Ahh, I can hear it clear as day. “Why don’t you just get a tan?” was a question I was asked by my friends all too often growing up. When I responded, “I physically can’t…no, seriously. I can’t,” they would look at me like I had two heads. If you have pale skin like me, this probably sounds all too familiar.
I grew up and still live in a very warm, sunshine-y area where everyone around me has beautiful tan-to-dark skin. I stick out like a sore thumb (well, more like flourescent lightbulb), and it took me until recently to finally accept that this skin is who I am and there’s nothing that can be done to change that. It seems like a wider diversity of skin tones is being accepted in the media now than they were several years ago (thank goodness!), but it’s still easy to feel insecure from time to time when you feel like you’re the odd one out. Luckily, I’ve learned that instead of trying to hide your pale skin, you should be accentuating it. Here are some beauty tips I’ve picked up over the years about pale skin:
- Blush will always be your best friend. I went to a Catholic school for 9 years, and the nuns would always tell me that I looked sick and pale. They also liked to call me Laura (my name is Alison…), so I didn’t really take it to heart. I knew they meant well; it’s just a side effect of having pale skin! Simply applying some blush will add life to your face, so hopefully people will stop asking you if you’re feeling okay.
- Pick the right shade of foundation. One of the hardest things to find for pale skin is a foundation that matches your skin tone straight out of the bottle! The last thing you want is a face that’s darker than your body. I’ve done some grunt work and found 5 drugstore foundations that are pretty much an exact match for pale skin. You can read about them here.
- Find a high coverage concealer. If there’s one area where pale skin falls short (aside from getting some serious sunburn), it’s having a natural “imperfection” camoflauge. Tan skin hides dark circles, scars, and acne much better than pale skin, so it’s good to invest in a decent concealer. Personally, I like the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind concealer in ‘Fair’, but there are tons of great options out there.
- Calm reddness. If I could go back in time and tell my high school self anything, it would be to stop using such harsh acne products (and to stop sleeping with makeup on…sheesh!) I used to use benzoyl peroxide like it was no one’s business, and I’m convinced I tried every acne product under the sun. The consequence of this was that my face was constantly red and irritated. My skin did not like being washed, smothered in toner/alcohol, and then being doused in a benzoyl peroxide lotion. As soon as I simplified my skin care routine and stuck to more natural products, my reddness calmed down immensely. I just stick to washing my face with a gentle cleanser and applying a moisturizer, and I can feel my skin thanking me!
- Use SPF. This is a no brainer, but you should be using SPF everyday. We are very much the most prone to skin cancer! To make things easier, just make sure you have a day moisturizer that has SPF in it. I apply moisturizer morning and night so it’s a good way to make SPF a part of your routine!
- Apply colorful makeup. A lot of beauty experts will tell you to avoid neutral makeup, especially beige, because it will make you look washed out. Though I personally don’t see anything wrong with beautiful chocolatey browns, you could try adding a dash of color to your eyes to really make your features pop. Reds and oranges are a good place to start if you’re weary about colorful makeup since they’re similar to brown, but do try a purple, blue, or green someday and you may be pleasantly surprised with how it turns out!
- EMBRACE IT. All skin tones are beautiful, pale skin included. With all the different societal standards around the world, it’s pretty obvious that beauty is subjective. There are people that find fair skin attractive, and there are people that don’t. And who the *bleep* really cares anyway? What helped my confidence was following people on Instagram, blogs, YouTube, etc. that have the same skin tone as me. They offer great pale skin beauty advice, and it’s also nice to have that mutual connection!
What are some of your pale skin beauty tips? Let me know in the comments!