Types Of Skin Tone And How To Determine It?

Woman applied foundation shade | types of skin tones

Have you ever been exploring the cosmetic aisle in search of your next purchase but found yourself trapped wondering, "How do I determine my skin tone?"? Identifying your skin tone can be difficult, and choosing the proper colours to enhance your complexion can be overwhelming.

If you're not careful, the incorrect blush, bronzer, foundation, or concealer could transform you into an unsettling porcelain doll or an orange clown. Determining your skin tone is essential for ensuring that your makeup blends easily with your natural skin tone at the jawline to prevent seeming unnatural or "caked." This detailed instruction will show you how to identify your skin tone and avoid makeup mishaps. Continue reading to discover how to finally find out "what is skin tone?

Skin tone is the surface of the skin and the undersurface area is called an undertone. Skin tone has two things like surface tone and undertone. You cannot describe your skin tone of your own exactly what it is. So you are unable to decide on your selected products based on your skin tone and hence it becomes necessary to know or identify your skin tone. Your skin tone is only the shade of your skin that is light, medium, and dark. 

Undertones are the same as skin tone, there are three undertones cool, warm and neutral. When you know your skin tone, it becomes easier to choose the right product like lipstick shade, hair colour, foundation, and other cosmetic products. Skin tone is a must to know by everyone as every makeup professional wants to know your skin tone before applying any product on your face.

Many factors affect maintaining skin tone. Skin tone can be as the surface of the skin gets changed by various processes or skin problems like hyperpigmentation, acne, black spots, red spots, etc.

Since each of us has a different hue, it can be difficult to categorise skin tones, but generally speaking, there are three different categories you can use to establish your skin tone:


Light skin tones have warmer undertones and are prone to tanning in summer. 

In the past, northern European nations with regular snowfall or cloud cover—which did not require much melanin protection—tended to produce people with light or fair skin tones. People with lighter skin tend to be more sun sensitive and burn more easily than those with a darker complexion. If you discover that this describes your skin tone, be especially vigilant about UV protection and think about using a sunscreen every day.


Medium skin tones have warm golden or olive undertones.

People of Southern European and Northern Asian heritage typically have medium complexions. Finding the proper foundation shade will be considerably simpler if you have this skin tone, which is also referred to as "olive" because of its neutral, well-balanced beige appearance. If you find that this describes your skin tone, you probably tan well in the sun.


Dark skin tone is the deepest type compared to any other skin tone and is dusky colour.

The Middle East, India, and Africa are often the regions of the world with dark complexions that are most exposed to UV light. If you have this skin tone, you are not immune to sun damage like people who have medium skin, and in fact, you are more susceptible to hyperpigmentation, so keep your sunscreen handy!

How to know your skin colour?

Each skin tone has different complexions like light, very light, dark, and very deep so that one can identify skin tone on a wide basis. There are different ways to identify your skin tone. 

Examine Your Jawline

The skin colour of the jawline of your face is generally affected. It can be light, medium, or deep. To identify your jawline skin tone, you need to wash your skin and check the area under natural sunlight. Jawline skin tone is generally considered the pure form to check your surface colour as it is not affected by any skin conditions or any external factors. It can help you to identify your true skin colour and skin tone.

Vein Test

If your veins are visible, you may quickly detect your undertones using this method. In the daylight, hold up your arm and identify the dominating colour.

You may have a neutral skin tone if you can't distinguish if your veins are green or blue. If your skin tone is olive, you probably fit this description.

Having a greenish hue in your veins indicates that you have a warm skin tone.

If your veins are blue or purple, your skin tone is considered cold.

Jewellery Test

Based on jewellery elements one can identify their skin tone. The person having cool undertone compliments with silver jewellery and the person with warm undertone compliments with gold jewellery and the neutral undertone people compliments with both silver and gold.

White paper test

Take a blank white paper near your face and hold it under the skin, if you feel your skin looks yellow then you have a warm undertone and if you look pink then you have a cool undertone.

Sun test

You seem to tan readily. Do you freckle or burn? Your skin's melanin content affects how it responds to exposure to the sun and can help you identify your skin tone.

You have more melanin and probably have a warm or neutral skin tone if you burn rarely and tan readily.

You have less melanin and a cooler skin tone if your skin burns rather than tans.

Despite having a cool skin tone, some ladies with very dark, ebony skin may not burn easily. To determine your undertone, conduct a couple more tests.

Colour Test

The colour test is nothing but the selection of the colour of clothes you wear. Analyze yourself with clothes against your skin which colour suits you the best. If warm shades like yellow colour clothes suit you then you have a warm undertone, if blue colour suits you then you have cool undertones and if both shades of the colour suit then you have a neutral undertone. The Colour of clothes and suits is based on your skin complexion.

Which skin colour is best?

It is dependent on the environment. Darker colours perform better in brighter regions, whereas lighter colours do better in less sunny environments. Darker skin defends against UV radiation, but lighter skin absorbs vitamin D more effectively. In terms of appearance, it is the highly personal opinion of the person.

Take Away

Skintone changes with age too and with other environmental factors too. You may choose the ideal colour cosmetic for your complexion by utilising this guide and learning how to identify your skin tone.


1. Which skin type is perfect?

Normal skin type is the perfect skin type, it is the well-balanced skin type.

2. At what age skin is best?

Women go through menopause and hormonal changes during this time of life, which causes new wrinkles to form and the dermis and epidermis to shrink substantially. However, around the age of 60, the skin becomes more stable, while cosmetics cannot make it seem younger.

3. Which skin type has more pimples?

Oily skin type is more prone to acne and pimples.


Michaela Brenner and Vincent J. Hearing, May 2009, The Protective Role of Melanin Against UV Damage in Human Skin