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Is It Possible For Morenas To Get 'Pantay' Skin? We Asked A Dermatologist

‘It's an interplay kasi of genetics and luck.’
PHOTO: getty images

"Pantay skin, by definition, means you have even skin pigmentation, including flexural areas," explains dermatologist Dr. Erin Tababa, also known on Twitter as @TheNerdyDerma. Flexural is the official term for what we Filipinos know as the singit.

However, as most morenas can attest to, achieving flawless pantay skin is a difficult feat. A lot of us struggle with dark underarms, elbows, knees, and even inner thighs. So is it even realistic to aim for an even complexion? What causes the darkening? What can we do about it? Here’s what Dr. Tababa has to say:

Can morenas really get "pantay" skin?

Dr. Tababa: Yes, it's possible. But it doesn't mean it's easy. Let me introduce the concept of Fitzpatrick skin types. This was created by Dr. Fitzpatrick, a dermatology professor from Harvard, and it's based on the genetic predisposition and reaction to tanning or sun exposure. Caucasians are types 1 to 2 (usually burns, rarely tans when exposed to the sun), while Filipinos fall under 3,4, or 5 (3 = sometimes burns, 4 and 5 = rarely burns, always tans).


Morenas fall under Fitzpatrick 4 to 5. Because of that, kahit kaunting inflammation, friction, irritation lang sa skin natin, predisposed na tayo agad magkaroon ng darkening. But, there are the lucky ones na kahit morena, even pa rin ang skin tone sa entire body. A lot of us have focal areas with slightly hyperpigmented (that's the official term for darkening) skin—doon sa areas that are exposed to triggers like friction or irritation. For example, you used a deodorant na hindi ka hiyang. Sometimes, even your sweat can cause irritation. You can get post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation after mo masugatan or magka-pimple.

Is there anything specific morenas can do to have pantay skin should they want it?

Dr. Tababa: It's an interplay kasi of genetics and luck. Some of us are just lucky to have pantay skin kahit morena. To those who have some focal darkening, there are options para magpantay yung skin like peels, creams, and lasers. On the other hand, pwede rin naman gawa ng medical condition kung bakit hindi pantay. For example, if one has a dark nape, it is possible that she has acanthosis nigricans or she's overweight kaya may friction between the flexures. Kapag ganun, it is best to address the condition muna before doing any brightening treatments.

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What's your personal opinion about this beauty standard for morenas?

Dr. Tababa: What's important is to love and care for the skin you're in. I would prefer to have pantay skin, but at the same time, I am also aware that it's kind of tricky to achieve for us morenas. Kailangan din i-balance yung need to look your best versus Instagram expectations. A lot of times, unrealistic na yung goal like glass skin or poreless skin. If may areas na gusto mo mai-improve, seek professional help and avoid self-medication.

What do you think of pantay skin, CGs?

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