Your future may be out of your control but knowing how you will age and controlling it is not, you just need to know the true pigmentation of your skin.

This has nothing to do with star signs and everything to do with knowing your skin and tailoring treatments and Home Prescriptive regimes to match it. Termed the Fitzpatrick classification, this scale measures the skin’s tolerance of UV light, looking at how readily it burns and tans and is used by aestheticians to determine skin type. Your skin reacts the way it does to the sun, whether that be turning beat red or being a bronze beach babe, due to the amount of melanin in your skin. Melanin is not only what gives your skin its colour but it is also the skin’s natural sunscreen, working as a protective mechanism against UV radiation. The more you have and consequently the darker your skin colour is, the more it is protected against UV radiation readily tanning rather than burning (you can learn more about melanin in Pigmentation Puzzle). Knowing this type of information is crucial when determining what treatments you want to undergo for your skin, as some skins do not respond as well as others to particular procedures.

Fitzpatrick classification scale

Skin Type Skin Colour Characteristics
I – Caucasian, Irish, English White; very fair; red or blond hair; blue eyes; freckles likely


Always burns, never tans
II – Caucasian, Northern or Middle European Fair skinned (white); blue, green or hazel eyes; blond or red hair


Burns easily
III – Eastern European, Mediterranean, Maori Cream white; fair with any eye colour; very common skin type


Sometimes burns, gradually tans
IV – Asian, Polynesian, South American Typical Mediterranean Caucasian skin; medium to heavy pigmentation


Rarely burns, gradually tans
V – North Africa, Middle East Mid-eastern skin types; rarely sun sensitive


VI – Black African, Indian Black skin; rarely sun sensitive Tans well





















What treatments will work for you

While skin types IV-VI have better protection against sunburn and environmental damage because there is more melanin present, they are more susceptible to hyperpigmentation. Peels such as DMKs Pro-Alpha Six Layer and Remodelling Procedure peel may not be suitable treatments as they can potentially trigger pigmentation. The very thing that these treatments are designed to revise. Similarly Asian and Hispanic skin types are predisposed to hyperpigmentation and anything that causes irritation can cause dark patches to appear on the skin. Peels formulated with lower acidic values can be used with caution. Resurfacing treatments are much more suited to skin types I-III, the resurfacing and chemical peels working to revise pigmentation and scarring without causing it.

Your skin type is not always reflected in its colour, the ethnicity of your parents and grandparents needs to be taken into account as well.

Predicting how you will age.

Ethnicity determines not just the amount of melanin in your skin but the amount of collagen and elastin as well. It may seem unfair that skin types IV-VI are restricted in the types of age revision treatments they can have but their skin is more likely to age better. With more fibroblast cells (cells that create collagen and elastin) these darker skin types are more robust and do not suffer from environmental damage or the fateful sagging skin as fairer skin types do. This is why people from particular backgrounds do not show their age as others do because their collagen production is higher reducing the appearance of wrinkles. On the other hand this does translate into being more susceptible to keloid scarring (raised scar tissue), another reason resurfacing peels are not very suited to darker skin types.

 Unsure what skin type you have? Think about how you skin reacted last time you got too much sun.

It may appear that not all skins are created equal but where some are more protected against sun damage and processes of ageing, they are susceptible to pigmentation and scarring. In turn the skin types that do age more quickly respond readily to these resurfacing treatments and signs of ageing can be easily revised. To find out what treatments and products are best suited to your skin ask your DMK Skin Technician. Together you can develop the best skin programme to control how you will age in the years to come.