What is a Neutral Skin Tone? (Essential Skincare & Makeup Tips)

As a person with a neutral skin tone, I get a lot of questions about what works well for my skin type.

There are many misconceptions about what it means to have “neutral” skin.

Therefore, I’ve decided to create this blog post to clear things up and provide a comprehensive guide on how to take care of neutral skin.

I’ll talk about the best products to use, how to determine your undertone, and more!

What Is A Neutral Skin Tone?

Before I figured out my skin tone, I wracked my brain with numerous questions like, “What is olive skin tone?” or “Am I cool or warm-toned?”

It turns out I have a neutral skin tone!

different hands showcasing different skin tones

There are three categories of skin tone [2]: warm, cool, and neutral when it comes to skin tone.

A warm undertone has a yellow, peachy, or golden undertone.

A cool undertone has a pink, red, or blue undertone. And neutral tones are a mix of both warm and cool undertones.

However, because neutral tones tend to fall in the middle, it can be challenging to determine whether or not you have a neutral skin tone.

You see, most people lean slightly one way or the other.

For example, you could have a pink undertone, but it reads more neutral because of the yellow on your skin.

On the flip side, you could have a yellow undertone, but it reads as more neutral because of the pink on your skin.

Since there’s no exact way of finding the middle of the undertones, the key to finding out if you have a neutral skin tone is to consider how your makeup and outfits look.

If you can rock any color of clothing or makeup under the sun, chances are you have a neutral skin tone.

However, there are more tests you can do to be entirely sure (more on this later).

Check out this cool video on neutral skin tones.

@sasset_ #neutral is totally a thing #styleguide #skintones #styleinspo ♬ Make It Right [Originally Performed by Bts & Lauv] – Instrumental – Felipe Hunt

What Are Neutral Undertones?

You’re probably confused by all this talk about undertones and skin tones if you’re new to skincare jargon. What’s the difference?

To put it simply, “undertones” refer to the colors that show through your skin. They are different from “overtones,” which are the actual color of your skin on the surface.

And as I’ve mentioned, an undertone can be one of three colors: warm, cool, or neutral.

African American model with neutral skin tone

Neutral undertones match your overtone (color of your skin).

This means that if you have a light complexion, your undertone will also be light.

Conversely, your undertone will also be dark if you have a dark complexion. Neutral undertones are the most versatile and can pretty much match any color scheme.

Check: Ivory Fair Shade is for Which Skin Tone?

How Do You Know If You A Have Neutral Skin Tone?

Some people will tell you that the easiest way to know if you have neutral skin is to consider how good you look in different makeup and clothing.

Because this skin tone is considered versatile, individuals with a neutral undertone are believed to be able to get away with any makeup or clothing.

However, you have to agree that this method is rather vague. Not to mention, people like me believe we look good in everything (humble brag)!

So, how can you be confident that you have a neutral tone? There are three more foolproof ways that will help you know for sure.

1-Fitzpatrick Skin Tone Scale

The first way is to use the Fitzpatrick Skin Tone Scale.

This skin tone scale was developed in 1975 by Thomas Fitzpatrick, a Harvard Medical School dermatologist.

The Fitzpatrick Skin Tone Scale [3] is used to classify human skin color. It goes from Type I, the lightest skin, to Type VI, the darkest skin.

While this scale won’t tell you definitively if you have a neutral undertone, it will give you a good idea as you’ll be able to see where you fall on the spectrum and better examine your undertone.

2-Vein Test

The easiest way to determine your skin tone is to look at the veins in your wrist.

If they look green, you have a warm skin tone. You have a cool skin tone if your veins are blue or purple.

But if you can’t tell whether they are green or blue, you have a neutral undertone.

3-Jewelry Test

Another way to tell if you have a neutral skin tone is by looking at your jewelry.

If silver jewelry looks better on you than gold jewelry, you most likely have a cool skin tone.

Check out this cool video on jewelry for a neutral skin tone.

@stylewithsav Best jewelry color for people with neutral undertones ✨ #undertones #neutralundertone #findyourundertone #whatsyourcolor #silverorgold #fyp ♬ without me – favsoundds

On the other hand, if gold accessories look better, you have a warm tone. But if both metals look great on you, you have a neutral skin tone.

Here are some other ways to determine your skin tone.

@billiextim Do you know your skins #undertone ?💁🏼‍♀️ #howto #beauty #tutorial #fyp #viral #BeautyEssentials #beautytips #beautyhacks #tips #lifehacks #skinhacks ♬ original sound – Billie Newland

Essential Skincare Tips For Neutral Skin Tones

Like all skin tones, you have to take good care of your neutral skin if you want it to look healthy and radiant.

However, I understand that sometimes this is easier said than done. I can’t tell you how often I’ve been lazy about my skincare routine, only to regret it later.

model with beautiful skin

However, taking care of your skin doesn’t have to be rocket science.

There are a few simple things you can do every day to ensure your skin is getting the nourishment it needs.

Here are my top tips for dealing with common skin problems and taking care of neutral skin:

Before I dive into the tips, let’s first look at skin problems for neutral skin tone.

Skin Problems For Neutral Skin Type

It doesn’t matter what your overtone or undertone is. Skin problems arise due to hormonal imbalances, genetic disposition, poor lifestyle choices, etc.

The best way to deal with skin problems is to get to the root of the issue and find out what’s causing it. Once you know that, you can take steps to fix it.

Skin with acne

For example, if you have acne-prone skin, Lower Highlands Dermatology emphasizes [1] that you should give the treatment at least four weeks before trying a new product.

If a treatment works for you, you should notice some improvement in 4 to 6 weeks. It can take 2 to 3 months or longer to see clearing.”

Other valuable tips that will help you deal with problematic skin effectively include:

  • Wash your skin twice a day and after sweating.
  • Gently cleanse your skin with a mild, fragrance-free cleanser.
  • Apply products containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or retinoids to areas of concern.
  • Moisturize regularly.
  • Limit your time in the sun.
  • Wash your pillowcases often.
  • Don’t pick or squeeze blemishes.
  • Avoid touching your face.

These tips are based on expert opinions, and they should help you get your skin under control in no time!

Remember to be patient and consistent with your skincare routine, and don’t forget to consult a dermatologist if you’re ever unsure about anything.

Basic Skin Care Tips 

If you don’t have problematic skin, you can get away with just using a basic skincare routine.

However, this doesn’t mean that you can neglect your skin!

African American model with eye cream on

You should still cleanse, tone, and moisturize every day.

You’ll also want to exfoliate once or twice a week to eliminate dead skin cells.

If you have any specific concerns, like dark spots or wrinkles, you can use targeted treatments to address them.

Other crucial things to remember are:

  • Wear sunscreen every day, even if you don’t plan on going outside.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out.
  • Get enough sleep and manage stress levels, as both can affect the appearance of your skin.
  • Use gentle products that won’t irritate your skin.
  • Eat a balanced diet to give your skin the nutrients to stay healthy.

Following these tips should help you achieve and maintain healthy skin.

Finally, remember that everyone’s skin is different, so what works for someone else will not necessarily work for you the same way.

Experiment until you find a routine that works for you, and stick with it!

3 Makeup Tips  For Neutral Skin Type

The last thing you want is to look like a clown because you chose the wrong makeup for your skin tone.

Here are some tips to help you achieve a natural makeup look:

1-Foundation

While neutral skin tones can get away with any foundation, you’ll want to avoid those that lean more towards the yellow or pink sides of the spectrum.

Hand with different foundation swabs

Instead, choose a foundation that’s a combination of both colors.

For instance, a peach-colored foundation would look natural and stunning on neutral undertones.

2-Lipstick

When it comes to lipstick, muted colors are the best for neutral undertones.

For instance, pinks, nudes, and browns are all excellent choices.

Check out this cool video on makeup with neutral skin tones.

@territomlinsonmakeup Answer to @who.are.yous #neutral #color #skintone #fleshtonecolorwheel ♬ original sound – TerriTomlinsonMakeup

3-Eye Shadow

You have a bit more leeway as far as eye shadow is concerned.

You can get away with any eyeshadow color you choose with a neutral skin tone. However, you need to pay close attention to the color of your eyes.

As a general rule of thumb, you should go for eyeshadow colors that contrast your eye color as they brighten your eyes.

Skincare Products to Use

skin care products

When it comes to skincare products, every skin is different.

So what works for one person might not work for another.

The best way to figure out what skincare products to use is trial and error. However, there are a few general tips you can follow.

  • Use products designed for your skin type, i.e., oily, dry, or combination.
  • If you have sensitive skin, steer clear of products with harsh chemicals.
  • Opt for natural and organic skincare products whenever possible.
  • When in doubt, always consult a dermatologist. They will be able to recommend the best skincare routine and products for you based on your skin type and needs.

What Colors Look Best on Neutral Skin Tones?

Dressing your skin tone is just as important as finding the right skincare products.

The good news is that you have more leeway as a neutral than nearly any other skin tone.

That being said, there are still a few colors that look best on neutral skin.

Best Clothing Colors For Neutral Skin Tone

Clothing Colors For Neutral Skin Tone

What colors look good on neutral undertones? Softer muted colors are the best for neutral undertones.

With this skin tone, you should be thinking of colors like:

  • Lagoon blue
  • Old rose
  • Cornsilk yellow
  • Jade green
  • Light grays
  • Off-white
  • Black

Avoid oversaturated colors as they can easily overpower your natural skin tone.

Best Hair Color For Neutral Skin Tone

As with clothing, you can get away with many hair colors if you have a neutral skin tone.

There’s a trick you can use to ensure a hair color will look incredible on you. Always go by the color of your eyes or eyebrows.

As a general rule of thumb, the color of your brows, hair, skin, and eyes should work in harmony to achieve a natural look.

Nonetheless, According to the Tenaj Salon Institute [4], despite your skin tone, you should always aim to get a color that’s two shades darker or lighter than your skin tone to avoid looking washed out.

Here is an awesome video on hair for neutral skin tones.

@baileinicole24 Reply to @jah.daya best hair colors for neutral skin tones #fyp #hairstylist ♬ Gangsta’s Paradise (feat. L.V.) – Coolio
@inhhair Part ✌️ Hair Color inspo for neutral skin undertones #hairinspo #haircolorinspo #hairtok #colorfulhair ♬ Cmonnn (Hit It One Time) – 5Star

3 Celebrities With Neutral Skin Tone

I find it helpful to look at examples of people with my skin tone to see what colors work on them.

I have borrowed numerous style and makeup ideas from celebrities with my skin tone.

Some of my favorites are:

#1 Selena Gomez

You have to admit, Selena Gomez looks gorgeous no matter what she’s wearing.

Her skin tone is the perfect canvas for all colors, but I especially love her in neutrals and earth tones.

#2 Kerry Washington

Another celebrity who has been an inspiration for one too many of my makeup looks is Kerry Washington.

She always looks impeccable, and her skin tone is flawless.

I love how she pairs neutrals with a pop of color, like a bright pink lip or a bold eyeshadow.

#3 Victoria Beckham

I’ve also drawn a lot of inspiration from Victoria Beckham’s style.

She always looks chic and put-together, and her skin tone is the perfect backdrop for her signature look.

I love how she uses neutrals to create a timeless and classic aesthetic.

FAQs

Is Neutral Skin Tone Rare?

Neutral skin tone is rare as most people have a warm or cool undertone. However, people with neutral skin tone are considered the lucky few because they look good in almost everything.

What Colors Should Neutral Skin Tones Avoid?

While a neutral undertone favors most colors, it’s best to avoid oversaturated colors if you have this skin tone to avoid looking washed out.

Wrapping Up

Determining whether or not you have a neutral skin tone can be tricky, but once you know, it’s easy to find colors that complement your natural coloring.

Use this guide as a starting point and have fun experimenting with different shades. And don’t forget, if you’re ever in doubt, ask a professional!

They’ll be able to help you figure out your undertone and find the perfect products for your skin tone.

happy model with pink nail polish

What do you think of neutral skin tones? Please share your opinion with us below!

References

  • 1. 10 things to try when acne won’t clear. www.lohiderm.com. Accessed April 28, 2022. https://www.lohiderm.com/articles/aad_education_library/563380-10-things-to-try-when-acne-won-t-clear
  • 2. Szydlowski M. The science behind skin color, Part One. Columbia Daily Tribune. https://www.columbiatribune.com/story/news/2021/05/12/science-behind-skin-color-part-one/4920587001/
  • 3. Hecht M. What Are the Fitzpatrick Skin Types? Healthline. Published January 2, 2019. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/fitzpatrick-skin-types
  • 4. 3 Secrets on How to Pick a Hair Color for Your Wishy-Washy Client [Internet]. Tenaj Salon Institute. 2020. Available from: https://tenajsaloninstitute.edu/3-secrets-on-how-to-pick-a-hair-color-for-your-wishy-washy-client/
About Martina Todorovska

Martina is a graduated Doctor of Dental Medicine with a huge obsession for anything beauty-related. Her freelance writing started out as a creative outlet and turned out to be a full-time job. If you have any beauty questions, the chances are Martina has the answers. READ HER LATEST ARTICLES . Follow her on LINKEDIN , INSTAGRAM. Learn more about her HERE.

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