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.
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.