Knowing your skin type is important. People with some skin types are more prone to skin cancer and photo ageing than others. And only some types of skins can acquire a tan. Others simply suffer from sunburn.

What is Your Skin Type?

The Fitzpatrick scale developed by Harvard Medical School dermatologist, Thomas Fitzpatrick, MD, PhD. classifies people’s complexions and their sun exposure tolerance.

You can figure out which type you belong to from these descriptions:

  • Type I: White skin, very fair, red or blond hair, blue eyes, freckles. Skin always burns and never tans.
  • Type II: White skin, fair, red or blond hair, blue, green or hazel eyes. Usually the skin burns or tans with difficulty.
  • Type III: Cream white skin, fair with any eye or hair color. Skin sometimes gets a mild burn and tans gradually. Type III is more common than types I and II.
  • Type IV:  Brown skin, typical Mediterranean Caucasian skin. Skin rarely burns and tans easily.
  • Type V:  Dark Brown skin, middle-eastern skin types. These skins rarely burn and tan very easily.
  • Type VI:  Black skin, which never burns but tans very easily.

Those with skin types I and II are at the highest risk of photo ageing and the premature development of wrinkles. People with skin types I and II have a high risk of developing skin cancer. People with this fair delicate northern European skin must take extra care about sun exposure. Skin type III is on the cusp. It doesn’t get damaged as easily as types I and II, but it can certainly burn. People with skin types IV, V and VI burn less readily and can develop tans, but they cannot expose their skins to the sun with impunity. Sun-associated premature wrinkling and skin cancer occurs in all skin types.


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