Photo-types I to III: Fitzpatrick scale and risk rates
Photo-types classification describes how sensitive you are to sunburns and related risk of skin damages and skin cancer.
The classification is based on Fitzpatrick scale first developed by Thomas Fitzpatrick in mid-seventies at The Harvard Medical School. The adaptation now in use by dermatologists ranges from very fair (type I) to the very dark (type VI) depending to genetic disposition and reaction to sun exposure. Knowing your skin type you can take informed decisions on cosmetic treatments and shopping.
Photo-types I to III are at higher risk of sunburns and skin damages:
Type I is Ivory
You are very pale with porcelain skin. If you are an Ivory type you always burn and never tan. Your eyes are most probably grey, blue or green and hairs are blonde or red. IVORY celebrities are found in royal families (Prince Harry might have counterbalanced for the next generation his Ivory complexion marrying Megan Markle) and star system (Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant …)
Type II is Beige
You have cream-colored skin and perhaps freckles. You have light to dark eyes and hair. You usually burn when in the sun although sometimes you might be able to tan. You are in the team with Cameron Diaz, Scarlet Johnson, Gwyneth Paltrow and another member of the UK royal family: Prince William.
Type III is Light Brown
You are often described as light olive, golden skin toned. You tan slowly and sometimes get burned at the beginning of the summer but usually you can build a nice glow at the end of the season. Light brown celebrities are Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Sandra Bullock and many others …
All this photo-types need to be very careful to sunburns and use SPF 30 or more to avoid photoaging effects and cancer risk related to sun exposure.
To optimize prevention and skin health you need sun protection as much as you need vitamin D. You can have both and avoid either vitamin D deficiency and skin damage
In 2009 fears surrounding the risks of tanning were confirmed and today we know that skin cancers are associated with exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation
When spending time outside in warm weather we may need using both insect repellents and sunscreens products
New Scientist Live, the world’s best science festival in ExCel London, is the stage to be launched FREE Download of HappySun app.
Tanning is a fairly recent trend and even today the ‘ideal’ skin colour varies among different cultures