Product Reviews

The Pros And Cons Of Having Pale Skin vs Dark Skin

December 9, 2009

Yesterday, I asked you ladies to share your take on having a light versus dark complexion. While I personally love both, did you know having one over the other has actual scientific pros and cons? Read on to see the summary from “Write Your Skin A Prescription For Change by Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields”.


Pros Of Having A Light Complexion
• More responsive to lightening treatments and laser hair removal.

• Not as prone to the development of hyperpigmentation following skin trauma, which can sometimes take months even years to fade.

Cons Of Having A Light Complexion
• Light skin is more prone to sunburn so all you PPPs out there, make sure you use sunblock with at least SPF 30 religiously!

• Facial redness, broken capillaries and other flaws tend to show more on lighter skin.

• Lighter skin has a thinner fat layer which can cause a more gaunt appearance with aging.

Pros Of Having A Medium/Dark Complexion
• Just as most of you have said, a darker skin tone does help to hide redness.

• People with darker skin have larger fat cushions underneath the skin, making them less prone to wrinkles and aging.

Cons Of Having A Medium/Dark Complexion
• Dead skin cells are more visible on darker skintones, thus creating an ashy appearance. My tip to correct this problem? Exfoliate 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 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.

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  • Reply J_Doll December 9, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    🙁 there are more disadvantages to darker skin?

  • Reply Janice December 9, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    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

  • Reply jamie December 9, 2009 at 11:53 pm

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

  • Reply Phyllis December 10, 2009 at 12:10 am

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

  • Reply Phyllis December 10, 2009 at 12:12 am


    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!

  • Reply Phyllis December 10, 2009 at 12:14 am


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

  • Reply Emily December 10, 2009 at 1:43 am

    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. 🙁

  • Reply AtelierGal December 10, 2009 at 2:02 am

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

  • Reply Pinklye December 10, 2009 at 10:52 am

    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…

  • Reply Jessica January 27, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    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 proud to be light.and the attention i get from everyone around me is unbelievable

  • Reply Andy July 15, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Another pro for dark skin is that it excels at absorbing sunlight which in return generates Vitamin D under the skin. Vitamin D is needed to maintain healthy bones and to absorb calcium. This is why African Americans tend to have a higher bone density compared to other groups of people.

    • Reply Carly November 22, 2016 at 4:42 pm

      Wrong. Fair skinned developed to help those who went further from the tropics to maintain Vitamin D, you’re confusing biology with earth science. Because of this people with fair skin absorb more of the benefits from UV light. Don’t believe me? Look it up

  • Reply Smith October 25, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    And of course a dramatic decrease in risk for skin cancer. People need to realize that “dark” skin is the human norm. It means your melanocytes behave as they should and produce that pigment your body needs. Pale skin does not and therefore is absent that color. This is problematic. Mainy, as mentioned, with regards to aging, skin cancer risk, and proper bone development risk.

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