Fitzpatrick Classification Scale: Identify Your Phototype Today

rosafa blog post fitzpatrick classification scale arms of all colors from darkest to lightest

Understanding your skin’s qualities and its reciprocal tolerance to sunlight is vital in order to better comprehend how to take care of it.  The Fitzpatrick Classification Scale will give you a better grasp of what your phototype is by understanding the characteristics of each type.  We have included a quiz for you in our blog to guide you in identifying your phototype, and hence, learning how to take better care of your skin during summer!

The Fitzpatrick Classification Scale was developed in 1975 by Dr. Thomas Fitzpatrick, a Harvard dermatologist. The scale classifies a person´s skin according to their complexion, hair color, proneness to tanning, and tolerance to sunlight, which is referred to as a phototype.

Based on your phototype, medical and skincare professionals are able to recommend a specific SPF, determine your tendency to develop skin cancer, and ascertain how well you will react to and tolerate esthetic treatments where the light application is involved (laser, IPL).






Very white, very fair; freckles; red or blonde hair; blue eyes (Northern/Eastern European Caucasian)

Always burns (severely), never tans with very marked flaking.


White, fair; red or blonde hair; blue, hazel, or green eyes (Northern/Eastern European Caucasian)

Burns severely can lightly tan with marked flaking.


Fair, olive with any eye or hair color (the Mediterranean with olive undertones, Asian with light yellow undertones)

Can slightly burn, tans easily


Brown (the Mediterranean with light brown undertones, Middle Eastern with olive/light brown undertones, Asian with dark yellow/light brown undertones, Latin with olive undertones)

Rarely burns always tans well and immediately


Dark brown (Middle Eastern skin types with dark brown undertones, Asian with brown undertones, Latin with deep caramel undertones)

Very rarely burns, tans very easily and intensely


Black  (African, African-American)

Never burns, always tans intensely and immediately

Click on this link to complete the quiz:  Rosafa Quiz

Fitzpatrick Classification Questionnaire: Stay In The Loop

The following questionnaire will help you determine your phototype. It is very important that you answer the questions based on your natural hair (hair that has not been dyed, treated, or bleached) and skin tone, which you were born with. Assess an area (s) of your skin that has not been exposed to the sun, tanning beds, makeup, airbrushing, and/or other tanning formulas.

Clients are usually asked to fill this questionnaire before undergoing phototherapy treatments, although it can also be used to make appropriate sun-protective recommendations as well.

Your phototype influences the light settings selected in treatments such as photoepilation. If the wrong setting is used, the skin's melanin composition can be affected resulting in temporary or even permanent hypopigmentation (lightening) or hyperpigmentation (darkening) of the treated area of the skin.

Please answer honestly the questions below by adding the appropriate number in the SCORE column.









What is the natural color of your hair?

Sandy red


Chestnut, dark blond

Dark brown



What is the natural colour of skin?

Pale with red underto-nes

Very fair

Olive or fair with beige undertones

Light brown, brown

Dark brown, black


Do you have freckles?







What happens when you expose your skin to the sun without sunblock?

Painful redness, blistering, peeling

Blistering followed by peeling

Burns, sometimes followed by peeling Rarely burns Never burns


How well do you tan?

Hardly or not at all Light colored tan Well, but progressively

Very easily



Do you tan within 24 hours of exposing yourself to the sun?







Rate your facial skin´s reaction to sun exposure

Very sensitive



Very resistant Never reacts 


When did you last expose yourself to the sun or artificial  UV radiation?

More than 3 months ago

2-3 months ago

1-2 months ago

Less than 1 month ago

Less than 2 weeks ago


Have you exposed the area to be treated to the sun?


Hardly ever




Fitzpatrick Classification Point Scale: Understanding Your Phototype

  • 00-07 points = phototype I
  • 08-16 points = phototype II
  • 17-25 points = phototype III
  • 25-30 points = phototype IV
  • 30-40 points = phototypes V & VI

Fitzpatrick Classification Point Scale: Recommended SPFs

  • Phototype I : maximum protection  (30+ SPF)
  • Phototype II: high protection             (30 SPF)
  • Phototype III: medium protection    (20-30 SPF)
  • Phototype IV: medium protection    (20-30 SPF)
  • Phototype V: minimum protection   (15 SPF)
  • Phototype VI: minimum protection  (15 SPF)

Now that you have learned about your phototype and how to identify it, make sure to take the necessary precautions when exposing your skin to direct sunlight or any form of light. For a better perspective on how to be kind to your skin, make sure to follow us on our social media platforms on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Linkedin.


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