What is a Pasty Skin Tone? (Causes and Skin Care Tips)

Do you have a skin tone similar to the Cullen family from the movie Twilight? Then chances are you have a pasty skin tone.

If you have an unnaturally fair skin tone, you are one of the many people having pasty skin tones. 

In this article, I have cleared all the doubts regarding this light skin tone. Plus, I have shared a few skincare hacks too.

Keep reading to know more…!

What is a Pasty Skin Tone?

Pasty skin tone is when the color of your skin is abnormally lighter or paler than normal skin. This falls under a cool undertone and is also called Pallor skin tone.

If you have a pasty skin tone then it is common for your skin to look faint and frail. In other words, like the Cullens (check out the video below if you don’t know who they are)

However, keep in mind that it can also be caused by some distinct reasons.

What Are The Causes Of Pasty Skin Tone?

As mentioned earlier, Pasty skin can be your true color or it can be a symptom of some other health problems.

Here are some of the common causes of pasty skin tone beyond “it’s just your natural coloring.”

1- Anemia

Anemia is a condition where there is a lack of red blood cells (RBCs) in the body which results in skin turning pasty and pale.

This happens because there is an insufficient supply of red blood cells and so, it doesn’t reach the surface of the skin.

Iron deficiency anemia is more commonly seen in women with a heavy period flow.

Young goth woman with a pasty skin tone

American physician, H. Franklin Bunn in the book Goldman’s Cecil Medicine [1] mentions that “Pallor is the most commonly encountered physical finding in patients with anemia.”

So, seeing a doctor is highly recommended. This is one of the common causes of pale or pasty skin tone.


Hypothyroidism is caused by a lack of generation of thyroid hormones by the thyroid gland. We commonly know this as “Underactive Thyroid [2].”

This condition causes the skin to be pasty and dull. An increase in dermal carotene may also result in yellow hues on some parts like palms, soles, and nasolabial folds.


A person with vitiligo suffers from loss of skin pigmentation in certain parts of the body.

Though, it can also be caused by certain reasons like extreme sunburns. This causes pasty patches to appear in those areas.

vitiligo pasty skin tone

Unfortunately, there is no cure for vitiligo, still, seeing a doctor is recommended. Treatment can help in slowing the process of discoloring and returning some color to the skin.


Albinism is a genetic disorder that occurs due to a lack of pigment in the skin and eyes. While pasty skin is one of the symptoms, other symptoms include changes in eye color and white hair. 

Since albinism is something you’re born with rather than develop, you would almost definitely know by now if it’s the cause of your pasty skin tone.

5-Blood Cancer

Blood cancer is commonly known as leukemia. Most people with blood cancer also develop anemia. It can cause the skin to be unusually pasty because of the lack of production of RBCs.

Treatment for this includes chemotherapy, medications, surgery, etc.

6-Vitamin Deficiency

Another common cause of pasty skin tone is a deficiency of B-12 vitamins. It can lead to Jaundice. Due to this, the body is unable to produce red blood cells.

This causes the skin to become pasty or yellowish. The deficiency of iron can also cause a pasty skin tone.

7-Other Possible Reasons

Reasons like sun exposure, anxiety, heavy bleeding during periods, and uneasiness can also cause paleness [3].

However, in this case, it’s temporary and your skin will go back to its normal tone after a while.

If you are still confused about what is causing your skin to turn pasty?

Check out WebMD’s free symptom checker [4] to find out the cause. You can also get to know more about other skin tones like olive skin tone, dusky skin tone, and bronze skin tone.

Find out the best makeup and fashion options for your unique Asian skin undertone by checking out our article ‘Asian Skin Undertone.’

How to Deal With Pasty Skin Tone?

Now that you know the primary reasons for a pasty skin tone. Let’s learn how to deal with these problems.

Taking care of our skin tone in proper ways is extremely important for healthy skin. Especially if you are someone with pasty skin who is supposed to be extra careful since your skin can be sensitive.

Here are some ways to deal with pasty skin tone at home.

Cleanse Your Face Every Day!

Washing your face every day is a must for skincare of skin tone!

Use a gentle cleanser that removes dirt from the skin and keeps its natural oils still sound. Pasty skin is oftentimes dry.

cleansing pasty skin

Hence, stripping it off its natural oils is a bad idea.

Also, I would personally recommend using micellar water for your pale complexion and dry skin. It has little micelle balls that help you clean your skin without causing any damage to it. 

Plus avoid clay face washes.

Protect Yourself From the Sun

Our best friend against the sun’s UV rays is none other than sunscreen. Choose a perfect sunscreen that is suitable for your skin type.

Sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30or above is ideal. It will protect you from sunburns and damage caused by heat. If your skin is awfully sensitive then use an SPF lower than 30. Sunglasses help too.

Exfoliation is Necessary!

Want your dull, pale skin to glow? Exfoliator is the solution! It helps remove the dead skin cells from your skin and brings newer cells out. This adds a lively and vibrant glow to your face. 

However, be careful with an exfoliator, as its excessive use can cause redness and irritation. This can cause more harm than good.

Exfoliate only 3 times a week and 2 times if your skin is too sensitive. Use a gentle exfoliator that’s suitable for you. You can always make your DIY exfoliator at home. Check out this one:

Fix Your Food Habits

As Gregory Landsman [5] says in his book Face Food: “Food is more than just taste, it can create deep therapeutic changes that heal, energize and nourish the body and the skin.”

diet to aid pasty skin

You will be surprised to find what a proper diet can do to your skin. Pasty skin needs fatty acids which you will easily find in fatty fishes like salmon and mackerel.

Antioxidants are essential in your diet as well. Broccoli, spinach, carrots, and potatoes are some good sources of antioxidants.

Including vitamins in your diet is something you should do right away. Vitamin C helps skin glow. Intake of nuts, peas, and lemons helps in increasing vitamins in your body.

Moreover, it is necessary to eat food items that fulfill a lack of iron in your body. All-in-all has a balanced meal at least once a day.

Seek Medical Attention. 

While having fair complexions can be natural, having abnormally pale skin is a concern. It can be a symptom of skin conditions and diseases mentioned above.

In this case, it’s important to diagnose the cause and seek treatment.

Remember, our body is capable of giving us signs of the unnatural and unhealthy changes occurring inside. Sudden pale skin is one of the symptoms.

Therefore, seeing a dermatologist is important. It’s better to take appropriate precautions and stay safe than face the consequences of your ignorance.

How can you get rid of pasty skin tone?

A proper diet and a good skincare routine are enough to get rid of pasty skin. However, it’s best to visit a doctor and know the real reason for your pasty skin.

Often it can be a symptom of health issues, in which case you need proper treatment and not homemade solutions.

What is the difference between pasty and pale skin tone?

Pale skin is generally natural. People are born with a pale skin tone. However, if you experience sudden or gradual discoloration of your skin.

Then your transformed skin tone is called pasty skin tone. There are several reasons for a pasty skin tone. However, pale skin tone is genetic and sometimes caused by environmental factors.

Which colors look good on a pasty complexion?

Go for both pastels as well as bold shades of green and blue. Especially emerald green and navy blue look exceptionally good on pasty individuals.

If you like to pair your outfit with metal accessories good for chains, watches, rings, and bracelets of platinum or silver. Avoid flashy metals like gold and copper. 


I hope all your questions regarding pasty skin tone are answered. Though this skin tone compels you to become more careful about it, it doesn’t hold you back from becoming the best version of yourself.

Slay the pale complexion like celebrities like Emma Stone and Amanda Seyfried, be proud of your skin tone!


  • 1. (2012) Goldman’s Cecil Medicine | ScienceDirect. In: Sciencedirect.com. https://www.sciencedirect.com/book/9781437716047/goldmans-cecil-medicine#book-description. Accessed 9 Dec 2021
  • 2. (2020) Hypothyroidism – Symptoms and causes. In: Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothyroidism/symptoms-causes/syc-20350284. Accessed 9 Dec 2021
  • 3. Verneda Lights (2018) Paleness. In: Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/paleness#:~:text=Paleness%2C%20also%20known%20as%20pale,skin%20or%20appear%20more%20localized.. Accessed 9 Dec 2021
  • 4. https://www.facebook.com/WebMD (2020) Symptom Checker with Body from WebMD – Check Your Medical Symptoms. In: WebMD. https://symptoms.webmd.com/. Accessed 9 Dec 2021
  • 5. (2021) Gregory Landsman | Best Selling Author on Younger Looking Skin! In: Gregory Landsman. https://gregorylandsman.com/. Accessed 9 Dec 2021
Blonde woman with pasty skin tone

What do you think of the pasty skin tone? Let us know in the comments below!

About Olaf Bieschke

Olaf Bieschke is a senior year medical student from Charité University of Berlin in Germany. He has gained professional experience in various hospitals and offices in Germany, Belgium, France, Poland, Brazil and Spain. Currently working on a dr. med. title thesis in neurosurgery. Follow him on LINKEDIN AND FACEBOOK. Learn more about him HERE.

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