Have you ever wondered what skin type you have? Fair-skinned, olive skin, brown skin? How do we know and what does it mean? Well we are here to tell you!
There are 6 different types of skin with different levels of pigmentation. Your skin type is based on three main factors: genetic disposition, reaction to sun exposure and tanning habits. In 1975, Thomas Fitzpatrick, a Harvard dermatologist, developed The Fitzpatrick Skin Type classification system (below). It is based on a person’s reaction to sun exposure at the beginning of the spring season, is helpful to identify your risk based on your skin type and reaction when in the sun.
Though everyone is at risk for damage as a result of excessive sun exposure, people with skin types I and II are at the highest risk and are most susceptible to photoaging. Photoaging is premature aging of the skin caused by repeated exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) primarily from the sun, but also from artificial UV sources. “Photo” is derived the Greek word “phos” which means “light”. So, aging of the skin caused by light.
And here is a fun little fact: the skin colors of emoji characters are based on the Fitzpatrick scale!
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Medically reviewed on 3/15/17
*This skin type test is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dermatologist or other qualified physician with any questions you may have regarding your skin.
*Source: Canadian Dermatological Association