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Dull Skin: What It Is, 10 Common Signs, and 10 Tips to Care for It

Skin Care Concerns

Dull Skin: What It Is, 10 Common Signs, and 10 Tips to Care for It Dull Skin: What It Is, 10 Common Signs, and 10 Tips to Care for It Dull Skin: What It Is, 10 Common Signs, and 10 Tips to Care for It

Have you ever looked in the mirror and felt like your skin just looked lackluster or even gray? This could be a sign that you are experiencing dull skin. Help regain the look of radiant skin by first understanding the signs of dull skin and then take the necessary steps to better help your skin recover its youthful glow. Below, we’re outlining common causes of dull skin along with beauty tips skin care product recommendations to help regain your glow, including face masksfacial cleansers, and moisturizers.

What Is Dull Skin?

Dull skin is skin that doesn’t look bright or radiant—in fact, it may appear lackluster or flat. Basically, dull skin is the opposite of skin that looks youthful, glowing, and healthy.

10 Common Signs you have Dull Skin

Do you have dull skin but not sure why, exactly? Here are some of the most common causes.


As skin matures, its ability to renew surface cells slows down, causing a buildup of dead cells on the surface. As a result, the natural pink tone is hidden and your complexion can become dull-looking, losing its natural rosy tone of youth.


Another common cause of dull skin can be a buildup of dead skin cells on skin’s surface. Day after day, these cells can accumulate, leading to the appearance of less-than-radiant skin.


When the air is dry outside (like during the winter), this can leave you with dry skin—and dry skin can look dull.

4. YOU’re stressed

It’s easy to get stressed, especially when you have a to-do list that feels like it’s a mile long. But stress can affect the appearance of your skin, including making it look dull.

5. YOU don’t moisturize adequately

Hydrated skin is happy skin—but if you skip out on the moisturizer, you’re not getting any of the benefits and your skin could end up appearing duller.

6. YOU skip exfoliation

Sloughing dead skin cells off the surface of your skin a few times a week can help your skin appear brighter. If exfoliation isn’t a regular part of your skin care routine, then that could be one reason why you have dull skin.

7. YOU don’t take your makeup up before bed

Removing your makeup before bed is a skin care must for many reasons. When you don’t, that could lead to clogged pores, and all that product sitting atop your skin can make it look dull.

8. you live somewhere dry

If you live somewhere that’s lacking moisture in the air, then you may notice that your skin feels dry—and looks dull. It’s especially common to experience dull, dry skin in the wintertime when air tends to be drier.

9. YOU don’t get enough sleep

Your skin has the chance to refresh and renew itself while you snooze. If you’ve had a few nights of less-than-great sleep, then signs of fatigue—such as dull skin—could appear.

10. you use the wrong skin care products

It’s important to use the best skin care products to address your concerns—and that’s definitely the case when you have dull skin. Steer clear of mattifying formulas and opt for ones that can help brighten the look of your skin.

10 ways to take care of Dull Skin

Now that you know why you have dull skin, it’s time to get your skin care routine in order. Keep these 10 skin care tips for dull skin in mind to help brighten the appearance of your complexion. See ya later, dullness!

1. wear broad-spectrum sunscreen daily

Regardless of whether or not you have dull skin, sun protection should be top of mind in your skin care routine. Consider using a moisturizer with SPF, like the L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Bright Reveal Brightening Day Moisturizer SPF 30, which in addition to providing sun protection, also helps reveal more radiant-looking skin. Apply it as directed, and make sure to limit your amount of time in the sun, seek shade when you’re outside, and throw on a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.

2. pick the right facial cleanser

When you have dull skin, look for a facial cleanser that can help brighten the appearance of your skin, like the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Detox & Brighten Cleanser, which is formulated to transform from clay to mousse.

3. moisturize morning and night

Since you know that skipping out on moisturizer can leave your complexion looking dull, make sure that you’re hydrating your skin day and night. The L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Normal/Dry Skin is formulated with hyaluronic acid and aloe vera water to help provide long-lasting hydration and leave you with skin that looks glowing.

4. exfoliate a few times a week

One way you can exfoliate for brighter-looking skin is with a face scrub. Have your pick from the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Purify & Unclog Face Scrub, L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Smooth & Glow Face Scrub, and L’Oréal Paris Nourish & Soften Face Scrub. Each face scrub is formulated with three types of sugar for gentle yet effective exfoliation. Use your face scrub of choice three times a week for best results.

5. add a face mask to your routine

You can also address the appearance of dull skin by adding a face mask to your skin care routine—more specifically, a charcoal mask. We have one that fits the bill. The L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Detox & Brighten Face Mask is formulated to draw out the buildup of dirt, oils, and impurities and reduce the look of dull skin. Three times a week, apply an even layer to clean, dry skin, leave it on for 10-15 minutes, then rinse off thoroughly with lukewarm water and pat dry.

6. get familiar with glycolic acid

If you have dull skin, using skin care products formulated with glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), could help brighten the appearance of your skin, as it exfoliates the surface of your skin, getting rid of dead skin cell buildup.

7. try a peel pad before bed

Speaking of glycolic acid…you can find this ingredient in the L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Bright Reveal Brightening Daily Peel Pads, which can be used nightly to resurface dead skin cells and reveal brighter-looking skin. Just make sure to apply broad-spectrum sunscreen (or moisturizer with SPF) as directed and take additional sun protection measures in the morning, as AHAs can leave your skin more sensitive to the sun.

8. take your makeup off at the end of the day

You know how we told you that sleeping in your makeup could leave your skin looking dull? Well, then it makes sense that we’d suggest removing your makeup at the end of the day. Make things easy on yourself by keeping a bottle of micellar water, like the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types, by your bedside. All you have to do is saturate a cotton pad with the micellar water and wipe the pad across your face, eyes, and lips.

9. get your whole body in on the fun

Your face might not be the only thing that looks dull—if the rest of your body is looking a little lackluster (especially if it’s been cooped up under sweaters and boots during the winter), try using a self-tanner to boost your glow. The L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Hydrating Self-Tanning Milk Medium is designed to gradually deliver an even, bronzed glow while softening and nourishing skin. Use it three times a week as your body lotion.

10. switch up your face makeup

If you always reach for matte foundation, you may want to switch things up. While matte makeup is a great pick for oily skin types, if you have dry skin, it can leave your face looking a bit flat. To fake a glow, apply a radiant finish foundation, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Glow Foundation, instead.

You’re officially ready to get your glow on! For more advice on taking care of dull skin, check out Our Best Skin Care Products for Dull Skin.