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Dyes of the skin and the origin of the general impression

Source: Skin, Hair and Cosmetics, 2. Edition, 2001, Eberhard Heymann

The natural coloration of the skin is determined by 6 components:

The red blood dye hemoglobin is responsible for reddish and bluish tones of the skin. 

The yellow tone of the skin is provided by carotene and its derivatives as well as bilirubin, a degradation product of hemoglobin. 

The brown coloration of the skin causes the melanin, a pigment that is produced especially in the epidermis.

In skin aged by light, the lipofuscin is added as another brown dye. Finally, the diffuse reflection of light in the outer layers of the skin, especially the cornea, has a decisive part in the formation of the colour impression of the skin. 

In daylight, our skin would appear pure white due to this diffuse reflection, if the above-mentioned dyes were not additionally present in the skin.

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