What Are the Best Tips for a Brown Complexion?

T. Carrier

Achieving a personally satisfying complexion is important for many individuals. For darker complexions, individuals may either wish to achieve a brown complexion or find the best health and beauty aid products and approaches for an already existing dark complexion. Tanning can best address the first desire. As for finding the best cosmetics for a brown complexion, tone-matching blushes and neutral eye colors work well. Keeping the skin clean with products like tinted moisturizers and exfoliators can also maintain a good complexion.

Products containing tumeric can make skin look bright and vibrant.
Products containing tumeric can make skin look bright and vibrant.

Complexion refers to an individual’s skin color and level of shading. Every skin complexion has different shading, so a darker-toned individual may be a very light tan brown, an almost-black brown, or any variation in between. Skin color and shade is also a largely natural trait, relating to how much of the substance melanin the body naturally produces. Therefore, radical alterations to skin complexion are not likely.

Cleansers combined with brown sugar make good exfoliators.
Cleansers combined with brown sugar make good exfoliators.

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Individuals may take steps to somewhat lighten or darken a brown complexion, however. Ultraviolet ray exposure is perhaps the most effective means of achieving a browner complexion. This process may take the form of sunbathing or using an artificial tanning bed. The second process boasts quicker results, but a dark complexion can more easily offset the potentially damaging effects of natural sunlight. Both methods must be maintained over a long period of time or the tan and the subsequent complexion will fade away.

A woman with a brown complexion applies her makeup.
A woman with a brown complexion applies her makeup.

For lightening skin tone, individuals may use various cream or bleaching products, although the side effects and recommendations for these products varies widely. Perusal of online or professional product reviews and ratings should help with choosing these or any other type of product aids. If individuals simply want the skin to look more vibrant and bright, products containing ingredients like kojic acid or tumeric can be invaluable.

Sunbathing can help lighter-skinned people get a brown complexion.
Sunbathing can help lighter-skinned people get a brown complexion.

Individuals with a brown complexion are just as vulnerable to skin breakouts and other inconveniences as those with lighter complexions, so moisturization and exfoliation are thus important. A moisturizer applied with the ends of the fingers can give the skin needed moisture and also help keep the complexion evenly colored. For a brown complexion, individuals should opt for a tinted moisturizer. As for removing unwanted particles from the face via exfoliation, a facial cleanser combined with a small amount of brown sugar should prove adequate. Facial problems like acne can also be avoided through surplus intake of water and green, leafy vegetables.

For women especially, makeup is a major part of the daily routine. When considering makeup for a brown complexion, foundations and eye cosmetics are particularly important. Lipsticks are more versatile for women of color. A more neutral shade usually works best for the eyes, however, such as beige or bronze. Darker-colored mascara complements these eye shadows well.

Cosmetic products should ideally retain a naturalized look. Foundations provide a base color for the face, so the final foundation color should match the brown complexion as closely as possible. As such, titanium-oxide based products or orange products should be banned items. Both loose powder makeups composed of minerals and yellow-based liquid foundations can blend with a brown complexion. In addition, separate slightly lighter or darker foundations than the matched skin tone can hide dark spots or blemishes, respectively.

Those looking to darken their complexion may seek the services of a tanning salon.
Those looking to darken their complexion may seek the services of a tanning salon.

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Discussion Comments


@spotiche5- I was skeptical to try it, but I found a fake tanning lotion that was formulated just for the face. I thought it would look orange and artificial, but I gave it a try. The color that developed was a nice bronze that blended nicely and didn't look fake at all.

If you try this type of product, just be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after you apply it. If you don't, the palms of your hands will turn bronze and give the secret of your brown complexion away.


@spotiche5- Tinted cream bronzers are very easy to use and can provide a naturally looking brown complexion when applied correctly.

If you want to give this skin darkening method a try, start by choosing a shade that isn't too dark for your natural skin color. For example, deep bronze will look fake on ivory skin.

Next, make sure that your face and hands are clean before applying the bronzer. Smooth it in with your fingertips, and blend it thoroughly around your neck, ears, and hairline. Avoid applying too close to your eyes and lips, because this will look unnatural.

Blot away any excess bronzer, and for best results, set it in place with a pressed powder that is similar in color for all day wear.


@heavanet- You hit the nail on the head, but sometimes makeup doesn't give you the best results if your goal is a brown complexion. Makeup can look mask-like and fake. Does anyone have any other suggestions for faking a brown complexion?


Dark complexions are very beautiful, but it is not safe to get one unnaturally through tanning in the sun or by using a tanning bed. If you weren't born with dark skin, make the most of the color of your skin with make up instead of damaging sun or tanning bed exposure.

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