What is a Melanotype?

RATIONALE is delighted to unveil six Melanotypes, which reflect the research of The Fitzpatrick Scale, which identified six universal skin types. “These Melanotypes represent the entire spectrum of human skin tones classified by depth of Melanin genetically present,” says Richard Parker, RATIONALE Founder. 

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Understanding Your Melanotype

Developed in 1975 by Harvard Dermatologist Thomas Fitzpatrick, The Fitzpatrick Scale is a universal measurement tool which is used to determine one’s genetic makeup, and how different skin types react to sun exposure. “The Fitzpatrick Scale looks at two things: how much melanin is naturally produced by the skin, and how your skin reacts to the sun,” says Katie Matten, Global Head of Education. 

“Understanding your Melanotype means that you know what your skin needs, genetically, to look and feel its best,” adds Katie. “As a research-driven Brand, this information is essential in understanding our Clients’ skin and prescribing tailored rituals to optimise their results.”

What's Your Number?

Tell us about yourself and your skin, and we’ll reveal your Melanotype—and how to care for it.

Discover Your Melanotype

The Six Melanotypes

Melanotype 1

Your skin tone is very light, your hair is naturally blonde or red, and your eyes are light green or blue. You always burn when exposed to the sun and are very likely to have freckles. Common ethnic backgrounds are English and Scottish. 

Melanotype 2

Your skin tone is light, your hair is blonde or brown, and your eyes are blue, green or grey. You always burn, may have freckles, and your skin is light, but you may build a tan with repeated sun exposure. The common ethnic background for this skin type is Northern European.

Melanotype 3

Your skin tone is light-medium olive, your hair is blonde or brown, and your eyes are blue, hazel, or brown. You tan after you burn, and you may also freckle. Common ethnic backgrounds are Asian and Mediterranean. 

Melanotype 4

Your skin tone is medium, your hair, and eyes are brown. You are more likely to tan and rarely burn, although you may burn if you spend too much time in the sun. Common ethnic backgrounds are Southern European, Hispanic, and Middle Eastern.

Melanotype 5

Your skin tone is deep, your hair is brown or black, and your eyes are brown. You can burn very rarely and tan readily. You don’t have freckles. Common ethnic backgrounds are Indian, African and Indigenous Australian.

Melanotype 6

Your skin tone is very deep, your hair and eyes are brown or black. You tan and never burn. You are deeply pigmented and don’t have freckles. Common ethnic backgrounds are African and Indigenous Australian.