Walking down the makeup aisle in Walmart, chances are you must have come across foundations for olive skin tone– right?
Since then, that particular foundation might be living rent-free in your head because you never knew that olive tones existed. And let’s be honest– didn’t that foundation make you wonder what your skin tone is? Definitely, yes!
People with olive-toned skin exude a subtle earthiness in their complexion. Olive complexion has a timeless and mystical quality, but people often confuse it with tan skin. Though both skin tones may appear the same, there’s a thin line of difference between the two.
Tan or light to moderate brown skin with yellowish, goldish, or greenish undertones is referred to as olive skin tone. Such skin tones are more common in Latin America, the Mediterranean, and Asia.
So, do olive-skin-toned people have green-tinted skin, or is it a lighter shade of brown?– We’ll explain everything and bust countless myths along the way.
Olive Skin Tone: What Is It?
People with olive skin tones mostly appear gray or green because the skin contains undertones of green pigment. Usually, olive skin falls between a light skin tone and a dark skin tone, which is why it’s usually light brown. Note that olive-tone people don’t always have a light brown or tan color; rather, they can have a lighter skin tone or even darker.
Undertones also play an important role in determining how light or dark an olive skin tone is. Often, people confuse olive undertones with neutral undertones; however, the two are different from each other.
Not just olive undertones, but people with olive skin have both warm and neutral undertones.
How Do You Know If You Have Olive Skin Tone?
Those who aren’t much aware of olive-toned skin often confuse it with golden-tanned skin.
The biggest misconception people have about olive skin tone is that you can achieve this skin tone by basking in the sun or using tanning products. Sure, you may get a nice golden bronze tan by laying under the sun, but it isn’t the same as having an olive skin tone.
Melatonin levels are responsible for our skin tone, which means the more melanin the body produces, the darker the skin tone and vice versa. As such, no one can ever change their skin to an olive tone, no matter what they do.
The faint yellowish or greenish tint distinguishes true olive skin from sun-tanned skin. What makes olive skin tone unique is that it blends yellowish and greenish hues with tan or rich golden colors that make olive-tone people stunning.
Learning that olive skin tone comes in a lot of types, you must be wondering if you’re blessed with this skin tone– right? Here’s a quick checklist that will help you figure out if you belong to the olive skin tone squad or not.
- You have both neutral and warm undertones– unique to olive skin tone
- You look amazing in gold jewelry
- You struggle to find the right foundation for your skin tone
- Your skin doesn’t burn but tans a lot
- Your veins neither appear purple nor blue against your skin
- Every shade of clothing looks good on you– be it hot pink or vibrant white
- Your skin has a slightly yellow or green tinge
The Fitzpatrick Scale– Numerical Classification Schema For Human Skin Color
Except for dermatologists and beauty enthusiasts, not many know about the Fitzpatrick scale. So, if you’re hearing it for the first time, you’re not alone!
Also known as the Fitzpatrick prototyping scale, the Fitzpatrick scale was introduced by Thomas B. Fitzpatrick as a technique to estimate the reaction of different skin types to UV radiation.
This scale is a numerical categorization catalog that ranges skin colors from the lightest (very fair, Type I) to the darkest (dark brown to black, Type VI). As olive is a neutral color, it would fall somewhere in between the two types– Type III, IV, and V.
So, here’s a detailed breakdown of each type–
1. Type III Pigmentation
Type III pigmentation is characterized by skin that tans easily– pink or medium beige. This skin type is less likely to burn due to sun exposure compared to Type I and Type II; however, that doesn’t mean you can skip sunscreen.
People with Type III pigmentation need to apply sunscreen before stepping out in the sun to avoid skin damage. Type III pigmentation strikes a distinct balance between pheomelanin and Eumelanin, which are two different types of melanin that influences hair and skin color.
2. Type IV Pigmentation
People with beige to moderate brown skin tone and dark hair fall into the Type IV pigmentation category. Their skin is more prone to tanning than burning, so they are less likely to develop skin cancer.
3. Type V Pigmentation
Type V pigmentation is characterized by people whose skin tones range between olive and tan. People with this skin type don’t experience skin burns; instead, their skin tends to tan.
Ethnicities Having Olive Skin Tone
Quite a few ethnicities are blessed with olive skin tones, which are as follows:
1. The Mediterranean
Most commonly, olive skin tones are found in people of Mediterranean countries, including parts of Eastern Asia, Northern Africa, and Southern Europe. Other than that, Spain, Italy, Greece, Egypt, and Morocco, to name a few, are some countries where people have olive skin tones.
2. Indian Subcontinent
Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, and Pakistan are the places in the Indian subcontinent where you’ll bump into people with olive skin tones. Sri Lankans and Bangladeshis share the olive skin tones of Type V, while Pakistanis and Indians fall into the Type III and IV category.
3. Latin America
Among Latin American countries, Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, Argentina, Colombia, and Paraguay are characterized by people with olive skin tones.
The Malay, also known as Austronesian peoples, is classified as a brown race because of their tawny skin color, which ranges from olive to dark chestnut brown.
Skin Care Tips For Olive Skin
So, are you among those rare people who are gifted with a unique olive skin tone? Then you must be wondering what skincare routine you should follow to keep the skin free from acne, dark spots, and excess oil and maintain a youthful appearance.
Here we’ve put together some skin care tips to help you maintain your complexion.
Olive skin tones aren’t dry; rather, they are oily, so you must add a cleanser that contains salicylic acid to remove excess oil that may clog your pores. Use a good foaming cleanser twice a day– morning and night.
Use a refreshing toner on the T-zone of your face to reduce shine and prevent acne breakouts.
Contrary to popular opinion, moisturizers are important for oily skin, too; however, you must add a lightweight moisturizing cream to your skincare routine. Apply it all over your face after cleansing in the morning to combat skin dryness.
For evenings, we suggest opting for a moisturizer that contains retinol and niacinamide to increase skin cell turnover for glowing skin.
3. Get Rid Of Unwanted Facial Hair And Dark Spots
Add a mild depilatory cream to your skincare routine to get rid of unwanted facial hairs, which you must apply after cleansing and exfoliating.
Note that depilatory creams contain harsh chemicals that may damage your skin and cause acne. Therefore, you must always check the ingredients list of the products you plan to buy.
Also, warnings are mentioned on the package, so you should look for them before buying any depilatory cream. One thing we’d like to mention is that you must introduce such products gradually into your skincare routine, or they may cause more harm than good.
Pros Of Having Olive Skin Tone
- Less sensitive to the sun
- Freedom to wear clothes of any color and jewelry of any kind
- It isn’t prone to drying or wrinkles
Cons Of Having Olive Skin Tone
- It is prone to blemishes and discolorations because of the thicker dermis
Wrapping It Up
To sum it up, olive skin tones are usually light to moderate brown– precisely like tan skin. This skin tone can originate from different ethnicities, such as Ireland, Eastern Europe, and India.
What’s more, people with olive skin tones aren’t sensitive to the sun like fair skin, so they tan nicely. However, you mustn’t skip applying sunscreen because the harsh UV rays of the sun can damage your skin, leading to cancer.
And no matter what people say, you can never achieve an olive skin tone by basking in the sun because it’s god gifted. So, if you’re an olive-tone beauty, throw away all warm or cool-tone foundations and head over to Sephora to buy one that suits your olive skin tone!