Identifying your skin type

The key to determining the best Skin Care routine for you is to identify your skin type and tone. Once you’ve worked that out, finding out how best to take care of your skin becomes easy. At The Harley Medical Group we’re proud of our many Skin Care products, all designed to target a specific skin problem, whether you’re looking for a product to reduce skin breakouts or something to combat the production of fine lines and wrinkles. We also offer a number of Laser & Skin Treatments, to help restore your skin to its former glory. So how do you go about identifying your skin type and how does this play a part in your Skin Care routine? Read on to find out.


The Fitzpatrick Scale

The best way to identify your skin type is to use the Fitzpatrick Scale. Developed by Harvard Dermatologist Thomas B. Fitzpatrick back in 1975, it’s been used by Dermatologists and Skin Care Experts ever since to determine the best course of action for each patient. Its original purpose was to show how different types of skin responded to UV light, measuring a patient’s risk of Skin Cancer. It has since been used to determine whether or not certain Laser treatments are suitable for patients based on their skin type.

Use the Fitzpatrick skin type table below to identify yours – then look at our tailored Skin Care tips to find out how best to look after your skin. To help you further, we’ve matched a collection of celebrities to each skin type – which celebrity’s skin is yours most like?

Celebrity Fitzpatrick Skin Type Table


Skin Care advice for your skin type

So now you’ve worked out your skin type, we’ve compiled some tailored Skin Care tips – we’ve even included some of our celebrities’ beauty secrets!

I’m skin type I:

With your ivory complexion, light coloured eyes and fair hair, you’ve got the same skin tone as Nicole Kidman and Ed Sheeran. Such fair skin is highly susceptible to Sun Damage, meaning that you need to take extra care when going out in the sun.

Remember the following:

  • Use a sunscreen with a high Sun Protection Factor (SPF 30+) - even on a cloudy day
  • Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day (between 10am and 4pm)
  • Keep an eye on your freckles and moles – if they get bigger or change in shape and colour, consult a professional

Nicole Kidman’s beauty secrets: “I really believe in taking vitamins and supporting my skin with inside health. Besides that, I meditate and stay out of the sun”.






I’m skin type II:

Your beige skin tone matches that of Angelina Jolie and Hugh Jackman. You find it difficult to tan and usually end up with sun burn when spending time outdoors. Like those with skin type I, your skin is still at great risk from Sun Damage, as well as Skin Cancer if not properly protected.

Remember the following:

  • Invest in sunscreen with an SPF 30 minimum and apply everyday for maximum protection
  • Seek shady areas rather than sitting outside in direct sunlight
  • Consult a professional if you notice a change in your freckles or moles

Angelina Jolie’s beauty secrets: The star takes regular trips to her Dermatologist where her skin is treated with a combination of Medical Microdermabrasion, Laser treatment and Skin Peels.





I’m skin type III:

Your caramel complexion closely resembles that of Nicole Scherzinger and Taylor Lautner – but that’s no excuse to scrimp on the sunscreen. Skin type IIIs are still at risk of sunburn and Skin Cancer.

Remember the following:

  • Apply sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher each day
  • Try to avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day (10am to 4pm)

Nicole Scherzinger’s beauty secrets: Drink plenty of water and use a moisturiser daily.






I’m skin type IV:

With your dark eyes and hair and medium brown complexion, your celebrity skin tone matches are Halle Berry and John Legend. You’re unlikely to burn when out in the sun and tan fairly easily – that doesn’t mean you’re not at risk though.

Remember the following:

  • Invest in sunscreen with SPF 15 minimum
  • Check for a change in appearance in your moles and freckles

Halle Berry’s beauty secrets: The Hollywood starlet swears by regular appointments with a Facialist, along with a good cleanse, tone and moisturising routine. As she’s diabetic, Halle Berry skips sugar but suggests using a sugar substitute anyway to help with Anti-Ageing.





I’m skin type V:

If you find it easy to develop a tan and burn rarely, your skin tone will be similar to Gabrielle Union’s and Kanye West’s. Despite not burning, your dark skin puts you at risk of developing Acral Lentiginous Melanoma (severe form of Skin Cancer).

Remember the following:

  • Apply sunscreen with an SPF 15 everyday
  • Check your skin regularly, keeping your eye on suspicious growths found on the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands

Gabrielle Union’s beauty secrets: “No one is exempt from sun damage. Everyone needs to be worried about it.” She’s also an advocate of a traditional cleanse, tone and moisturising beauty regime and advises everyone to drink plenty of water to keep skin hydrated.





I’m skin type VI:

If you sport a very dark brown complexion, black hair and brown eyes, you’re skin tone is classified as type VI on the Fitzpatrick Scale – the same as Lupita Nyong’o and Usain Bolt. Like those with type V skin, it’s important to be aware of Skin Cancer and how to check for it.

Remember the following:

  • Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 (although you don’t burn, you need to protect against UV damage)
  • If you spot any suspicious growths on your palms or soles of your feet, consult a Skin Care professional immediately

Lupita Nyong’o’s beauty secrets: “I’m very nervous about stripping my skin of its oils. I use avocado oil and Hawaiian kukui oil on my face. I like to keep things natural, simple, and straightforward.”







For more information on our treatments for Sun Damaged skin, check out our Sun Centre.

How skin type can affect treatment choice

So now you know what to do to prevent Sun Damage, let’s take a look at how your skin type can determine which treatment offers optimum results for your skin.

We mentioned earlier that the Fitzpatrick Scale can also be used to identify whether or not certain Laser treatment is suitable for your skin type. Depending on your classification, the experts here at The Harley Medical Group will be able to assess your risk of developing Skin Discolouration or Hyper- or Hyperigmentation (darkening and lightening of the skin) following Non Surgical treatments such as Skin Peels, Laser Treatment and Medical Microdermabrasion. We also use our Computerised Photo Imaging Analysis tool to work out the optimum strength of the proposed treatment, according to your skin type and needs.

Our Laser and Skin treatments are generally suitable for those with skin types I to III, while some of our treatments may be advised against for those with skin types IV to VI.

What about Laser Hair Removal?

Many specialists will not offer Laser Hair Removal for all types of skin, but at The Harley Medical Group, our Lasers have been approved to treat all types of hair, including blond, grey and fine hair. Before we start the treatment, we’ll check your skin’s melanin levels – this helps us to determine the correct setting for the Laser and maximises on safety and results. Statistics show that following a course of treatments, patients notice that 60 – 95 per cent of unwanted hair is permanently removed.

If you’re interested in finding out more about our Skin Care solutions here at The Harley Medical Group, get in touch with us to book your FREE consultation – our Cosmetic Surgery Nurses will be on hand to offer you advice and tips tailored to your skin type.