How many videos, products and medical grade skin treatments have you tried to find that “perfect skincare” regimen? With the amount of new products hitting the shelves and advanced treatments making their ways into medspas everyday it seems like it could be a never ending cycle of trying to find that sweet spot of treatment combinations that leave you with glowing, flawless skin.
So what do you do? You use a tried and true method that’s been around for almost 50 years. The Fitzpatrick scale was created in 1975 and is a classification scale that identifies 6 different skin types based on various factors. These factors include a person’s skin pigmentation, amount of melanin, eye color, hair color, and skin reaction to sun exposure.
The types of skin identified in the scale are:
- Very Fair Skin
- Fair Skin
- Medium Skin
- Olive or Light Brown Skin
- Brown Skin
- Very Dark Skin
So if you’re still asking yourself, “What is the Fitzpatrick scale and why is it important?” It is because of how inclusive the Fitzpatrick scale is, many find the right solutions for their skincare needs.
So if you want more information on the different types of skin and which type you fall under, keep reading, because we are laying it all out for you here in this blog!
Fitzpatrick Skin Type 1
This skin type is identified by a very pale, ivory-like skin pigmentation that typically has a pink undertone. Oftentimes light eye colors such as light blue, light gray, or light green are accompanied with this skin pigmentation. Hair colors most commonly associated with skin type 1 are red and light blonde. This skin type freckles very easily, almost always burns with unprotected sun exposure, peels significantly when sunburnt, and does not tan.
If you have this skin type, it is crucial that you use sun protection (SPF 30 or higher) whenever you spend time outdoors. Skin type 1 is especially susceptible to damage from sun exposure and has a higher risk of developing melanoma or other types of skin cancer.
Fitzpatrick Skin Type 2
Skin type 2 is characterized by pale or fair skin pigmentation that typically has a neutral or pink undertone. Eye colors associated with this skin type are typically blue, gray, or green. The natural hair color usually paired with skin type 2 is blonde, strawberry blond,
Because of the fairness of skin, it freckles frequently, burns often, peels noticeably when sunburnt, and tans almost never.
If you have this skin type, it is important to protect yourself from extended, unprotected sun exposure. While the effects that you experience may not be as severe as skin type 1, you are just as susceptible to skin cancers, including melanoma. You also have the potential to experience premature skin aging from excessive sun exposure. Skincare treatments such as facials and chemical peels can help reverse the signs of aging, but it can’t prevent the damage done by unprotected sun exposure.
Fitzpatrick Skin Type 3
Characterized by a fair to medium skin pigmentation, skin type 3 has a typically neutral or warm undertone. Hazel or light brown eye color is usually accompanied with this skin type. The hair colors most commonly associated with skin type 3 are dark blonde, auburn and light brown.
This skin type occasionally freckles, rarely burns, does not peel, and will tan sometimes.
If you have this skin type, it is still important to use sun protection while you are outdoors even though you do not burn often. There is still always a chance that you could develop sun exposure related cancers or issues such as sunspots, so utilizing SPF sunscreen found in many daily moisturizers can help prevent issues in the future.
Fitzpatrick Skin Type 4
Skin type 4 is often identified by an olive or light brown skin pigmentation that typically has a warm undertone. It is often paired with brown eye color and is commonly associated with a dark brown hair color. This skin type doesn’t commonly freckle, only burns after lengthy unprotected sun exposure and tans easily.
If you have this skin type, it may not be essential to lather yourself with sunscreen every time you step out the door, however, if you are planning on spending an extended period of time outdoors, applying even a low number SPF (15) sunscreen is a good idea. You still want to keep watch for any abnormal skin anomalies and consult a medical professional if you are concerned.
Fitzpatrick Skin Type 5
This skin type is characterized by medium brown to dark brown skin pigmentation. It is often paired with dark brown or black eye colors. The hair colors that are commonly associated with skin type 5 are dark brown and black. This skin type does not freckle, does not usually burn, and tans easily from any length of sun exposure.
If you have this skin type, you are probably used to going outdoors with no sun protection at all. While your skin may not need sunscreen, it is still advisable to use discretion when spending excessive amounts of time outdoors. Sun damage, even minimal, can lead to premature aging damage to the skin’s protective barrier causing sun spots. These skin problems can be minimized with clinical grade facials and chemical peels.
Fitzpatrick Skin Type 6
This skin type is identified by having a deep, dark brown to brownish-black skin pigmentation. It is often paired with a brownish-black eye color and is commonly associated with a black natural hair color. This skin type never freckles, does not ever burn, and results in a darker skin tone when exposed to the sun for longer periods of time.
If you have this skin type, you are likely accustomed to not needing any form of skin protection while you are enjoying the sun. This may be the case in many circumstances, however, minimum protection is still recommended to keep your skin as healthy as possible. One thing to keep an eye out for with this skin type is acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM). This form of melanoma is not directly linked to sun exposure and actually is most commonly found in areas of the body that do not experience much sun exposure at all. While this skin type is not as susceptible to other forms of skin cancer, it is still advised to perform regular examinations of your entire body in order to catch potential problems early on.
Why Is The Fitzpatrick Scale Important?
Knowing what type of skin you have can lead to great insight into what products work best for your skin needs. For example, it is extremely important to use a moisturizer with SPF in it when you have skin types 1-3. Fairer skin types may experience premature aging more than medium or darker skin types, which makes medical-grade skin treatments more necessary. However, those with darker skin types may not realize their skin is becoming dehydrated or damaged due to their rare burn rate. This makes hydrating skincare important to their daily regimen and hydrating facials a key treatment when visiting a top Bellevue, WA medspa, like ours.
Interested In Learning More About Customized Skin Care? Contact Advanced Skin And Body Solutions Today!
When you familiarize yourself with what kind of skin type you have, as well as what the risks are and what your needs are, you set yourself up for a successful skincare future. Advanced Skin And Body Solutions can assist you with determining where your skin type falls on the Fitzpatrick scale, and we can pair that with our extended knowledge of the skin and medical grade treatments. Let our team of professionals treat any trouble spots, inform you on how to better protect yourself, and treat you with a little pampering with the most luxurious facials in Bellevue, WA. Get in touch with us to set up your next appointment today!