclaim Your Glow With Stabilized Vitamin C.
3. Exfoliate Weekly
Sloughing away dead skin cells weekly will revive dull skin instantly. Exfoliation is a vital step in keeping skin smooth and radiant. It also helps to keep clogged pores and blemishes at bay. Looking for a brighter, more even-looking skin tone? Look no further than weekly exfoliation. This one simple step is truly game-changing for your skin. We recommend gentle, yet effective exfoliation products, such as clay-based masks. These not only slough away dead skin, but also absorb impurities from pores, without causing photosensitivity common with exfoliating acids.
4. Sweat More
Breaking a healthy sweat during a workout helps skin to expel bacteria, dirt, oil and other impurities that clog pores and cause skin to look dull. It helps us release endorphins — hormones that make us feel amazing post-workout and keep our skin happy. A sweat-inducing workout also increases circulation and oxygen levels, promoting a healthy glow from the inside.
5. Stress Less
Chronic low-level stress is one of the most common forms of stress. It’s extremely taxing to our health and skin. Which is why we recommend incorporate regular relaxation techniques into your week, like meditating and yoga. These not only help to manage stress, but also increase blood flow and oxygen levels, which naturally promote a healthy glow.
6. Upgrade Your Moisturizer To A Nutrient-Rich Face Oil.
Our skin produces sebum, aka oil, to keep skin moisturized. So it only makes sense to use a product that resembles our body’s own moisturizer? Many botanical oils are biomimetic, meaning they closely resemble the oil our skin produces. Creams on the other hand are not, and are often times loaded with cheap fillers and harsh preservatives that can cause skin to become congested and appear dull.
Organic face oils are nature’s perfect moisturizer, without unnecessary ingredients. They also contain nutrients and antioxidants that promote a healthy glow and make dry skin a thing of the past. And if you’re concerned about oily skin, clogged pores or blemishes, a properly formulated, high-quality facial oil can be highly beneficial in helping to manage these imbalances. Don’t buy into the oil-free propaganda, that only applies to cheap, highly-processed oils.
7. Give Yourself A Facial Massage
Giving yourself a face massage is not only relaxing, it has numerous skin benefits. It helps to lift, firm and de-puff. Yes, please! You can use your hands or a tool such as a gua sha – a massage technique that’s been around for centuries. If that’s too much effort, simply using a jade roller to massage your facial oil into your skin will surely get your glow back.
8. Use A Face Mask Weekly
Face masks are targeted treatments formulated to give skin an instant boost and glow, making them the ideal solution to dull skin. They’re also a great reset for skin and mind, giving you an at-home spa treatment – for a fraction of the cost. We love clay-based masks as they offer a wealth of skin benefits. They not only slough away dead skin, but also absorb impurities from pores, without causing photosensitivity commonly associated with exfoliating acids.
And if DIY is your thing, yogurt and raw honey are two of our favorite ingredients for mixing up an instant fresh mask. Yogurt contains lactic acid which helps to dissolve dead skin cells and softens skin. Honey gently exfoliates and contains a wealth of skin-beautifying nutrients. Both are also natural solutions that can be helpful for acne-prone skin. Leave your DIY face mask on for 15-30 minutes and enjoy the post-mask glow!
9. Give Your Skin A Break
Go bare. We’re talking about your face. We’re big advocates of giving your skin a break from all skincare and makeup products. Pick one day per week and use absolutely nothing. Let your skin function on its own and recalibrate.
10. Spend More Time In Nature
Breath deep. Relish in the clean air and bathe in the Vitamin D rich sunshine! Be adventurous and take your socks off. Let your bare feet touch the earth. This is called “earthing” and it helps to neutralize free radicals. Hug a tree for good measure. Trust us, the post-nature glow will last you through the week!
What Causes Dull Skin?
Now that we’ve covered our top 10 ways to brighten dull skin, let’s explore some of the most common causes for dull skin, along with simple ways we can address those root causes directly. There are many factors that can cause dull skin and in most cases it’s not just one, rather a combination of several.
Let us first say that we would like to shift the narrative around the topic of aging. Growing old is a beautiful journey and a privilege. As we gracefully navigate the seasons of life, skin goes through changes, requiring us to give it a bit more TLC. This is because cellular turnover decreases, which means the natural shedding of skin happens less frequently. This can cause skin to appear dull, feel rough and have an uneven skin tone and texture. Collagen production and elastin levels also decrease, making fine lines and wrinkles more visible. Skin becomes increasingly dry due to a decrease in sebum production, aka oil production — a major reason to ditch your face cream and upgrade to a facial oil.
When skin becomes dull due to the natural aging process, a simple skincare routine can help you restore your youthful glow. Incorporating a nutrient-rich facial oil into your routine can be a game changer, as well as products with science-backed ingredients. Every product you apply to your face should consist of healthy ingredients with direct skin benefits.
Congested skin is a result of dead skin building up on the surface, causing skin to appear dull. When you don’t use exfoliating products regularly, it can lead to clogged pores, blemishes, rough skin texture and uneven skin tone. Over time the accumulated congestion overshadows your healthy glow by preventing skin from reflecting light, contributing to the appearance of dull skin.
Consistent exfoliation is one of the most underrated skin care steps and is often completely skipped. However, this is one skincare treatment with the most immediate and long-term results. Exfoliation is prized for its ability to instantly rejuvenate, fading the appearance of hyperpigmentation and softening the look of fine lines and wrinkles. As with any skincare treatment, just don’t over do it. We recommend exfoliating 1-3 times per week with a natural exfoliating treatment that does not cause photosensitivity. We love our superfood facial exfoliant Polish for its glow-boosting effect on skin without the negative side-effects associated with exfoliating acids (especially important to be conscious of during the summer months when we spend more time in the sun).
Our pro-tip for exfoliation is to place a warm, damp towel over your face for a few minutes, before you exfoliate. This will help to loosen the hardened oil and debris clogging pores, allowing your exfoliation treatment to work better.
When your diet lacks nutrients or consists mainly of processed foods, it can show up in your skin. A diet lacking whole foods rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein and healthy fats can contribute to premature signs of aging, along with clogged pores and dark circles.
Nutrition plays an important role in the maintenance of healthy skin. Your skin is one of the last organs to receive nutrients. This is why it’s so important to eat a healthy diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s equally as important to cut out processed food, refined sugar and unhealthy oils. A simple trick to making sure you’re eating healthy is to avoid buying packaged foods and sticking to the outer aisles of your grocery store, where they keep fresh food — helping you avoid temptation. We recommend reading up on the basics of an anti-inflammatory diet to help you choose foods that support skin health. Vitamin supplements do not replace the benefits of eating a healthy diet.
You also want to make sure that your skincare products contain healthy ingredients rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. This will ensure your skin receives nutrients both from the inside and outside.
One of the unfortunate side-effects of our modern world is the lack of movement in our daily life. Even during our free time, many of us can find it hard to break from the comfort of our sedentary routine. This not only affects the quality of our health, but also our skin. When we exercise daily, even in the form of walking, we’re improving our mind, body and mental health. Exercise helps to reduce inflammation and increase blood flow, all helping to rejuvenate your skin from the inside. An added bonus is that exercise can help reduce puffiness and dark circles under eyes, restoring radiance back to dull skin.
At the bare minimum, make sure to get your steps in daily. Incorporate more active exercise 2-3x per week, meaning you’re elevating your heart rate and breaking a healthy sweat. We love the skin, health and stress benefits of yoga. A post-workout glow is an instant fix to dull skin — and the feel-good endorphin rush is one that keeps you coming back for more. A win-win for bright, glowing skin and optimal health.
Dry skin can occur at any age and for various reasons. The most common causes include aging, diet, dehydration, environment and simply not using a properly formulated skincare product. Not drinking enough good quality H2O can cause you to become dehydrated, which not only leads to dry skin but can also make fine lines and wrinkles more apparent.
There are a few tried and true ways to revive dull skin caused by chronic dryness. First, if your external environment is dry, look into getting a humidifier for your bedroom while you sleep, ideally an evaporative humidifier. Second, moisturize your skin from the inside by drinking plenty of filtered water and eating healthy fats found in foods such as nuts, seeds, avocados, sardines, and olives. Lastly, make sure you replenish moisture topically, by using a facial oil rich in vitamins and antioxidants.
Questionable Skincare Ingredients
There’s only so many irritating ingredients your skin can take before it starts to show signs of distress. The skincare industry is notorious for false promises and formulas designed around scent and texture, instead of your skin health. Unfortunately, one of the easiest ways to increase profits is by selling greenwashed formulas loaded with cheap filler ingredients. Even the most innocent looking ingredients like fragrance or perfume can compromise your skin health. When skin is exposed to these ingredients, it can cause imbalances that can show up in the form of dull skin, excess oil production, clogged pores, blemishes, redness, rashes and chronically dry skin.
Choose your skincare products the way you would choose your food. Fresh and loaded with nutrients. We also recommend avoiding products that contain fragrance, perfume, photosensitizing essential oils such as lemon, or any formula that smells strong enough to be a perfume.
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Disclaimer: This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Root Science nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any skincare, nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program. The views and products expressed are not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Image Sources: Green Plant in White Bathroom via Nugroho Wahyu