8 Causes of Sallow Skin Color

October 26, 2022
Causes of sallow skin color

Sallow skin is a condition where the skin loses its natural complexion. When this occurs, the hue of your skin may appear in a yellow or pale brown tint, most noticeable on the face. 

Sallow skin color is not a natural part of aging. It is good news since it means it can improve. Nonetheless, it is necessary to identify if you are suffering from sallow skin because it alerts you that something is happening in your system. 

Let’s find out more about it. 

A person’s aspect may look sallow because it lacks certain nutrients in their diet. If you have liver dysfunction, it can cause a build-up of toxins in the body, provoking sallow skin color. 

What other factors influence the sallow skin color?


It is a condition in which the skin and whites of the eyes take on a yellowish tint. It can develop in any age group, but newborns and older adults have the highest chances of suffering from it.

Why does Jaundice happen? 

It is caused by having too much bilirubin in the body. The breakdown of red blood cells produces bilirubin. As it passes through the liver, it takes another form that allows it to leave your body through the stool. 

Too much bilirubin (hyperbilirubinemia) in the blood can incite this condition. And if the liver is injured, the release of bilirubin cannot proceed. Thus, the color of the stool can have a lighter tint, and the urine a darker color

Apart from a yellowish skin tone, one can have stomach pain, nausea, fever, weight loss, or itching. 

Some causes of this condition are:

  • Liver infections (hepatitis). 
  • High consumption of drinking alcohol.
  • Gallstone disease.
  • Some medicines. 
  • Cancer of the gallbladder or pancreas. 


It occurs when your blood cells fail to produce enough oxygen to deliver to the rest of your body. It takes a toll on your energy. Anemia causes you to feel tired or drowsy. Also, it affects the color of your skin, making it pale or yellowish, a sign of sallow skin.

Increasing iron and vitamin B12 intake can help improve the symptoms of sallow skin most of the time. 

Vitamin Deficiency

Are you eating healthy, or are you solely focusing on losing weight?

The way you eat shows in your skin. So if you are skipping your veggies and fruits, you are not getting enough nutrients, thus allowing the appearance of sallow skin color. And it is because you are not acquiring sufficient nutrients to stay healthy. 

Vitamin C plays the role of a shield against environmental elements like pollution. 

Other common deficiencies that can cause sallow skin include

  • Vitamin A lives in orange fruits and veggies (think carrots, orange peppers, and such). 
  • Vitamin B12 comes from supplements or meats. 
  • Vitamin E is in nuts and vegetable oils. 
  • Vitamin K is in berries and dark leafy greens. 

Do not be afraid to eat a wide variety of plant-based foods. Within weeks your skin can have a better look. If sallow skin persists, ask your doctor whether taking supplements can improve the deficiency. 


Smoking habits accelerate the aging process of an individual. 

Using tobacco reduces collagen production, which is responsible for the firmness of your skin. 

It also inhibits sufficient oxygen, drying out your skin. It can also make it dull and yield the formation of wrinkles. 


Causes of sallow skin color

High consumption of coffee and alcohol dehydrates the skin. Alcohol is the worst culprit in skin drying. Consider drinking in moderation to keep your skin hydrated. No research has proven whether drinking extra amounts of water can affect hydration. 


Managing stress is stressful. The tension your body undergoes can impact you in different ways. 

Increasing blood pressure and weight gain to sallow skin color. 

It all starts in the skin. Being the largest organ in your body, it’s the primary target to experience danger. 

Chronic stress can cause sallow skin because of the damage provoked by the hormone cortisol

Ease your stress by exploring ways to relax your body and mind. 

Some suggestions are:

  • Daily exercise.
  • Constant meditation. A few minutes can take you a long way. 
  • Communicate with your friends and family. 
  • If it’s work-related, attempt to delegate tasks to others. 

Sleep Cycle 

Your lifestyle and sleeping habits can strengthen or weaken your body. If your sleeping pattern isn’t stable and you aren’t getting enough sleep, your skin won’t get the nutrients it needs to function. Over time, sleep deprivation will result in sallow skin color.  

It is a recommendation to close your eyes for 7 to 9 hours every night. Some apps can help track your sleep and remind you of your bedtime. 

Need other helpful tips to get a good night's sleep?

Consider doing the following:

  • Aim to go to bed at the same time every day and try to wake up at the same time, seven times a week. 
  • Turn off your notifications and wifi connection. Disengage from electronics an hour or two before heading to bed. 
  • Try to unwind by having a warm bath, a short meditation, reading, painting, or anything that allows you to settle. 
  • Avoid eating heavy meals too late at night.
  • If you are a coffee drinker, avoid drinking it at least 6 hours before bedtime. 

Poor Skin Care 

Not having good skin care customs can also cause sallow skin. Start taking action in nurturing yourself to better habits to improve the color of your skin. 

Set a note or reminders to practice daily skincare routines such as: 

  • Wash your face at least twice a day and after an exercise. Doing so will remove dirt, oil, bacteria, makeup, and pollution from your skin. Preferably use a creamy or gel-based wash to avoid irritation from the daily use of wash.
  • Once cleaned, moisturize! It will trap the water in your face to stay hydrated. Having enough water in your skin reduces the chances of having sallow skin. Try creams or light in consistency lotions depending on your skin type. 
  • Exfoliate once a week. To help accelerate the process of skin cell turnover. You will notice a more radiant look on your skin after doing so. 
  • Wear sunscreen every day. Do not be rude to your skin. Shield it from the harsh sunlight with at least 30 SPF. 
  • Use makeup that is friendly to your skin. Start reading the labels and opt for formulas that contain vitamins and minerals to increase that skin glow. 

Summing all the parts

Having sallow skin indicates that you are not taking proper care of your body. It reflects the look of your skin but can also take a toll on your energy and well-being. 

There are various reasons for the cause of sallow skin color, from Jaundice to bad sleeping habits and certain deficiencies. 

In most cases, it is a reversible state, but it doesn’t happen overnight. It is an everyday practice to maintain a stable body function. Do not give up hope. You can achieve healthy-looking skin. 

Pamper your skin with our nourishing skincare lotion!

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