Dear Rebecca: The color on my face is much darker than my neck, it’s not from a tan and it didn’t used to be this way. It makes me look weird. What can I do? –Tonya
Dear Tonya: You’re right, skin color can change and I’ll tell you how to regain your normal color. But first, to understand why you’re two-toned, let’s consider both the skin and diet.
Babies are deliciously monochromatic. No matter their skin color, it’s the same hue from top to bottom—well, almost. Infants, as do the rest of us, have less pigmentation on their palms, and the soles of their feet. And fair-complexioned people have pink lips and, especially when they are young, pink cheeks.
Photo credit: www.photosbysri.com
Your ethnicity blessed you with golden, ebony, olive or pearl-colored skin—or a blend of these hues. This perfect-for-you skin tone is your innate color. Here are two examples of historical portraiture and early color photography that typify how adults also used to have a dominant skin color.
Now have a look at the faces around you and you’ll see a range of colors that seem to overlay or cloud our innate color. Better yet, look through your personal photo album and note your once uniform color. If you zoom in on your current photo, I’ll wager that in addition to the overall darker tone of your face you’ll also see a multiplicity of subtle—and sometimes not so subtle—colors on your face that differ from your overall skin color regardless of sun exposure or your melanin count.
But first, we’re not concerned with temporary skin color changes: wearing copper or getting a bruise, which may cause the skin to temporarily turn greenish; embarrassment or an alcoholic drink that may cause the skin to temporarily redden. We’re considering more chronic skin color irregularities.
If you compare contemporary photos to those from the 1950s, before the advent of the industrialized food system, you’ll find that facial colors are increasingly becoming more flamboyant. However, people with a healthy lifestyle, diet and gastrointestinal tract are most apt to have vibrant and even skin color, the color they came in with. Yes, we can easily observe that diet and lifestyle affect adventitious facial colors.
Furthermore, and this is exciting, people with compromised health, gastrointestinal malfunction and a poor-for-them diet who make appropriate shifts regain uniform facial color. Indeed, our bodies are hardwired to heal, and when we give them what they need, healing happens.
Here are some examples of “extra” facial colors. Today many people have a white border surrounding one or both lips. While some people may show a narrow white line, as below:
In other people, the adventitious white or off-white color may radiate out from their lips for an inch or even more:
Discrepancy between Facial and Neck Color
A common “irregularity” I see today is faces with substantively different color than the neck and torso, as per the photo sequence below.
Diana,* a working mother of five, had been carefully following a “healthy organic” diet that obviously was not serving her. Enlarge the photos and note in the first one:
• Color disparity between face and neck
• Grey pallor to lower cheeks, especially left cheek
• Greenish-yellow tint surrounds mouth
• White line borders top lip
• Pink spot in Cupid’s bow, centered above the top lip
• Dark around eyes.
• White across nose bridge
As Diana adjusted her diet as per Clean and Free, her facial colors became more uniform. How we delight for her in the increased energy and brightness that her eyes now beam out.
So take a look at your colors and make an honest assessment of your health. Then head into the kitchen and make yourself a truly nourishing meal as your first—and tasty—step in regaining good health.