You might be able to perk up your pale skin without scorching it in the sun—or messing around with complicated self-tanning products.
In fact, it might be as simple as subbing certain foods into your diet.
Some kinds of fruits and vegetables can actually change the colour of your skin, giving you an orange-rose tint.
“Certain orange and red fruits and veggies that are rich in carotenoids – beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and lycopene – can give skin a natural glow,” says Dr Jessica Levinson, nutritionist at Nutritioulicious. “These include things like carrots, tomatoes, watermelon, sweet potatoes, papaya, grapefruit, cantaloupe, and apricots.”
Carotenoids are fat-soluble, says Levinson, so excess carotenoids are stored in the layer of fat right under the skin.
That can lead to the colour peeking through if you have a lighter skin tone to begin with.
In fact, one small study in PLOS One found that when Caucasian participants consumed just three servings of beta-carotene- and lycopene-rich produce daily (in addition to the produce they were already eating) for 6 weeks, they developed a yellower, rosier skin tone.
These hues, researchers say, have also been associated with vitality and good looks.
When a different set of participants was shown images of the people with slightly yellower skin, they rated them as healthier and more attractive.
But can eating too much of those carotenoids make you look like an Oompa Loompa?
Yes, it actually can happen: It’s a harmless condition called carotenosis, and it’s most common in young children and vegetarians.
The average woman, on the other hand, doesn’t need to worry.
This article originally appeared on Men’s Health.
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