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What Is Dull Skin?

What Is Dull Skin? What Is Dull Skin?


There are plenty of department store and drugstore products that promise to restore radiance in dull skin, but if you're dealing with skin that's lost its glow, you may wonder what dimmed it in the first place. Often, understanding what causes dull skin and embarking on a home care regimen can get you glowing again, but if you have specific concerns about dull skin, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist to address them.


Though you may experience dull skin as a side effect of reduced oil production due to aging, loss of radiance isn't always related to age. Your skin can lose its natural luminosity because of dryness, damaged cells or too-slow cell turnover, all of which can happen at any age and in any season.


Your skin looks dull when dead skin cells build up on its surface, explains dermatologist Patricia Wechsler in "Allure" magazine. These cells, which often pile up in uneven patches on your skin, create a barrier that blocks the skin-brightening effects of your blood vessels and can lead to rough, dull patches on your skin.


Dull skin can cause several skin problems in addition to a lack of brightness. If your dull skin is caused by buildup of dead skin cells, you could end up with clogged pores and acne outbreaks. If sun damage is behind your dull skin, age spots and roughness may develop. And if your skin is dull because it lacks moisture, you may start to notice wrinkles and fine lines as well as dullness.


Weekly exfoliation is the most effective way to brighten up dull skin, says Tina S. Alster, clinical professor of dermatology at Georgetown University Medical Center in "Allure" magazine. Opt for a chemical exfoliator that uses alpha hydroxy acid or salicylic acid instead of a harsher scrub to gently erase dead skin cells without causing redness and irritation. Always follow exfoliation with a generous application of moisturizer since your skin absorbs brightening moisturizer well after you exfoliate.


If you're dealing with dull skin, it's important to avoid using products that can dry out your skin or make it hard for your cells to get skin-brightening oxygen, says celebrity skin care expert Renee Rouleau on her website Rouleau recommends steering clear of products that contain mineral oil, petrolatum, isopropyl myristate, isopropyl palmitate and SD alcohol 40 if you have dull skin issues.

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