How to make your skin less red with diet & lifestyle

Things that affect skin coloration: melanin, carotenoids, exercise, sleep, and stress

Some biohacks to make your skin less red: supplement tyrosine (used to make dark melanin), avoid all meat (contains methionine and cysteine, which are used to make red melanin) and other food with methionine or systine. Eat tons of greens (broccoli, spinach, brussel sprouts — they contain lutein which makes your skin yellow), lower your body fat, get into great cardio shape (vo2 max), lower stress, increase sleep, avoid red foods (lycopene). beta carotenes (carrots, sweet potatoes, etc) also increase skin yellowness which is great for attractiveness, but also mildly increase skin redness. avoid caffeine.

Since red melanin (pheomelanin) is made from tyrosine and cysteine, but we need cysteine to make brown melanin (eumelanin), we will attempt to deprive the body of cysteine while providing it with ample tyrosine. Unfortunately, cysteine is not an essential amino acid, which means the body can make it on its own. Luckily, we can target a cysteine precursor, methionine, which is used to make cysteine and is an essential amino acid, meaning the body cannot make this. There is no literature around attempting to change one’s pigmentation via eliminating both cysteine and methionine, and frankly this could be very dangerous and seems wild even to me, an avid biohacker and risk taker. On the other hand, there is a large body of research showing that methionine restriction extends lifespan or is at least associated with extended lifespan.

To further reduce cysteine in the body, we’ll supplement glycine. Glutathione (a seemingly powerful antioxidant) is a tripeptide made from glutanmic acid, glycine, and cysteine. Hypothetically, in its question to manufacture glutathione, the body will mop up our remaining cysteine — and by supplementing glycine we can at least marginally increase production of glutathione thus reducing free cysteine from the body.

everyone produces both pheomelanin and eumelanin, but in different ratios depending on genetics

pheomelanin = red pigment. made from tyrosine (tyrosine made from phenylalanine) + cysteine (cysteine is made from methionine). causes red hair and ginger skin

eumelanin = brown pigment. made from tyrosine.

hypothetically, one can decrease skin redness and increase darkness by increasing eumelanin (dark) production and decreasing pheomelanin (red) production. Do this by supplementing tyrosine/phenylaline and avoiding cysteine/methionine


  • lycopene = red foods = makes skin red. questionably attractive
  • beta carotenes = orange foods. makes skin yellow. this is attractive
  • lutein. (in greens — yellowness and skin lightening)
  • zeaxanthin. (in greens — causes yellowness and skin lightening)

other researched ways to affect skin color

increase vo2 max = less redness

lower body fat = more yellowness

more fruit + veg = much more yellowness, somewhat more redness

more sleep = more yellowness

less stress = more yellowness

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