Uneven skin tone can be a problem faced by many of us. It is surprisingly easy to get, fortunately, there are some ways to help improve the overall appearance of your skin. Here is a little more information about uneven skin tone, it’s causes and treatments to prevent it from becoming a bigger problem.
What is uneven skin tone?
Uneven skin tone, also called hyperpigmentation comes in many forms;
- Dark spots
- Acne scars
- Patches of colour to the skin
- Age spots
- Some blemishes
These areas of uneven skin tone are caused by the overproduction of melanin (which is responsible for the pigment of your skin and hair) and can wreak havoc on the skin without you really realising it’s being damaged. When the skin experiences too much exposure of UV rays, for example, the melanin is able to escape through the holes in the damaged layers of skin and will develop a continuous stream of pigment resulting in the dark spots and areas becoming darker. Over time if this pigmentation is left untreated then the skin will begin to look significantly aged, same even say 10 years older!
What are the causes of uneven skin tone?
Pollution- Daily aggressors you encounter in your day to day life are terrible for the skin, not only for prematurely ageing the skin, but toxins from air pollution and environmental particles are able to penetrate into the skin and form dark spots on the face. Ensuring you cleanse your skin and have a great skincare routine will rid the face of these aggressors and keep your skin clear and healthy.
Sun Exposure- The sun’s UV rays are extremely powerful and overexposure to them will cause dark brown spots and uneven patches on the face and other areas. It is worth noting that you don’t have to be sunbathing to catch the rays on a sunny day, even from moving from your car to your office door is enough time for the damage to start. The sun’s rays are split into two, UVB is the one that causes the skin to burn and UVA is the one that ages the skin, this one is even able to penetrate through glass. But don’t panic, applying a daily SPF of factor 30 or above will keep the skin protected.
Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation- You will find dark spots and larger areas of the skin develop pigmentation post-inflammation, usually caused by a breakout of spots and pimples. This is a great demonstration of how poking and squeezing a spot to “pop” it will create more damage. Once the skin suffers from an injury or lesion the longer it will take to heal and you will find dark pigmented acne scars are left behind. In other words, hands-off and stop picking your spots.
Hormones- Hormone-related hyperpigmentation, also called Melasma, is experienced by expectant mothers who develop the “mask of pregnancy” you will also find that certain contraceptions, cosmetics and medications will cause this form of uneven skin tone.
How to get rid of uneven skin tone
Not meaning to sound too doom and gloom, but ridding the skin of dark spots and uneven skin tone takes a considerable amount of time and there are no products available out there that will be an overnight cure. You may also find that after treating the areas the pigmentation won't completely go, especially if it's reached the lower layers of the skin. They will, however, become a lot less noticeable to the naked eye. Here are some daily steps to take to ensure you are keeping your skin safe and treating any areas simultaneously.
- Daily SPF- This cannot be stressed enough, make an SPF a pillar in your morning routine. This will not only keep the UV rays away but will also protect from aggressors, such as pollution.
- Exfoliate- Exfoliating the skin 2 to 3 times a week will help buff away the dead skin cells that sit on the outer layers of the skin. By removing these and revealing new skin underneath you are slowly peeling away the pigmentation of any dark spots and therefore making them appear lighter.
- Skincare- Find a skincare routine that contains the best ingredients to treat and prevent uneven skin tone. Products containing chemical exfoliants such as AHAs and BHA will make light work of any brown spots
- Hydration- Drink plenty of water and moisturise the skin daily this will lock in hydration and keep the skin’s protective barrier healthy and working correctly.
Consistency is key and you will find your skin is remaining balanced and even with these simple steps, just image this routine is a giant sun hat that protects the skin from damage all day.
For areas that have become considerably worse or you have become very worried about than seeking help from a dermatologist would be best to discuss the next steps in treatment.
Which areas of the body can get uneven skin tone?
Any area of the body that has constant overexposure to the sun or pollution will develop an uneven skin tone. The simple steps that have been explained before can be used for any area of the body. Just always be mindful of the damage your skin is vulnerable to and do your best to keep up with the best routine.
How to treat uneven skin tone on the face
You will find hyperpigmentation affects the face a lot more than other areas of the skin, this is generally because the face is often out in the sun and other environmental aggressors. It is with this in mind we will share with you the best ingredients to look out for when investing in your skincare routine.
- Vitamin C – Also called Absorbic acid when it is included in skin care products and is derived from fruits such as oranges, strawberries and pomegranates. Vitamin C contains a lot of antioxidants and can protect the skin from any free radicals that damage the tissue and layers of the skin causing dark spots. You will also find this vitamin boosts the skin giving it a stunning glow.
- Chemical Exfoliants- Facial acids such as glycolic and salicylic work hard at penetrating the deeper layers of the skin and removing any build of dead skin cells that leads to blemishes and a lacklustre complexion. You will also find that the pigmentation of dark spots begins to lighten over time and lock in hydration into the skin.
- Chemical Peels – If you are finding the over the counter products are not providing the results you are hoping for, then asking for help from a trained professional should be your next port of call. They are able to use higher, medical-grade concentrates of AHAs and BHAs that are stronger and deliver quicker results.
Though finding you have uneven skin tone and brown spots may be disheartening, all is not lost, especially if you act quickly. Establishing a protective routine and finding the best treatments for your skin will mean you won’t need to worry about uneven skin tone for long!