How to choose the right skincare plan to brighten dull skin

Hannah Wilson

Dull skin doesn’t have to stay dull forever. With a few simple tweaks to your skincare routine, you could have a healthy, glowy complexion in no time. But where do you start? It can be hard enough deciding on which products to use and ingredients to look out for, without having to find out the perfect routine to use them all in, too. That’s where we come in. 

Here at Face Dr, we’ve helped thousands of clients banish dull skin and get dewy and radiant complexions. Our team of experts have decades of experience in the skincare world and are clued up on the perfect routines to help a range of concerns, including dull skin. 


So how do you choose the right skincare routine for glowing skin? We break it down by: 

If you’re looking for which products to get started with, we’ve rounded up our favourites here.  

What is dull skin?


Woman using skincare mist 

Before we dive into how to choose the perfect routine for you, it can be useful to know what’s going on behind dull skin. Dull skin is exactly what it sounds like: skin that’s dull, tired, lifeless and a complexion that just doesn’t have that dewy glowing look we all dream of. 

The main causes of dull skin include: 

  • A buildup of dead skin cells 
  • Dehydration 
  • Poor lifestyle—like a bad diet, smoking and alcohol
  • Environment—like dry air and pollution 
  • Sun damage 
  • Using the wrong products 

Despite all these things that can get skin looking worse for wear, there are products out there that can help. Here’s how to build the perfect routine to get that complexion glowing again. 

How to choose the perfect skincare routine to get glowing skin 


Let’s break down how exactly to build the perfect skincare routine to get glowing skin depending on your skin type and severity. But first, if you’re short on time or just don’t know where to start, consider a consultation

By skincare consultation 


skincare consultation

The skincare world can be a confusing place. With all the products to choose from, ingredients with long names and brands promising results, it can be tough to know where to start. That’s why one of the best ways of figuring out your perfect skincare routine is simply letting an expert do it for you. 

At Face Dr, we’ve got a team on hand to do exactly that. With free online consultations, you can get your skin analysed by an expert who can recommend products to help brighten and revive your skin. They’ll work with you to build the perfect skincare routine for your exact skin type, budget and concerns. We’ll do the hard work for you, so you can start your routine and get glowing skin in no time. 

By skin type


If you’re trying to build the perfect skincare routine yourself, one of the most important things to consider is your skin type. These main skin types are: dry, combination, oily and sensitive. 

All skin types should consider a routine that includes: 

Here are some things to tweak depending on your skin type: 



The main cause of dull skin is a buildup of dead skin cells, so exfoliating is the key to tackling it, but this can be tricky for those with dry skin. Proceed with caution, especially if your skin is prone to irritation. Opt for weaker concentrations of AHAs and vitamin C and introduce these products slowly. 

If your dull skin is down to dehydration, choosing hydrating ingredients and including these in your routine is even more important. Look out for hyaluronic acid and add moisturising serums and masks to your rotation. 

Product to try: ZO Brightalive Skin Brightener



Combination skin can often handle higher concentrations of acids and vitamin C which are both key to brightening the skin. If you suffer from dry patches as well as oily patches, it can be helpful to include a serum in your routine that’s moisturising as well as exfoliating. Clarifying weekly masks can help to rebalance the skin while providing it with a hydrating boost. 

Those with combination skin types can also look into overnight peels or stronger scrubs, too. 

Product to try: Obagi Professional-C Microdermabrasion Polish + Mask 



Oily skin types often respond well to higher concentrations of acids and vitamin C, and these can really help brighten up the complexion. Look for 20% vitamin C serums, AHA products and consider overnight peels. 

Salicylic acid can help to control excess oil and therefore reduce acne and blemishes that can contribute to a less than glowing complexion. Look out for this in your daily cleanser or in a dedicated serum. 

As the skin is less dry and sensitive, you can also bring exfoliating ingredients into more steps of your skincare routine, like with an exfoliating cleanser, serum and mask.

Product to try: ZO Skin Health Exfoliating Polish



Just like with dry skin, those with sensitive skin should look to exfoliate, but proceed with caution. Physical scrubs can sometimes be too much for sensitive skin, but weaker acid concentrations could work for you. Look out for exfoliating products you can wash off, too, instead of those that are left on overnight. 

Choose moisturising and healing serums, with a low concentration of vitamin C. Hyaluronic acid and glycerin are your friends as these ingredients are gentle yet moisturising, so they’ll battle any rough patches and dehydration. 

Product to try: Obagi Professional-C Serum 10% 

By severity


After skin type, you should consider how severe your dull skin is. 

Mild — just a little tired 


You may find that most of the time your skin is glowing (lucky you!), but every now and again it needs a boost during a stressful time or in the winter, for example. If this is you, you may not need to make too many changes to your skincare routine in order to get your complexion healthy again. 

Instead, consider investing in one or two key products to help. Exfoliating is key, so if you don’t already, look into including an exfoliating product in your routine. This could be a daily exfoliating cleanser, a serum with acids or a weekly treatment designed to buff away dead skin cells. If you already exfoliate, it’s time to take it to the next level with a stronger product or daily-use product. 

Product to try: ZO Skin Health Exfoliating Cleanser 

Moderate — daily dullness 


If your dull skin sticks around for a long time or your skin looks flat and lifeless, you may need to tweak your skincare routine more to get things glowing again. 

Switch out your cleanser for something that works to exfoliate each day and invest in a serum with AHAs for a more powerful go at dead skin cells. Consider including more hydrating products in your routine, too, like a serum with hyaluronic acid or a weekly mask to rebalance and moisturise. 

Product to try: AllSkin Med AHA Retexturising Serum 

Severe — very sallow complexions 


Unfortunately, dull skin can sometimes become a bigger problem. While never serious, tired complexions can become a common feature with grey, flat and dull skin that doesn’t seem to budge. 

For a skincare routine for the dullest of complexions, first start with an exfoliating cleanser to tackle dead skin cells while you wash your face each day. Next, invest in a high-quality serum with acids like glycolic acid or lactic acid or a vitamin C serum with a higher concentration, like 20%.

You can also include other products which focus on exfoliating like a polishing mask or an overnight glycolic acid peel. 

Product to try: Obagi Professional-C Serum 20% 

Next steps 


Whether you need advice on one or two products to add to an already solid routine or a total overhaul, why not turn to an expert to help? At Face Dr, our experts are on hand with free online consultations

With our consultations, you can get your skin analysed by a Skin Expert and get tailored recommendations for the perfect products for you. Plus, our experts can help you build the best routine to tackle dull skin and get skin glowing at last. They’ll talk you through what exactly you should be doing each day to keep skin healthy and revive dull skin for a fresh, healthy look. 


Want to find out more about how to banish dull skin for good? Click the titles below to read more:

How to choose the right skincare ingredients to tackle dull skin
Which skincare brands are best to get glowing skin
What causes dull skin?
How much does it cost to get rid of dull skin properly?
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