I’ve covered the topic of skin tone and complexion a number of times now; however, discovering your true pallor can be a complicated process. Slight tone variations across the body, isolated tanning spots and the occasional over/under exposure to sunlight can make the identification procedure fraught with problems.

In order to help those still confused as to their natural tone, I present the occasionally controversial Von Luschan chromatic scale.

About The Von Luschan Scale

Named after its creator, Felix von Luschan, the system was originally calculated by placing a set of opaque glass tiles against the person’s skin, finding the most accurate match on the scale of 1 to 36. Although largely abandoned as a profiling tool, it still gives a broadly useful measure of complexion, especially if other methods have failed for you in the past.

Von Luschan Scale

Very Pale – von Luschan 1-5
Pale – von Luschan 6-10
Pale/Medium – von Luschan 11-15
Medium – von Luschan 16-20
Medium/Dark – von Luschan 21-25
Dark – von Luschan 26-30
Very Dark – von Luschan 30-36

For the best result, try your match based on an patch of skin traditionally left unexposed to the sun; the area around the armpit is a particularly good choice, as it’s easily accessible for most men and even ardent sunworshippers rarely lay for a significant length of time with their arms outstretched behind their head.

About The Author

Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.