25 Aug 2012

The Fitzpatrick Scale and your Skin Type

The Fitzpatrick Skintype Scale
I've spoken about my skin type in previous posts.

Skin type is classified according to its tolerance of sunlight, according to The Fitzpatrick Scale.

This scale was developed back in 1975 by a then Harvard Medical School dermatologist, Thomas Fitzpatrick.

This scale is used in the beauty world by aesthetians and beauticians to determine how someone will react to facial treatments.

Skin Colour

Hair Colour

Eye Colour

Skin Burn/Tan Notes

White, freckles
(may be albino)

Very fair (red/blonde)

Usually light
eg blue

Always burns, never tans


Very fair (red/blonde)


Usually burns, tans only with difficulty

Creamy white
or beige

(light brown, blonde, red)

Any colour

Burns first then tans gradually to light brown

Light tan brown

(typical Mediterranean caucasian skin)

Any colour

Rarely burns, tans with ease

Dark brown

Medium or dark
(mid-eastern skin)

Usually brown

Very rarely burns, usually tans


Dark brown or black

Any colour but usually brown

Never burns, tans very easily

That's it.  This is what is used to classify skin according to this scale.  For example, I am between a III and a IV on this scale.  Knowing what your skin type is can help you yourself (aside from any aesthetian) figure out what works for your skin in terms of skincare products.


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