The difference in skin color is not only genetic, but also cultural. The human skin color tone can vary from a nearly colorless pigmentation to a very dark brown color. It is seen that Europeans have lighter skin, hair and eyes. Those of African origin have darker skin, hair and eyes. Environmental factors also play a huge role in determining skin tone color.
Skin Color Terminology
Skin tone chart has been used to identify races since a long, long time. According to Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752 - 1840), one of the founders of scientific racism theories, there are five color typologies for the human race. He divided the human race according to the following skin tone terminology:
- White People: These belonged to the Caucasian or white race
- Black People: These belonged to the Ethiopian or black race
- Yellow People: These people belonged to the Mongolian or yellow race
- Cinnamon Brown or Flame Colored People: They belonged to the Malay or brown race
- Red People: These are people that belong to the American race
The metaphor 'black' was first used by the end of 17th century after Francois Bernier (1625 - 1688), a French doctor divided the human race according to facial appearance and body type. Bernier proposed 4 categories called the Europeans, Far Easterners, Lapps and Blacks. The scientific model was developed in 18th century by Carolus Linnaeus who gave four main races. He proposed the Europeans as the white race, the Asiatic as the yellow race, The Americanus as the red race and the Africanus as the black race. Blumenbach, the founder of anthropology and a protege of Linnaeus came up with the Malay as the brown race for the Polynesians and Melanesians of Pacific Islands and aborigines of Australia.
Skin Tone Color Chart
Thomas B. Fitzpatrick (1975), a Harvard dermatologist, proposed 6 skin types that were listed according to the decrease in lightness. This chart is recognized as a dermatologic tool for research even today. It is very helpful to measure components of skin like genetic disposition, reaction to sun exposure, and tanning characteristics. The following skin tone chart will help you find your skin color tone belongs to which standard Fitzpatrick skin types.
|Skin Tone||Type||Color||Pigment||Sunburn||von Luschan Scale|
|I||White (very fair)||Pale white skin, may have freckles with red, brown or blond hair. The eye color may be blue, brown, green or gray.
For example: Very pale Caucasian, freckles, or Albino
|The skin often suffers from sunburns and tanning is rare.||1-5|
|II||Fair or light-skinned European||White skin with light or dark hair color. The eye colors are usually seen are blue, green, hazel, brown or gray eyes.
For example: Fair-skinned Caucasian
|Usually burns and tanning is seen sometimes||6-10|
|III||Medium, dark-skinned European (Beige, a very common skin tone)||White to light brown skin color with brown hair color. The eyes are green, hazel, brown and dark brown eyes are rare.
For example: Darker Caucasian, European mix
|Sometimes suffers from a mild burn, and gradually tans to a light brown skin tone.||11-15|
|IV||Dark intermediate, Mediterranean or Olive (Beige with a brown tint)||Moderate brown skin color with black to dark brown hair. The eye color is blue, green, hazel, brown or dark brown.
For example: Mediterranean, European, Asian, Hispanic, Native American
|Rarely burns and tans very often to a moderate brown.||16-21|
|V||Dark Brown||Naturally dark brown skin color with black hair. The eyes are usually brown or hazel in color.
For example: Hispanic, Afro-American, Middle Eastern
|Very rarely burns but prone to tanning.||22-28|
|VI||Black||Very dark brown to black skin tone with black hair and dark brown eyes with minute variations in color.
For example: Afro-American, African, Middle Eastern
|Never burns, but can tan very easily and is deeply pigmented.||29-36|
It is found that the Type 6 skin tone has roughly twice the melanin of Type 1. This makes the Type 6 less prone to skin cancers than the Type 1. These skin tones will help you find some makeup ideas and makeup techniques that help you apply natural looking makeup according to your skin color. I hope this article on skin tone chart has helped you determine your skin color according to standard Fitzpatrick skin types.