According to new research led by the School of Psychology and Neuroscience, the University of St Andrews, a healthy lifestyle can significantly improve your skin color.
The research reveals that a balanced and healthy lifestyle, including becoming fitter, sleeping longer, and avoiding stress all together helps you have a healthy-looking golden skin color.
Although there are several previous studies linking a good diet to improvements in skin color, it was not known whether the color of the skin is a more general cue to health beyond its linking with diet. The study of the University of St Andrews focused on other parts of a healthy lifestyle and how it positively impacts on a person’s skin color.
Eating a healthy diet that is full of vegetables and fruit helps in increasing the skin yellowness, therefore makes the skin look more attractive and healthier. The reason for the color change is the accumulation of colored plant pigments in the skin like red lycopene from tomatoes and orange carotene from carrots. These pigments play an important role as antioxidants. Stresses and strains of daily life produce oxidative toxins damaging DNA and proteins. By neutralizing the toxins, antioxidants like carotenoids can protect against damage. However, antioxidants are used up in the process of neutralizing.
Exercise can boost the body’s antioxidant systems which might spare the carotenoid pigments and can accumulate in the skin. Other aspects of healthy living such as reducing mental stress, better quality, longer sleep, and losing excess body fat, might decrease the production of oxidative toxins, therefore sparing the skin carotenoids. Skin yellowness can be an indicator of a body’s health by showing that the body has low levels of oxidative toxins and enough antioxidant reserves.
To take the research further, the study team assessed whether or not a change in health changed skin appearance. Questionnaires showed that a loss of sleep and increased psychological stress were associated with a decrease in skin yellowness.