The Pros And Cons Of Having Pale Skin vs Dark Skin

By . Posted in complexion, dark skin, pale skin, Skincare, Tips and Tricks

Published on December 09, 2009 with 10 Comments

Just yesterday, I asked you ladies to share your take on being pale vs tan. While I personally love both, did you know having pale/dark skin actually have scientific pros and cons over the other?

Below is a brief summary of both sides from an awesome book I came across recently, Write Your Skin A Prescription For Change by Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields.

Pale Skin

Advantages Disadvantages
* Light skin is more responsive to lightening treatments and laser hair removal.

* Not as prone to the development of dark marks following trauma, which can sometimes can months to years to fade.
* As we all know, light skin is more prone to sunburn so all you PPPs out there, make sure you stay out of the sun and use sunblock with at least SPF 30 religiously!

* Unfortunately, facial redness, broken capillaries and other flaws do tend to show more on lighter skin.

* Paler skin has a thinner fat layer which can cause a more gaunt appearance with aging.

Medium To Dark Skin

Advantages Disadvantages
* Just as most of you have said, a darker skin tone does help to hide redness.

* People with darker skin also have larger fat cushions underneath the skin, making them less prone to wrinkles and aging.
* Dead skin cells are more visible on darker skin, thus creating an ashy appearance. My tip to correct this problem? Exfoliate your skin regularly!

* Darker skin has a higher tendency to develop ingrown hairs and razor bumps, especially on those with curly hair. Again, exfoliation is the key here. A great way to prevent and get rid of ingrowns is the homemade TendSkin receipe that I swear by!

* Following trauma, darker skin is also more prone to keloid-type scars and post-infammatory hyperpigmentation.

* The denser population of melanocytes in darker skin tend to produce a more uneven discoloration with sun exposure.

10 Comments



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  1. :( there are more disadvantages to darker skin?

  2. why would dark hair be more likely to develop ingrown hairs ? i understand the curly hairs, but dark skin ? BUT lucky with the less prone to aging/wrinkles! I want that

  3. it is true that redness easily shows on pale skin. i have pale skin and my face turns really red when i’m flushed :(.

  4. These are just some of the pros and cons listed in the book. I’m sure it doesn’t apply to everyone =)

  5. J_Doll,

    From the above list, yes it does seem that way but guess what, darker skin has a HUGE advantage over paler skin too – it ages better!

  6. Janice,

    I think what the book meant was people with darker skin AND curly hair.

  7. Gah. As a younger person with dark skin, I’m still waiting to see those pros! I am definitely experiencing the cons, though. I have to use a glycolic acid toner to help with dead skin cells and all the acne scars are taking forever to heal. I also have uneven skin tone. Aw. I just made myself sad. :-(

  8. I agree with the list for pale skin. Flaws like redness & scars show up really obvious. TwT

  9. I agree with dark skin !
    but when you say “Exfoliate your skin regularly!”, one time a week is it enough ? I am afraid of exfoliating more often for fear of aggravating my skin…

  10. My skin is very pale and Iam currently expiriencing pimples.gosh I hate how they look(pink of course) and they always leave marks but people say they dont realy ruin my skin rather they look very good on my skin.so proud to be light.and the attention i get from everyone around me is unbelievable

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