Have you looked at your face in a mirror lately noticing strange patches of differently colored skin? No worries, it has happened to any one of us at some point in life. Uneven skin tone can occur due to many factors and it’s a sign that your skin wants to tell you something. Or, rather, to complain to you. In most cases, you can easily adopt certain methods and tricks to make it better or completely even it out. But for a start, read on to find an answer to your questions about why and how the irregularities in our skin tone appear.
Reasons For Uneven Skin Tone
A condition called hyperpigmentation is the essence of why the color of our skin can differ in some areas. The skin’s pigment, or the substance that gives our skin its color is called melanin.
When certain factors lead to overly increased melanin production it can show as darker patches of skin. Obviously, the number one culprit of hyperpigmentation is sun exposure – especially if it’s without adequate protection. We all love tanning, but we tend to not care much about what tanning does to our skin. Harmful UV rays cause irreversible damage to our skin, which can quickly show as uneven skin tone after the summer is gone.
With age, our skin’s ability to perform its functions weakens, thanks to a drop in collagen production. This causes all sorts of imperfections to start showing – the most obvious ones being fine lines and wrinkles. Another common consequence of aging is uneven skin tone.
So-called dark spots or age spots might appear the surface of your face or parts of it. The more you’ve been exposed to sun damage, the more prominent will these imperfections be when your skin starts aging.
Another reason behind uneven skin tone has to do with overly dry skin. Skin that is dry is usually deficient in sebum, the natural oil produced by the sebaceous glands in the deeper skin layers. This makes it easy for dry skin patches to crack and start flaking, especially if you haven’t taken proper care of your naturally (or temporarily) dry skin. The parts where flaking occurs are often accompanied by discoloration and can appear paler and patchy.
While most reasons why you may get uneven tone have to do with a lack of proper care on your part, the other side of the coin offers nothing better. Overdoing cleansing, exfoliation or the use of harsh chemical face products can mess up your skin’s natural pH balance. Your skin is like a smart organism with a mind of its own (after all, it’s the largest organ of the human body). It detects what happens to it and adjusts its function accordingly to bring everything back to normal. This is how it regulates its own normal pH level, which is essential for the running of all its cellular functions. When you wash too often or use alcohol-containing chemical face products you can change the pH environment of your skin cells. It responds by working overtime to bring things back to normal, but this causes more chaos and you get imperfections on the surface as a result.
A whole range of other factors may be the reason behind a suddenly uneven skin tone, including nutrient deficiencies, hormonal fluctuations, chronic dehydration and more serious skin conditions such as melasma. That’s why it’s good to consult a dermatologist for a correct diagnosis, especially in cases of more serious skin irregularities and if they appeared all of a sudden.
At this point it’s important to stress though: Nobody in the human race has a perfectly even skin tone on their face. You can achieve such a thing with a picture editing program or in making a sculpture, or a doll. The real face, however, has to have some natural color here and there. A bit of red on the cheeks and the nose, a bit of shadow under the eyes. It gives your face its shape and individuality. This means you shouldn’t go overboard when examining tone irregularities. No need to thicken the layers of concealer and foundation to cover your natural rosy cheeks. No need to strive for artificial magazine cover skin tone. Be realistic and learn to distinguish a healthy complexion from skin damage-caused uneven skin tone. That being said, what can you do to improve your skin’s appearance if it’s definitely not meant to look as it does? We’re sharing useful tips in the next section.
How to Even Out Skin Tone?
Here are some guiding lights when it comes to proper skin care routine to combat uneven skin tone. As we mentioned previously, though, if you’re faced with a more serious case of uneven skin tone, make sure to first consult a skin expert.
Exfoliate to Even out Skin Tone
If you don’t know where to start, properly-done exfoliation is always a great first step. If you don’t even know what the term means, it’s a sure tell-tale sign that you’ve been neglecting your skin and it’s paying you back. No need to sulk though, we’re here to help.
Exfoliation means the process of removing dead cells from the skin’s surface in order to help your skin regenerate. Exfoliation, also known as peeling, is quick and easy and you can do it at home.
First, think about your skin type. Don’t assume you have sensitive skin just because you’re now facing patchy, flaky complexion. What kind of skin have you always had? It may be dry or normal, not necessarily sensitive. Based on this you can choose a mild drugstore chemical peel or you can make one at home.
Here’s a good recipe for a simple-to-make, cost-effective DIY chemical peel which can help you even out your skin tone:
1 tablespoon of raw honey
1 tablespoon milk
a few squeezes of lemon juice
Mix all ingredients well and apply to the affected area of a previously cleaned and damp face. Leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water and follow up with a moisturizer.
The ascorbic acid in lemon combined with the lactic acid in milk act as exfoliators, removing dead cells and dirt from your skin. The Vitamin C in lemon helps lighten skin tone, while honey deeply moisturizes your skin. Repeat this every other day until you see improvements in your complexion. It can take a while to get visible results, but this mask has absolutely no side effects.
You might want to read this article on the topic of peels as well.
Brighten Darkened Skin Patches to Even out Skin Tone
Your best ally in bringing your complexion back to normal are products containing Vitamin C, such as everyone’s favorite, the Vitamin C serum. It’s the most potent skin brightener, so it will work wonders on those darker skin patches and age spots. Find a good quality Vitamin C product and don’t lose time to start using it.
Some other kitchen cabinet ingredients for homemade facials that are effective in brightening skin include lemon juice (no wonder, when it’s full of Vitamin C), apple cider vinegar and castor oil.
Hydrate Well to Help Your Skin Even out Its Complexion
It cannot be overstressed how important proper hydration is to skin health. In the time of busy lifestyles, fast-food diets and air pollution in most urban areas, your skin needs help.
You have to invest some extra thought, time, and effort into designing a proper skin care routine for yourself. And then stick to it. This is the only way to ensure beautiful, healthy and youthful skin. Proper hydration is the basis of any good skincare routine. Be persistent with a twice-daily application of a facial moisturizer. When it comes to uneven skin tone, you need to support your skin so it can restore its natural balance, and moisturization is essential.
Don’t Leave the House without Sunscreen
It’s never too late to correct your mistakes. Sunscreen is not something you buy before going to the beach. Sun damage can occur at any day of the year, regardless of the weather conditions.
One of the most widespread myths related to skin care claims that sunscreen does more damage than good. This is absolutely wrong. Of course, the way you choose what sunscreen to use matters. Always check the ingredient list and make sure it’s free of harsh and harmful chemicals. The offer nowadays is vast.
A trick related to this is to choose a daily moisturizer with an SPF factor. Start using it today. While this won’t necessarily address your current skin imperfections, it will certainly prevent them from getting worse.
In the long run, you couldn’t do a better flavor to your skin than to start shielding it from harmful UV rays. This way, you’re making sure that in the later years of life you won’t stress over ugly, patchy, marked skin. The recipe to beautiful and healthy skin is in your hands.