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Do you feel like your complexion is missing a certain radiance or glow? You might be dealing with dull skin, a skin concern with many causes, from dehydrated skin to infrequent exfoliation. Thankfully, there are many ways you can learn to manage the signs of dull skin and gain a brightening boost for your complexion. It can be tricky to get to the bottom of dull skin and figure out what your skin needs, but this guide will help you get started. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about skincare for dull skin. You’ll discover how your lifestyle might be contributing to a dull complexion and how vitamin C can help brighten your skin.

What is dull skin?

Dull skin is something of a mysterious skin concern. If you’re noticing an overall lack of radiance and glow in your complexion, you’re likely experiencing dull skin. Uneven skin tone and texture can make your skin look dull, as can dry skin or dehydrated skin. Dull skin is linked to the skin’s ability or lack of ability to reflect light evenly, which is why factors like smoothing skin texture can make a difference.

What does dull skin look like?

Aside from a general dull quality, here are some dull skin examples to help you identify whether you might be experiencing this skin concern:

  • Ashy-looking complexion
  • Uneven looking skin
  • Dry areas
  • Patchy-looking skin

Overall, if you’re noticing your skin is looking a little lacklustre and in need of a smoothing or brightening boost, it’s safe to say you likely have dull skin.

Dull skin causes

There a many different possible causes of dull skin because it’s really more of a symptom than a condition. If your skin is looking dull, one of the first things to check on is your hydration levels. Lack of hydration can cause dull looking skin, so read our guide to Dehydrated Skin: Causes and Symptoms  to learn more.

Other causes of dull skin might relate more to your skincare routine. If you don’t exfoliate your face, excess dead skin cells can give your skin a dull, uneven appearance. Lifestyle factors may also lead to dull skin, especially anything that hinders your skin’s ability to regenerate and repair itself. Lack of sleep, stress, poor diet, smoking and excessive exposure to sun and pollution all fit into those categories. 

Your CeraVe brightening skincare routine

Our range of skincare for dull skin features hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and brightening actives like vitamin C. We’ve set out a simple step-by-step skincare regime to help brighten your complexion. Follow the steps below to help visibly brighten uneven skin tone. 

1. Cleanse skin

Harsh facial cleansers can strip the skin of its natural oils, exacerbating dull skin. That’s why our cleansers have gentle formulas made to support the skin’s moisture barrier and hydrate your complexion even as they wash away impurities. Our CeraVe Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser is best suited for normal to dry skin in need of a brightening boost. Beginning as a cream before transforming into a delicate foam, this cleanser gently yet effectively purifies your skin. Cleanse with lukewarm water before gently patting your face dry.

2. Apply vitamin c serum

Now that you’ve ensured your skin is refreshed, the next step in your skin brightening routine is to apply a vitamin C serum directly on clean dry skin. Products containing vitamin C work best when they’re applied first, allowing them to fully absorb. Just a few drops of our Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum should be enough for your entire face and neck area. Gently press the serum into your skin, including the under-eye area.

3. Hydrating serum

As we know, hydration is a key aspect of combating dull skin. Using a facial serum formulated with hyaluronic acid is a highly efficacious way of helping your skin attract and hold onto moisture, which is why we created our CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum. Apply evenly to your face and neck, layering over your vitamin C serum.

4. Moisture skin

Seal in all the goodness from your serums with a facial moisturiser. To add further hydration to dull looking skin, we recommend using a multi-tasking moisturiser with added SPF. Our CeraVe AM Facial Moisturising Lotion with SPF 15 is enriched with hydrating hyaluronic acid and ceramides to help support the skin moisture barrier of your face and neck. Apply liberally each morning at least 20 minutes before stepping in the sun.


Enjoyed this guide on how to brighten dull skin? Read our next article How to Hydrate Your Skin: Face and Body to help you avoid the uncomfortable signs and symptoms of dehydrated skin.

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