In partnership with SA’s top medical aesthetic companies
overarching thing that makes South Africa unique is the gift we’ve been given through
the diversity in our nation’s ethnic and cultural heritage. Whatever our
beliefs - no matter who we are, we have all been enriched by the influence of
one another’s cultures, which we celebrate on Heritage Day. The biggest
celebration of all is the fact that we live together in one beautiful country.
South African skin types and concerns
diversity of South Africa’s people is easily visible in our range of skin
tones. While all skins have many commonalities in function, each skin type –
and by type we are referring to shade, rather than skin condition such as
oily/dry/normal - has unique features that require us to treat them slightly
differently in order to keep them healthy and treat their concerns effectively.
medical scale called the Fitzpatrick Scale categorises our skin tones into 6
different skin types, ranging from skin type 1 (extremely pale) to skin type 6,
which is very dark. While some of us may question why we need this, in a
sundrenched country like SA, understanding this scale is crucially important
because it helps us know how our skin reacts to the sun and injury, and since sun damage from UV exposure is the
chief cause of premature ageing and skin cancer (a contest in which we are
world leaders, sadly), knowing where we stand is the first step to keeping our
skin at its best.
TIP: when identifying your skin type, look
at the shade of skin not regularly exposed to sun, such as your breasts or
groin area, to determine your true skin tone.
Type 1 is very pale, can be
freckled and often comes with blond or red hair and pale eyes. This
skin type is super-sensitive to the sun’s rays, burns very easily and is likely
to get severe sun damage from UV exposure if not protected properly. You are at
high risk for skin cancers and need to take high care in the sun
to protect yourself against UV exposure.
Skin Type 2 is light or fair-skinned,
generally with pale hair and blue eyes. You
can get a light tan when exposed to the sun gradually, but you are more likely
to get sunburnt, and you have a high risk for skin cancers. You need to take proper care in the
sun to protect against UV exposure.
Type 3 is still fair. However, it
is slightly darker than those with skin types 1 and 2. You
can tan and become light bronze when exposed to the sun, but are still at high
risk for skin cancers.
Type 4 has olive skin tones,
mostly with dark hair and usually brown eyes. Generally people who fall into
this category have a Mediterranean background. Even
though you tan easily and rarely burn, you still need to take care in the sun
to protect yourself against UV rays, as sun damage can be seen as dark
pigmentation marks, etc. While much lower than the skin types above, you still
have a risk of skin cancers.
Type 5 has an olive / dark skin
tone, and includes coloured, light-skinned African, Indian and Middle Eastern
skin tones. You
very rarely burn and skin cancers are not common. Care should, however, still
be taken in the sun to avoid sun damage such as pigmentation marks, etc. You
carry a small risk of skin cancer.
Type 6 have a dark brown skin colour. Even
though you rarely burn, you still need to take care to protect yourself in the
sun from UV damage and dark patches. Your skin type is not predisposed to
UV-induced skin cancer, however, the most common form of skin cancer in your
community is melanoma, the deadliest form, found mostly under the feet and nails.
For this reason, you need to check yourself once a month for any suspicious
To find out more about the different
skin types and the treatments that are suitable to treat your concerns, as well
as the four
pillars to maintain a youthful skin, visit Skin Renewal at www.skinrenewal.co.za or take our free assessment and get product
recommendation based on your skin type.
Take the quick Beyond Beauty Survey and you could win a R2 000 Skin Renewal voucher to spend in our online store, with free delivery within South Africa. T&Cs apply.