What I Learned From Having Unusually Pale Skin

While in the fairytale Snow White was desired for her pale skin that was as pale as snow, in reality, a life of the pale skinned beauties isn't easy at all.

The upkeep and appearance of our skin is important to one and all. This can include anything from blotting oiling skin, deeply moisturising dry skin, keeping spots at bay, and even the odd bit of tanning.

For Victorian women having pale skin was seen as the ideal representation of beauty. The ladies were encouraged to avoid the sun and powder their faces, as having tanned skin was linked to the working class who toiled daily in the sun.

Although by today’s standards being perfectly tanned is believed to be more desirable. (Take a look around you on a Saturday night out and will understand.) For anyone who has naturally porcelain skin, however, it can become a little trying at times.

You look like a ghost in group photos

woman with pale skin

While Kermit the Frog sang that it’s not easy being green, I would say that it isn’t easy to be pale either. A lot of the time I think we don’t realise how short, tall, pale or tanned we are until we compare ourselves to others.

Group situations can be the worst for this, particularly if you are already self-conscious about your appearance. Group events often result in group photos, meaning that the poor pale skinned lady will often look ghostly white next to anyone else; which can become even worse if the flash happens to be on. Getting asked where I am in a photo is a pain I know all too well my friends.

You will continuously be asked if you’re ok

“Are you feeling ok? You look very pale.”
“I’m fine. That’s just my face.”

If you have fair skin this is probably a conversation you are familiar with. Of course, when you actually do succumb to illness you will probably be even paler and be questioned further about your pallor.

Although when you aren’t being asked if you are sick you will be advised to “go out and get some sun”. Maybe it’s due to the rise in vampire and zombie films that has left people feeling uncomfortable around those with pale skin. (We’re perfectly safe though, I assure you.)

Finding the right foundation shade can be tricky

woman with pale skin

We often use makeup as the saving grace for our skin. We use it to permanently or temporarily tint our brows and lashes, cover spots, and, generally, try to help our skin to appear flawless.

Although trying to find the correct shade of foundation or cover-up can be difficult for pale skinned beauties. It can often be like being stuck between a rock and hard place, as the darker shades would cover more but have you resembling a blood orange; while the paler shades can sometimes be too transparent or leave looking like a rendition of a female joker.

The best advice I can give is to shop around and make sure to test the shades on the skin of your hand. When in doubt though it is probably better to go pale or go home, as you can at least layer up the lighter foundation without it looking over the top.

You are unable to tan

Do you ever dream of sunning it up and getting the perfect tan? Well for pale skinned ladies that dream is unlikely to become a reality.

Having porcelain skin myself, I know how pointless trying to tan can be, because the only colour my skin will turn is red. This means that while others can wear little to no sunscreen and come away unscathed, I need to use Factor 50+. However, remaining pale over burnt is a sacrifice I am more than willing to make.

You are even unable to have a good fake tan

woman with pale skin

As the saying goes you can always fake it ’til you make it. Although if you’re trying to self-tan your pale skin you may end up disappointed as the paleness is still often visible beneath.

Needing to wash your hands also allows for another problem of having pale hands next to unmatched tanned arms. Then, of course, there is the sweat conundrum, which basically means that your fake tan will wear off and be fairly noticeable when it does.

As hard as it may be to accept, the best thing to do is to accept what you cannot change and let your pale skin shine. However, if you do not wish to give up just yet you might have a saving grace in the form of a spray tan or a tanning bed. I have never been brave enough to try either so now I turn to you my faithful friends. Do they really work? Is there any other pale skinned problems you can think of?

However, if you do not wish to give up just yet you might have a saving grace in the form of a spray tan or a tanning bed. I have never been brave enough to try either so now I turn to you, my faithful friends. Do they really work? Are there any other pale skinned problems you can think of?


About the author

Amy Dignam

Amy is a lover of pizza, Netflix, and Simpson quotes; although she also enjoys the finer things in life such as good music, good books and good friends. She believes that a problem shared is a problem halved, and that the best thing you can do is to show kindness in a cruel world.

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