Olive skin

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A baker with olive skin from Greece, an archetypal olive-skinned region

Olive skin is a human skin colour spectrum. It is often associated with pigmentation in the Type III[1][2] to Type IV and Type V ranges of the Fitzpatrick scale.[3][4] It generally refers to light or moderate tan skin, and it is often described as having yellow, green, or golden undertones.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13]

People with olive skin can sometimes become paler if their sun exposure is limited. However, lighter olive skin still tans more easily than light skin does, and generally still retains notable yellow or greenish undertones.[14][15][16]

Olive skin covers III, IV, and V on the Fitzpatrick scale

Geographic distribution[edit]

Type III pigmentation is frequent among populations from the Mediterranean (i.e. Southern Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa) as well as some parts of Latin America and Asia.[1][17][18] It ranges from cream to darker olive[2] skin tones.[19] This skin type sometimes burns and tans gradually, but always tans.[19][2]

Type IV pigmentation is frequent among some populations from the Mediterranean, Romani people, as well as parts of Asia and Latin America.[3][20] It ranges from brownish or darker olive[4] to moderate brown, typical Mediterranean skin tones.[21] This skin type rarely burns and tans easily.[19]

Type V pigmentation is frequent among populations from the Middle East,[19] parts of the Mediterranean and Southern Europe,[3] Romani people, parts of Africa,[22] Latin America,[3] and the Indian subcontinent.[23] It ranges from olive[4] to tan, Middle Eastern skin tones.[19] This skin type very rarely burns and tans quite easily.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Watson, Ronald Ross (2013). Handbook of Vitamin D in Human Health: Prevention, Treatment and Toxicity. Human Health Handbooks. Vol. 4. Wageningen: Wageningen Academic Publishers. doi:10.3920/978-90-8686-765-3. ISBN 9789086862108. ISSN 2212-375X. S2CID 29719411.
  2. ^ a b c Costello, Declan; Winter, Stuart (2013). Viva Training in ENT: Preparation for the FRCS (ORL-HNS). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 16. ISBN 9780191668944. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d Pfenninger, John L. (2001). Dermatologic and Cosmetic Procedures in Office Practice. Elsevier Health Sciences. ISBN 9781437705805.
  4. ^ a b c Mayeaux, E. J. (2015). The Essential Guide to Primary Care Procedures. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 9781496318718.
  5. ^ McCoy, Susan (September 1988). "Your True Colors". Ski. 53 (1): 266. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  6. ^ Johnson Gross, Kim (1997). Woman's Face: Skin Care and Makeup. Knopf. ISBN 9780679445784.
  7. ^ Richmond, JoAnne (8 August 2008). Reinvent Yourself with Color Me Beautiful: Four Seasons of Color, Makeup, and Style. Taylor Trade Publications. p. 160. ISBN 9781589794085. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  8. ^ "Redbook". Redbook Publishing Company. 161: 87. 1983.
  9. ^ Sesdelli, Maryellen; Fremont, Shelly D. (1 April 1993). Beauty Basics. Berkley Publishing Group. p. 66. ISBN 9780425138021.
  10. ^ Watson, Rosie (2007). Make-Up. New Holland Publishers. p. 62. ISBN 9781845377205.
  11. ^ In Style: Getting Gorgeous: The Step-By-Step Guide to Your Best Hair, Makeup and Skin. Time Incorporated. 11 October 2005. ISBN 9781932994650.
  12. ^ Conway, Paula; Regan, Maureen (2006). The Beauty Buyble: The Best Beauty Products of 2007. Regan Books. ISBN 9780061172212. olive skin green tones.
  13. ^ Burns, Paul Callans; Singer, Joe (1979). The Portrait Painter's Problem Book. Watson-Guptill Publications. ISBN 9780823041862. olive skin greenish.
  14. ^ Mercola, Joseph (2008). Dark Deception: Discover the Truths About the Benefits of Sunlight Exposure. Thomas Nelson Inc. ISBN 9781418567767. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  15. ^ Trew, Sally (2013). Idiot's Guides: Making Natural Beauty Products. Penguin. ISBN 9781615645572. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  16. ^ Kidd, Jemma (2013). Jemma Kidd Make-Up Masterclass. Aurum Press. ISBN 9781909342279. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  17. ^ Kontoes, Paraskevas (2017). State of the art in Blepharoplasty: From Surgery to the Avoidance of Complications. Springer. p. 26. ISBN 9783319526423. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  18. ^ Novick, Nelson Lee (1991). Super Skin: A Leading Dermatologist's Guide to the Latest Breakthrough's in Skin Care. Crown Publishing. p. 20. ISBN 9780517585337. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  19. ^ a b c d e f "The Fitzpatrick Skin Type Classification Scale". Skin Inc. (November 2007). Retrieved 7 January 2014.; under Tables - Fitzpatrick Skin Type Classification Scale
  20. ^ Small, Rebecca (2012). Practical Guide to Chemical Peels, Microdermabrasion & Topical Products. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 21. ISBN 9781451154528. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  21. ^ Lall, Namrita (2017). Medicinal Plants for Holistic Health and Well-Being. Academic Press. p. 137. ISBN 978-0128124765. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  22. ^ Standard Esthetics: Advanced. Nelson. 2012. ISBN 978-1285401492. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  23. ^ Lucas, Robyn; Tony McMichael; Wayne Smith; Bruce Armstrong (2006). Annette Prüss-Üstün; Hajo Zeeb; Colin Mathers; Michael Repacholi (eds.). Solar Ultraviolet Radiation—Global burden of disease from solar UV radiation (PDF) (Report). Environmental Burden of Disease Series no. 13. Geneva: World Health Organization, Public Health and the Environment. p. 13. ISBN 9789241594400. ISSN 1728-1652. Retrieved 7 August 2014.