What is your skin type?


The different skin types are classified according to their different sensitivity to sunlight and their external appearance (Phenotype) assigned. In addition to skin color, differences in eye and hair color are also criteria that are taken into account when defining skin type.

In the classic division there is four different skin types. Skin type 1 represents the lightest skin type, skin type 4 the darkest. In newer classifications there are additionally types 5 and 6. These two skin types include the dark skin types from Asia and Africa. The different skin types arise for the most part due to genetic inheritance. People with dark skin are more likely to have children with darker skin, and light-skinned people are therefore more likely to have light-skinned offspring.

Which is decisive for the different skin types pigmentation of the skin. For this is the so-called Melanin which is known as the pigment of the skin. It comes in two different forms, known as Eumelanin and Pheomelanin designated. The mixture and the ratio of the two forms determines the color appearance. The Eumelanin rather has one black-brown Pigment character, while the Pheomelanin rather one yellowish to reddish Has character.
Eumelanin predominates in darker skin color and pheomelanin in light-skinned people.

The different skin types not only determine the appearance and the reaction to the sun exposure, but ultimately also that Protection against UV radiation. A dark skin color protects much more from the radiation than a light skin color.

General information about the skin can be found at: skin, dry skin and oily skin

The classic 4 skin types

In this classification of skin types, four subclasses are distinguished.

Skin type 1

Of the Skin type 1 is also known as "Celtic type" designated. He is characterized by a special light skin out. A person with this skin type often has a very light to reddish hair color. He also shows many Freckles on. The eye color is often blue or green. Few people in Germany have this skin type.

Find out more over Pigment changes, like freckles

With this skin type it should be noted that a extreme sensitivity to the sun consists. When exposed to the sun, the skin turns red after a very short time and the person concerned develops one sunburn. In most cases it occurs no tan after sunbathing the skin.
The so-called Self-protection time the skin, i.e. the time in which you can stay unprotected in the sun and not suffer any skin damage such as sunburn, is for people with skin type 1 under 10 minutes.

Skin type 2

Of the Skin type 2 is also known as "Nordic type" and the people associated with them are referred to as "fair-skinned Europeans". As the name suggests, this skin type is also more likely to be found light skin. The hair are mostly blond. In connection with skin type 2, in addition to the familiar green and blue, are also found grey eyes.
The skin is sensitive with this skin type, however not quite as vulnerable to UV radiation as with skin type 1. As a result, direct solar radiation is tolerated to a small extent, but with this skin type you should also pay attention to increased sun protection, because it quickly develops sunburn. People with skin type 2 only achieve slowly getting a tan their skin through the sun. For skin type 2 this is Self-protection time the skin about 10-20 minutes.

You are wondering how to promote a tan: How do I get tanned (quickly)?

Skin type 3

Of the Skin type 3 will also "Mixed type" called and the corresponding people called "dark-skinned Europeans". He is characterized by a dark blonde to light brown hair color out. The eye color is very different here. Some people have this type of skin Brown eyes, other blue or gray eyes. The Majority of Germans can be assigned to this skin type.
The original skin color for skin type 3 is a light brown. However, it is already developing through exposure to the sun short time an increasing browning. However, people with this skin type can also develop sunburn after prolonged exposure to the sun. The Self-protection time the skin is up to with this skin type 30 minutes.

Skin type 4

Under the Skin type 4 will also be the "Mediterranean type" Roger that. His hair color is always brown to dark brown. The eyes are mostly brown too.
Independently one consists of sunbathing browning of the skin; equally can a olive skin tone demonstrate. People with this skin type are rarely prone to sunburn and the sun exposure always tans the skin increasingly tan. The Self-protection time the skin is with this skin type over 30 minutes, however, the recommendation to apply sun protection also applies here.

Fitzpatrick skin types

A revised classification of the different skin types was created by the American dermatologist Fitzpatrick. He classified the different skin types based on their Photosensitivity, as well as her Appearance and the Tanning reaction on exposure to sunlight. The original classification of skin types 1-4 was changed to the Types 5 and 6 added.
To this day, this classification is used to make a recommendation for the duration of sunbathing. According to Fitzpatrick, there are also different recommendations for the skin types Sun protection factor level when using sunscreens for Sunburn prevention. Particularly for the light skin types, such as the “Celtic type” or the “Nordic type”, significantly shorter tolerable times apply for unprotected exposure to UV radiation. You should use a correspondingly higher sun protection factor than is necessary for the "mixed type" or the "Mediterranean type".

For more information on sunburn, see: sunburn

How can the individual skin type be determined?

When you have found out about the existence of the different skin types or have obtained further information, you ask yourself how the skin types can be determined.
This is for example through tables or also different questionnaires on different Internet sites possible.

The Tables to determine the skin types are mostly very rigidso that there is little room for maneuver if all features do not match a skin type. With the tabular form you have to determine the skin type yourself. This can be difficult at times, especially if you have features from two similar skin types.
In contrast, the Questionnaires or Online tests significantly more flexible and user-friendly designed. Based on the questions answered, you determine the greatest possible match with one of the skin types and in this way determine the skin type for the user.
It should be noted that the tests and tables are usually not to determine the child's skin type and whose risk of sunburn are suitable, as they generally have a much more sensitive skin than adults.

Testing of the present skin type

in the Internet you can find many different Testing to determine the individual skin type. These mostly differ mainly in the number of questions to be answered, with some assessing the skin type based on a few questions, while others are very detailed. The more detailed tests are usually recommended, as the likelihood of matches between your own skin and the respective skin types increases and the determination is therefore easier.

In the tests to determine the skin type, primarily questions about own appearance get answered. It also raises questions about the original Skin color and the presence of Freckles posed. Furthermore, the Color of eyes and hair included in the assessment. In addition, the behavior of the skin in relation to solar radiation is asked. Here is the individual risk of a possible occurrence Sunburn, as well as the Speed ​​of tanning focus on the skin.

Based on the different answers, a total score calculate with which the respective skin type is determined.

Differences in dealing with solar radiation

Regardless of the skin type, UV protection should be applied to prevent sunburn and the resulting skin cancer in the event of increased exposure to the sun

The different skin types differ not only in their optical impression, but also in terms of their appearance Protective mechanisms against the sun. Ever brighter the skin type is, the more more sensitive the skin reacts to direct sunlight. In addition, sun exposure causes different skin types to tan in different ways.
Of the Skin type 1 for example hardly ever tans, but is at the same time extremely vulnerable for direct sunlight, which in most cases leads to the occurrence of sunburn leads and that risk for the creation of a Skin cancer elevated. The skin of the shows a completely opposite behavior Types 4. This is clear less sensitive to sunlight, but tans within a very short time.
With the different skin types there is also the Self-protection time the skin very differently. It is 1 for skin type under 10 minutes. In contrast, it is significantly longer for darker skin types 4 and 6 and is greater than 30 or even greater than 60 minutes.

You are further interested in the subject of skin cancer: Detect skin cancer, Skin Cancer Symptoms

Further information on the subject of skin type is available at:

  • skin
  • Skin color
  • Function of the skin
  • sunburn
  • Prevent sunburn