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Dull Skin: Signs, Causes, Solutions, & More!

Dull Skin: Signs, Causes, Solutions, & More!

Everyone wants skin that looks healthy, but many of us aren’t necessarily taking steps to get healthy skin. By using the wrong products, spending too much time in the sun, and making lifestyle choices that don’t support our skin, we can end up with dull complexions that seem impossible to correct.

Dull skin doesn’t happen overnight. It’s the result of a combination of elements that, over time, cause the skin to lose its glow. Thankfully, it isn’t permanent. Dull skin is relatively easy to fix. We’ll tell you why your skin is dull and give you fool-proof solutions to bring back your glow.

First, let’s look at how your skin works to stay healthy.

How Your Skin Works

There are a lot of moving parts to get radiant skin. Both internal and external factors play a role in your skin’s health.

Collagen and Elastin

Both collagen and elastin are foundational proteins found all over the body, but they are especially abundant in your skin. They have two major functions: to support the structure of your skin and keep it looking youthful.

  • Collagen. Collagen is a protein found in skin, cartilage, and numerous other parts of your body. Collagen is the ingredient in our skin that keeps it looking plump and youthful. The more collagen we have, the less likely our skin is to wrinkle.
  • Elastin. Elastin gives our skin the ability to snap back into place when it has been stretched. Elastin keeps your skin taut. When you lose elastin, your skin may begin to form deeper wrinkles.

Both proteins are plentiful in our skin when we are younger. As we age, our skin produces less.


As a teenager, you may have viewed your oily skin as your sworn enemy. Excess oil can be an issue for both teens and adults. The truth is, oily skin usually ages better than skin that suffers from dryness.

Your skin’s natural oil, called sebum, is made of a protective and hydrating formula of essential fatty acids, squalene, wax esters, and other compounds. Your skin depends on these ingredients to stay healthy and radiant.

Skin Cell Turnover

Your skin is constantly creating new skin cells. Dead skin cells make their way to the surface of your skin where they are sloughed away. Sometimes, that move doesn’t happen as quickly as it should, leaving a buildup of dead skin cells that can leave you with a dull complexion.

Dead skin cells can also mix with dirt and result in clogged pores that can make your skin look dull and irritated.


The foundation of healthy skin is in your diet. If you have significant nutritional gaps in your diet, your skin will pay the price.

Specifically, your skin relies on certain essential vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. Vitamins C, E, K, and D are all key components of good skin health.

  • Vitamin D. Your skin makes vitamin D from sun exposure or gets it from fortified foods. Vitamin D is important for cellular turnover, which declines with age.
  • Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a known skin brightener. This helps support beautiful skin and also acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants help protect your skin against damage from free radicals.
  • Vitamin E. Vitamin E is also an antioxidant and helps reduce the appearance of skin imperfections like scars or areas of hyperpigmentation.
  • Vitamin K. Vitamin K helps with wound healing. If you have sensitive skin that often develops acne or areas of irritation, this vitamin is crucial for your skin health.

It goes without saying, your skin suffers when you don’t eat a variety of fruits and vegetables and drink enough water. Over time, these dietary pitfalls can create major skin issues.

Dull Skin Definition and Symptoms

Skin that suddenly appears lackluster can be frustrating and it can be difficult to find the cause. Dull skin is typically defined as skin that has lost its glow. If the hallmark of skin health is an unmistakable glow, even skin tone, and healthy-looking color, dull skin is just the opposite.

Dull skin is characterized by:

  • Patches of irritation and possibly itchiness
  • Uneven complexion
  • Ashy or yellow skin tone
  • Spots of hyperpigmentation or sun damage
  • Fine lines and wrinkles

You may have a few or all of these symptoms if you are suffering from dull skin, but don’t worry. Finding the cause is easier than you think.

Common Causes of Dull Skin

Dull skin isn’t usually caused by a single event. It’s a result of bad skin care decisions or neglect over time. The most common culprits? Age, sun exposure, improper diet, and lacking skincare products.


Aging skin requires a different skincare routine than younger skin. As your skin ages, your collagen production slows, as well as your production of elastin, and sebum. Your skin also begins to thin as you get older, which can naturally change your skin’s undertone and overall appearance.

Improper Diet

Dietary gaps will rapidly create holes in your skincare routine. No amount of topical product can fix a bad diet. An improper diet also has a negative impact on your gut health.

Your gut health is directly related to your skin health. The gut-skin axis is the known connection between the healthy bacteria that live in your gut and the communication they have with the healthy flora on your skin. When your gut flora isn’t balanced, it presents issues with your skin.

Bad Skin Care

Most of us are guilty of not removing our makeup before bed once in a while or skipping our moisturizer now and then. Making a few skincare no-no’s won’t have a dramatic impact on your skin, but turning those occasional blunders into habits can be detrimental to your skin.

Using bad skincare products can also cause skin dehydration and dullness. Most traditional skincare products focus on correcting the outward issues of your skin (like breakouts or wrinkles) and not the underlying problems. They typically contain toxic ingredients that aren’t good for your skin or your body.

Sun Damage

Sun exposure allows damaging UV rays to penetrate our skin and strip it of its youthful glow. Not only is too much sun damaging to your skin, it ages you at a rate much faster than you’d age on your own.

Sun is important and helps our body make vitamin D, but protecting your skin with sunscreen when you’re in the sun is crucial to maintaining a healthy glow.

How To Fix Dull Skin

Dull skin divas, there is a solution! Here are four tips to get your skin back in top-notch shape.

1. Fix Your Diet

You don’t have to commit to eating nothing but salads for the rest of your life, but adding fruits and vegetables to your plate will benefit your body and your skin. If you want to improve your gut health and compensate for your daily donut habit, a supplement is a great place to start.

You’re in luck, because RMS Beauty has two powerful supplements that are perfect for gut and skin health.

Supplements are powerful additions to your diet, and can increase the potential your skin has to really glow.

3. Use Better Skin Care

If you’re still using traditional skin care products, it’s time to make the switch to cleaner, greener products. Natural, plant-based ingredients work synergistically with your skin to bring out radiance and beauty, and won’t strip your skin of needed moisture.

Jojoba oil, for instance, is closest in composition to your skin’s natural oil, sebum, which makes it an expert at hydrating and nourishing your skin. You’ll find jojoba oil in many of RMS Beauty’s skin care products and color cosmetics.

Buriti oil is another powerfully nourishing ingredient that works hard to provide protective antioxidant benefits to parched skin. In RMS Beauty’s Beauty Oil, buriti works alongside cold-pressed tamanu oil, another botanical antioxidant powerhouse, as well as our proprietary adaptogenic herbal blend, which soothes and softens skin.

4. Use the Right Color Cosmetics

When you have dull skin it can be tempting to use an excess of color cosmetics to give your skin a healthier, more brilliant look. Unfortunately, you can sometimes go overboard. Getting true skin color works best when you take a minimalist approach. Correct areas of unevenness with foundation, and highlight your skin with our Luminizer to enhance your skin and create an ethereal look.

What Not To Do

Just like there’s a specific recipe for correcting dull skin, there are also a few dull skin don’ts you can avoid.

Don’t Use Too Much Foundation

Covering your dull skin with a brighter foundation will only make your skin take on an eerie shade that doesn’t look natural. Correct your skin health, keep it hydrated, and use foundation and concealer to correct areas of unevenness.

Don’t Use Harsh Products

Abrasive cleansers, harsh granules in some exfoliation products, and chemical ingredients that claim to strip away layers of skin to reveal healthier skin may not be healthy for your skin and could even leave it in worse condition than you started.

Instead, opt for products that are plant-based and natural, for a synergistic approach to your skin care.

Don’t Use Hot Water

Scalding hot water can dehydrate your skin, cause irritation, or even make oilier skin more oily. Using lukewarm water is the best way to cleanse your skin.

Brighten Up!

Dull skin doesn’t happen automatically, but as a result of bad skin care and improper diet that has a cumulative effect. You can combat your dull skin by improving your diet and making the switch to the cleanest, greenest skin care available.

RMS Beauty is your go-to for skin care and color cosmetics that are free of dull-skin-causing ingredients.


Sebaceous gland lipids|NCBI

Better Diet Better Skin|

Aging changes in skin: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

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