What Is Sallow Skin? Know Its Causes, Prevention And Treatments

by Gorgeousgirl Staff, Updated July 19, 2021
What Is Sallow Skin? Know Its Causes, Prevention And Treatments

Do you have skin that’s looking unusually duller, drier, or more uneven-toned than it used to be? This condition is called sallow skin, and it’s definitely not a pleasant sight to see. Although you might dismiss it as something due to the natural aging process, it can actually be caused by external factors associated with your lifestyle and overall health.

Continue reading to learn more about what could be causing your sallow skin, how you can treat it, or how you can avoid it in the future!

A.What is sallow skin?

pale skin tone

Sallow skin refers to a skin condition wherein the natural tone, color, and complexion of the skin are lost, leading to a brownish or yellowish skin tone, especially on the face. It can also be accompanied by unusual blotches or discolorations.

Often, yellowing and pale skin is an indication that something in your system is wrong and immediate actions should be done to reverse it. However, if you do suffer from sallow skin, do not lose hope! Though it can be difficult to treat or address, understanding sallow complexion causes can help you prevent the condition from worsening. There are also many ways to revert your skin into having a bright appearance and a healthy glow.

B.Causes of Sallow Skin

Sallow skin can be caused by a variety of underlying conditions or problems. The first step in treating it is by pinpointing the root cause. So, here are the main causes of sallow skin:

1. Anemia


This condition is characterized by the loss of your red blood cells’ ability to create, hold, and transport oxygen effectively all throughout the body. When this happens, the cells do not get a sufficient oxygen supply and become weak and lethargic, causing your skin to look yellow or pale.

Anemia can either be acute or chronic. Acute anemia is often treated by consuming more vitamin B12 and iron from your diet or by supplementation. Chronic anemia, on the other hand, is more serious and could be due to an autoimmune or kidney disease which requires being resolved first.

2. Vitamin Deficiencies

When your skin cells do not get the required nutrients to stay healthy and functional, it also shows up on your skin. Deficiencies in vitamins A, C, B12, E, and K can make your skin more prone to damage and become sallow.

3. Smoking


Aside from accelerating the aging process, smoking also prevents your skin from getting enough oxygen and nutrients by constricting your blood vessels. This leads to the dull, wrinkled skin, and discolored skin.

4. Dehydration

Water is essential to maintaining the health of your skin and the body. Dehydration not only refers to a small amount of water in the body but can also be due to a reduction in your skin’s ability to hold moisture. While drinking more water seems to be the practical solution to this problem, researchers are not sure if it really affects skin hydration.

Alcohol and caffeine consumption, even though these are technically fluids, can also worsen skin dehydration, worsening sallow skin.

5. Stress


Physical, emotional, or mental stress can adversely affect your body in many ways. These can lead to sallow and dry skin aside from weight gain, weight loss, and high blood pressure. And because your skin is the largest organ in the body, stress manifests here first before any other body part. Chronic stress can also cause a constant and abundant supply of the hormone cortisol, causing damage to the skin and other tissues.

6. Poor Skin Care

Poor skin care habits such as repeated or prolonged sun exposure as well as not washing your face properly and immediately after exercise or commuting can manifest on your skin right away. A sallow skin tan can result from over exposure to UV rays from the sun or from tanning beds. Using too much, too little, or the wrong products can also have detrimental effects.

7. Lack of sleep


While a few occasional sleepless nights do not necessarily cause sallow complexion, constantly not getting enough sleep can rob your skin and body of their needed nutrient supply to stay healthy and hydrated. This can lead to sallow skin among other problems.

Related: Know What Causes Crepey Skin With Its Prevention And Treatments

C. Prevention of Sallow Skin

Sallow skin can be prevented by following these tips:

1. Keep your body hydrated: To test your skin’s hydration levels, pinch the skin on the back of your hands. If the skin does not bounce back instantly, you might not be getting enough water. Drink 1 to 2 liters or at least 8 glasses of water per day.

2. Stop smoking: Smoking has tons of disadvantages and ill effects to your skin and body. It’s best to do this gradually so you can avoid withdrawal symptoms.

3. Good Diet: Consume a diet rich in iron and vitamins to avoid deficiencies and anemia.


4. Vitamins: To make sure you are getting enough of all the needed vitamins, eat a wide variety of vitamin-rich foods. If this doesn’t work, ask your doctor about the right vitamin supplements.

5. Gluten Products: Reduce your consumption of processed, sugary, greasy, unhealthy junk foods. Opt for high-quality fresh and wholesome food choices like leafy greens, fruits, free-range meat, and whole grains instead.

6. Stress: Manage stress effectively by allocating a few minutes per day for meditation, rest, quality time with your friends and family, and doing things that you love.


7. Alcohol: Decrease your alcohol and caffeine consumption, especially after lunchtime to help you sleep better.

8. Proper Sleep: Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night.

9. Cleaning: Wash your face at least twice a day with a gentle creamy or gel-based face wash and always follow with a moisturizer.


10. Exfoliation: Exfoliate once a week to enhance skin cell turnover for a more radiant skin.

11. Sunscreens: Wear sunscreens with at least an SPF 30 every day.

12. Cosmetics: Choose natural, skin-friendly, oil-free, paraben-free, and non-comedogenic makeup and skin products.

D.Treatment of Sallow Skin

If you have a sallow skin for too long or if these tips cannot do much anymore, don’t despair yet. Possible treatments method include:

1. Anti-aging creams and serums


Many brands offer products or product lines that can provide a sallow skin fix by improving the skin’s health and quality by restoring lost moisture, nutrients, and glow as well as protecting the skin cells from damage.

The best way to use these products is by applying them at night or early in the morning.

2. Photo Rejuvenation


Photo rejuvenation is a non-invasive method that involves the delivery of light energy to the skin layers followed by a cooling treatment. The procedure takes about 45 minutes, requires no downtime, and has long-term effects. It is designed to activate the skin’s natural healing ability to treat sallow skin.

Several treatments about three weeks apart are often recommended. The results can last for a few years or longer, but maintenance treatments are required every 4 months or so.

Sallow skin is definitely not as simple as it seems. However, the solutions can be as simple as modifying your skin care habits or food choices. If following the tips given in this article does not prove to be enough, consult your doctor to rule out any life-threatening problems. This way, you can avoid or reduce sallow skin so you can be proud to show off your beautiful, healthy, radiant skin.

“Hope you find the post helpful and we are excited to hear what you think of it!”

By Gorgeousgirl Staff

At GorgeousGirl, our staff is a collection of highly skilled cosmetologists, estheticians, and higher education professionals. Our personnel works together to satisfy your fancies.