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Different environmental illumination has a great impact on face detection and recognition. Automatic detection and radiant correction of highlighted regions on face images is helpful to identify human faces correctly in a color image. In this paper we present a novel approach based on dichromatic reflection model to detect and remove highlights in the face region. After inspecting the distribution configuration of skin pixels in various color models, we perform the highlight analysis on a critical two-dimensional plane instead of in a three-dimensional chromatic space. This brings forth some advantages: computational complexity is reduced, a ratio between eigenvalues is proposed in a stepwise PCA to detect automatically the existence of highlighted face region and estimate the skin dichromatic reflection vectors, by which highlight in the face region can be removed.