11 Everyday Habits That Dull Your Skin & How To Fix The Problem, According To An Expert

Everyone wants clean and glowing skin, but using the best products isn't enough to keep your complexion looking clear. Taking care of your skin extends beyond just a beauty regimen, as your everyday habits could be dulling your skin. What you eat, how often you exercise, and your sleep habits can all affect the appearance of your skin, so it's important to make sure your daily routine is helping to make your skin more healthy instead of potentially harming it.

"Just like establishing good skin care habits can lead to a healthier complexion, practicing habits that contribute to a healthy lifestyle can also do wonders for your skin," says RealSelf Contributor Dr. Joel Schlessinger over email. "Believe it or not, much of what you do in your daily life does affect your skin, from drinking milk to getting enough sleep. Skin care doesn’t stop at the sink!

Everyone's skin reacts differently to different behaviors, as some have more sensitive skin than others, but there are certain general practices that should be avoided if you want your skin to be vibrant and glowing. If you think your everyday activities are wreaking havoc on your skin, consider these ten daily habits that can dull your complexion and how you can change them.

1. Not Washing Your Makeup Brushes

Most of us don't really wash our makeup brushes that often, but it's time to start cleaning them out if we want our skin to look its best. "These contain bacteria and dirt, and constantly applying them on your skin will cause problems," says dermatologist Debra Jaliman over email. "Make certain to wash them in baby shampoo weekly and let them air dry."

2. Eating Junk Food

"A poor diet also leads to dull skin," says Schlessinger. "Eating refined food instead of fruit and vegetables not only deprives our bodies of essential nutrients, it also takes a toll on our complexions. These refined sugars turn into carbohydrates much faster than the natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables, giving skin a dull and uneven appearance."

3. Taking A Long, Hot Shower

Hot showers do feel nice, but they're not ideal for your skin. "Taking a long hot shower will also make your skin dull because it will dry out the outer layers of your skin," says Jaliman. "Try taking the shortest shower possible and use the coolest water possible."

4. Not Drinking Water

"If you’re not drinking enough water, it will start to show on your skin," says Schlessinger. "Signs of dehydration show up on skin in the form of dryness, flakiness and even uneven tone. Although staying hydrated won’t affect your skin’s moisture levels, drinking plenty of water will give your skin a healthy glow."

5. Staying Up Late

"Not sleeping enough will make your skin look dull," says Jaliman. "There's something to be said about beauty sleep. Try to sleep seven to eight hours per night. Your skin rejuvenates itself and repairs itself while you sleep. That's what gives skin it's glow. "

6. Spending Too Much Time In The Sun

"Spending too much time in the sun can dry out your skin and give your complexion a dull appearance," says Schlessinger. "Even if you’re applying and reapplying sunscreen often, sun exposure is hard on your skin. Always apply a broad spectrum sunscreen every day, and limit the time you spend outside, especially during the peak hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest."

7. Smoking

We know cigarettes are bad for our longs, but they're also harmful for your skin. "Smoking can have a similar drying, dulling effect, and it’s one of the leading causes of premature wrinkles, particularly around the mouth," says Schlessinger.

8. Skipping Exfoliation

You may be diligent about cleansing your skin, but if you're skipping exfoliation, your skin's going to lack that bright, healthy look. "Exfoliating refreshes skin by eliminating skin cells that dull the complexion and revealing a healthy, fresh appearance," says Schlessinger.

9. Washing Your Face Too Much

Washing your face too much can cause dryness and dullness, according to dermatologist Fayne Frey over email. "Extensive scrubbing and exfoliating of skin may leave the skin dull," she says. Use a non-soap cleanser, and don't exfoliate more than once a week.

10. Hitting The Bottle

Happy hour can be super fun, but overdo it, and your skin won't be happy. "Alcohol dehydrates the skin, leading to a dull, lackluster complexion, pronounced fine lines and wrinkles and a red, puffy appearance," says Schlessinger.

11. Sleeping In Your Makeup

We've heard it time and time again, but sleeping in your makeup is a big no-no. "Going to bed with makeup on will leave you with clogged pores and dull skin," says Jaliman. "It takes just a few minutes to wash your face or at least take a cleansing cloth and at least wipe the makeup off."

Getting glowing skin isn't as easy as we wish it could be, but the more healthy habits you adopt, the better your skin will look and feel.

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