Which Fitzpatrick Scale Skin Type Are You?

Skin is a big deal — emphasis on big. In fact, it’s the largest organ in your body, making up a whopping 16% of your body mass. And that’s why it’s so important to protect it. Of course, daily SPF sunscreen is a must for all skin types, but just as important is knowing your exact skin type — and thankfully, there’s a system to help you figure it out.

Understanding your skin type can not only help you avoid issues like sun damage and pigmentation, but is also a great litmus test to decide which skin care treatments are best for your body. Everybody reacts differently to more advanced treatments like lasering, HydraFacial, and chemical peels, but certain skin types are better suited to these services than others.

Six Fitzpatrick Skin Types from lightest to darkest.Luckily, some very smart people have devised a way to help you get to know your skin and what it needs to really glow. The gold standard for this is The Fitzpatrick Scale, also known as the Fitzpatrick skin phototype, developed in 1975 by dermatologist Dr. Thomas Fitzpatrick. It categorizes your skin into one of six types by its ability to tolerate sun exposure, moving from fair (Type 1) to dark (Type 6) skin.

Just like dating, if you want to fall in love, you’ve got to know your type. And if you want skin that you’re going to swoon over, you’ve got to know what your body needs and how to get it. So buckle up! It’s time to get acquainted with your Fitzpatrick skin type!

FITZPATRICK TYPE 1

Very fair skin, extremely sun sensitive.

Celebrities who are Type 1 Fitzpatrick Scale including Emma Stone, Margot Robbie, Nicole Kidman, and Prince Harry.

You might be a Type 1 if:

  • Your unexposed skin is pale to very fair (think ivory)
  • Your eyes are light blue, light gray, or light green
  • You’re a natural blonde or redhead

How your skin reacts to the sun:

  • Always burns and peels
  • Never tans
  • Freckles appear

Your skin care challenges:

  • Sunburns and sun damage
  • Sun-induced signs of aging
  • Increased risk of melanoma
  • Prone to rosacea, acne and pigmentation
  • Light-colored skin and hair makes you a not-so-great candidate for laser hair removal

How to love the skin you’re in:

  • Always apply (and re-apply) sunscreen with an SPF of 30+
  • Choose masques, moisturizers and face wash with soothing ingredients like stone crop, calendula, and aloe vera. Look for products that contain hyaluronic acid, tropical vanilla day cream-zinc (natural anti inflammatory). Eminence Organics’ Stone Crop Whip Moisturizer is one of our best-sellers.
  • Make wide-brimmed hats your best friend, along with sunglasses with UV-blocking capabilities.
  • Choose ingredients that fortify your skin against sun damage like Vitamin C, Rosehip, coconut, & natural oils. (Our favorite is Skinceuticals CE Ferulic, an awesome Vitamin C serum).
  • Treat yourself to skincare treatments designed to target signs of aging, like our Lumecca IPL Photofacial and HydraFacial
  • Opt for alternative hair removal solutions like sugaring and waxing, that will be more effective for you. Blondes tend to be more sensitive during most waxes and sugaring treatments as — fun fact — their hair roots are deeper.
  • Check your skin regularly for abnormalities — and if you never have before, schedule a skin analysis with a dermatologist so you know what your normal is.

Your celebrity soulmates:
Jessica Chastain, Emma Stone, Nicole Kidman, Ella Fanning, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, Prince Henry, Eric Stoltz, Sam Heughan, Neil Patrick Harris, Owen Wilson, Ed Sheeran

FITZPATRICK TYPE 2

Very sun sensitive, burns easily, tans minimally. 

Celebrities with Fitzpatrick Skin Type II include Reese Witherspoon, Margot Robbie, Blake Lively and Chris Hemsworth.

You might be a Type 2 if:

  • Your unexposed skin is fair
  • Your eyes are blue, gray, or green
  • You’re naturally blonde

How your skin reacts to the sun:

  • Often burns and peels
  • Tans poorly
  • Freckles appear

Your skin care challenges:

  • Sunburns and sun damage
  • Sun-induced signs of aging
  • Increased risk of melanoma
  • More prone to rosacea and freckling
  • Light-colored skin and hair makes you a not-so-great candidate for laser hair removal

How to love the skin you’re in:

  • Slather on the SPF 30+ every day.
  • Treat yourself to a peels or HydraFacial with growth factors, like peptides, to smooth signs of wrinkles.
  • Heading outside? Sunglasses and wide-brimmed hat — check and check.
  • Ask your Viva skin care expert to recommend treatments to target acne, pigmentation, and rosacea like microneedling and IPL Photofacial.
  • Moisturize with products with organic botanicals like rosemary and green tea extract.
  • Check your skin regularly for anything that looks suspicious monthly Here’s how. You should also probably visit a dermatologist once a year for a full body skin check as well.

Your celebrity soulmates:
Reese Witherspoon, Kristen Bell, Taylor Swift, Margot Robbie, Julianne Hough, Blake Lively, Ryan Gosling, Robert Pattinson, Chris Hemsworth, Justin Timberlake, Chris Pratt, Matt Damon

FITZPATRICK TYPE 3

Sun sensitive skin, sometimes burns, slowly tans to light brown. 

 

Fitzpatrick Skin Type III celebrities include Natalie Portman, Jennifer Anniston, Jennifer Lawrence, and Matthew McCoughney.

You might be a Type 3 if:

  • Your unexposed skin is fair with a golden tone
  • Your eyes are hazel or brown
  • Your natural hair color is dark blonde or light to medium brown

How your skin reacts to the sun:

  • Occasionally burns
  • Occasionally tans
  • Freckles appear

Your skin care challenges:

  • Sun damage
  • Sun-induced signs of aging
  • At a slightly higher risk for pigmentation and irregularities

How to love the skin you’re in:

  • Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day. Check out SkinCeuticals Physcial Fusion Defense SPF 50 for serious protection.
  • Treat yourself to a chemical peel or round of laser hair removal sessions if needed — your skin and hair color makes you a great candidate for these treatments.
  • You’ll also benefit from a HydraFacial treatment with growth factors, like peptides, to smooth signs of wrinkles.
  • Your skin makes you the perfect candidate for IPL Photofacial to treat sun damage.
  • Look for products with vitamin E and cucumber, licorice, or mulberry extract, which will reduce the appearance of pigmentation.
  • This skin type is the least likely to experience hyperpigmentation, so there are a wide variety of amazing skin rejuvenation services available to you with the least chance of unexpected issues. Lucky you!

Your celebrity soulmates:
Natalie Portman, Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Megan Fox, Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lawrence, Mathew McConaughey, Brad Pitt, Bradley Cooper, Ben Affleck, Zac Efron

FITZPATRICK TYPE 4

Minimally sun sensitive, burns minimally, always tans to moderate brown. 

Fitzpatrick Skin Type 4 celebrity headshots of Sandra Oh, Eva Longoria, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney

You might be a Type 4 if:

  • Your unexposed skin is olive or light brown
  • Your eyes are dark brown
  • Your natural hair color is dark brown

How your skin reacts to the sun:

  • Rarely burns
  • Frequently tans
  • Freckles are rare
  • Larger darkened areas may appear after mid-30s on the cheeks, forehead, and nose (a condition known as melasma ) This occurs more commonly for Fitzpatrick Types 4-5 and during pregnancy for all skin types.

Your skin care challenges:

  • Sun damage
  • Sun-induced signs of aging
  • At a higher risk for pigmentation and irregularities
  • Certain laser treatments and peels can cause an increase in melanin — ask your medical esthetician for advice on how to choose and prepare for treatments

How to love the skin you’re in:

  • Wear SPF 30+ sunscreen every day. Look extra snappy with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses (to protect your eyes and the skin around them).
  • You’re a great candidate for advanced treatments like a chemical peel or microdermabrasion, so go forth and beautify!
  • For wrinkles, try a HydraFacial treatment with growth factors, like peptides.
  • Choose products with lactic acid, cucumber, licorice, retinals or mulberry extract to reduce pigmentation.
  • Radio frequency treatments are a great anti-aging option, like Morpheus8 RF microneedling, skin tightening, and body contouring.  So are traditional microneedling and dermaplaning.
  • Talk to your Viva skin care expert for advice on skin rejuvenation treatments that won’t cause hyperpigmentation.

Your celebrity soulmates:
Sandra Bullock, Eva Longoria, Lucy Liu, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, Sandra Oh, Johnny Depp, Antonio Banderas, Keanu Reeves, George Clooney, Kit Harrington, Randall Park

FITZPATRICK TYPE 5

Sun insensitive, rarely burns, tans well. 

Celebrities with Fitzpatrick Skin Type V including Alisha Keys, MIndy Kaling, Rhianna, and Donald Glover

You might be a Type 5 if:

  • Your unexposed skin is brown or dark brown with an olive tone
  • Your eyes are dark brown
  • Your natural hair color is dark brown or black

How your skin reacts to the sun:

  • Hardly ever burns
  • Always tans
  • Freckles are rare

Your skin care challenges:

  • Sun-induced signs of aging
  • Excessive sun exposure can cause uneven skin tone and pigmentation
  • Certain skin care treatments may result in hyperpigmentation and scarring
  • More prone to dark spots and pigmentation irregularities

How to love the skin you’re in:

  • Always apply sunscreen with SPF 15+
  • Cover up whenever possible when you’re out in the sun with a stylish hat and shades.
  • Ask your esthetician before booking any peels to avoid issues with scarring
  • With our new Triton laser device, you’re a great candidate for laser hair removal, so laser away!
  • Treat yourself to a targeted treatment, like HydraFacial, to address acne early and avoid dark spots.
  • Lift and tone the skin with radio frequency treatments for the face, neck and body — like skin tightening for the face, neck and body.
  • Opt for facial treatments with growth factors, like peptides, to address wrinkles and signs of aging.
  • Exposure to the sun overtime can lead to uneven skin tone, pigmentation, and cancer-related irregularities. Monthly at-home skin checks are an absolute must.

Your celebrity soulmates:
Halle Berry, Beyoncé, Kerry Washington, Alicia Keys, Rhianna, Mindy Kaling, Thandie Newton, Jesse Williams, Will Smith, Tiger Woods, Obama, Donald Glover, Ice Cube

FITZPATRICK TYPE 6

Sun insensitive, rarely burns, tans well. 

Collage of Fitzpatrick Skin Type VI celebrities: Oprah Winfrey, Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong'o, and Daniel Kaluuya

You might be a Type 6 if:

  • Your unexposed skin is dark brown to black
  • Your eyes are brownish black
  • Your natural hair color is black

How your skin reacts to the sun:

  • Never burns
  • Always develops a dark tan
  • Never freckles

Your skin care challenges:

  • Sun damage
  • Sun-induced signs of aging
  • Excessive sun can cause uneven skin tone and pigmentation
  • Certain skin conditions like acne and eczema can result in uneven skin
  • May not be the best candidate for certain chemical peels or IPL treatments

How to love the skin you’re in:

  • Apply SPF 15-30+ sunscreen every day.
  • Rock your favorite sunglasses and wide-brimmed hat whenever you’re in the sun.
  • Treat yourself to a customized facial treatment and target acne early for a beautiful, blemish-free face.
  • Treat yourself to a targeted treatment, like HydraFacial, to address acne early and avoid dark spots.
  • Look for products with aloe vera, apricot kernel oil, borage seed oil, canola oil, Jojoba oil, macadamia nut oil, and safflower oil to add extra moisture into your skin.
  • Ingredients like Vitamin C, berry extracts, and rosemary boost elastin and prevent inflammation.
  • Indulge in a laser hair removal treatment for silky, smooth skin. Our Triton technology is safe and effective for Fitzpatrick Skin Type IV!
  • Not tanning doesn’t mean you can’t experience sun damage over time (especially in Texas). Check you skin from head-to-toe monthly and schedule an annual visit to the dermatologist for a skin check.

Your celebrity soulmates:
Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong’o, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Aisha Tylor, Whoopie Goldberg, Taye Diggs, Blair Underwood, Don Cheadle, Samuel L Jackson, Eddie Murphy, Daniel Kaluuya

At Viva, We’re Celebrating Every Body

Of course, no one fits neatly into one box, which means that your skin care routine and treatment plans need to be a customized cocktail of services and products that are just right for you. After all, acne and wrinkles don’t care about your skin type — but still require some special TLC. 

At Viva, we treat each client as a unique individual, which means honoring your body’s needs and nurturing your skin so that it’s healthy and beautiful. We think high-quality skin care is for everyone, no matter what you see when you look in the mirror.

And we put our money where our mouth is: we’ve been working hard to integrate new high-tech tools that let more bodies take part in all the services we offer. Our new Triton by InMode technology — the latest and best in laser hair removal — lets clients with all skin care types and complexions find their bliss with silky smooth legs, lady bits, and more. (Enjoy 50% off a series of six sessions!) In fact, the only clients the Triton can’t treat are those with red, blonde or gray hair and light colored skin (Sorry all you Fitzpatrick 1 Types!). But we have lots of other hair removal treatments we can recommend instead!

Come visit us at any of the three Viva Day Spa locations for award-winning Austin, Texas, skincare. Our talented estheticians and med spa practitioners are ready and waiting to help you look and feel your very best this summer — and all year round. Book your visit today! Or request a complimentary med spa consultation by calling (512)-300-2256 or via our online consultation request form.