Sometimes, it can feel like some people are born with glowing skin, and others aren’t. It’s true that genetic factors can affect the appearance of our skin, but our lifestyle and skincare habits are also a major component.
If you’re looking to brighten up dull skin, our guide is here to help. We’ll talk you through some of the causes of tired-looking skin and how you can go from gloomy to glowing.
What is dull skin?
Generally, our skin becomes dull when it doesn’t have enough moisture. This means it can appear flat and is lacking a natural shine or radiance.
However, dull skin is not necessarily the same thing as dryness or dehydration. Dehydrated skin lacks moisture, while dry skin lacks oils, which hold in moisture beneath the surface. Dullness, on the other hand, is a symptom of these conditions.
Why do I have dull looking skin?
The first step to avoiding a dull, tired complexion is getting to the root of what’s causing it in the first place. That way, you’ll know exactly what pitfalls to avoid on your road to glowing skin.
Some of the main causes of dull skin include:
- Dead skin cell build up – Your skin has an outer layer of dead cells (the stratum corneum) that were previously found in the epidermis. Gentle exfoliation can remove these.
- Ageing – Natural ageing, as well as premature ageing and photoaging (ageing brought on by overexposure to the sun), can also result in dull-looking skin4. As we age, we lose oil glands, and our skin sheds dead skin cells at a slower rate, leading to dry and dull skin.
- Dry or dehydrated skin – A lack of moisture in your skin can make your skin appear flat and dull. Learn more about dry skin causes and solutions here .
- Dehydration – Similarly, a lack of water in the skin can also lead to dull-looking skin2. Find out more about how to prevent dehydrated skin here .
- Stress – 90% of healthcare professionals agree that stress can make your skin problems, like dullness and dryness, worse.
- An unhealthy lifestyle – Lack of sleep, an unbalanced diet8, or smoking can also take its toll on your skin’s radiance
Top tips for glowing skin care
You can’t achieve glowing skin overnight. Instead, you’ll need to make a few simple changes to your skincare routine, diet, and lifestyle until you find the perfect balance for you.
Cleanse every day
Gently cleansing your skin every day can help it look its best. Use lukewarm water and a mild cleanser to remove the grime, dirt, and bacteria that can build up on your skin each day. Also, make sure to remove any sunscreen or makeup before you go to bed
The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel cleanser is a perfect partner for your daily routine – removing impurities while keeping your skin hydrated.
Exfoliate your skin
Exfoliating your skin can help rid your outer layer of dead cells. This can improve your skin’s texture10 and give you a glowing, radiant complexion. But be careful not to scrub too hard, or you can irritate your skin.
You might come across two common types of chemical exfoliants in skincare products. These both can help you remove dead cells from the top layer of your skin but are best suited to different conditions.
- Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) – These can help you reduce the appearance of skin complaints, such as discolouring and age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, and enlarged pores10. A common AHA is glycolic acid, which features in our Clear & Defend+ Daily Serum
- Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) – Products with BHAs can also help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well helping to prevent spots and sun-damaged skin.Salicylic Acid is a common BHA ingredient. You’ll find it in our blackhead-eliminating-toner
Moisturise and hydrate
If you’re looking to restore shine and vitality to your skin, hydration and moisturisation are essential. For dryer, duller skin, you might find creams and oils more effective.
Moisturisers seal in water so it doesn’t evaporate. If you apply a moisturiser regularly, within three minutes of cleansing and rinsing, you can lock in that dewiness for longer and prevent a dull appearance.
If you have oily skin, there are plenty of oil-free options out there to keep your skin moisturised. Products with glycerin – such as NEUTROGENA®’s Refreshingly Clear Oil-Free Moisturiser – can help your skin retain moisture. At the same time, it can also help to support your skin’s natural barrier.
Always apply an SPF
Dehydrated, dull skin is linked to sun exposure – so, applying SPF is essential. It’s a good idea to wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more that protects against UVA and UVB rays.
How to get glowing skin naturally
Even with a solid skincare and cleansing regimen, your lifestyle can also impact your skin’s appearance. Here are a few tips to keep yourself looking healthy and glowing.
Get some beauty sleep
Tiredness can give you a pale complexion, bags under your eyes, and dark circles. Getting seven to eight hours of shuteye per night can work wonders for your skin’s appearance.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
On top of sleep, exercise and a generally healthy lifestyle are also essential to your skin’s health. For example, yoga and meditation can both help to relieve stress. This reduction in stress could help to improve the appearance of various skin conditions, from rosacea to psoriasis.
Eat foods for glowing skin
Our diet is also an important factor in our skin’s health. Ensuring you have a good intake of vitamin C can help you maintain healthy-looking skin.
However, vitamin C alone isn’t enough. You’ll need a balanced diet to maintain healthy, glowing skin. Here are a few of the best foods for glowing skin:
- Berries and strawberries – These are high in antioxidants, which can protect our skin from free radicals caused from sun exposure.
- Low-fat dairy products – These are a great source of vitamin A, which is essential to the health of our skin cells.
- Healthy oils – Fatty acids from healthy oils help keep your skin lubricated and looking great.
- Salmon and tuna – Fish like salmon is a great source of fatty acid, which restores skin cell membranes and keeps your skin healthy. Tuna, meanwhile, contains selenium, which can limit damage from the sun.
- Walnuts, Brazil nuts, and flax seed – These are all great sources of fatty acids, which can help to repair your skin.
- Whole-wheat bread and cereals – Keep your wholegrains high to maximise selenium levels and achieve healthy-looking, glowing skin.