Understanding Different Skin Types

It’s important for all laser hair and beauty practitioners to understand the different skin types as part of the diagnostic process.

Poorly diagnosed treatment plans can extend or even eliminate the effectiveness of treatments and so it’s vital that technicians take their time when meeting clients, and manage their expectations accordingly.

The various skin types follow, along with diagnostic tips.

Skin Type 1

Skin type 1’s will always burn and never tan. They will be extremely fair, possibly freckled and may have had issues with sunburn in the past. Physical characteristics may include red hair, freckles (Irish, Scottish, Celtic descent) or very fair hair.

Skin Type 2

Skin type 2’s are slightly less likely to burn than type 1’s, but will rarely tan. They will fade quickly and any tan they experience will be light. Most common in fair-haired, fair-skinned Caucasians.

Skin Type 3

Skin type 3 is light in winter and tanned in summer. Their skin tends to darken after limited sun exposure and burning – while still a danger – is rare. Look for medium skin and hair colour, sometimes lighter Mediterranean heritage.

Skin Type 4

Skin type 4 is likely to have a year-round tan. Limited sun exposure will result in a tan that tends to darken quickly and fade slowly. Burning is only likely with extended sun exposure. Clients will have dark skin and hair colour – Mediterranean-type, Caucasian, lighter Indian, some Asian.

Skin Type 5

Skin type 5 has sun insensitive skin, rarely burns and tans well. This skin type is common in India, the Middle East, some Hispanic countries and African American descent.

Skin type 6

Skin type 6 never burns, being sun insensitive. They are deeply pigmented and are most commonly African American or African.