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October 7, 2012

Understanding Your Skin Tone – Does Skin Tone Change as You Age?

Skin tone is based on the amount of melanin your body has. Melanin is the body’s chemical that gives the skin its pigmentation or color. This means the more melanin the darker the skin tone. This can be important because the darker the skin tone the more likely you will not be affected by the ultraviolet rays of the sun which can cause age spots, uneven skin tone, as well as, serious medical conditions of the skin.

Determine which skin tone you have

There are some easy ways to help determine which skin tone you have. Some of these detecting observations are:

  1. You can look at the underside of your arm. With your wrist up, look at your veins, if they look greenish then most likely your skin tone is warm. Greenish looking veins are signs of yellow undertones which indicate more melanin than a cool tone. A cool tone is determined by the veins looking more blueish.
  2. Pulling your hair back away from your face, cleanse your face and place a white towel, rag, or shirt around your neck and shoulders. While looking in a mirror, the white cloth will reflect the skin’s undertones. A yellowish looking face compared to the white cloth means a warm skin tone and a blueish looking face means a cool skin tone.

Natural color

The natural color of hair and eyes can also help determine your skin tone. Most people who have brown, black, blond, or red hair with brown, hazel, or black eyes have a warm skin tone. While those who have blue, grey, or green eyes with blond, brown, or black hair most commonly have a cool skin tone.

Six common terms used to describe skin tone

There are six common terms used to describe skin tone. Dermatologists will consider this list in numbered fashion 1 through 6.

Light – pigment is pale white or freckled, and chances of sunburn is always.
Fair – pigment is white and chances of sunburn is usual.
Medium – pigment is white to light brown and chances of getting sunburn sometimes.
Olive – pigment is moderate brown and chances of sunburn is rare.
Brown – pigment is dark brown and you very rarely get sunburnt.
Black – pigment is dark brown to black and chances of getting sunburnt is never.

Skin tone can change as we get older due to exposure to the sun’s rays and other conditions. The tones change in ways such as uneven skin tone, age spots, as well as, scarring, but as for the melanin, it usually remains the same.

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