Does losing weight make my skin darker?

Simi asks: My figure is unsymmetrical with a bulging abdomen. My height is 5 feet 1 inch and my weight is 58 kg. I have a fair complexion, but I am afraid that  losing weight will make my skin dark.  Should I take some vitamin pills to prevent these problems?

Being a non-vegetarian, should I abstain from non-vegetarian food? All the remedies I have tried so far have had no effect. Please suggest something that works. I am only 20 years old.

Girl worried whether losing weight makes skin dark.


Losing too much weight may give the appearance of dark skin

Losing weight will not make your skin any darker, though this myth is quite prevalent and as our fair-skinned obsessed neighbors in India may like to convince us.

Also reducing weight will not have any undue effect on your skin if you have a few kilos to shed (less than 10) and that too slowly and over a period of time. 

Ideally you should lose not more than 2 kilos a month. However losing anything more than that, can possibly leave deeper lines and sagging skin.  

Pores may appear more enlarged and the scars and other marks can become very noticeable. This happens because when you lose weight, you lose the fat in the skin, thus decreasing the natural plumpness in the skin and all the pits, acne scars, chickenpox marks and blemishes get magnified.

There is also a chance of developing dark circles around the eyes. So there is a possibility that your skin may appear darker and dull than what it was before, after losing too many kilos suddenly.

Avoid dark & dull skin while losing weight with these tips

A sedentary lifestyle plus wrong eating habits often leads to weight and health problems. A balanced diet, which means eating the right foods in moderation and incorporating adequate exercises are enough to ensure that your figure and health stay in top form.  

Crash dieting with little or no-exercise is a strict no-no as it can lead to the above mentioned skin and health problems. Embark on a weight-loss regimen which is a combination of sensible diet plan and proper exercises.

Diets that encourage slower weight loss are better. Read Weight Reduction diet tips and other posts from the category Weight loss tips.

Do pay attention to the following points and include them in your weight-loss program if you don’t want loose, sagging skin, dull and darkened skin or hair-loss as a side-effect.

Do not give up Fats completely

Do not try to lose weight quickly and a rapid pace. Go slow. Control your portion size. And do not completely avoid the fats in your diet, especially the EFAs (essential Fatty Acids).

EFA’s are not only important for your overall health but also essential in creation of new cells, in repairing damaged cells and getting rid of toxins.

So if we deprive the body of these nutrients while dieting, it will affect the skin-renewal ability of the cells. As a result the skin loses moisture and elasticity. A recent
research says that EFAs are not only effective against dry skin but also help with weight-loss.

EFA’s are found in flax seeds, walnuts., almonds, dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and spinach, olive oil, whole grain foods, eggs etc.

You need not give up on non-vegetarian foods while dieting. But try to avoid red meat and instead have lean fish, egg whites and fish with oils and EFA’s like mackerel, cod, salmon, herring etc. Eat lots of fresh raw vegetables and salads.
It’s better to have our quota of vitamins and other nutrients from food instead of supplements and pills. But if you are concerned, talk to a doctor and take a multivitamin tablet only with a prescription.

Stay hydrated!

When you are on a weight-loss regimen, it’s important to keep yourself hydrated adequately. Drinking water improves your skin’s elasticity. Sip water throughout the day to increase your water intake.

You should not only drink water but eat it too! Surprised? Research says that healthy hydration is about the water you hold in the body, not the water you drink that passes straight through.

Fruit and veggies with high-water content can hydrate the body twice as effectively as a glass of water. So load up more on these veggies. But go slow on fruits as too much of these can spike your sugar levels. Here’s a list of such veggies and fruits.

Exercise regularly and include strength training exercises along with aerobic exercises.

Incorporate a proper exercise regimen. Avoid sitting for too long periods.  Continuous sitting with little or no movements even though followed by an hour of intense exercising is as bad as having no exercise at all. 

You should have some form of movement and activity throughout the day in addition to your daily exercise. Also read “Help! I wanna reduce my thighs and hips and also other posts from the category Exercises,Yoga and Pranayam.

According to Cedric Bryant, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise, you should also include strength training exercises along with aerobic exercises. He says that aerobic exercise burns fats while strength training creates a layer of muscle underneath your skin, helping it appear tighter. 

Performing strength training exercises twice or thrice a week is highly recommended to avoid loose-skin during weight loss. Read more about strength training exercises here. These yoga poses also serve as strength training exercises.

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Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

Internally, you should provide the skin with proper nutrients and externally you should keep it moisturized by using a good quality shielding lotion / moisturizer. Application of a good moisturizer significantly reduces the loss of natural oils and moisture. Preferably, a moisturizer that contains collagen and vitamin E will enhance elasticity and promote the growth of new skin cells.

If you don’t want to spend a lot on moisturizers and lotions, you can even make use of oils such as mustard oil, coconut oil, olive oil or almond oil. Massage one of these oils all over your body before taking a bath or add a few drops of these oils to the water which you’ll use to take bath.

Your skin will feel soft and supple with this pre-bath oil massage. These work as good as expensive shielding lotions.

Keeping your skin moisturized during weight-loss as well as during other times improves its texture, reduces wrinkles and prevents stretch marks.

Do not forget your sunscreen

Find a sunscreen that suits you and your skin type and apply it liberally all over your face and other exposed body parts before venturing out in the sun, a good 20 minutes before. 

A water proof sunscreen with SPF of 30 or more is better. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock SPF 50+VLCC Water Resistant Sunscreen Gel Creme, SPF 60 or Lakmé Sun Expert SPF 50 PA+++ Ultra Matte Lotion.

Reapply sunscreen after every 2 hours. Wearing sunscreen regularly will help reduce skin tanning, undue darkening of the skin and also prevent ageing of your skin due to harmful UV rays of the sun.

Get your beauty sleep!

Not getting enough sleep can also lead to weight gain! Read How sleep affects your weight gain. So ensure that you get proper sleep at night.  Read Sleep as a beauty aid.

girl wonders if reducing weight causes skin darkening

Final Note:

So those of you concerned with skin darkening when you are trying to lose weight, do try to include all these tips and lifestyle habits. If you do so, I assure you that your skin won't appear dark, dull and lack-luster after weight loss.

Also read: How to deal with extra skin after weight loss.

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:42 PM

    Eat more probiotics, say nutrition experts.


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