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Fitzpatrick Skin Type Chart

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fitzpatrick scale skin type chart

Where Are You on the Fitzpatrick Skin Type Chart?

Looking after your skin means knowing what skin type you have and how to best manage it. By understanding the specifics of your Fitzpatrick skin type, you can customize your skincare routine and take the correct steps to protect your skin from sundamage. Skin type is also used to determine if you are a candidate for certain lasers, chemical peels, and skincare ingredients used to renew and rejuvenate the skin on the face and body.
If you’re wondering, “how do I know my Fitzpatrick skin type?” or “what is my skin type number?” let’s look at what the Fitzpatrick scale is. This is a scientific skin type classification system designed to divide skin based on how susceptible your skin is to the sun.

What Are the Fitzpatrick Scale Skin Types?

Where you fall on the Fitzpatrick skin type chart depends on a few factors, but mostly on your skin color. Skin color ranges from 1 (palest and most susceptible to sun damage) to 6 (darkest and least affected by the sun). 

Skin Type 1

You may be Type 1 if you have pale skin that always burns and never tans. You probably have light blue, gray or green eyes and your hair is naturally blonde or red. The main challenge with this type of skin is sun damage, from seasonal burns to developing signs of aging from sun damage faster. You are also at a higher risk for skin cancer, including melanoma.

How to Care for Type 1 Skin: You need to protect your skin from the sun with a high-quality, medical grade sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. A potent Vitamin C serum, like SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic will also also aid in protection from sun exposure.

Skin Type 2

If you have Type 2 skin, you probably have blue, gray or green eyes and naturally blonde hair or brown hair. Your skin is fairly light but may build a  tan with repeated exposure to the sun. It’s more likely to burn and then peel away, and you may notice freckles if you spend too much time outdoors. Your big challenge with this skin type is skin damage from the sun and sunburns. You’re at higher risk for developing freckles and melanoma, as well as premature aging from over exposure.

How to Care for Type 2 Skin: It’s important to use SPF 30+ medical grade sunscreen for your skin if you are this type. It will help prevent sunspots and burns. If you notice you’re getting early signs of wrinkles, you may be a candidate for non-surgical skin tightening services and other medspa services used to even out pigmentation.

Skin Type 3

For those who tend to have sensitive skin that will burn from time to time, but usually tans slightly after the burn, you may be Type 3. You probably have a golden undertone to your skin, hazel or brown eyes and your hair will be light to medium brown, or possibly even dark blonde.

Dealing with skin that alternates between tanning and burning can be frustrating, but it just needs proper care. You’ll want to prevent sun damage, which you’re more likely to have, as well as aging caused by the sun. With more melanin in the skin, you may have a little higher risk for pigmentation spots, but these can be evened out with skin tone and texture treatments.

How to Care for Type 3 Skin: As always, be sure to apply a 30 SPF medical grade sunscreen daily and explore medspa services that can help reverse sun damage and manage the signs of premature aging due to the sun.

Skin Type 4

If you have Type 4 skin, you generally tan and may have olive-colored skin. If you spend too long in the sun, you can still burn, though. You most likely have dark eyes and dark brown hair, and you may see signs of melasma or dark areas on your cheeks and nose, as well as your forehead as you get older, particularly during pregnancy.

Challenges for your skin type include aging signs caused by sun exposure and regular sun damage. You are more likely to see pigmentation irregularities.

How to Care for Type 4 Skin: Protect your skin from getting dark patches by using a 30 SPF sunscreen and sunglasses. There are quite a few anti-aging treatments that are ideal for Type 4 skin, including microneedling and radiofrequency treatments. For skin care products, use those containing peptides and retinol to help prevent hyperpigmentation.

Skin Type 5

Type 5 skin is generally brown or dark brown, and so are your eyes. Your hair will naturally be quite dark as well. If you’re this skin type, you probably haven’t burned in the sun in a very longtime and simply tan beautifully. You probably don’t have many freckles, either.

With this skin type, you are at a high risk for sunspots, darkened areas and uneven skin tone. You may end up with darker scars, too, and some skincare products or treatments could leave you with hyperpigmentation. It’s important to be careful with the skin care products you use and which skincare treatments you receive when dealing with darker skin.

How to Care for Type 5 Skin: Even though your skin might not burn from the sun, Dr. Ginsberg recommends always wearing a minimum of SPF 30. Without adequate sun protection, your skin is still susceptible to age prematurely. You should also treat any wounds or injuries rapidly to help prevent scarring. A medical provider should clear any type of skin treatment to ensure it won’t negatively impact your skin. Use products with peptides to help prevent wrinkles and other aging signs.

Skin Type 6

If you are a Type 6 on the Fitzpatrick scale, you have dark skin, dark eyes and naturally black hair. Your skin won’t burn and only gets darker in the sun, and you won’t freckle with exposure. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have issues with your skin.

Dark skin types are still susceptible to sun damage even without burning. Also, some skin treatments, specifically certain laser treatments, may not be ideal for your skin, which is why it is best to consult a medical provider before scheduling a medspa service.

How to Care for Type 6 Skin: Even if you won’t burn, protect yourself with a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen each time you leave the house. You should ensure you use plenty of moisturizers to prevent scarring and dark spots. Vitamin C, and other natural brightening ingredients, like Konica acid, are all helpful to your skin and can prevent uneven skin and dark blotches. 

Why Is It Important to Know Your Fitzpatrick Skin Type?

You should know where you land on the Fitzpatrick skin type chart to treat your skin properly and prevent sun damage. When you care properly for your skin, you can reduce the chances of developing skin cancer and delay the signs of premature aging from sun exposure.

To better understand your skin and the appropriate skin care treatment and product regimen, schedule a complimentary consultation with a medical provider at Tribeca MedSpa.