Light skinned is a quality most people are looking for, since it’s considered beautiful in most cultures around the world. But, what is light-skinned, and can you actually define it? Is it worth trying to make your skin lighter to become light-skinned?

Do You Have Light Skin?

If you’ve never been called light-skinned or dark-skinned, you may not know where you fit into the definitions. The problem is that how people consider light skin changes based on a lot of different factors that you can’t really change. Sometimes your skin shade isn’t actually what makes you light-skinned or not, unless you happen to be in the right area of the world.


Some parts of the world you might be called light skinned and other places you’ll be considered dark or medium. Medium or caramel skin colors are also usually just called dark skinned rather than light skinned, which makes it all the more confusing to find out how you really fit into the skin shade definitions!

How Light Skin Definitions Change?

If you take a look at the picture in the beginning of this article, you’ll see a few foundation colors to match to your own skin. In most places around the world, the colors NC 42 and lighter are called light skinned. Some of the lightest shades are fair skinned, while the others can belong to a lot of different people anywhere in the world. The trouble is that Asians, Africans, South Americans, Natives Americans, Aborigines, and others sometimes have different definitions of light skinned.In India and parts of East Asia, light skinned is a very strict definition. It usually falls within the range of NC 42 and lighter on the chart above. But, in many parts of Africa, especially West and Central Africa, shades up to NC50 and lighter on the chart can be light skinned. Black or brown people with medium skin tones living in other parts of the world will usually find that they’re considered dark skinned in some places and light skinned in others.
Medium skin tones are the hardest to define, because some areas will lump medium skin tones in with dark skinned, while others consider medium skin its own category. You may even be called light skinned if you’re living in some parts of the world!

What’s Really Considered Light Skinned?

If medium skinned is considered both light and dark in different places, what’s truly considered light skinned? In almost every part of the world, the standard would be NC45 on the chart and lighter, though it does change in some places.
Remember that fair skin is not the same as light skin. If you’re lighter than NC30 on the chart above, you are probably not light skinned, but fair skinned or white. For white people, being light skinned is not sought after as much as having a tan to darken your skin, so it’s difficult to say what a light skinned white person is, even using the chart above. Most white people aren’t called light skinned, but pale or fair skinned, which is not the look most people want in primarily white areas. However, in some East Asian societies, fair white skin is sought after by many women!
This chart doesn’t reflect every skin color possible, and there are a lot of shades in between each of these colors, but the general ranges are just about right for most places. So, you can compare your skin tone to the chart above and see if you’re technically considered light skinned or not.

Can You Lighten Your Skin?



If you’re not satisfied with your medium or dark skin tone, you can lighten your skin a few shades using natural methods. There are a variety of ways you can naturally lighten your skin. I would suggest avoiding creams or other products that bleach your skin, because these are usually not safe and can do permanent damage to your body over time.
Most skin can be lightened to its original and lightest shade with a few weeks of the right treatment plan and products. A lot of effective skin lightening products can be found right in your kitchen or medicine cabinet! But, don’t expect anything natural to lighten your skin more than a few shades. If you want it lighter than that, you can try applying a lighter foundation to give a few more shades of color difference.


Light skin doesn’t have one exact definition. The way people think about light skin changes a lot depending on where you go in the world and the culture you’re a part of at the time. Don’t be too concerned about how light your skin is, because you can always work to lighten it a few shades naturally if you need to.


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