Are you struggling with uneven skin tone on your body or face? If you are, you are not alone. Many people are asking the same question, “What Do I Do to Even Out My Skin Tone?”
In addition to being unsightly, uneven skin tone can age you 12 years! In a world where we strive to maintain youth, adding 12 years due to uneven skin tone is emotionally upsetting.
What Is Uneven Skin Tone?
Uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation, is irregular darkening of the skin. Melanin, the pigment responsible for skin and hair color, is produced in excess with dark spots and patches resulting, and unfortunately perceived as aging skin. Research confirms that hyperpigmentation from excess melanin can make you look 12 years older.
What Causes Uneven Skin Tone?
There are 4 elements involved in causing uneven skin tone: sun exposure, hormones, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and pollution.
- Sun exposure: when you are exposed to excess UV light the body tries to protect against skin damage and produces too much melanin. This causes brown spots and uneven skin tone. You may not see this at first as you tan nicely for years when sunbathing; however, it is cumulative, and years of tanning may lead to this disturbing skin issue. Because you may have no issues with burning when exposed to sunlight you may forgo using sunscreen, leading to sun damage after years of exposure. At that point damaged has occurred and trying to correct it is much more difficult than preventing uneven skin tone issues. In addition, if you use a Retinol type product and sunbathe, the risk of hyperpigmentation rises with sun damage as a result. Before exposing yourself to the sun, be sure that the products you are using do not contain ingredients that are photosensitive increasing your sensitivity to the sun.
- Hormones:hormone related hyperpigmentation is known as Melasma.This can occur from the change in hormones during pregnancy (“mask of pregnancy”), or from taking oral contraceptives. On a personal note, I never had the “mask of pregnancy” during 4 pregnancies but did develop Melasma as a result of taking oral contraceptives years later. The good news is usually it will reverse itself after the pregnancy and after discontinuing oral contraceptive use. In some cases, it may linger, and treatment is needed to even out the skin tone.
- Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation: this occurs from scarring caused by acne or an injury. In addition, an insect bite may cause inflammation and irritation leading to a raised bump that is scratched causing a slight scar that turns brown, and is irreversible unless it is extracted.
- Pollution:traffic related air pollution may penetrate the skin leading to the development of brown spots, especially on the face.
How Do I Correct Uneven Skin Tone?
There are many treatments for uneven skin tone from high tech lasers to topical creams to cover up foundation and concealers. Whatever you choose, the right plan can erase pigmentation if you identify the cause for the pigmentation. This helps determine the correct treatment and avoid making discoloration darker. Visiting a dermatologist is very helpful in determining the best course of treatment.
Some tips for correcting uneven skin tone include but are not limited to:
- Look for products with natural ingredients, such as vitamin E
- Products for fading dark spots should also be moisturizing as hydrated skin is key for clear, even tone. Be sure to drink at least 64 ounces of water to hydrate skin from the inside out. Adding cucumber slices or lemon slices to water further assists in boosting skin
- Avoid hydroquinone. Although it will fade dark spots quickly, it can cause more harm than good.
- Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks as they both have negative effects on skin giving the appearance of premature aging.
- Apply sunscreen daily to avoid sun damage. If your makeup does not contain sunscreen, apply sunscreen under make up.
- Exercise regularly as it helps generate new skin cells keeping complexion even and young.
- Eat a healthy diet with no processed or junk foods. More fruit and vegetables help promote healthy skin. Blueberries and salmon have antioxidants that are known to even out skin tone.
- Exfoliate to remove dead skin cells and prepare the skin for ingredients that will help even skin tone.
- Baking soda paste is a home remedy and if used a few times per week will gently exfoliate and even skin tone. Add a few drops of water to one teaspoon of baking soda to form a paste. Leave paste on skin for a few minutes and then gently massage it into your skin with upward circular motion for 3 minutes. Then rinse with warm water and pat skin dry.
- Try a yogurt mask to lighten and even skin tone. Yogurt has natural bleaching properties that help exfoliate and improve skin tone. Add one teaspoon of water to one tablespoon of plain yogurt and mix. Apply to face and neck for 20-30 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat dry. Yogurt can lighten hyperpigmentation from sun damage and is safe to use 4-5 times per week.
- Tomatoes contain lycopene and are helpful to lighten and even skin tone. Apply juice and pulp of a tomato to skin twice per day leaving on skin for 15 minutes before rinsing with cool water.
- Applying lemon juice and honey to the skin is another all natural at home remedy for uneven skin tone. Try a mask with ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon honey and 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice. Mix to create a paste and apply to skin for 30 minutes and rinse with warm water. Cinnamon is a great antioxidant and nutmeg is a great anti-inflammatory creating a nice cocktail of ingredients for the skin. Lemon helps to build collagen and lighten skin and honey will detoxify skin.
- Lemon juice can be applied alone to help lighten skin as it contains citric acid, a natural lightener. In addition, the vitamin C will also work to even skin tone. Squeeze lemon juice in a bowl and use a cotton ball to apply to face. Leave on face until dry and rinse with warm water.
- One of the best solutions to uneven skin tone is Apple Cider Vinegar. Using a toner with Apple Cider Vinegar also fights blemishes and tightens pores and fights the signs of aging. Try Timeless Organics Tonerand see the results after using this toner twice per day.
There truly are many treatments to treat uneven skin tone from home remedies to creams to high tech laser treatments. What will work for you? Sometimes it is trial and error until we find the right solution. The key is that there are options and you are not doomed to living with the unsightly dark spots from sun damage and hyperpigmentation. Follow the above tips and visit Timeless Organicsfor all of your skin care needs.