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How Do I Improve Sallow Skin?

By Amanda R. Bell
Updated May 21, 2024
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Sallow skin, which is often described as dull or unhealthy-looking in color or texture, can be improved; however, you likely will not see results overnight. In most cases, your skin is a direct reflection of how healthy your entire body is, so taking care of your overall health with a nutritious diet is the first step to improving sallow skin. Using a glycolic cleanser or other mildly exfoliating face wash, as well as a brightening moisturizer every day can be exceptionally helpful, especially when combined with a weekly deep exfoliation treatment. For a more dramatic improvement, you can discuss the use of a chemical peel or microdermabrasion with a dermatologist.

Everything that you put inside of your body has an effect on how you look, especially when it comes to your skin. Oftentimes, sallow skin is the result of inadequate nutrition and hydration, and improving these areas of your life is the most important part of refining your complexion. To give your skin the moisture that it needs to glow, drink at least 64 fluid ounces (appx. 2 liters) of water each day. Eating healthy fats, such as those founds in nuts, avocados, and fish, can also help to brighten your complexion, as these are essential for your body to create healthy skin cells.

As you take care of your entire body, it is also helpful to pay special attention to your skin by using a brightening cleanser and moisturizer daily. Daily cleansers containing glycolic acid can help to dissolve dead skin cells gently, revealing brighter skin underneath. A moisturizer that contains light-reflecting properties can temporarily improve sallow skin, making you look younger and healthier. Using these products every day continuously will generally give you visible results in a few months; however, only taking care of your skin once in a while will typically not improve sallow skin.

Using a stronger exfoliant on your skin once a week is also an important part of brightening a dull complexion. After you wash your face, use a facial scrub to remove any excess build-up of dirt or dead skin cells that your daily cleanser is not strong enough to remove, and then apply a brightening moisturizer. While this can help to improve your complexion, avoid over-exfoliating, as this can damage your skin, making it look even worse.

If changing your diet and skin care routine does not provide the desired results after a few months, visiting your dermatologist can be helpful. In-office procedures such as chemical peels or microdermabrasion can remove even more of the dull outer layer of skin than glycolic acid or exfoliation can, giving you results that are more visible. Despite this, these procedures are not for everyone, so discussing the best option for you with a professional is ideal.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Heavanet — On Apr 13, 2014

@rundocuri- Orange fruits and vegetables are not the only ones that help make your skin look great. Deep-colored produce like berries, plums, grapes, and tomatoes also have nutrients that will give your skin a natural glow when added to your diet.

By Rundocuri — On Apr 12, 2014

If your skin is sallow and you want to brighten it up for a healthier looking glow, try adding orange fruits and vegetables to your diet.

Eating these healthy foods not only stimulates your skin cells, but they also help your skin glow from the inside out.

Beta carotene that is in orange-colored fruits and vegetables such as oranges, melons, and carrots will create a golden glow to your skin tone. You don't have to overdo it when it comes to eating these foods, either. By simply adding one or more of them to your diet each day, you will make your skin and your body look healthier.

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