If the skin has a dull appearance, there are ways people can revive it to create a healthy glow. Methods of skin brightening include natural remedies such as exfoliation, moisturizer, and face rollers.

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Skin brightening is a different process from skin lightening. The purpose is not to reduce pigmentation but to increase the brightness and glow of the skin.

Dull skin refers to when the skin complexion stops looking radiant. A few factors that can cause dull skin include changes in the weather or lifestyle factors, such as alcohol or tobacco.

The skin is constantly shedding dead cells. The entire outer layer of skin replaces itself approximately every 4 weeks. When these dead cells collect on the surface, they can cause the skin to appear dull. Additionally, the skin can lose its glow if it becomes dehydrated.

By removing dead skin cells from the face and replenishing moisture, people can brighten their skin and reduce the dull appearance.

This article examines ways of increasing skin brightness, how brightening the skin can affect sensitivity, and factors that can cause dull skin.

Some people try to brighten dull skin by using makeup. However, cosmetic products tend to provide a temporary glow. It is more effective to target the skin directly.

A person can try some of the following natural remedies or a dermatological procedure to help improve complexion.


Exfoliation is a technique that removes dead skin cells and stimulates the production of new ones. Exfoliation increases the skin’s brightness by creating a more smooth and polished complexion.

The two types of exfoliation are physical and chemical exfoliation.

Physical — or mechanical — exfoliation uses manual methods of removing excess skin cells on the face, for example, through body brushes. People can buy these online.

Chemical exfoliation uses topical cleansers, including sugar and charcoal-based scrubs. These are available online.

How often a person should exfoliate varies between individual skin types and exfoliating techniques. A person should avoid exfoliating too frequently, as this can irritate the skin and cause the layers lower down to produce an excess of oil.

People with sensitive skin may prefer mild chemical exfoliators to avoid irritating their skin too much. Oily skin may need stronger exfoliation techniques.

People of Color should avoid strong chemical exfoliations. This type of exfoliation may cause spots on the skin to occur after burns, bug bites, or acne breakouts.

People should always moisturize after exfoliating to stop the skin from drying out.

Read on for ways to exfoliate naturally at home.


Moisturizing is a way of replenishing hydration in the skin. The process also creates an extra barrier, which protects the skin from environmental effects. Moisturizing also reduces the dull appearance that extreme weather conditions can cause.

A person’s skin type such as dry, oily, or combination guides the amount, frequency, and type of moisturizer they will need to use.

Within each skin category, there are specialized products aimed at certain body areas such as lips, under eyes, feet, or face.

Moisturizers can come in the form of lotions, ointments, and body butter. Click to buy these online.

Read more about body butter and lotions.

Using face rollers

Face rollers specifically target the skin on the face. They boost circulation and reduce puffiness, which may benefit how bright a person’s skin is.

A person can use a face roller by beginning at the center of the face and working outward, following the natural lines of the face to emphasize facial structure. People can buy face rollers online.

Learn more about the benefits of face rollers and how to use them.

Laser resurfacing

A dermatological procedure that may help brighten skin is laser resurfacing.

The laser beams penetrate deep into the skin using thermal energy. The beams stimulate collagen production and help cells regenerate to heal damaged skin. The results usually reveal glowing renewed skin.

Read more about the benefits and uses of laser resurfacing.

There are also some products to avoid when considering options for brightening skin. One example is hydroquinone. Hydroquinone is a cream that may help to tackle dull skin. However, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved it due to its unknown safety profile.

Sensitive skin refers to skin that, when presented with triggers, experiences:

  • stinging
  • burning
  • itching

Different factors may cause skin sensitivity. Some people find that their skin responds mostly to cosmetic products, whereas others find the environmental triggers, such as temperature or pollen.

The layer of dead skin cells that cause dullness can provide a protective barrier against outside elements. While removing the cells can increase the skin’s natural brightness, they can also increase sensitivity by creating exposure.

The main cause of dull skin is too many cells collecting on the skin surface.

A 2016 paper suggests that skin appears brighter and more radiant when free from particles but duller when particles collect. The cells absorb the light that shines on the face, making it harder to appear radiant.

Other causes of dull skin include:

Read on for more ways to get glowing skin.

Many different skin variations include type, color, age, and sensitivity. In all cases, skin dullness usually results from dead skin cells collecting on the surface.

If a person has any concerns about their complexion, they should consult a dermatologist. They can offer a personalized treatment plan to suit individual skin.

Skin brightening uses methods to reduce dullness and make the skin glow. Unlike skin lightening, it does not aim to decrease the pigmentation in the skin.

The dull appearance of skin mostly results from a buildup of dead cells, which collect on the skin’s surface. One of the best ways to reduce this buildup is by exfoliating. Dry skin can also cause the skin to look dull, so it is important to moisturize afterward.

With so many different methods, no brightening routine will meet the demands of all skin types. A person can start with the main techniques and determine what works best for them.

A dermatologist can also assist with improving individual skin complexion.