Dull and discolored skin with the appearance of dark spots is a haunting concern for many women. So, what are the reasons behind these changes in skin pigmentation? Let’s explore the causes as well as the remedies to restore a bright, glowing, and healthy complexion for women.
Causes of skin discoloration
Before delving into the causes of skin discoloration, let’s first highlight some prominent signs. Discolored and dull skin often manifests as darkened, lackluster, and lifeless areas, sometimes affecting the entire face. The cheek area may have enlarged pores, and the skin gradually becomes dry, forming wrinkles and deep lines.
In addition to these characteristics, the skin may develop patches of hyperpigmentation, caused by acne or external environmental factors. Typically, discolored skin is one to two shades darker than its original color. Skin discoloration can be attributed to the following seven main causes:
Dehydrated and Moisture-Lacking Skin
Water makes up 60-70% of the body’s weight. According to the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in the United States, the average adult needs to supply their body with an average amount of water ranging from 1.5 to 3.7 liters. Specifically for women, the recommended water intake is 2.7 liters per day.
Water not only plays a role in eliminating toxins through the excretory system but also maintains body temperature, protects tissues, and lubricates joints. Besides being essential for overall health, water also provides numerous benefits to the skin, such as:
- Supplying and balancing moisture on the skin.
- Preventing the occurrence of wrinkles, lines, and creases.
- Maintaining skin elasticity.
- Limiting excess sebum production and effectively reducing acne.
- If the skin lacks water and loses its moisture balance, it becomes prone to dryness, cracking, and flaking. Dehydrated skin also loses its resilience and is susceptible to external factors that make the complexion appear dull.
Thick layer of dead skin cells on the skin
Typically, you may often exfoliate your entire body, but rarely pay attention to exfoliating the facial skin regularly, about 1-2 times per week. When dead skin cells accumulate and linger on the surface for too long, they form a thick barrier that quickly dulls the skin. This hinders the penetration and absorption of brightening or toning agents in skincare products into the deeper layers of the skin.
Impact of Environmental Temperature
The surrounding temperature is also one of the factors that visibly contribute to skin darkening. Specifically, exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun, UVA and UVB, penetrates the cells and stimulates the production of melanin, leading to dark spots, freckles, and pigmentation on the skin.
Additionally, cold and dry weather conditions can cause the skin to appear pale, lackluster, and lifeless. During such conditions, the skin quickly becomes dry, develops patches of flaky skin, becomes dull, and loses its natural radiance.
Today’s young generation, especially young women, often have a preference for fast food and processed meals that are high in oils, fats, and seasonings. Their dietary focus tends to be on starch, meat, and seafood, rather than maintaining a balance between fiber-rich foods and vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables.
According to beauty experts, consuming excessive amounts of starchy foods can contribute to the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). These are protein molecules that undergo glycation, attacking the skin and causing a loss of elasticity, wrinkles, and dullness.
Stimulants such as cigarettes, drugs, and marijuana are considered toxic substances for the skin. They not only affect and weaken the immune system but also accelerate the aging process on the skin by 2-3 times. The nicotine content, combined with other stimulating agents, quickly dehydrates and darkens the skin, causing it to become flaky and gradually susceptible to damage and weakening.
Time-Related Skin Aging
Time-related or intrinsic skin aging occurs as age increases. During this process, the skin gradually loses collagen and elastin, leading to sagging, dryness, the formation of wrinkles, and dark spots.
Stress factors originating from work and life situations can result in sleep deprivation, mental fatigue, and irritability. Prolonged stress can also cause sudden changes in hormone levels, leading to the production of excess melanin in the skin. Prolonged stress not only results in pale, dull, and lifeless skin but also weakens the body and contributes to depression.
Ways to Address Discolored Skin
Out of the seven mentioned causes that contribute to skin discoloration and lack of vitality, we would like to suggest some methods to improve skin pigmentation, care for, and restore a radiant, naturally fair complexion:
This is considered the first step in a skincare routine and plays a crucial role. Cleansing helps the skin eliminate bacteria, dirt, and excess oil, allowing it to easily absorb nourishing ingredients from skincare products and restore itself. During the cleansing step, you can choose products such as makeup removers and facial cleansers with gentle pH levels.
Moisturizing and Sun Protection
Moisturizing and sun protection are two essential steps that should be applied to all skin types. Moisturizing helps balance the skin’s moisture levels, replenishing any deficiencies and leaving the skin supple and smooth. Particularly for dry or combination skin types that lean towards dryness, moisturizers are effective in preventing flakiness and the formation of wrinkles. For oily skin types, moisturizers have the ability to balance moisture levels and control excessive oil production on the skin, preventing the formation of acne.
Sunscreen is an indispensable product for women on a daily basis. It not only functions as a protective barrier against harmful UV rays but also helps even out skin tone and prevent the formation of melanin, which causes dark spots on the skin. Prioritize choosing products with an SPF of 30+ or higher, depending on your skin type. You can opt for physical or chemical sunscreen options.
Provide Vitamins and Minerals
A diverse and well-balanced diet directly impacts both overall health and skin condition. Vitamins and minerals play a crucial role in promoting nutrient exchange and transportation, enhancing the skin’s immunity. Ensuring an adequate daily intake of vitamins and minerals allows the skin to regenerate new cells, recover, and appear brighter, radiant, and full of vitality.
You can supplement vitamins and minerals from various sources such as green vegetables, fruits, whole grains, which contain vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, fatty acids, zinc, etc.
In addition to daily cleansing, it’s also beneficial to exfoliate the skin once a week. Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells and flaky layers on the skin, allowing for better absorption and deeper penetration of nourishing and restorative skincare ingredients. Prioritize choosing exfoliating products with natural ingredients such as coffee grounds, rice bran, red bean powder, sea salt, etc. During the exfoliation process, gently massage the skin in an upward motion to improve blood circulation, resulting in a rosy and radiant complexion.
Hydrate According to Body Condition
Drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day not only helps provide hydration to the body and eliminate toxins but also keeps the skin healthy and youthful. Depending on your body condition, you can aim to consume between 1.5 to 3 liters of water per day. During the hydration process, it is recommended to drink warm water instead of cold water. Sip slowly, taking small sips to allow the water to be easily absorbed by the body. Additionally, if you want to detoxify and eliminate toxins, you can consider drinking a warm glass of water with lemon and honey every morning before breakfast.
Adjust Lifestyle Habits and Get Sufficient Sleep
Getting enough sleep is also considered one of the methods to nourish and restore natural skin. Sufficient sleep helps restore the skin’s moisture balance, making it more elastic and healthier. Research has shown that the metabolic activity of the skin occurs between 10 PM and 4 AM. Therefore, getting enough sleep not only helps the body restore energy and vitality but also contributes to a radiant, bright, and lively complexion.
Above are the shared reasons and measures to address discolored and wrinkled skin. If you have applied the methods mentioned but have not seen improvement, it is advisable to promptly seek medical advice and consultation from healthcare professionals. Wishing you soon have plump, naturally radiant skin.
Johnny Jacks was born in 1985 in Texas, USA. He is the founder of Good Health Plan and is passionate about helping people improve their health and physical well-being. With over a decade of experience working in the healthcare industry, he currently works at Goodheathplan.com – a blog that shares knowledge on beauty and health.