Skip to content
Radiological Health - Indoor Tanning

Estimate Skin Type

Determining a client’s skin type helps you and your tanning salon operators decide how an individual client’s skin will react to UV light. It helps you determine safe exposure times so you can help protect the client from overexposure and other potentially harmful reactions.

Skin type depends on several factors including a person’s heritage, natural hair color, eye color, un-tanned skin coloration, and tanning history.

Feel free to use these charts to help figure out a customer’s skin type:

Skin Type Determination Based on Hereditary Characteristics

 
0
1
2
3
4
Points
Eye Color Light blue, gray or green Blue, gray or green Blue Dark Brown Brownish black  
Hair Color Sandy Red Blond Blond chestnut or dark blond Dark brown Black  
Color of Skin Reddish Very pale Pale with beige tint Light brown Dark brown  
Freckles Many Several Few Incidental None  



Skin Type Determination Based on Tanning History

0
1
2
3
4
Points
What happens when you stay in the sun too long? Painful redness, peeling, blistering Burns regularly with peeling Burns sometime with peeling Burns rarely Never burns  
To what degree do you turn brown? Hardly or not at all brown Tans a little with light color Tans moderately Tans very easily Quickly turns brown  
Do you turn brown immediately after tanning? Never Hardly Sometime Often Always  
How does your face react to the sun? Very sensitive Sensitive Normal Barely sensitive Never a problem  


Score from Two Charts Above Indicates Skin Type

Total Points
Skin Type
Skin Reactions to the Sun
0-7
1
Burns easily and severely; peels and does not tan
8-16
2
Burns easily and severely; tans minimally or lightly
17-25
3
Burns moderately; tans about average
25 or more
4
Burns minimally; tans above average


For additional information, contact DHEC's Bureau of Radiological Health at (803) 545-4400.