Dull Skin Tone: Why Do I Have It? Top 5 Causes

dull skin tone

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We all want dewy skin tone, don’t we. Who wants dull skin?  But maintaining our skin radiance is not always easy. The sad truth is that our skin is constantly missing the ‘glow’ we all long for? But why? Here are some reasons:

You’re not exfoliating enough

Our dead skin cells build up at cellular level everyday. It’s a natural process where our skin renews and turnover every 28-30 days. The most superficial cells are replaced by new ones. However, as our skin matures over time, the cell turnover slows down, causing a build up of dead cells on the surface. As a result, we lose our natural rosy tone of youth and end up having dull looking complexion.


Exfoliate! In moderation. You can help your skin “shed” more quickly with either with chemical or physical exfoliants. Physical exfoliants are grainy substances found in our scrubs. Chemical exfoliants for instance, alpha and beta hydroxy acids break the bond holding the dead skin cells on the surface of our skin. It causes natural shedding of dead particles. I personally prefer using a chemical exfoliant as physical scrubs can be harsh to be rubbed on sensitive skin. Exfoliation also aids in better penetration of topical skincare products.

Apart from exfoliants, Retinol is also a highly sought for ingredient in skincare. It helps to increase cell turnover ( particularly great for more matured skin above 30 years old) to prevent dead skin cells from clogging pores. Recommended product: Kaiteki® Advanced Retinol Night Moisturiser 

Lack of Hydration

Have you been slacking on the moisturizers lately? Dull complexion usually calls out for a moisture boost. Our skin is constantly exposed to environmental stressors that damages skin barrier. Lack of moisture causes a decrease in thickness of the skin. Think of a deflated balloon, it will not shine as well as an inflated one. It is also common for one to experience dull, dry skin if you are constantly in an air conditioned space.


Using a moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid/Ceramide helps retain moisture better. Ceramide plays an essential role in structuring and maintaining the water permeability barrier function of the skin. While Hyaluronic Acid increases the moisture content in our skin, Ceramide prevents moisture from leaking out.

If you have mildly dry/oily skin, water based lotions are generally more tolerable. If your skin is moderate-severe dry, cream based moisturizers are recommended. 

You are not wearing sunscreen/Inadequate Sun Protection.

You know you have to, but you don’t do it. . I cannot stress enough of the usage of sunscreen in our daily skin regime. The sun and its UV are skin’s worst enemies, you may not see pigmentation from it YET, that does not mean you are safe from it. The little bits of UV exposure daily may not hold immediate visible effects, but he first signs are usually the dull skin that comes along with it. Trust me, you can sign up for the latest and most expensive aesthetic treatments, but the results will not sustain as long as you are not wearing adequate sunscreen.

Always remember, damage is cumulative. Do not expect a clinical doctor to treat your photodamaged skin in a few weeks when you have not been applying sun protection for years.


You know it already. Wear adequate sun protection daily. Not only when you are out in the beach/tanning. If you do not fancy the greasy finish of your particular sunscreen, look for one that is non comedogenic and oil free. You can also consider taking oral sunblock tablets or using a shower sunscreen gel. Recommended: Kaiteki® DoubleBlock UV Sunscreen and NanoMD® Oral Supplements. 

Blame it on the Hormones

When our hormones fluctuate during menses, menopause or puberty, they often affect the appearance of our skin. Our skin also changes when we’re under stress, it causes in increase in hormone that increases oil production thus leading to clogged pores and dull skin


Hormones fluctuation is usually quite common among ladies and thankfully, they come and go most of the times. However, for hormonal cause of oiliness, you can speak to a doctor for prescribed medications. Also, stress management is crucial. You do not need a skin doctor to tell you to take time and destress.

Lifestyle and sleep habits

Ask yourself, do you smoke or are you constantly sleep deprived?

Surely you don’t need to be told again, cigarette smoking can cause collagen breakdown and impair skin tone over time. You lose your radiance from every puff you take, so do think twice before you light the cigarette. Your environment that you live in could also possibly dull down your skin with air pollutants and low humidty, especially if your skin is unprotected.

Beauty sleep is a real thing. Our bedtime is the skin’s restorative time when our cells repair and restore its function. If you are constantly sleep deprived and the restorative period is shortened, our skin will not be able to repair at its most optimum hence the dull unattractive skin tone.


Stay away from bad habits if you love your skin! Always protect the skin and pump your skin with good antioxidants and nourishment, along with 7-9 hours of sleep to stay looking your best. Antioxidants can also be found in berries, nuts and green tea.

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