Dull Skin: How To Treat It Fast

If your skin has been feeling dull and tired lately, you’re not alone. Dull, lackluster skin can happen to anyone, putting a damper on our mood and confidence. However, with the right regimen, you can glow up and get brighter skin.

There are several highly effective methods that can bring back the glow to tired, porous skin in a matter of weeks, and it all starts with an excellent facial moisturizer. Here’s a step-by-step process on how to treat dull skin.


The build-up of dead skin cells can cause your complexion to look drab and lifeless. Exfoliation is critical; it removes these dead cells, uncovering fresh new skin.

For best results, look for a scrub with round microbeads or a chemical exfoliant with alpha hydroxy acids. Use the exfoliant two to three times a week, avoiding direct contact with the eye area. Rinse thoroughly and follow up with a hydrating moisturizer. Be careful not to over-exfoliate, though, as this can cause irritation.


After exfoliating, hydrate the skin deeply with moisturizers that contain hyaluronic acid. This powerhouse ingredient holds up to 1000 times its weight in water, plunging moisture into dehydrated skin. You can apply a hyaluronic serum before the moisturizer to maximize absorption.

Look for moisturizers with ceramides, which also help repair the skin barrier and seal in moisture. One highly rated facial moisturizer brand to consider is Fresh, which offers products free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. Their creams and gels typically contain hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and shea butter. Their customers report that hydration lasts for hours without causing greasiness or breakouts, revealing luminous, healthy skin.


Photo by Leighann Blackwood

Incorporate Antioxidants

Antioxidants like vitamin C are a fantastic way to brighten the skin while protecting it from free radical damage that accelerates aging. Vitamin C has also been shown to improve collagen production over time for firmer skin.

To maximize the effects of antioxidants on your skin, eat antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries, spinach, and green tea or apply a serum with stabilized vitamin C like L-ascorbic acid.

Sun Protection

UV exposure can make skin appear duller and older before its time. That’s why you want to protect your skin daily with broad-spectrum sunscreen. Choose a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and reapply every two hours when outdoors. A recommended brand for sun protection is Bondi Sands, who offer SPF products with the highest level of protection against harmful sun rays, including fragrance free options for the face and body.  

Don’t forget to seek shade during peak sun hours to avoid sun damage. UV damage is cumulative, so diligent protection now reduces dullness in the future.

Use the Right Makeup

You can also address dullness with radiance-boosting makeup. Look for luminizers and highlighters containing light reflective particles like mica, pearl, and pigments. Apply to the high points of the face like cheekbones, inner corners of eyes, and brow bones to instantly brighten dull, flat skin for a glowing effect. A foundation or tinted moisturizer containing luminous pigments can also impart immediate radiance to the face.


Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Mask It Up

Face masks provide a quick fix when you need bright, smooth skin. Look for masks with papaya enzyme, an efficient exfoliant that refreshes the skin without irritation. Brightening masks with vitamin C, licorice root extract, and niacinamide can also reduce visible sun spots and hyperpigmentation to even out tone.

Hydrating masks with hyaluronic acid and ceramides, on the other hand, can deeply moisturize skin to restore a glowing look. Use masks up to three times a week or whenever the skin needs revitalizing, and you’ll notice a significant improvement in your skin’s overall appearance and texture.

Practice Good Lifestyle Habits

Dull skin is often the result of dryness due to increased water loss on the skin. This can happen due to lifestyle habits such as a poor diet full of processed, refined food and a sedentary lifestyle.

Drinking at least eight glasses of water daily can optimize your internal hydration and improve dull skin over time, as can eating healthier foods. Strengthen the skin’s barrier with essential fatty acids like omega-3s from salmon, walnuts, and avocados.

Load up on colorful fruits and vegetables that protect the skin and are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, like strawberries, red peppers, and broccoli. And remember to reduce your intake of sodium, sugar, and refined carbs that can dehydrate the skin.

When it comes to exercise, you don’t even have to do that much  — unless you want to. Just going for a brisk walk or even doing jumping jacks in place will bring the blood flow to the surface of the skin and deliver an almost glowy radiance to the face.

Try Chemical Peels

An AHA peel performed by a dermatologist can be transformative for chronically dull skin. AHAs like glycolic acid resurface the top layers of skin, dramatically improving radiance, tone, and texture. Continually doing peels can significantly enhance clarity and glow as well. However, you should always consult a doctor before undergoing professional peels.

Prioritize Sleep

Another life hack to practice is getting enough sleep to prevent a tired complexion. Skin cells regenerate fastest at night, and lack of sleep hampers this process. Strive for seven to nine hours nightly for restored luminosity. Consider sleeping on a silk pillowcase to minimize friction and prevent facial creases that can lead to dullness over time.

Here’s to Radiant, Vibrant Skin

While dull skin can feel like a hopeless case, implementing these effective remedies will have you glowing again in no time. With diligent exfoliation, hydration, and protection paired with professional treatments as needed, your skin will go from drab to fab.

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