Why Does My Skin Look Dull?

Refresh Mint

Is your skin lacking the radiant luster you’re used to? Dull skin can be a real annoyance. It can make you look more tired and older than you really are. The good news is that there are a number of things you can do to revive your lackluster complexion. So, what are some causes of dull skin, and how can we fix it?

            Remove Dead Surface Skin Cells 

If your skin looks dull, one of the first things you should look at is dead skin buildup. Our surface skin cells naturally refresh themselves over time, but if everything is functioning as it should, newer surface skin cells should be brighter than older ones.1

If dead skin cells are not properly removed by exfoliation and subsequent cell turnover, they can build up on your face and clog pores. Often, though, dead skin buildup can get in the way of bright, glowing skin by clogging our pores or sticking to our faces. 1,3

A quick solution? We recommend using The Refresh Mint – Exfoliating Moisture Mask to clear away dead skin cells and restore a revitalized complexion. The Refresh Mint deploys three different types of acids, including Salicylic and Hyaluronic Acids, as well as enzymes and hydrators to resurface the skin and revealing a smooth, revitalized, and nourished complexion. 

            Dry Skin 

Maintaining the skin's moisture barrier is important for a healthy complexion. It’s responsible for locking moisture into the skin and keeping bacteria at bay. If you’re noticing a dull (and sensitized) complexion, you may have a damaged moisture barrier.1 

When your skin is damaged, it needs to be treated gently and nourished. We recommend keeping your skin hydrated throughout the day by being consistent and intentional about applying moisturizer. If you don't give your skin the hydration it needs, it could lead to damage like fine lines, sagging, flakiness, and deep wrinkles when gone unchecked.1,5 

One of the easiest first steps towards combatting dry and dehydrated skin is to make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day. The amount varies from person to person and depending on activity level, but around six glasses of water a day should typically be a good rule of thumb.5 

For an extra boost of hydration in your skincare routine, spray The Optimist – Hydrating Brightening Essence after cleansing and before applying any serums and moisturizers. This will provide a layer of hydration sandwiched in between moisture. The Optimist is formulated with skin-loving vitamins, minerals, amino acids, omega fatty acids, and antioxidants that lock in moisture and reveal plumper, more radiant skin. 


Stress can take many forms, from an impending deadline to a bad argument or a bad night's sleep. Whatever the cause, the effect is the same. Stress may cause your cortisol levels to increase and negatively impact blood flow to the skin and may compromise the skin’s regenerative properties, which can lead to increased inflammation, breakouts and a worn-out complexion.3

Getting enough sleep every night is one of the best things you can do for your skin. When you sleep, your skin cells repair and regenerate themselves.3,8 It’s also good practice for your overall health to minimize stressors in your life and find ways to cope with them. 

Consider adding The Straight A – Advanced Gentle Retinol Serum to your nighttime routine for combatting stress related inflammation and breakouts. The Straight A features encapsulated, slow-release retinol as well as two “botanical retinols” that gently, yet effectively, resurface and exfoliate the skin. It also features hydrators, Omega fatty acids, and Vitamin C that work synergistically to smooth, plump, and brighten the complexion. 

            Hormonal Changes

For many people, hormone levels fluctuate for normal reasons, such as puberty, menopause, and pregnancy. They can also fluctuate for external reasons, such as taking a medication that affects your hormones. 

When hormone levels fluctuate, skin often looks different.8 Dark spots can appear on your face or body and are resistant to removal with brighteners because they're caused by hormones in both the top layer of skin and deeper layers.6 

If you think hormonal changes are the reason why your skin looks dull, it's worth seeing a doctor to discuss the root of the issue and the right steps towards potential solutions.

            Lack of Nutrients

If you want to have healthy, glowing skin, it’s helpful to eat a balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables full of antioxidants, proteins, and essential fatty acids.4 This will help to protect your skin from the inside out. Avoid processed foods high in sugar and sodium, which may make your skin look older.2 A daily multivitamin may also be a good option for supplementing nutrients you may be lacking in your diet.

It’s also important to ensure you are using products on your skin that are rich in essential vitamins, antioxidants, and fatty acids. You skin will absorb these nutrients, boosting collagen production, brightening skin tone, and protecting your complexion from the environment.  

            Environmental Factors

Your skin loses its luster when it’s damaged by environmental factors like air pollution and UV rays. Polluted air contains a host of tiny particles, like dirt and sulfur dioxide, that create free radicals on skin. Free radicals damage collagen and stimulate pigment production over time. 

No one likes to discover a new sunspot or hyperpigmentation. Sun damage is one of the most common causes of weakened collagen — and dull skin that comes with it.2 That’s why it’s so vital to incorporate a sunscreen into your everyday routine to prevent sun damage, and to use products containing antioxidants that protect against free radicals.6 

We suggest incorporating The Super Couple – Ultra Luxe Face Oil Serum for everyday protection against the environment. The Super Couple combines one of nature’s strongest antioxidants Astaxanthin, which is 65x stronger than Vitamin C in protecting against free radicals. Astaxanthin also acts as an SPF booster. Please remember it is not an SPF however. The Super Couple formulation combines astaxanthin with Supercritical Chia Seed oil, which is full of nutrient dense Omega fatty acids. This ultra-moisturizing face oil imparts an immediate glow onto the skin upon application, and locks hydration into the skin for deeply moisturization and protective benefits. 


As we age, our skin's ability to renew itself slows down. Skin processes such as production of ceramides, collagen, and elastin tend to slow down as we age - while melanin production increases, leaving dry and more susceptible to the appearance of dark spots.6,8 If you are noticing these kinds of changes in your skin, it may be a good time to find high-performance products that target these specific skin issues. 

The Advanced Response Complex – Regenerating Firming Face & Neck Moisture Cream works to encourage the body’s own regenerative processes to visibly reduce the signs of aging and environmental damage. The Advanced Response Complex is packed with peptides that stimulates skin cells to produce more collagen and elastin fibers.1,7 It also contains the super antioxidant Chebula helps target fine lines, even skin tone, and encourage a youthful and radiant complexion.4

All in all, when it comes to achieving our skin health goals, we need to look at the bigger picture. It is important to understand which key ingredients are fit for the specific needs of your skin, as well as addressing how our lifestyle choices impact our complexion. The good news is dull skin doesn’t have to last forever. We hope these tips and tricks help guide you towards your own special brand of radiance. 


1.     Alberts, B., Johnson, A., Lewis, J., Raff, M., Roberts, K., & Walter, P. (2015). Epidermis and Its Renewal by Stem Cells. Nih.gov; Garland Science. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK26865/
2.     Dhital, B., Durlik, P., Rathod, P., Gul-E-Noor, F., Wang, Z., Sun, C., Chang, E. J., Itin, B., & Boutis, G. S. (2017). Ultraviolet radiation reduces desmosine cross-links in elastin. Biochemistry and Biophysics Reports, 10, 172–177. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrep.2017.04.002
3.     Do retinoids really reduce wrinkles? (2017, April 13). Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/do-retinoids-really-reduce-wrinkles#:~:text=However%2C%20it%20takes%20three%20to
4.     Fusco, D., Colloca, G., Lo Monaco, M. R., & Cesari, M. (2007). Effects of antioxidant supplementation on the aging process. Clinical Interventions in Aging2(3), 377–387. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2685276/
5.     Harvard Health Publishing. (2020, March 25). How much water should you drink? Harvard Health; Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-much-water-should-you-drink
6.     Mobasher, P., Foulad, D. P., Raffi, J., Zachary, C., Fackler, N., Zohuri, N., Juhasz, M., & Atanaskova Mesinkovska, N. (2020). Catamenial Hyperpigmentation: A Review. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 13(6), 18–21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7442313/
7.     Purnamawati, S., Indrastuti, N., Danarti, R., & Saefudin, T. (2017). The Role of Moisturizers in Addressing Various Kinds of Dermatitis: A Review. Clinical Medicine & Research, 15(3-4), 75–87. https://doi.org/10.3121/cmr.2017.1363
8.     Varani, J., Dame, M. K., Rittie, L., Fligiel, S. E. G., Kang, S., Fisher, G. J., & Voorhees, J. J. (2006). Decreased Collagen Production in Chronologically Aged Skin. The American Journal of Pathology, 168(6), 1861–1868. https://doi.org/10.2353/ajpath.2006.051302