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Everything You Need To Know About Fitzpatrick Skin Type

Plant Mother Editorial Team

Have you heard of Fitzpatrick skin type? We know skin can be dry, oily, combination, etc. but did you know that there’s another way to categorize skin? In this article, we’ll guide you through:

  • What is the Fitzpatrick skin photo type?
  • Type I
  • Skin Type II
  • Type III
  • Skin Type IV
  • Type V
  • Skin Type VI
  • Final Thoughts

What is the Fitzpatrick skin TYPE CHART?

The Fitzpatrick skin chart is a scale used to categorize skin by how photosensitive it is. That is to say, how skin reacts to the sun. It’s used to evaluate individuals’ skin needs and make recommendations regarding sun care. There are six types of skin according to the Fitzpatrick scale and each type encompasses a range of skin tones that have similar reactions to prolonged sun exposure. We know that lighter skin tends to burn more quickly than darker skin, but the Fitzpatrick scale provides more specific analysis of fair, light, medium, dark, and deep skin tones respectively.

It’s important to note that even the deepest skin needs protection from the sun and it’s crucial for everyone to wear sunscreen. While darker skin won’t burn as quickly as pale skin, it is still possible to get a sunburn with dark skin and repeated sunburns raise the risk of developing certain skin cancers. Everyone is susceptible to sunburn no matter their color, and it’s critical for everyone to protect themselves and their skin. When choosing the right sunscreen, always look for natural ingredients.

Fitzpatrick skin type

Fitzpatrick Skin Type I

Those with Fitzpatrick skin type I are very pale and typically have light blonde or red hair and blue or green eyes. This skin type never tans, but burns quickly. It may also freckle. In order to keep type I skin healthy, it’s recommended that you spend as much time in the shade as possible. If that’s not possible, consider wearing a thin, breathable shirt with long sleeves when doing prolonged activity in the sun.

Skin Type II

Individuals with this type of skin tend to burn easily and tan poorly. The key difference between types I and II is that type II skin can tan, though poorly. Those with Fitzpatrick skin type II can have any combination of hair and eye color, but they tend to have blonde, red, or brown hair and light eyes. This type of skin is also prone to developing freckles, though not as extensively as type I. As with type I, it’s important for those with type II skin to wear garments that cover the skin in order to best protect it when shade is not available.

Fitzpatrick Skin Type III

This type of skin tends to tan lightly and sun burns will often fade to a tan. Individuals with this skin type tend to have dark-blonde or brown hair with light brown or hazel eyes. This type of skin has more melanin than types I and II which is why it tans as opposed to burning. It can freckle occasionally, but tends not to for the most part.

different skins

Fitzpatrick Type IV

Type IV skin tends to be olive or light brown before sun exposure and individuals with this skin type tend to have brown hair and brown eyes. This type of skin rarely freckles, doesn’t burn often, and tans frequently.

Skin Type V

This type of skin is brown and rarely burns but tans easily. Those with this type of skin tend to have dark brown or black eyes and dark brown or black hair. Despite the tendency not to burn, it is still crucial that individuals with this type of skin wear sunscreen as sunscreen helps decrease the risk of developing skin cancer due to UV exposure.

Type VI

Individuals with type VI skin tend to have black hair and black eyes. Type VI skin almost never burns and tans very easily. As with type V, it’s still important for those with type VI skin to wear biodegradable sunscreen even though they likely won’t experience sunburn.

Final Thoughts

The Fitzpatrick skin type and scale measures the skin’s reaction to UV exposure, which tends to be related to the amount of melanin in the skin. No matter where your skin falls on the scale, it’s important to protect yourself from certain types of skin cancer by wearing sunscreen and seeking shade whenever possible. Always look for biodegradable sunscreen because it is better for you and the planet. 


This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. The publisher of this content does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, skincare product, or lifestyle program.

Plant Mother Editorial Team
Plant Mother's editorial team consists of skincare experts, dermatologists, and enthusiasts who love all things natural, vegan, and organic. They contribute to the Plant Mother blog, a comprehensive resource on skincare products, ingredients, and beauty how to’s.