What Is Indian Skin Tone? (Skin Care & Makeup Tips)

Indian skin tones are complex, many women have no clue what complements their skin tone or which product will serve them the best. It’s the undertone of your skin that decides this. 

First, there is a big difference between skin undertone and complexion. Indians are known for wheatish skin tone because as the grain of wheat ranges from yellow to dark brown, so does the skin tone of Indians.

Very fair to very dark skin tone is the range here. This all depends on your genetics and the place where you live. Harsh sunlight plays a significant factor in deciding your skin complexion, but your skin’s undertone has been inherited and does not change due to external factors.

Whether you have stumbled upon the term skin tone and undertone for the first time or you always wanted to find out about your skin tone, this is the right article for you.

Key Takeaways

These beauty gurus on youtube or Instagram have created a buzz around the importance of undertones and how they affect your fashion and skincare.

But, genetics plays a huge role in deciding your skin tone. The amount of the chemical compound present in your genes called melanin determines the skin tone. Melanin rich skin has a darker skin tone.

Here are some interesting facts to help you understand Indian skin color better:

  • Indian skin tone has a very high variation. 
  • The undertone is Indian skin mainly lies on a warmer side.
  • The warm undertone tans very quickly, but it does not burn.
  • Melanin is highly found in Indian skin tones and protects from sun damage leading to skin cancer.

What is Indian Skin Tone?

Indian skin tone is brown or wheatish. This is because India lies in the tropical zone. This is a massive difference from people living near the poles. Higher humidity and sun drive the higher chances of melanin deposition on the skin.

Source: depositphotos.com
Source: depositphotos.com

But, India is a big country with varying climate degrees, making it harder to generalize Indian skin tone. It falls in the range of fair skin but not as peach light skin tone like Caucasians, more like yellow undertones to a dark brown undertone.

Although the majority of the Indian skin has a warm undertone, it is not valid for all. If you want to find out about your undertone, do the following.

  • Check your wrist- the veins running under your wrist can be blue or green
  • Do you tan easily or burn in the sun?
  • Check whether silver or gold jewelry complements your skin tone
  • White or off-white? Which suits your skin tone?

You are born with a cool skin undertone if you have chosen blue, burns, silver, and white. Suppose you have decided that green, tan, gold, and off-white suit you more; you have a warm undertone. If you are confused by getting a mixed result, you are probably of neutral skin undertone.

Fitzpatrick’s skin tone chart starts from I, the lightest skin tone, to VI as the darkest skin tone. There is no specific Indian skin tone chart, but according to this, Indian skin tone falls in the range of III to VI.

This shows the wide range of Indian skin. According to this skin tone chart, North India generally has III to IV skin tone, whereas skin tone becomes more prominent as we move to south V and VI.

Classification of Indian Skin Tone

India caters to a vast population, which means it is home to a massive diversity of people. You can not just call Indians of warm skin tone or brown, which is the general belief. There are different types of Indian skin tones according to the location.

North East and North region: I am talking about the Himalayan region. Being away from the equator skin tones of people here is generally very fair.

Central East India: This region is a little closer to the sun like Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, etc., making it a medium skin tone.

Southern region – Here, skin tone ranges from dark to darker, like Kerala or Tamil Nadu.

Southernmost region – In this area, one can find people with Very Dark to Darkest skin tones.

Skin tone also highly depends on your genetics. This is why you can find people of Very dark skin tones in the Northern region of India and vice versa.

Most Common Skin Concerns for Indian Skin

Indian skin comes with its issues—the most common triad of pigmentation, dull skin, and acne. The reason behind it is simple – Sun. Indians are comparatively safer from skin cancer, but the melanin deposits cause pigmentation problems.

Pigmentation like darker undereye, dark patches around the lips, and uneven patches on the face and neck are common problems. 

The second concern is dull and dry skin. This type of skin lacks a healthy glow. It looks darker and puckered. Such skin is prone to sun damage that causes wrinkles and fine lines early.

The third problem lies mainly with oily skin. Indian skin is oily and thick. These two combinations cause pores to be clogged with oil and dirt, leading to blackheads, whiteheads, and acne even in adults. If not taken care of, this acne leaves acne scars, craters, and uneven skin.

Pollution also plays a significant role in causing skin irritation like rashes or allergies, which again causes uneven skin tone even after healing.

Skin Care Tips for Indian Skin Tone

To take the ultimate care of your skin, you should first know your skin type. The easiest way to find out about your skin is to wait. Wash your face and pat dry. Do not apply any products for 30 mins. If it becomes stretchy with white patches, you have dry skin.

Source: depositphotos.com
Source: depositphotos.com

If your skin glows with oil, then you have oily skin, and if it’s both with mainly your T-Zone is oily, but cheeks are dry, then you have combination skin.

Do these regularly to nourish your skin:


Whether in summers or winters, sunscreen should be worn every day. You may wonder Indian skin does not burn, but this does not imply immunity from sun damage. The application should be all over the exposed skin and not the face. Add this along with physical protection.

Use the right products for your skin

There are three skin types. Oily, dry, and combination. Know your skin before applying any product. You can not use a dry skin moisturizer on acne-prone skin. It will just cause further damage.

Pay attention to your diet

We are what we eat! This phrase applies to skincare too. Your healthy diet should contain vitamins and antioxidants to cleanse your system from the inside. A healthy diet solves your problems from its roots.


Your skin needs to breathe too. Use mild homemade exfoliation like honey and sugar. If you add just a few drops of lemon, it will act as a brightening skin product. It adds a boost of vitamin C and has anti-aging properties. Avoid lemon if you have sensitive skin.


Toner application should be applied after washing your face and before applying any product. Toner makes your skin more accepting of the product giving more benefits. The cheapest toner with the most benefits for the skin will be rose water. Use a chilled version of the water for added refreshment and a natural glow.

The big No-Nos for your skin

  • Hydrogen peroxide: It might help your acne be a bactericidal agent, but it causes more damage than it helps.
  • Be patient: Let your product work. It is not magic. Skincare takes time; you should trust the process.
  • Never sleep in your make-up.
  • Do not share skin products.
  • Do not overdo: Washing your face several times a day or exfoliating every day causes more damage.
  • Focus on even skin tone rather than lightning. Love your olive skin tone and do not fall into white beauty standards.

The Best Skincare Products for Indian Skin Tone

You do not need a bucket full of skincare products but avoiding them entirely is also incorrect. Let me suggest top products to help you begin your skincare journey with the basics:

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Here’s your skin’s new best friend when it comes to being healthy and blemish-free. This is a budget-friendly option with the goodness of Stem Cells and Peptides that keeps your skin hydrated and youthful. It has SPF 50.

It has a non-greasy formulation, is fragrance-free to avoid irritation, and has a broad UV and blue light protection range. This sunscreen is suitable for normal, oily, acne-prone, or blemish-prone skin.

The stem cells help regenerate damaged cells due to harsh sunlight and maintain your skin’s elasticity.

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It is a sulfate-free, paraben-free, cruelty-free formulation. It is vegan with the goodness of aloe vera. Aloe keeps your skin fresh. 

This is created for the use of both men and women, and this natural face wash fits all. Best results are seen in people with normal, oily, temperamental, and combination skin.

Your morning skincare routine can start with or after a workout to wipe off that sweat. Your skin will good healthy and clean. 

It is a foaming gel face wash. AHA has an exfoliating factor that clears the dead skin without damaging the new skin underneath. It has a very earthy fragrance to keep you close to nature with lavender, spearmint, lemon, rosemary, black spruce, etc. 

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Cetaphil’s non-comedogenic, fragrance-free daily moisturizer is ideal for sensitive skin to normal skin. It can be used on both the face and the body. It is affordable and created for both women and men.

Fragrance-free makes it ideal for wearing around kids, and its hydrating nature makes your skin look healthy. Macadamia nut oil and glycerin help you retain moisture all day long.\

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Ideal for oily skin as it is a gel-based product. It leaves the skin refreshed and non-sticky. It penetrates much deeper into the skin, which helps in a pure hydration boost right away.

Protects against 5 aggressors by strengthening the skin barrier. The five benefits of this product are smoothness, firmness, clarity, trouble-free skin, and plumpness.

Both genders can use it. It is non-comedogenic, alcohol-free, and oil-free with the goodness of glycerin and hyaluronic acid.

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This serum has Hyaluronic acid that locks in moisture, reduces the appearance of wrinkles, and decreases inflammation. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2 percent + B5 contains a 2 percent concentration of the next-generation hyaluronic acid cross polymer, as well as vitamin B5. 

Sodium hyaluronate, a cross-linked form of hyaluronic acid, aids in hyaluronic acid’s ability to attract and retain moisture in the skin. This serum is designed to plump and soften dry, dehydrated skin. It is suited for all skin types.

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This foam-based face cleanses walnut shell powder for extra benefits. Walnut shells are an excellent scrubbing agent.

After a week of being exposed to pollution and filth, they provide your skin with the deep washing it needs. Corn, glycerine, and calendula oil are also included in the mix, all of which are beneficial to your skin.

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Makeup Tips for Indian Skin Tone

Yellow and beige colors dominate the undertones in Indian skin tone. Make sure you choose foundation shades for Indian skin, just one shade lighter than your skin tone. Here are some makeup tips.


This should only be used in places with dark spots and under-eye. The shade of the concealer should not exceed the margin of two. This applies to not going any lighter than 2 shades from your natural skin complexion. 

Use an only water-based foundation for Indian skin.

An oil-based foundation will make your skin sticky. It will clog your pores. Always choose a shade closer to your natural skin tone. Anything up or down will make you look unnatural.

The right lipstick shades

Warm colors complement Indian skin. Choose warm shades like light brown, nudes, moderate brown, and darker shades. Do not pick light purple, crimson red, or very light colors like orange or peach.

Always consider your warm skin tone

Your eye shadows should not contain silver. Brown-based colors will be the best to illuminate your look.


Again, do not go overboard with a lighter shade. I know lighter shade gives a younger look, but it is not worth the risk of looking unnatural.

Wrapping Up

Always remember your skin undertone and complexion. Whether in your clothes, make-up, or hair color, the colors you use will compliment you and your overall look. Indian skin tones vary but still fall under the yellow or brown hue

Do not forget to use sunblock daily. I recommend Derma J Premium Sunscreen as it hydrates and protects your skin. Toner will keep your pores small.

Exfoliate with Lotus apricot scrub twice a week to bring out the new skin below the layer of dead skin and dirt. It helps in healing.

In the end, skin tone and undertones do matter, but it is no hard and fast rule to follow. Always wear the colors that make you happy.

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