Before we embark on a skin whitening plan, we must first understand what causes dark skin and pigmentation. Here are 7 major causes that you need to know:
1) Excessive production of melanin
Melanin is the color pigment of our skin. People who are often out in the sun tend to have excessive melanin production, hence making them tan. Sometimes you can see that their facial skin color is darker as compared to the skin color on their arms and legs. If you are facing the same problem, do make effort to minimize sun exposure as much as possible. This will help to reduce the exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun that will stimulate more production of melanin. In addition, UV rays can also easily damage the skin, causing uneven skin tone and making skin surface rough and dull.
2) Free Radicals
Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause aging, tissue damage and even diseases. They are also one of the major factors that cause skin to age fast and turn dull. We can get free radicals via radiation from the computer, smoking, air pollution and even from a lack of sleep. Hence, it is important to consume anti-oxidants supplements or food rich in anti-oxidants regularly, so as to prevent free radicals from doing further damage to our skin and body.
3) Accumulation of old and dead skin cells
If the skin does not have a normal healthy metabolism, it will experience over-accumulation of old and dead cells on skin surface. This will make the skin feel rough and will further inhibit natural melanin metabolism. The skin might be accompanied by problems like large pores and abnormal oil glands function. If these dead skin cells are not removed regularly, it will affect the effectiveness of skin whitening products; mainly because they are difficult to be absorbed into the skin.
4) Lack of moisture in skin
Facing the computer screen for a long period of time will make your skin dry due to the radiation emitted. When the skin lacks moisture, it will reduce the skin’s self-repair and regulatory function, and the skin will get further weakened through frequent exposure to the sun and air pollution. Lack of moisture in skin will also slow down your skin whitening efforts significantly.
5) Decreased level of oxygen in the blood
Sometimes when a person’s complexion is dark, it is not necessarily because of melanin problem, but rather due to lack of micro vascular hemoglobin oxygen content in the blood. When the oxygen content in blood is high, there will be good blood circulation; skin will look rosy and plum. If the oxygen content is low, you will see your skin becoming sallow. To increase oxygen in blood, you can consume more food that is rich in anti-oxidants, exercise frequently or do deep breathing exercises.
6) Not having adequate sleep
If sleep is not sufficient, it will reduce melanin production and metabolism, affecting the self-repair function of our skin epidermis (the outer layer of skin). A good night sleep is also a great time for skin to repair and regenerate by replacing old skin cells with new ones. Skipping the “beauty sleep” time (10pm-2am) and staying up too late regularly will take a toll on your skin and caused skin to age faster. Your skin will also lose its natural translucency and start becoming darkish and sallow. For those who have liver spots on their skin (dark pigments on skin due to hormonal imbalance), try to avoid staying up late as this will further aggravate your condition and might cause more liver spots to develop on the face.
7) Consuming too much carotenoids
Another reason for a sallow face is due to over-consumption of food rich in carotenoids, such as carrots, papaya, orange, tomato. Eating too much of them can result in skin turning yellow temporarily. All you need to do is to stop eating them for a few days, and your body’s natural metabolism will be restored and skin color will return to normal.