Dull Skin: What Happened & What You Can Do About It

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What causes dull skin


As we age, 2 things happen. Our skin loses the capability of keeping itself hydrated and the speed at which new skin cells are created and come to the surface of our skin is extremely slower than at a young age.


Firstly, we have less hydration of the skin. Our ability to keep the skin hydrated reduces for a number of reasons - one being we reduce the amount of ceramides (they retain water in our skin). 50% of our epidermis (top layer of the skin) is ceramide.


The second reason is the cell turnover period. When you are 5 years old, it takes about 5 days for new skin cells to come to the surface. When you are 20 years old, the average is about 20 days for those new skin cells to come to the surface. As we age - our skin cells compact as we then have a much longer cell turnaround and it gets exponentially worse.


What this means is that when you are young, you have nice juicy plump cells coming to the surface quickly. Light reflects evenly and there is this flawless glow. As you age, the dead cells compact on top of each other and our surface layer are just curled cells - when light hits the surface of our skin - it refracts in all different directions and your skin looks dull.


How to rejuvenate & brighten dull skin

In order to treat and fix dull skin, you need to focus on 3 things in your daily skin care routine.


  1. Gentle Exfoliation

Use a good chemical exfoliant to get the dead skin cells off your face, which makes your skin more smoother and reduces the texture, dark spots & pigmentation.

Recommended Product: The Ordinary 30% AHA + 2% BHA Peeling Solution (once a week, for 10 mins)

  1. Vitamin A

It increases that cell turnover so it comes to the surface faster so you get nice plump juicy cells at the top as opposed to those skinny-dead-coiled cells

  1. Vitamin C - to treat the free radicals on your skin.

It mops up the free radicals that are caused by the UV rays.

  1. Good thick Moisturizer
  2. SPF 50 - regularly throughout the day time.

UV is your biggest enemy. It leads to free radicals which ages your skin.


How to fix dull skin naturally

If you are looking for home remedies for treating dull skin, don’t. Home remedies usually tend to harm your skin more because many such remedies lack science - and those that do have scientific benefits - lack in the formulation. Chemists, Aestheticians and Dermatologists spend time testing and formulating ingredients that are made for the skin. Instead of buying fruits and vegetables and making DIY skin care, buy a well formulated product. You will save your time and money (and your skin).


Also, when we over exfoliate our skin, or use strong acids like glycolic acid on sensitive skin - it strips off the essential oils that your skin naturally produces that give that glow to your skin. So it is important to use a gentle cleanser and exfoliate 1-2 times a week (or once a month if your skin is too sensitive).

Which deficiency causes dull skin

Deficiency of Vitamin B complex (vitamin B-9 aka folic acid and B-12 aka cobalamin) can lead to pigmentation of the skin that eventually makes the skin look dull and patchy. Deficiency of Vitamin C causes dull, dry and sagging skin as Vitamin C is responsible for collagen production which gives the skin elasticity. In order to combat this deficiency, add vegetables and fruits into your diet.


What to eat for dull skin

Apart from the skin care routine for dull skin, you also want to take care of your diet. You need to have a good enough protein in your diet.

Enough Protein in your diet?

Majority of your skin is protein and water. If you have less protein or water than you need, the least important organ of your entire body is your skin. Everything is more important than your skin. When you are dehydrated or you have not had enough protein, that’s where you are going to see it first - your skin.

Cut Down on Sugar

Layers of Skin and the Impact of Sugar on skin

You have to cut down on sugar. Sugar leads to covalent bonds between collagen and elastin in the Dermis (middle layer of the skin). And this is irreversible and your Dermis then becomes rigid which loses that nice supple skin you had before. 


Alcohol is also not your friend - it dehydrates your skin. 

Eat more Antioxidants

For the same reason you apply them topically - they mop up the free radicals from your skin giving your skin a chance to breathe. Have any highly pigmented fruits and veg like blueberries, beet root etc.


How to prevent dull skin

6 steps to preventing aging dull skin

  1. Always cleanse your skin when you wake up and before you go to sleep. Makeup wipes don’t really clear everything from your skin. Cleanse gently with a gentle cleanser to get the dirt, makeup, pollutants that have been on your skin throughout the day.
  2. Exfoliate at least once a month with a gentle exfoliator.
  3. Use your active ingredients (Vitamin A & Vitamin C).
  4. Use a moisturizer. CeraVe’s Moisturizing Cream is a thick emollient, it's cheap and it has ceramides in it. 
  5. Use SPF 50 every 3 hours of the day.
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