5 Reasons Your Skin Looks Dull

woman with dull skin looking in mirror

Looking in the mirror and feeling like your skin looks dull and limp can be disheartening. During the Winter and Autumn months, you may feel this even more, as your complexion struggles to keep hold of the natural glow in your skin that comes with the Summer months and the added Vitamin D.

But what really is dull skin? It’s an expression that is thrown around a lot by dermatologists and skincare brands, but what does having dull skin really look like?

What Is Dull Skin?

Dull skin overall is defined as looking ‘lacklustre’ almost like the radiance and glow have been zapped out of it. It can be defined as having a ‘grey’ or ‘colour-drained’ complexion and is often accompanied by bumpy texture, and uneven skin tone. Dull skin occurs when your skin fails to reflect light uniformly and causes a tired, sunken complexion.

Reasons Your Skin Looks Dull

If you think your skin is feeling like it needs some low, then the good news is there are lots of ways to restore your glowy, youthful complexion! And it isn’t too complicated to do either! Like most things, taking care of yourself is the first step. Even some lifestyle habits that you think are minor can wear on your skin over time, and eventually make it feel lustreless.

woman holding skin analysing tiredness


The general rule is that adults should on average drink anywhere between 1.5 – 2 litres of water, which is around 8-10 cups. This is on average, but during the summer months, you should up this, due to your body losing water through sweating in the increased temperatures.

Without moisture, your skin will look sunken and drab. And this goes to deeper layers of the skin than you may realise. The dermis and epidermis of your skin are the deeper layers beneath the surface of the skin, and these need to remain hydrated just as much as the visible layer. If these layers become dried out, the skin loses its thickness and volume, which makes it lose its shine and plumpness which makes you look awake and radiant.

Lots of people who visit our clinic assume skin hydration is all down to moisturising and investing in a moisturiser that deeply penetrates the skin, but a great deal of it is down to water consumption. Water helps hydrate and promotes skin elasticity, helping keep your skin youthful too – so fill up those water bottles!


Females in particular will understand how the fluctuation of hormones can really throw you off balance in many ways. Things like puberty, medications, menstruation, and also menopause can trigger hormonal imbalances and changes. For example, when your estrogen dips, meaning that there is a higher balance of testosterone, this can cause oiler skin, acne, accentuate your pores, and take away the glow of your skin.

Melasma, which is a hormonal form of skin hyperpigmentation can cause uneven skin tone, and darker patches of skin that can wash you out. For grease, there are lots of over-the-counter products that can help keep oily skin under wraps, while still giving it the moisture it needs. Mesoestetic is a medical-grade skincare brand that we stock in our clinic, their products contain all of the essentials needed for healthy, balanced skin.

As well as this, treatments like chemical peels can help with oily skin, and they unclog pores and remove excess oil. If you think hormones are a trigger for your skin looking tiresome, getting your hormones under control is a good place to start through medication or lifestyle changes, before treating your skin

Build-up Of Dead Skin

A build-up of dead skin will not only cause a dull appearance, but it can also cause breakouts and magnify your pores. Skin needs regular, but gentle exfoliation to help strip itself of dirt, excess oils, pollution, and all of the gunk that can get rooted in your pores from day-to-day life. Lack of skin exfoliation can actually cause a ‘shadowy’ appearance on your face due to the build-up of dirt and cells, and they won’t come off naturally.

Therefore, you have to actively exfoliate through skincare products and treatments, to keep your skin fresh and free of dead skin cells. It’s almost like a dusty surface, once the dust settles, you have to wipe it and remove it for it to be clear again, it’s the same process for your face.

You should aim to exfoliate your skin once or twice a week. At-home exfoliators and skincare products can help your skin short-term, but they aren’t overly effective. The strength and ingredients of lots of skincare products are closely monitored and must meet a certain criteria to be able to be sold on shelves. This is because anything with a higher strength should be administered only by a qualified professional. An example of a higher-strength treatment that can help treat your skin long-term is a chemical peel. Chemical peels are not harsh on the skin whatsoever and involve using a controlled chemical substance to gently exfoliate both the top and deeper layers of the skin. They are most effective by having one treatment once a month and result in better skin tone and texture, brightness, and a tighter, plumper complexion.

woman in mirror exfoliating her face

Air Pollution

Unfortunately, even the atmosphere around us can cause skin damage over time. Depending on where you live, this can be elevated, or on the lower end of the scale. Busy cities like London, Manchester, and areas where there are high amounts of fossil fuels production and emissions are worse affected by this. Air becomes polluted when the atmosphere is exposed to sulfur dioxide, dirt, and other nasty things that you don’t want on your skin.

Free radicals are particles that can cause damage, illness, and aging to the human body. This applies to your skin too, so when these land on your skin, over time they can cause premature aging and damage to your skin. The best way to ensure you avoid damage from skin pollution is to follow a strict skincare regime. Be sure to cleanse your skin every day – particularly at night to strip your skin of any pollutants and dirt gathered on your face from the day. Then, incorporate serums and creams that are high in Vitamin C and antioxidants to act as a barrier.

Treatments To Help Brighten Dull Skin

woman laying down in hairband having chemical peel treatment

Thankfully, although it can seem difficult to keep your skin healthy and fresh, there are plenty of treatments and precautions you can take to guarantee a healthy complexion all year round.

Chemical Peels

As discussed earlier, chemical peels are a controlled chemical treatment to improve skin quality and deeply exfoliate the outer and deeper layers of your skin.


Microneedling is a popular treatment that uses a machine or roller with tiny needles to create micro-abrasions on the skin. The small injuries to the skin trigger your skin’s healing response and in return, heighten your collagen production, making your skin more youthful, firm, and plump. Just like chemical peels, this treatment is most effective over various appointments spread over a few months. During this treatment, you will have a topical anesthetic applied to ensure minimal discomfort.

Skin Boosters

Skin boosters like Rederm help awaken the collagen in your skin and create a hydrated glassy complexion. The skin boosters are injected in small sections across the area of the skin creating small bumps. The product is then left to break down in the skin over the course of a few days and work its magic. Skin boosters like Rederm are typically used to target a specific area like the under eyes, whereas Profhilo is typically administered through fixed points on the face.

Wear Sunscreen

Sunscreen should be applied daily no matter the weather, it can help protect your skin from pollutants in the air, and also from the UV rays that cause your skin to age. Just because it’s not hot and then the sun isn’t out – it is still there!

Book A Skin Treatment Today

If you’re wanting to give your skin the TLC it deserves, there’s no better way to do so than through a professional skin treatment. You can visit out skin clinic in London, or any of our other locations across the UK! Book yours here today to restore the glow in your skin.


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