Descriptive words for skin tones



Hey :slight_smile:

As the title states, is there any descriptive words that you particularly like for certain skin tones?
My story has full CC but I also asked my readers what skin type they chose so I could describe their character as I hate generic descriptions.

However, I am struggling to think of words to use? I have searched online for some help and inspiration but what I found it wasn’t particularly helpful.

I thought this would be a great opportunity for people to share their favourite skin descriptive words so that they are available for others who are struggling aswell :slight_smile:

Just drop the word and the skin tone it describes! :raised_hand:t2: :raised_hand:t3: :raised_hand:t4: :raised_hand:t5: :raised_hand:t6:

Thanks for the help!


I think if you are going to label skin tones yourself you should be careful:

  1. Steer away from using real world items (like things from nature)
  2. Try not to use words (adjectives) that suggest one color is “better than another” (like angelic)

Honestly, if you really want to make your own names, make up fake words or use foundation shade numbers (make your own)

Just be careful.

I don’t suggest using some real world foundation shade names just because a lot of them are compared to things like nature and food. (which can be offensive)


I understand, but that’s why I’m struggling.

In stories which do not give CC, the author has full control over their descriptive imagination so they often know which words to use as they have usually already planned it.

By descriptive words I mean for example, porcelain is often used to describe very light/fair skin. Or, I know not everyone can blush so the term her cheeks became ‘rosy’. This is the sort of thing I mean.


I recommend words like “deep”, or “rich” when speaking of darker skin tones.


Thank you! Those are extremely helpful.