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How do I get a Fair Complexion?

Diane Goettel
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are a number of ways to achieve a fair complexion, the healthiest of which involve using skin care products that protect the skin from sun damage and using cosmetics that help to give the skin a brighter, slightly lighter complexion. There are a number of reasons why people prefer a fair complexion, most of which are purely aesthetic. In some cases, people strive to get an even complexion, which means dealing with scarring that causes dark discoloration on skin that is otherwise fair. There are a number of treatments such as skin bleaching, skin lightening, and skin whitening that can be used to lighten the color of the skin. These procedures, however, are not always healthy and can pose other health and skin problems for people who undergo them.

One of the best ways to get or maintain a fair complexion is to avoid the sun. This does not mean never venturing out into the light of day, but one should protect the skin by wearing long sleeves and long pants. During hot seasons, this can be done by donning light fabrics such as cotton and linen. Also, avoid spending time in direct sunlight, especially in the middle of the day when the sun is the strongest.

A fair complexion can also be achieved by using topical products that include a sun protection factor (SPF). Many people who strive to achieve or protect a fair complexion use face and body creams with high SPFs. When spending time in direct sunlight, these products should be reapplied on a regular basis, especially if they are diluted when the wearer sweats or swims.

A number of natural ingredients are used in skin care products to help people achieve a fair complexion. These are generally considered to be safer for the skin, even if they do deliver less dramatic results than processes such as skin bleaching. Lotions and moisturizers made with vitamin C are believed to help achieve a fair complexion. The same is true of skin care products formulated with marshmallow extract.

Finally, a fair complexion can be achieved by using cosmetics. There are a number of cosmetics on the market that work to even out and brighten one's skin tone. These often include flecks of reflective material such as mica, which helps to make the skin look lighter and brighter.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Diane Goettel
By Diane Goettel
"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount Vernon, New York with her husband, Noah. They are the proud parents of a Doberman Pinscher named Spoon. Specialties: book editing, book marketing, book publishing, freelance writing, magazine publishing, magazine writing, copywriting,"
Discussion Comments
By Ana1234 — On Sep 05, 2014

@croydon - That's only looking at part of the big picture though. There are countries all over the world where people strive to get their skin as fair as possible and it's partly because media glorifies pale skin.

It's all very well to talk about how keeping out of the sun is better for you in general, but you've also got people who are so desperate to get fair skin that they will use dangerous bleaching creams or untested medications that could leave them vulnerable to serious damage.

We really need to assess the way we look at beauty standards in general. There's nothing wrong with a person wanting fair skin, but the lengths to which they will go to get it is another story.

By croydon — On Sep 04, 2014

@KoiwiGal - Well, you could argue that it does have health implications, as the more sun you get the more vulnerable you are to skin cancer and skin damage in general.

But I think it's got more to do with class than it does with race. It used to be that white people wanted to be as pale as possible because it meant that they weren't having to work in the sun. Now they want to be tanned because it means they have time to go and get one at a resort. And if they don't actually have the wealth or the time, they will fake it with a fake tan.

By KoiwiGal — On Sep 03, 2014

I can understand the impulse to want an even complexion, since that's generally (although not always) a sign of good health. But I don't think it's good that our society associates fair skin with beauty. It has nothing to do with a biological imperative the way even skin tone might, as your health doesn't depend on having a fair complexion. It's basically just a racist and elitist attitude that continues even to this day.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount...
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