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Do You Know the Fitzpatrick Scale?

What's Your Fitzpatrick Level?

One of the things that I was asked when I went in to my PCA Skin Peel (and later we discussed it during my Spa Day at Cameo Salon) was my Fitzpactrick Scale number and hereditary background. I’m an American mutt, like many of people in the USA, but I can trace my family from Ireland, Germany, Israel, Switzerland and England. This is apparently important to take into consideration with many cosmetic procedures.

The Fitzpatrick Scale is interesting because it it was developed by a dermatologist from Harvard as a way to classify the different skin responses to UV light. It also works for facials and peels because it gives a trained aesthetician the knowledge on how to best work on your skin. I believe it’s also helpful in determining if laser treatements, such as those for laser hair removal, will work well on you.

There are 6 levels of the Fitzpatrick scale, and while I don’t know how accurate they are for everyone, I can speak from experience that mine is accurate for me. I’m pale, blue-green eyes, I never tan, I always burn. My natural hair color is very dark brown. Most of my body hair is non-existent. From the knee down my leg hair is dark; from the knee up it’s nearly see-through it’s so pale and fine.

Type 1 – Light, pale white. Always burns, never tans
Type II – White; fair. Usually burns, tans with difficulty
Type III – Medium, white to olive. Sometimes mild burn, gradually tans to olive.
Type IV – Olive, moderate brown. Rarely burns, tans with ease to a moderate brown.
Type V – Brown, dark brown. Very rarely burns, tans very easily.
Type VI – Black, very dark brown to black. Never burns, tans very easily, deeply pigmented.

I already knew that my Fitzpatrick level was a 1, thanks to Mirabella Beauty’s online test. You can take that test here if you want to find out your level. Mirabella Beauty takes things a step further to break you into Cool, Warm or Neutral. I consider myself neutral, and I used to think of myself as neutral leaning warm, because too much cool makes me look sunburnt. However, with their breakdown between cool and warm colors I think it reinforces that I’m neutral.

Cool
Look best in “jewel tones” – blues, greens, pinks, purples, blue-greens, magentas, and blue-based reds.
Look better in pure white than ivory.
Can easily wear black.

Warm
Shine in “earth tones” – yellows, oranges, browns, yellowish greens and orange-based reds.
Look better in ivory than pure white.
Look washed out with black worn close to the face.

Phyrra 2013

I think I look best in black and jewel tones, but I also look great in ivory/cream, terrible in white, and yellow-greens really set off my eyes.

When I purchased foundations from Mirabella, the neutral ones really looked perfect on me. See my review of 1N Fix Powder by Mirabella. You can also see my review of the 1N Skin Tint Creme.

Something else to consider is that if you love how a tan looks, no matter your number on the Fitzpatrick scale, you can achieve a healthy glow with a great sunless tanner like Beautisol. It doesn’t turn you orange, it looks natural, and it doesn’t smell! It’s hard to beat that.

I feel like the Fitzpatrick scale is highly underrated and I really never hear it mentioned, so I wanted to discuss it with you. From my perspective, it seems like it’s very useful when you’re dealing with facial peels, laser treatments, makeup and more.

Do you know your Fitzpatrick Scale number? Do you think it can helpl you when it comes to makeup or skincare?

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