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If you’re stressed about dull skin, you aren’t alone. According to a 2020 consumer survey of women we conducted at snowperk, 70% of respondents claimed that dull skin was their primary skincare worry. The good news is that you don’t have to settle for lackluster skin. Revamping your skincare routine can help.

Key Takeaways

  • Factors including dead skin cell buildup, environmental stressors, and poor diet can contribute to a dull complexion.
  • An appropriate skincare routine addressing both internal and external triggers of dullness can help create glowing skin.
  • It’s not only your skincare routine but also the products you use that will help create a more vibrant complexion.

5 Dull Skin Causes and Solutions

Dull skin occurs for many reasons. Understanding the causes can help you figure out how to fix them. Below, we list some frequent problems and possible solutions.

1. Dead Skin Cells

Your skin is constantly growing new skin cells and shedding old ones. Every day, you lose approximately 30,000 to 40,000 old skin cells. That means that the entire external layer of skin you can see now is replaced in a single month. If dead skin cells are allowed to build upon your face, they can prevent natural light from reflecting off the surface, resulting in an ashy, dull appearance.

Exfoliation can help prevent the buildup of dead skin cells. It also offers other benefits like increasing cellular turnover, which can help soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It further helps remove trapped dirt and oils from the skin’s surface, helping to reduce the likelihood of clogged pores responsible for whiteheads and blackheads.

Despite its benefits, exfoliation can also backfire if it’s done too vigorously. Over-exfoliation can sap skin of its natural moisture, which in turn spurs it to produce more oils, increasing the likelihood of acne. Opt for mild exfoliation products, and don’t exfoliate more than twice per week.

2. Environmental Stressors

Your skin is regularly exposed to airborne pollutants, from carbon monoxide to heavy metals, which can activate cutaneous metabolism, increase inflammation, and heighten oxidative stress, contributing to a dull appearance.

Investing in the right skincare products can help protect your skin against such environmental stressors. Look for natural skincare products with ingredients shown to combat oxidative stress. Rose is one example. Research shows that the flower has antioxidative properties, thanks to the high concentration of flavonoids, polyphenols, and anthocyanins it contains. It can also help combat skin inflammation.

Skin is likewise exposed to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight, which can cause damage like hyperpigmentation and dryness, exacerbating dullness. To help protect against this environmental stressor, layer a broad-spectrum sunscreen over your daily moisturizer every day. Learn how to find the right sunscreen for your skin type.

3. Emotional Stressors

Mental stress also takes a toll on skin. For example, stress impedes the protective function of your skin’s outermost layer, the stratum corneum. This can cause dryness and itching, contributing to dullness. Additionally, when you’re stressed, your body produces the stress hormone called cortisol. This spurs your sebaceous glands, which produce oil, clogging pores and treating acne.

To eliminate everyday emotional stressors, adopt the “four A’s” approach. Avoid stressful situations, alter stress triggers, accept what you can’t change, and adapt as needed so triggers are less likely to stress you out in the future. Everyday habits like getting physical exercise and meditation can further help minimize stress.

Additionally, some natural ingredients that help combat the impact of environmental skincare stressors are also shown to combat emotional stress. For example, rose oil is shown to help alleviate anxiety and stress. Other research suggests that aromatherapy using natural ingredients like lemon, mandarin, lime, and peppermint, can reduce stress.

4. Poor Hydration

Skin health starts from the inside out. Insufficient hydration can also result in dull-looking skin and negatively impact skin texture. Dehydrated skin may further be dry and itchy, making fine lines more noticeable. Maintaining proper hydration can help prevent this issue.

In general, a healthy adult should drink four to six cups of water per day. These requirements may vary if you have certain health conditions, like a thyroid disorder. Further, if you lose a lot of moisture (for example, because of a sweaty workout), you will have to replenish additional fluids.

If you’re worried about getting sufficient water intake, there are a few tips you can try to make sure you’re drinking enough. Carrying a water bottle with you wherever you go ensures you have the easy access to hydration that you need. Don’t enjoy the taste of plain water? Consider adding some slices of cucumber or citrus. There are also apps available to help you track your daily water intake.

5. Poor Diet

It’s not just what you drink that impacts skin health. What you eat also plays a vital role in your healthy skincare routine. For example, a diet with a lot of sugar and fat is shown to increase the likelihood of skin inflammation. Research further suggests that the microbiome in the gut (heavily influenced by diet) can also impact skin conditions like psoriasis.

Further, research shows that certain vitamin deficiencies can negatively impact skin health. For instance, a lack of vitamin C impairs wound healing and makes skin more susceptible to damage. To help prevent such issues, maintain a well-rounded diet rich in lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. Meanwhile, minimize your salt, sugar, and fat intake.

Upgrade Your Skincare Routine with snowperk

Snowperk provides science-based skincare solutions designed to help you achieve glowing skin. Our carefully crafted products are designed to hydrate, refresh, and combat environmental and emotional stress. For example, our snowperk® Skin Glowing & Hydrating Booster includes damask rose extract. We also offer many other face serums, lotions, and more.

The first step to getting glowing skin is to know your skin ID. We can then recommend which products best suit your unique needs. Need help figuring out how to know your skin type?

Take our skin type quiz now to get personalized skincare recommendations.

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