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Celebrating The Beauty Of Difference

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Our skin colour on the Pantone Chart is a beautiful palette of light, medium, and dark hues. Don’t be afraid of your skin colour, instead celebrate your colour tone. You are #alreadylovely.

Embracing a multitude of skin tones reflects the true richness of human diversity. Our world is a mosaic of cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds, each contributing unique stories and experiences. Every shade of skin shade is unique and beautiful, and to fully appreciate and celebrate that, we must understand how skin colours work.

Skin Complexion, Skin tone and Undertone

While you may have heard all of these terms and used them interchangeably, did you know that there is a difference between complexion, skin tone and undertone? Understanding terms related to skin colour can be a bit nuanced and they may have different meanings depending on context so let us break down some of the key differences. 

Complexion refers to the overall appearance of your skin, including its colour, texture and clarity. It encompasses a broader view of the skin’s natural state. Skin tone, however, refers to the surface colour of your skin that gives it its general hue. This changes according to factors like sun exposure, ageing, and hormones and is what most of us first notice about a person’s skin.

Undertone, on the other hand, is the underlying hue beneath your surface skin tone. It remains consistent throughout your life and determines how colours appear against your skin. There are four main undertones: cool, warm, olive and neutral. Cool undertones have pink or blueish hues, while warm undertones have yellow or golden hues. Neutral undertones have a mix of both warm and cool hues. People with olive undertones often have a slightly greenish or greyish hue.

Celebrating all skin tones

Understanding the complexity of skin colours and the various factors that contribute to them is crucial in creating a truly inclusive and diverse world.

Historically, societal beauty standards have often centred on a specific skin colour, causing numerous individuals to harbour feelings of insecurity and shame about their natural appearance. Beauty, however, has no singular definition, and every individual’s skin colour holds its unique beauty.

When we celebrate every skin colour, we dismantle archaic beauty standards that declare that only a certain skin colour is ideal. While the world has progressed from Eurocentric ideals of beauty, with credit largely due to the rise of South Korea as a soft power, our beauty ideals are still homogenous – it has simply shifted from one culture to another. While it is heartening to see that the world at large has welcomed other forms of beauty, it is still important to celebrate our individuality and not chase a certain ideal.

Embrace your heritage, culture and ancestry by embracing your skin tone and recognise and appreciate the beauty in others. 

Pantone, a company known for its colour-matching system widely used by designers, recognises the importance of celebrating all different skin tones and has come up with a system to promote accurate representation and celebrate inclusivity for all skin tones called the Pantone SkinTone Guide.

Pantone SkinTone Guide

Designed to ensure accurate colour reproduction in various industries, the Pantone Skintone Guide provides a standardised way to communicate and match skin tones to ensure that everyone in every community is represented.

The Pantone Skintone Guide is used across a wide variety of industries such as fashion, cosmetics, design, digital gaming and more, echoing the move toward inclusivity embraced by more across the globe. 

The newly expanded guide released in 2023 includes 28 new shades in addition to the 110 existing shades. These 28 new shades consist of a wider array of darker tones and yellow undertones, an expansion inspired and informed by Pantone customers seeking out specific colour matches that represent their communities.

We must move beyond simply acknowledging differences in skin colour and actively celebrate them. No one shade is better than another, and every single one is worthy of admiration and pride.

By promoting inclusivity and diversity, we can break away from societal beauty standards and embrace our individuality. Remember, you are already lovely, no matter your skin tone on the Pantone Chart. Let’s celebrate and embrace our uniqueness together. #alreadylovely

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