Skin types

is a term used to indicate the period of time throughout the day in which your skin can be exposed to the sun without sustaining sunburns.

To determine this period of time, it is crucial to know your skin type. The Fitzpatrick system is the most common classification system for skin types.

Skin types

Type I – Celtic type
self-protection time: < 10 min

• very light skin colour
• ginger or light blond hair
• blue, green, or light grey eyes
• freckled
• does not tan, develops freckles, very frequent sunburns

Recommended light protection factor: 15 for UV indexes of 3–4; 25–35 for UV indexes of 9 and above.

Type II – Nordic type
Self-protection time: 10 – 20 min

• Light skin colour
• Blond or light brown hair
• Blue, grey, or green eyes
• Frequently freckled
• Tans slowly, minimal tan
• Frequent sunburns

Recommended light protection factor: 10–15 for UV indexes of 3–4; 20–25 for UV indexes of 9 and above.

Type III – Mixed type
Self-protection time: 20 – 30 min

• Medium skin colour
• Dark or light brown, sometimes blond or black hair
• Brown (blue, green, or grey) eyes
• Barely freckled
• Tans slowly but progressively, up to a light brown tone
• Occasional sunburns

Recommended light protection factor: 10–15 for UV indexes of 3–4; 15-20 for UV indexes of 9 and above.

Type IV – Mediterranean type
Self-protection time: < 30 min

• Light brown or olive skin when untanned
• Brown eyes
• Brown or black hair
• Not freckled
• Tans quickly to a medium brown tone
• Infrequent sunburns

Recommended light protection factor: 10 for UV indexes of 3–4; 15 for UV indexes of 9 and above.

Type V – Dark skin types
Self-protection time: < 60 min

• Dark skin when untanned, frequently with a grey hue
• Dark eyes
• black hair
• not freckled
• tans quickly to a dark brown tone
• hardly any sunburns

Recommended light protection factor: 4 for UV indexes of 3–4; 8 for UV indexes of 9 and above.

Type VI – Black skin types
Self-protection time: < 90 min

• Dark brown to black skin when untanned
• Black eyes
• Black hair
• Not freckled
• Virtually no sunburns

Recommended light protection factor: 2 for UV indexes of 3–4; 4 for UV indexes of 9 and above.

What is my skin type?

Skin type can be determined by factors such as your skin and hair colour, absence or presence of freckles, and the colour of your nipples. Generally, light skin/hair/nipples and increased numbers of freckles indicate that your skin has a short self-protection period.

But these indicators alone do not provide a detailed skin-type analysis, which ultimately depends on the eumelanin content of your skin (measured in per cent). This eumelanin content can and should be determined by your dermatologist in order to reach a definite conclusion about your skin type.

MBR ®