Asian girl in red

Even as we grow more open to all kinds of beauty, the obsession with skin color among Filipinos is still prevalent. We cling to the idea of skin color, whether porcelain or morena, as a measure of someone’s attractiveness. 

Research published by the Virginia Commonwealth University examines the Filipino obsession with skin whitening products. According to the study, American colonial rule and the resulting colonial mentality is to blame for our obsession with white skin. However, it also suggests that it could also stem from the desire for “cosmopolitan whiteness,” which is white beyond a racial or ethnic category. 

Meanwhile, we are in the middle of a brown skin revolution. Our most recent Miss Universe Philippines, Beatrice Luigi Gomez, is proudly morena. Celebrities like Kathryn Bernardo are also using their platforms to tell followers that they are beautiful in their natural skin color and to defy beauty standards that say otherwise.

No matter how much we analyze the phenomenon, the choice still comes down to personal preference. If you find something that makes you feel more confident, go for it. Morena, mestiza, or medium-toned, here’s how you can celebrate and embrace your true colors.

Who says you have to be light-skinned to wear pink? Show off your morena glow in your favorite color.

Do you avoid red, pink, or orange because “it makes you look darker”? If you have a morena skin color, celebrate it by challenging these so-called rules and wearing the colors you love. If fuchsia makes your heart flutter, go ahead and wear it. The bolder the statement, the better it comes across. Who knows, you might inspire others to embrace their morena skin, too.

Exfoliate Regularly

No, regular exfoliation won’t make you “whiter.” According to an article published in the National Library of Medicine, while exfoliating AHAs such as glycolic and lactic acids are effective treatments for melasma and post-inflammatory pigmentation by inhibiting tyrosinase activity, they are not skin whitening agents. They won’t lighten your skin tone. 

Exfoliating can, however, even out your skin tone, thus making it brighter and glowing. It can also give you smoother skin that’s more receptive to skincare products, increasing their effectiveness. Using a body scrub or a chemical exfoliant regularly can give you the confidence to show off your natural skin.

Give It a Glow

After exfoliating, make sure to moisturize with a deeply nourishing lotion. Try Vaseline Gluta-Hya Serum Burst Dewy Radiance, which contains Hyaluron and Gluta-Glow technology, which has 10 times the antioxidant power of vitamin C for a dewy glow. For supple skin, use Vaseline Gluta-Hya Serum Burst Flawless Glow, which has pro-retinol that speeds up cellular turnover, making your skin smoother and even-toned, whatever your skin color.

Use the Right Foundation

The wrong shade of foundation is a disservice to your natural beauty.

Wearing a foundation that’s lighter or darker than your skin color is a disservice to your natural beauty. As the foundation of your look, the wrong shade can ruin your makeup no matter expertly applied. Check your undertones. If your skin tone is warm, go for a shade with yellow undertones. If it’s cool, go for one that has pink undertones. For everyday wear, go for a foundation that provides medium to light coverage, so your natural skin still shows. 

Always Wear Sunscreen

All skin types and skin colors would benefit from sunscreen. Apart from reducing the risk of skin cancer, it also prevents photoaging, limits the appearance of dark spots, and protects you from sunburn. Wear sunscreen every day, even if you’re staying indoors. Even on overcast days, the skin can still absorb up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays. Moreover, 50% of UVA rays can penetrate glass and remains the main cause of premature skin aging, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Celebrating your natural skin color doesn’t have to be complicated. The simple act of taking care of your skin is enough. If you’re fixated on skin color, give these baby steps a try to love your skin more.