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How to improve complexion ?
April 11, 2006 9:57 AM   Subscribe

Is there any way to improve complexion ? My complexion is wheatish .. How can I become fairer ?
posted by inquisitive to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (23 answers total)
 
Complexion as far as color, or another aspect?
posted by parallax7d at 10:13 AM on April 11, 2006


If it's a lighter color you want, here is a good overview of skin-lightening methods, at Cosmetics Cop.
posted by wryly at 10:16 AM on April 11, 2006


Complexion means color only, what else .. ?
anyways, I want to look fairer ..
posted by inquisitive at 10:18 AM on April 11, 2006


Avoid the sun.
posted by zadcat at 10:43 AM on April 11, 2006


Actually, complexion means a great deal of things which might include color and saying you want to improve your complexion would not indicate to most people that you wanted to be more fair.

1. The natural color, texture, and appearance of the skin, especially of the face.
2. General character, aspect, or appearance

Anyhow, always wearing sunblock will go along way to making you a more fair person. I went from a reatively olive high schooler to a fair college student this way. But usually your natural coloring is the one that looks best on you.
posted by stormygrey at 10:45 AM on April 11, 2006


I feel like there's a word for people who think that light skin is better, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

Anyway, stay out of the sun (I like to spend my time indoors doing Google searches on easily-answered questions), or get skin bleach. The Jolene brand is readily available, and, in my teen years, some of my goth pals were big fans.
posted by box at 10:50 AM on April 11, 2006


Just a note, skin bleach is not "bleach" it disrupts the melanin making process in your skin. Just curious, why don't you like your natural color? Wheatish sounds ok to me, is it because you have a green or yellow undertone you don't like, or do you have dull skin?
posted by stormygrey at 10:55 AM on April 11, 2006


What does wheatish mean?
posted by echo0720 at 11:10 AM on April 11, 2006


I see from his profile that inquisitive is Indian. In India, there's a hangup over skin color, with explicit advertising of cosmetic solutions to 'lighten up'. Seems to me to be a colonial hangover. So when an Indian uses 'complexion', they (almost always) mean skin tone.

See:
Fair and handsome
Pigmentation and Empire
posted by Gyan at 11:14 AM on April 11, 2006


The way to "improve" complexion would be to use sunscreen when outside during the summer, eat well, and get the right amount of rest. If you're talking about cosmetically changing your skin tone due to a belief that lighter skin is appealing, then you're just making a value judgement that likely has nothing to do with your health.

If your intention is to have others assign value to the color of your skin, I'd suggest moving somewhere where "wheatish" skin is prized. If you want to look less like your own ethnicity, I'd remember that a leopard can't change spots. Or if it did, it'd be like the unfortunate Michael Jackson of leopards.
posted by mikeh at 12:11 PM on April 11, 2006


While I'm here. Any product with hydroquinone will do this.
• Hydroquinone decreases the formation of melanin in the skin. Melanin is the pigment in skin that gives it a brown color.
• Hydroquinone topical is used to lighten areas of darkened skin such as freckles, age spots, cholasma, and melasma.
• Hydroquinone topical may also be used for purposes other than those listed here.
posted by skallas at 1:55 PM on April 11, 2006


"Fair" can be a problematic adjective. In older English literature where everybody's assumed to be white, you read of people being "fair" or "dark" and I'm pretty sure it's their hair color being described.
(ie fair = blonde and dark = brunette)

Complexion means color only, what else .. ?

At least in American teen-speak, a discussion about complexion is a discussion of pimples, blemishes, pores, etc. Having a good complexion means having no pimples.
posted by Rash at 2:23 PM on April 11, 2006


What does wheatish mean?

These links should answer that and more!
posted by sk381 at 2:47 PM on April 11, 2006


In India, there's a hangup over skin color, with explicit advertising of cosmetic solutions to 'lighten up'. Seems to me to be a colonial hangover.

i don't agree that it's a "colonial hangover". this is an obsession pretty much everywhere - including north america. i think it's a the-grass-is-always-greener thing.

to the OP: there are about a billion skin-lightening products out there, especially in affluent asian places like singapore etc. as far as i can tell they are all snake oil, but i have no experience with them myself. you might consider wearing some kind of light foundation or other lightening base makeup. also, wearing dark/black clothes will make you look lighter.

probably the best thing you can do for your complexion is to live healthy - eat right, take care of your body and get a lot of exercise. it may not change color, but when you're healthy and active your skin will certainly glow and look a lot better. so much so, in fact, that you may just come to enjoy your skin the way it is. (:
posted by sergeant sandwich at 2:59 PM on April 11, 2006


It might have something to do with caste."These sound suspiciously like skin colors; and, indeed, there is an expectation in India that higher caste people will have lighter skin -- although there are plenty of exceptions (especially in the South of India)."

Sunscreen. Stay out of the sun. Parasol.

When taking photographs, flashbulbs and other bright lighting will help. I'm Hong Kongnese and while I have comparatively light skin for Asians, photographs of me in poor lighting conditions makes me look very tan.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 3:05 PM on April 11, 2006


The easiest way to change the appearance of your complexion is to wear the right colors and have your hair the right color for your face.

In older English literature where everybody's assumed to be white, you read of people being "fair" or "dark" and I'm pretty sure it's their hair color being described.

I wouldn't assume that because where I grew up (Ireland) we described people as fair or dark based on their skin tone. Inability to tan and/or freckly ruddy skin = fair, even if you have black hair.
posted by fshgrl at 4:23 PM on April 11, 2006


Don't go outside, ever.
posted by lemur at 6:47 PM on April 11, 2006


You can avoid any and all sun exposure. However this puts you at risk of Vitamin D deficiency, especially if you have naturally dark skin, and possibly depression, bad sleep, and other consequences of no sunshine.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:06 PM on April 11, 2006


"Wheatish" is Indian-English speak for "light brown" - the colour of wheat. ;)

And Gyan is right on the money. This country is crazy about lighter skin. In fact, the makers of "Fair and Lovely", the most popular "fairness cream" for women in India, found that 25% of their customers were actually men. This led to the launch of "Fair and Handsome".

I wish I were making this up.
posted by madman at 1:24 AM on April 12, 2006


I've always wanted to be darker-skinned over to better show my "American Indian" ancestry, but tanning damages the skin (I've known tan-addicted women in their 30s with wrinkled leathery faces), those "self-tanning cremes" damage the liver and makeup comes off, so I've had to get used to my pink-olive tone (though I might sometimes forget to wear sunblock, and I'm light enough to burn painfully).

I suggest people learn to like their natural color. Why imitate Michael Jackson?
posted by davy at 7:28 AM on April 12, 2006


It's too late for you. My Pakistani aunt is very careful to keep her 2 year old daughter out of the sun. The impression I get is that dark = bad = no doctor will want to marry you. Definitely a holdover from colonial times.
posted by exhilaration at 8:13 AM on April 12, 2006


It's not a colonial thing, it's much, much, much older than that; in any case, I support people doing what they need to do to look the way they'd like to look.

I would suggest finding any creams with hydroquinone in them, inquisitive. It isn't damaging, when used as recommended, and it will help.
posted by blacklite at 8:47 PM on April 12, 2006


well .. to all those who suggested me to eat well ... I am already health conscious and try to eat right ..

>> Wheatish sounds ok to me, is it because you have a green or yellow undertone you don't like, or do you have dull skin?

Yes .. My skin looks dull and lifeless ... I want to have a glowing skin as well as a fair-colored skin.

Why I want to improve complexion ?? ... Well, coz earlier I was a little fairer .. and looked better too ... Anyways, Fair-colored people almost always look better ..

No its not a colonial hangover .. and plz I dont want to look that fair as most Americans or Britons look .. I will be happy to just achieve an "Indian" kind of fair complexion ..

Other than hydroquinone , will micro-dermabrasion help ?
posted by inquisitive at 6:52 AM on April 13, 2006


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