The healthiest skin tone is one that isn’t damaged by sunlight. However, attractive and healthy are not necessarily the same thing.
Average skin colors are seen as most attractive. Typically, tan is the average skin color, making it very attractive to most people. However, the most attractive skin color varies on preference, culture, and sex. A healthy skin complexion and rosy “glow” is always considered attractive.
Average Skin Color
It is important to note that the most attractive skin color is not an issue of race. Each country will have its own cultural beauty standards, so an attractive skin color for one country may not be the same for another. Typically, the average skin color of a country is the most attractive. Additionally, a healthy complexion (not necessarily color) or “glow” is always attractive.
The average skin color for most countries is light brown or tan. According to a study called “Shades of beauty,” light brown skin tones are often the most physically attractive skin color (Frisby et al., 2006).
They used four models for that study. They did not change the skin tone, but they imaged each model to three different skin tones: light, medium, and dark. The participants, who were African American and Caucasian, thought the light brown skin tone was the most attractive. Therefore, the average color was found to be the most beautiful.
Keep in mind that they did the study in America. Other countries may have different ideas of attractive skin color. For instance, many East Asian countries prefer light skin colors. However, that comes from deeply-rooted preferences from the past. They believed people with lighter skin tones were richer and did not spend as much time outside working. However, that perception is slowly beginning to dwindle as most people want to achieve a healthier, rather than lighter, complexion.
A study asked participants to manipulate skin colors to make them more attractive (Stephen et al., 2009). They increased the brightness, rosiness, and yellowness of the skin tone.
Slightly flushed skin (rosiness) can signal that a person has a healthy heart and lungs. Yellow tones in the skin come from carotenoid pigments found in fruits and veggies, which helps our body fight disease.
Therefore, healthier-looking skin is will always attractive, no matter what skin color you have. You should focus on enhancing your overall complexion rather than your skin color if you want to have better-looking skin.
Factors That Affect Your Skin Color
Other than dehydration, poor diet, lack of sleep, etc., here are some other factors that affect your skin color.
While the sun can give you a warm glow and tan, excessive sun exposure causes sun damage that can damage your skin. Overexposure to the sun’s UV rays can ruin your skin. UV rays are a huge reason why people’s skin prematurely ages. Signs of sun damage include liver spots, leathery skin, and wrinkles.
Additionally, too much sun exposure may lead to a very uneven skin tone. For example, you may have very dark calves, but very pale thighs.
However, you need to do more than simply avoid the sun to prevent sun damage, and you cannot avoid the sun altogether. UV rays can still enter through windows and your clothes.
Therefore, you need to wear sunscreen daily and reapply as needed. Ideally, it would help if you chose a broad-spectrum sunscreen and has at least SPF 30 and (if specified) PA +.
Broad-spectrum sunscreen protects you from both UVA and UVB rays. SPF only protects you from UVB rays.
Some sunscreens will say that they have SPF and PA +, which means they protect you from UVA and UVB rays. The maximum PA is PA +++, which offers the best protection. Therefore, you need to get a sunscreen that is broad-spectrum or that says SPF and PA+.
Testosterone stimulates melanin in our skin, giving us our skin tone. Therefore, testosterone often causes your skin to be darker. Typically, a testosterone deficiency in men leads to very pale skin, whiter hair, eyebrows, etc.
Ideally, you should speak to a doctor if you want to increase your testosterone levels. However, DHEA supplements can help achieve small yet positive results (Rastrelli et al., 2013).
How to Enhance Your Complexion
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid pigment, which helps you get more yellow tones in your skin. It occurs in sea creatures like shrimp, Pacific salmon, trout, etc.
It is a great way to promote healthy skin. Combining oral and topical doses can help maintain skin moisture, shrink your age spots, and smooth wrinkles (Tominaga et al., 2012).
Beta carotene can make your skin healthy. It is full of antioxidants that can maintain your skin’s appearance and increase your protection against UV radiation (you should still wear sunscreen to get the best results).
You can find beta carotene in veggies and fruit with a yellow, orange, and red color. Some examples include butternut squash, carrots, potatoes, etc.
Vitamin C is full of antioxidants and helps boost your skin’s regeneration process. It can help your body repair itself, especially from sun damage. Vitamin C also promotes collagen production. Collagen helps diminish fine lines, thicken the dermis, and scatter pigment to enhance your skin color.
It is important to remember to wear sunscreen if you use products with vitamin C in it. Your skin becomes more sensitive to the sun when you use Vitamin C. You can counteract potential damage by wearing sunscreen.
Exfoliating your skin can help your skin look bright and “fresher.” If you do not exfoliate your skin, you usually have a dull, patchy complexion because of the layer of dead skin cells. When you use exfoliators, you remove the dead skin cells and encourage new skin cells to regenerate faster.
However, using common face and body scrubs is not ideal for scrubbing off your dead skin cells. Typical scrubs are harsh on your skin and rubs against it. Ideally, you should use chemical exfoliants like BHA and AHA to encourage your skin to renew itself. Again, it is essential to wear sunscreen when you use chemical exfoliants.
However, you should be wary of overdoing it. Ideally, you should only use one exfoliant every other day. You should also avoid using too many products with active ingredients.
For instance, if you want to use BHA, you should skip products that contain AHA, vitamin C, or retinol. The fewer skincare products, the better. Most people will have great skin by just using a cleanser and sunscreen.
Ideally, you should always speak to a dermatologist, especially when it comes to products like chemical exfoliants. They will give you the best skincare advice for your specific skin type, concerns, and goals.
Be Careful With the Ingredients
Remember to research whether you can mix certain ingredients before buying products that contain some of the ingredients above. For instance, you should never mix vitamin C with AHAs, BHAs, etc. because it can irritate your skin.
Another example of a common and beloved skincare ingredient is retinol (vitamin A). Retinol promotes skin cell turnover. However, you should avoid using it with other exfoliating ingredients (at first) like vitamin C, BHA, etc. because it can irritate and dry out your skin.
Ideally, you should consult a medical professional before you take supplements and try out new skincare products. Everyone’s skin is different, and you may have a different reaction to certain ingredients.
I don’t recommend moisturizers for skincare. Moisturizers, along with a host of other products, are essentially scams ran by the cosmetics industry. For more info, visit our skincare guide.