Four Skin Types

Avoid sunburn by knowing your Skin Type! The amount of UV exposure that we need to tan differs by skin type. Your specific skin type determines just how long you can be exposed to UV rays, before risking sunburn.

That’s why we recommend finding your skin type before starting your tanning regimen! Professional dermatologists use The Fitzpatrick Scale to classify skin. You can better avoid burning by using the tanning guidelines recommended for each of the six Skin Types.

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The Fitzpatrick Scale was invented in 1975 by Dr. Thomas Fitzpatrick of Harvard Medical School. This system judges a person’s skin type by their skin tone and the degree at which they tan or burn.

Skin Type 1

People with Type 1 skin usually have a very fair complexion. The most common indicators of this skin type are freckles, light eyes, and even lighter hair. Redheads often fall into this category. Type 1 skin burns very easily and rarely tans. Individuals with Type 1 skin are the most prone to severe burning and peeling.

Pro Tip: For Type 1 skin, we recommend spray tanning as a more effective way to achieve that glowing tanned look.

Skin Type 2

Type 2 skin is also pale, but while it easily burns it can also achieve a light tan. People with Type 2 skin are usually very sensitive to UV light, so they should work up to a full tanning schedule gradually.

We recommend people with Type 2 skin start at the lowest point of exposure (2-3 minutes the first time) before working their way up in 1-2 minute intervals.

Skin Type 3

Type 3 skin has honey-hued tones and achieves a tan with only a moderate amount of sunburn. These individuals may start out pale, but over time they build up to a sun-kissed glow.

We recommend an average tanning schedule for people with Type 3 skin. About 5-6 minutes the first time, before working their way up to 10-12 minute sessions.

Skin Type 4

People with Type 4 skin are usually dark eyed and dark haired. You are Type 4 if your skin is a lovely shade of caramel and you tan fast with only the occasional bouts of sunburn when outdoors.

Type 4’s can usually go for 7 minute sessions right from the start, before adding a minute to the max of each additional session. 

Skin Type 5

Type 5 skin types are individuals who are a gorgeous deep bronze color. Burning under the sun is extremely rare for this skin type.  

Skin Type 6

Individuals with Type 6 skin have dark brown to black skin tones. Type 6 skin also very rarely gets sunburned and tends to tan extremely quickly.

Both Type 5 and Type 6 skin types usually start with 9-10 minute sessions, before increasing to 15 minute sessions.


Use the descriptions above to help determine your Skin Type! Make sure to incorporate the guidelines specific to your skin type into your tanning regimen to better avoid burning!

Feel free to ask our friendly staff for recommendations and tanning advice. Call Tan Unique at 479-785-1185 to set up an appointment or come visit us today! Make sure to check out our Facebook for tanning specials and great deals on skin care products!

4516 Rogers Avenue Suite B1 & B2
Fort Smith, AR


Monday - Thursday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm

Friday: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm

Saturday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Sunday: CLOSED