Your Skin Tone: And why it's important to know


What is your skin type?

The most common way people describe skin tone is based on colour e.g. white, brown, black etc., but there is much more to it than that.
Genetics is the key factor that determines a person's skin type and tone.
Evolution has played a critical role in determining the various skin tones across the entire world - such diversity is a beautiful thing!
Variety IS the spice of life! 🌶️

Why is your skin type useful to know?

 Learning what skin type you have is helpful to know because it allows you to make the best decisions regarding your skincare routine, products and most importantly sun protection!

Skincare Products

Have you ever noticed some skincare products seem to work better with your friends that have a different skin tone to you? This is because your skin type is unique to you. It is not always clear cut if a person is a certain Fitzpatrick Skin Type. "What is a Fitzpatrick Skin Type?"  I hear you ask, well read on to find out more...
There is no definitive skin type for some people, and some people may be on the edge of one skin type and another.


Obagi Skincare Products have been specifically formulated to work with each specific Fitzpatrick Skin Tone. During the research and testing phase of their products, Obagi, consider the effect the product will have on the various skin tones and types. We explain the power of Obagi in further detail - click here.


To read the complete GUIDE to Obagi and how the Obagi products can work for you and your skin tone, click here.

Sun Protection!

Sun protection is critical for all skin tones, even those with deeply pigmented dark brown or darkest brown skin colour.
Obagi Fitzpatrick Skin Type GifSource:

How does your skin tone affect your skincare routine?

Depending on your skin tone certain products can work better than others. It's important to get a basic understanding of your skin type to make better decisions on the products you spend your money on and add to your skincare routine.
For example, some products have skin lightening properties, and others respond more harshly depending on a person's skin type. Therefore, getting expert medical advice on your skin provides you with an excellent base to start from.
Mayer Monroe is a medically-led skincare clinic, that offers free skincare consultations and Obagi products to their patients. If you would like to book your FREE consultation, click here.
Obagi Skinclusion, Skin Type and Tone All Women

What is the Fitzpatrick Skin Tone Scale?

You have read earlier in this article references to Fitzpatrick skin types. In this section, we explain it in more detail.
  • The Fitzpatrick Skin Type is a scale used to categorize different skin types.
  • Fitzpatrick Skin Types range from I to VI
  • When you have an online skin consultation with Mayer Monroe your clinician may discuss your Fitzpatrick Skin Tone with you
  • The different types are classed in Roman Numerals I to VI, but it simply means 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6
Fitzpatrick Skin Type I One and Fitzpatrick Skin Type II Two

 Fitzpatrick 1 + Fitzpatrick 2

 Fitzpatrick I (One)
 Sun protection is most important for this skin type!
 Characteristics of this Skin Type: Pale white skin, blue/green eyes, blond/red hair.
 Tanning ability: Pale white skin, blue/green eyes, blond/red hair - Always burns, does not tan
 Fitzpatrick II (Two)
 Sun protection is still very important for this skin type!
 Characteristics of this Skin Type: Fair skin, blue eyes.
 Tanning ability: Fair skin, blue eyes - Burns easily, tans poorly


Fitzpatrick Skin Type III Three and Fitzpatrick Skin Type IV Four

 Fitzpatrick 3 + Fitzpatrick 4

 Fitzpatrick III (Three)
 Sun protection remains important but is more naturally protected than Fitzpatrick I and II
 Characteristics of this Skin Type: Darker white skin.
 Tanning ability: Darker white skin - Tans after the initial burn
 Fitzpatrick IV (Four)
 Sun protection is still important for this skin type but less so than Fitzpatrick 1 - 3
 Characteristics of this Skin Type: Light brown skin
 Tanning ability: Light brown skin - Burns minimally, tans easily
Interested to know your Skin Tone and Type?
Book a FREE Consultation Now!
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Fitzpatrick Skin Type V Five and Fitzpatrick Skin Type VI Six

Fitzpatrick 5 + Fitzpatrick 6

 Fitzpatrick V (Five)
 This skin type has a decent level of natural protection but sunscreen is still advised
 Characteristics of this Skin Type: Brown skin.
 Tanning ability: Brown skin - Rarely burns, tans darkly easily
 Fitzpatrick VI (Six)
 This skin type is most naturally protected from the sun but protection is still cautioned
 Characteristics of this Skin Type: Dark brown or black skin.
 Tanning ability: Dark brown or black skin - Never burns, always tans darkly

 What is your Fitzpatrick Skin Type?

 It is useful for everyone to know their Fitzpatrick Skin Type because it has a large impact on the skincare protocol they should use. It is especially important for those with lighter skin tones such as Fitzpatrick I and II because they need to take extra special care when exposed to the sun. Whereas those with Fitzpatrick V and VI, should still take a high precaution in the sun but to a lesser degree than Fitzpatrick I and II.
 The primary reason darker skin types are more protected from the sun is the type of melanin in the skin and its ability to produce melanin - the pigment that protects us from the sun.
 When you have a consultation with Mayer Monroe, the clinician will go through an analysis of your skin to determine your Fitzpatrick Skin Type. This will give us a helpful indicator to develop a bespoke treatment plan for you.
Fitzpatrick Skin Type Wheel

Do colour and ethnicity affect how skin ages?

Differences in the colour and ethnicity of the skin lead to some interesting and important variations when it comes to skincare.
Melanin, which is the pigment that gives our skin its colour, is more prevalent in darker skin tones. As mentioned in the previous section on Fitzpatrick Skin Types, the melanin absorbs and defends against UV light and free radicals.
Darker skin i.e. towards Fitzpatrick V and VI is relatively more protected from sun damage and ageing, than Fitzpatrick I and II etc.
Also different types of melanin: More eumelanin in darker skin and more pheomelanin in lighter skin.
Analysis of darker skin indicates it has a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of around 13, compared to lighter skin, which has an SPF of around 3.

Further Reading

Looking for more information relating to your skin tone and Fitzpatrick skin type, a good place to look is the ultimate guide we have written on the Obagi product range. You can read it here for FREE.

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Click To Download FREE GuideeBook showing how to download a free guide on Sun Damage + Skin Ageing