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The Baumann Skin Type System (BSTS) is a skin-type classification system comprised of 16 distinct skin phenotypes. This approach to categorizing skin type was developed in 2004 by dermatologist Leslie Baumann, M.D., to subdivide research participants into specific distinct phenotypes in order to facilitate data collection and analysis as well as subject recruitment. The 16 Baumann Skin Types have been used in genetic research aimed at identifying the genes that contribute to skin characteristics such as dryness, oiliness, aging, pigmentation, and sensitivity. The BSTS optimizes communication between researchers, dermatologists, cosmetic scientists, aestheticians, advertisers, consumers, and educators. The classification system has been adopted by aestheticians, dermatologists, consumers, and retailers worldwide to match cosmeceutical ingredients and skin care product recommendations to specific skin types. It is applicable to all ethnicities, ages, and genders.

The Baumann Skin Type (BST) is determined by a scientifically validated questionnaire, known as the Baumann Skin Type Indicator (BSTI). In the United States, the 16 Baumann Skin Types have been the subject of the New York Times bestselling book The Skin Type Solution (Bantam 2005, 2010) and a public television special Skin Type Solutions with Dr. Leslie Baumann (2010, 2011). The Skin Type Solution has also been published in other countries including Australia, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Turkey, China, Vietnam, and South Korea.

BST can change with the use of a new skin care regimen, advancing age, travel or a move to a different geographic location, or a change in hormone status. It is recommended that patients retake the BSTI when one of these changes has occurred or when one’s current skin care regimen does not seem to be working.


The BSTS is based on the identification and combination of four main skin characteristics or parameters that apply to facial skin:

  1. Dry versus Oily

  2. Sensitive versus Resistant

  3. Pigmented (uneven skin toned) versus Non-pigmented (even toned)

  4. Wrinkle prone versus Tight (non-wrinkle prone).

One option from each of these parameters is assigned to the BST; therefore, 16 possible skin types emerge from the four skin-type parameters (Figure 1-1). For example, one BST is DSPW or dry, sensitive, pigmented, and wrinkled while another is ORNT or oily, resistant, non-pigmented, and tight. The 16 skin phenotypes are much more than just different combinations of basic skin characteristics. The individual parameters interact and express themselves in 16 unique skin “syndromes” that predispose certain skin types to specific dermatological issues and challenges, and dictate the courses of prevention and treatment. It is crucial to take all four of the factors into consideration when evaluating facial skin.


The 16 Baumann skin types.

Color Dot System

In order to simplify the BSTS, a color dot system was developed that assigns ...

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