What skin type are you?

from Lisa Ressi, MSc
on 09.03.2023

The skin is our largest sensory organ and needs sufficient protection from the sun, especially in summer. But how much sun is actually healthy for my own skin and which sun protection factor is best for me?

"Who wants to enjoy the sun, should pay attention to sun protection from inside and outside." These words of the Salzburg dermatologist Dr. med. univ. Birgitt Hantich-Hladik should be taken to heart by everyone, because depending on skin type the skin can only protect itself against UV rays to a certain degree. Every skin type has a certain self-protection time. This is the period of time that the skin can be exposed to the sun without suffering any damage. According to dermatologist Fitzpatrick, 6 skin types can be distinguished:

Typ I – Celtic type

Characteristics:

  • very light skin tone
  • red or blond hair
  • blue, green, light grey eyes
  • many freckles
  • does not get tanned

Self-protection time:

3–10 minutes

Sun protection factor:

at least SPF 30

Type II - Nordic type

Characteristics:

  • fair complexion
  • blonde, light brown, dark brown hair
  • blue, green, grey eyes
  • sometimes freckles
  • slow, minimal tan

Self-protection time:

10-20 minutes

Sun protection factor:

at least SPF 25

Type III - mixed type

Characteristics:

  • medium skin tone
  • dark blonde, light or
  • dark brown hair
  • brown, blue, green, grey eyes
  • hardly any freckles
  • slow but progressive tanning to a light tan

Self-protection time:

20-30 minutes

Sun protection factor:

at least SPF 20

Type IV - Mediterranean type

Characteristics:

  • brownish, olive-coloured skin (in untanned condition)
  • brown eyes
  • brown, black hair
  • no freckles
  • fast tanning to medium tan

Self-protection time:

more than 30 minutes

Sun protection factor:

at least SPF 15

Type V - Dark type

Characteristics:

  • Dark skin colour (grey undertone is common).
  • dark eyes
  • black hair
  • no freckles
  • quick tanning

Self-protection time

more than 60 minutes

sun protection factor

at least SPF 15

Type VI - Black type

Characteristics:

  • dark brown to black skin
  • dark eyes
  • black hair
  • no freckles
  • quick tanning

Self-protection time

more than 90 minutes

Sun protection factor

at least SPF 10 (especially for nose, lips and neck)

In addition to the appropriate sun protection factor, micronutrients are also important for healthy summer skin. "Vitamins B3, B9 and B12 as well as green tea can support the skin from the inside. Extracts of olive leaf, pomegranate and grape seeds also ensure faster regeneration of sun-stressed skin," emphasizes the dermatologist. It is particularly important to Dr. Hantich-Hladik to dispel a myth: "Many people believe that the use of a high sun protection factor does not make them brown. But this is wrong! Rather, slow, protected tanning is not only healthier for the skin, but also ensures that the skin remains crisp and young for longer".

The following should be strictly observed:

  • do without additional solarium visits after sunbathing
  • apply 30 minutes before direct sun exposure
  • avoid unprotected eels in the sun between 12 and 15 o'clock
  • Do not use perfumed lotions or hormone creams, oils or oily sun creams when sunbathing.
  • Caution when taking St. John's wort, it increases sensitivity to light
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