In 1975, a Harvard dermatologist came up with a way of classifying the skin’s response to UV light. This scale, the Fitzpatrick scale, is still commonly used to speak about human pigmentation to day.
So why should you care?
Each skin type has its own cosmetic issues, champion treatments and considerations. We’ll talk about treatments for each skin type in the next blog, but first, which type are you?
The test is fairly simple: Imagine that you went out into the sun without sunscreen for an hour. Which of the following best describes you? Be honest with yourself.
Skin Type 1: You would always burn and it would never turn into a tan. These people tend to be very fair with blue eyes, freckles and either blond or red hair. Think about a stereotypically pale Irish or Scottish person.
Skin Type 2: You would usually burn and could manage a tan, but with great difficulty. These people are still quite fair, but normally without the widespread freckles. They can have blue, hazel or green eyes and still usually have red or blond hair.
Skin Type 3: You might burn if left out for too long and will tan eventually. These people can have any eye colour, but tend to have sandy blond, brown or darker hair.
Skin Type 4: You would very rarely burn even without any protection and tan very easily. These people will have dark eyes and dark hair. People of Mediterranean and East Asian heritage fall into this category.
Skin Type 5: Your skin would very rarely burn and you tan extremely easily. These people will have dark brown hair, eyes and skin. People from the Indian subcontinent tend to fall into this category.
Skin Type 6: You will never burn and tan exceptionally easily. These people have dark hair, dark eyes and very dark skin colouring. People tracing their roots back to Africa, Melanesia and Aboriginal Australians tend to fit into this category.
Now that you know what skin type you are, its time to learn how to look after your skin.