Global classification of human facial healthy skin using PLS discriminant analysis and clustering analysis

Int J Cosmet Sci. 2001 Apr;23(2):67-73. doi: 10.1046/j.1467-2494.2001.00068.x.


Today's classifications of healthy skin are predominantly based on a very limited number of skin characteristics, such as skin oiliness or susceptibility to sun exposure. The aim of the present analysis was to set up a global classification of healthy facial skin, using mathematical models. This classification is based on clinical, biophysical skin characteristics and self-reported information related to the skin, as well as the results of a theoretical skin classification assessed separately for the frontal and the malar zones of the face. In order to maximize the predictive power of the models with a minimum of variables, the Partial Least Square (PLS) discriminant analysis method was used. The resulting PLS components were subjected to clustering analyses to identify the plausible number of clusters and to group the individuals according to their proximities. Using this approach, four PLS components could be constructed and six clusters were found relevant. So, from the 36 hypothetical combinations of the theoretical skin types classification, we tended to a strengthened six classes proposal. Our data suggest that the association of the PLS discriminant analysis and the clustering methods leads to a valid and simple way to classify healthy human skin and represents a potentially useful tool for cosmetic and dermatological research.