The Mediterranean Sea is surrounded by 22 countries from 3 different continents including Africa, Asia, and Europe. So there is a lot of variety in how people look.
It can be confusing trying to nail down exactly what Mediterranean skin tone is and what it looks like. What is the exact shade? Is it the same as olive skin tone?
Mediterranean skin tone ranges from cream to light brown to moderate brown, and tans easily. It can also have yellowish, olive or golden undertones.
The below image shows the Fitzpatrick Skin Type Classification Scale. Mediterranean skin tone is type III, IV, and V on the below Fitzpatrick scale.
Read on to learn more about what Mediterranean skin tone is exactly, how it compares with olive skin tone, and picture examples.
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What is Mediterranean Skin Tone? (with Pictures)
Mediterranean skin tone has a wide range of color hues ranging from cream to a moderate brown. There can also be a wide variety of undertones ranging from olive green to yellow to golden.
Also note that in some countries along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, there are people who spend more time in the sun than in the shade and vice versa. This leads to darker skin tones for those who are more exposed to the sun.
Unexposed skin can be up to ten times lighter than the exposed skin. In the Middle Eastern and African countries that border the Mediterranea, the sun shines brighter. This makes their skin tone slightly darker than the people of France or Spain where the sun isn’t as strong and there are more trees and shade.
Here are some pictures that will illustrate what Mediterranean skin tone looks like.
Greek Skin Tone
There are many factors that determine the skin color of a particular Greek person. There are pale Greeks, and there are dark-skinned and fairly-tanned Greeks.
Generally, a majority of Greeks today are just like most people in Southern Europe. Greek skin tone can be cream, light brown, moderate brown, and often has golden or olive undertone. They can of course burn and always tan easily.
Here is a fairer-skin tone Greek man
Jennifer Aniston’s father was Greek-born actor John Aniston. Jennifer has other ethnic backgrounds such as English, Irish, and Scottish, but since her dad is Greek-born, you can certainly see how she has somewhat Greek skin tone. She has lighter, tannish skin, with Mediterranean or olive skin color undertone.
Spanish Skin Tone
Among those who live along the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea are the people of Southern Spain. Many of those who consider themselves Southern Spaniards have darker, tanned skin tones. Their skin colors range from olive or light brown to medium brown.
Many of them, even without overexposure to the sun, are darker-skinned. With the arrival of Germanic tribes, the Vikings, and other northern European settlers, Southern Spain began to have people with fairer skin tones. So, there are also a lot of Southern Spaniards who have a fair complexion.
Here is a picture of a woman with Southern Spain skin tone:
Southern France Skin Tone
Like Spain, a large part of the French coast runs along the Mediterranean sea. Also similar to Southern Spain, a majority of the people in the South of France possess olive or Mediterranean skin tone. They are a mix of descendants from different ethnic groups that settled in France over hundreds of years.
Southern France has a very rich history in terms of different races comingling together. For instance, there are Southern Frenchmen who have descended from the soldiers of the Roman Empire.
There are some who will be able to trace their lineage to those who served in the Crusades, or even from Omayyad subjects that crossed the Pyrenees on their trek to Europe.
Considering these complex migrations and intermingling of different races and creeds, it will be natural for modern-day Southern Frenchmen to have not just fair/white skin tone, but also mostly olive or tanned complexion.
Here is an image of a man with Southern French skin tone:
Turkish Skin Tone
Another country that has a large swath of its coast along the Mediterranean sea is Turkey. Turkey is also a mix of many different people who have settled in the area over time.
Due to this mixing of different races, the skin tones of modern Turkish people range from pale or light to light brown or tanned.
To be more specific, 25 percent of Turkish people have pale skin, 57 percent are light brunette or light brown, and 18 percent are dark brunette. Almost 50 percent of Kurds are light brunette, while the other half is dark brunette.
Here is a picture of two Turkish women:
Syrian Skin Tone
Syria is another country with a portion of its coast on the Mediterranean Sea. Most of its citizens have Mediterranean skin tone. However, the skin tones of those who live closer to the border in Iraq are darker than the skin tones of those who live in other parts of the country.
The Middle Eastern countries along the Mediterranean like Syria and Libya have people with skin tones that range from light to dark brown. Many also have fair skin.
The big difference between the skin tones of Middle Eastern people vs. European people of the Mediterranean is they have slightly darker skin tones. They also don’t have an olive or golden undertone like the French, Spanish or Italians do.
Here is a picture of a Syrian girl:
Egyptian Skin Tone
The same goes for the Egyptians. Not all Egyptians have the same Mediterranean skin tones. Those who live in the northern parts of Egypt, along the Mediterranean Sea, have a skin tone that is lighter than those who live in the country’s southern parts.
Those who live close to Sudan are generally darker-skinned. Perhaps this is due to their proximity to the equator where the sun shines at its brightest.
Here is a picture of a man from Northern Egypt:
Advantages of Having a Mediterranean Skin Tone
If you have a Mediterranean skin tone, you enjoy some advantages over those with fairer, lighter skin tones.
- You have more melanin on your skin. This is the reason why your skin is a bit darker than those with fairer skin. It gives you the natural ability to fight the harsh effects of the sun’s UV rays. This helps you to resist the onset of skin cancer. But don’t stay out in the sun for too long because you can still catch skin cancer if you do.
- You will not have to worry about the early signs of aging as much as people with lighter skin tones. That can mean you won’t experience as many wrinkles later on your life.
Most Caucasians who are light-skinned are plagued with early signs of aging, including the emergence of wrinkles early on in their lives. You will only look old when it’s about time for your old age to show up and that would probably be when you are in your 60s or even later.
Skincare for Mediterranean Skin Tones
The benefits of a Mediterranean skin tone mentioned above doesn’t mean you don’t have to take care of your skin. Proper skin care is still a must if you want to enjoy its natural beauty for as long as possible. Here are some skin care tips that you need to consider.
A concern among those who have Mediterranean skin tone is skin pigmentation. This can include uneven skin tone, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and melasma.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) can make your skin even darker, especially if you are spending too much time in the sun. This condition could develop after an acne attack, a skin rash, burns, a surgical procedure, or after a scratch or abrasion.
Melasma, on the other hand, is the development of brown patches on your skin such as your forehead or your cheeks. This condition will get worse with sun exposure, skin inflammation, and overcharged hormones.
If these conditions appear on your skin, you need to get help from your dermatologist. They can design a customized treatment for your skin type. The skin treatment may include lasers, prescription creams, micro needlings with PRP or chemical peels.
If you come from a country along the Eastern shores of the Mediterranean such as Greek or an Eastern Mediterranean country, you are prone to having dark circles under your eyes.
This condition can make you look tired all of the time. Dark circles under the eye develop because of the loss of volume and increased pigmentation. This condition increases progressively so you have to address it at its onset.
If you have dark circles under the eyes, consult with your dermatologist on what you should do. They may recommend the use of lasers or the application of skin brighteners to reduce skin pigmentation.
The dermatologist may also advise you to use hyaluronic acid fillers. You can inject these agents under your eyes.
If you have a light to medium Mediterranean skin tone, your skin is prone to developing wrinkles and fine lines. One effective way of addressing these issues is the use of collagen stimulants. These include C products, growth factors, and retinol.
A dermatologist may also recommend that you undergo dermatological procedures that will build collagen on the collagen-depleted parts of your skin. Some of the procedures they may recommend are laser resurfacing, micro-needling with PRP and Ultherapy.
To prevent the development of wrinkles and folds on your skin, you can use skin fillers that contain Juvederm, Restylane or hyaluronic acid. Relaxing the fine lines on the skin around your eyes and your forehead can be accomplished by Dysport or botox injection.
Skin Care Products for Mediterranean Skin Types
There are many skin care products that are perfect for Mediterranean skin tones. Below are two of my favorite skin care products that will help you maintain the suppleness and youthful look of Mediterranean skin.
1. Tracie Martyn Firming Serum
You will also need a serum to enhance the effect of the moisturizer. For this purpose, you can use the Tracie Martyn Firming Serum.
Another of my favorite products from Tracie Martyn, this firming serum will help in the lifting, contouring, and regeneration of Mediterranean skin. It has an instant and cumulative effect. Apply a two-pump dosage on your face, neck, and under your eye.
2. Mila Moursi Skin Care pH Balancing Toner
The third skincare product that is perfect for Mediterranean skin tone is the Mila Moursi Skin Care pH Balancing Toner.
Since Mediterranean skin has a tendency to be more oily than lighter skin tones, a toner like this Mila Moursi Toner will help maintain your skin’s natural balance. It will complete your cleansing ritual. Use it in the morning and in the evening after cleansing your skin.
Conclusion – What is Mediterranean Skin Tone?
So to recap, what exactly is Mediterranean skin tone? Mediterranean skin tone refers to the skin tone of people living in countries around the Mediterranean Sea. The skin tone ranges from cream to light brown. It tans easily and also can have yellowish, olive or golden undertones.
There are many countries bordering the Mediterranean – 22 to be exact – so there are many different types of people, with a wide variety of skin tones.
Generally, the skin tones fall within the cream to light brown range. Those who live in Southern Spain, Southern France, Italy, and Greece tend to have olive, golden or yellow undertones.
Those who are from the Middle East or Northern Africa, along the Mediterranean Sea, also have skin tones that range from cream to light brown but tend to have darker undertones.
If you have a Mediterranean skin tone, you have a lot going for you. This skin tone tans very nicely and it is less likely to produce wrinkles and other signs of aging as you grow old.
Use a good quality toner and moisturizer to avoid excess oil on your skin which generally can be an issue with Mediterranean skin tones. It can be hard to spot a person with Mediterranean skin tone, but now that you know what it is, you’ll have a better idea of what it is and how diverse it is.