Home » Skin Blog » Skin Knowledge and Problems » Dr. Obagi’s Skin Color Classification System (2)

Dr. Obagi’s Skin Color Classification System (2)


Dr. Obagi divides skin color into three categories: original, deviated, and complex. Original skin color is further classified into three types: pure white, pure black, and dark Asian. Deviated skin color is a mix of two pure colors, such as Indian, Malaysian, and Native Americans. Complex skin color is even more intricate than deviated skin color, such as Pakistanis and adjacent regions. The distinguishing feature of complex skin color is extreme unevenness, especially after UV exposure.

Dr. Obagi found that original skin color quickly returns to normal after treatment or UV exposure and that pigment deposition after inflammation is rare. Deviated skin color takes longer to recover and pigment deposition after inflammation is more common. As for complex skin color, it takes a very long time to return to its original color, and pigment deposition after inflammation is very common. For the same treatment and skin condition, original skin color yields the most satisfactory results, while complex skin color is the most unpredictable and unsatisfactory. When dealing with non-original skin color, doctors control pigment first and take precautions to minimize the risk of inflammation-induced pigment deposition and to help the skin recover.

Aside from skin color, skin thickness is also one of the most important factors in pre- and post-treatment care. Thicker skin has a stronger resistance to treatment depth and intensity and less chance of bruising, pigmentation, and scarring. Therefore, doctors can use a stronger treatment regimen without adverse effects. In addition, many doctors overlook skin oiliness, which is critical to skin recovery. Excessive sebum can clog pores, leading to blackheads and acne. Poor oil control can exacerbate acne after treatment. Moreover, excessive sebum secretion may affect treatment depth because sebum forms a protective film that reduces the efficacy of treatments such as fruit acids and laser. Therefore, one of the reasons why treatment may not meet expectations is poor oil control and uneven sebum secretion, resulting in unsatisfactory treatment effects.