Whether you have dry, oily or combination skin or whether you are black, white or asian. It is important to ensure that your skin tone is even throughout. Uneven skin tone or hyperpigmentation as it is properly known, can make you appear older than you actually are. Also for many people it is one of those nagging skin problems that they have tried so hard to overcome but have failed miserably. Unlike, say ageing, which is a natural process that is inevitable. Tackling uneven skin tone on the other hand can be overcome and is easier than you think. The key to this is knowing firstly, how to avoid it and secondly, if you suffer from it, knowing what actions to take.
Why Do We Get Uneven Skin Tone?
Some people naturally produce more melanin than their body requires them. Melanin causes the skin to appear darker on some parts compared to others. This then leads to uneven skin tone, especially around the mouth area or for some on their cheeks. For others,the main culprit is too much sun exposure (read 'Why is it important to wear sunscreen' to really understand how the sun damages the skin and what precautions to take). Having too much exposure to the sun not only causes uneven skin tone but in the long term will damage the tissues and accelerate the ageing process. The ultra violet rays will penetrate deep into the skin causing all sorts of problems.
Steps to Avoid Uneven Skin Tone
Avoid the Sun – Firstly you should avoid too much sun exposure. However, if you are one of those that cant help yourself and simply love the sun then you should make sure sure you have adequate protection. Wear a sunscreen with with high SPF. Make sure it is spread generously and ensure you reapply every few hours.
Skin lightening creams and serums – Applying these creams or serums over a long period of time can really reduce uneven skin tone and give a more uniform look. It may also brighten the skin as well. However, you should be a little careful and ensure you use products that wont harm your skin. For example, countries such as India and China are flooded with skin lightening products. Many are harmful to the skin as they contain ingredients such as mercury that will in the long term do serious damage to the skin.
Skin lightening soaps – If you have uneven skin tone on parts of your body then I would recommend you use a skin lightening soap. Not only will it give you smoother skin but it will also make the skin softer as they slough off the upper layer of the skin. However, be sure to only use these on your body and not your face. Trust me. The texture of the skin on the face is not really designed to withstand this treatment.
Microdermabrasion – This is really good. It is an exfoliating treatment that sloughs off the top layer of skin and can be used for the face. It will get rid of the uneven skin tone and newer, less sun damaged skin will appear. The treatment isn't very intrusive and will also help in other problems such as fine lines and wrinkles. The downside is that you have to have many treatments which can be a little expensive.
Chemical peel – For me personally, this is a bit on the extreme side of skin correction. However for people who wish to use this method it can bring really good results. If done properly then chemical peels will certainly diminish uneven skin tone. Not only this but it will tighten the skin and give a more younger look. One thing to bear in mind however, is that once you've had this procedure then sunscreen becomes even more important.
Home Made Remedies – Many people have used these treatments and swear by them. One remedy is to get dry orange peels. Grind them, then add natural yogurt. Allow this mixture to sit on the affected area for about 15 minutes then wash it off. You can also try using lemon juice. Use a cotton ball and dip it into the juice of a squeezed lemon (you can dilute some water if it stings too much). Dab the cotton ball to the affected area. If done regularly it will help minimise the uneven skin tone.