Millions of women, and men, look at themselves in the mirror every day and wonder if there’s a magic pill they can take to even out their skin tone. Uneven skin tone is a very common dermatological issue. It can be caused by multiple factors, affects everyone from teenagers to older people, and has a plethora of treatments that promise to cure it.
Uneven skin tone, also known as hyperpigmentation, is generally caused by aging. A study by Clinique suggests 25% of women are concerned about skin hyperpigmentation.
The biggest contributing factor is prolonged sun exposure. UV light can damage skin over a number of years, and much faster if you do not take precautions like using sunscreen with adequate UV protection. This results in liver spots as well as other skin pigmentation problems.
Not all uneven skin tone is caused by the sun, however. There are many different skin issues that can cause hyper pigmentation. Chloasma (Melasma), for example, is caused by elevated hormones – and is most common during pregnancy. It can also flare up in new users of the contraceptive pill.
Depending on what your uneven skin tone has been caused by, there might be a way to reverse – or at least stop – the damage.
Chloasma will usually go away on its own once the hormone levels go back to normal. However, other skin tone issues might need clinical – or home – treatment. Here’s a look at 10 uneven skin tone treatments that will help.
#1. – Prescription Drugs
Severe skin pigmentation issues can be treated with prescription drugs. A dermatologist might prescribe retinoic acid or hydroquinone, although it’s important to note that in the last few years any cream containing hydroquinone has been banned in many countries due to health concerns. So do your research before using it.
#2. – Microdermaabrasion
Microdermabrasion therapies will remove the upper level of your skin, thereby removing the damaged skin cells. This will result in smoother and clearer skin. Treatments take from 10 to 30 minutes, and are usually performed once a week, for 5 to 10 weeks. After effects can include redder skin right after the treatment, but this will fade.
#3. – Chemical Peels
Much more invasive, chemical peels will use a chemical solution to remove the top layer of your skin. Causing anywhere from slight tingling to skin reddening for weeks – depending on how deep the chemical peel goes into your skins layers – these are much more uncomfortable, yet provide faster results.
#4. Light Therapy (IPL)
Pulsed light therapy, also known as laser treatments, will target just the uneven skin tone areas and cause minimal side effects. Performed by qualified dermatologists, this treatment takes much longer for the results to be obvious, and you will need to go back every week or so for follow-up treatments. How many sessions you need will depend on how uneven your skin tone is.
#5. – Over the Counter Creams
You can also try over the counter skin brightening/whitening creams. Usually these contain the same ingredients as prescription medicine, but in much lower quantities which is why you won’t need a prescription to buy them. (Remember to check for hydroquinone) They might also contain supplements like Vitamin E or C, mulberry extract, or niacinamide.
Depending on the cream you choose, their effects can range from lightening uneven skin tone to preventing further skin damage. Read through the ingredients carefully before buying, and make sure you aren’t allergic by doing a test on a small patch of skin first.
Creams that include only natural ingredients, like Meladerm, are a much safer bet compared to those with prescription drugs in smaller quantities.
A problem as widespread as uneven skin tone has just as many home remedies that promise to tackle it. Take them with a grain of salt, as not all of them will work or be effective for every individual, but as they contain natural ingredients and are low-cost, there’s no need not to try them out.
#6. – Milk
Milk is said to have skin bleaching properties, and will lighten and soften your skin. However, you cannot use milk you bought in a store. You will need raw milk, straight from the source, that hasn’t been boiled yet. Use a cotton ball to rub it on your skin and leave for 20 minutes. Wash it off with lukewarm water.
#7. – Milk Powder
Just like milk, milk powder also has bleaching properties. Take a tablespoon and mix it with some milk to make a paste. Apply it to your face and neck like a mask, and let it dry. Once dry, use your fingers to massage your skin and remove the paste. Try this four times a week.
#8. – Yogurt
Yogurt, being a milk-product, has the same bleaching agents in it as milk. Take a tablespoon of organic yogurt (not flavored or processed), add some water and mix it well. Apply like a face mask and let it dry completely. Wash it off with lukewarm water. It will both exfoliate your skin as well as lighten your skin tone.
#9. – Baking Soda
Baking soda is a natural exfoliator. It will gently scrub the surface of the skin, and remove the dry and flaky skin cells on the surface. Take a tablespoon of baking soda and add rosewater or pure water to it to form a paste. Apply it onto your face and neck, and leave for a few minutes. Massage your face and neck, to benefit from the exfoliation thoroughly, and then wash off using lukewarm water.
#10. – Sugar
Sugar, like baking soda, is an exfoliator. It will scrub away the older skin cells on the top and reveal younger looking skin. Make a sugar paste by mixing sugar granules with just a little water. Add some of your face cream and mix it in well as well. Rub this scrub on your face and neck like any face scrub. Wash away with lukewarm water.
There are all kinds of treatments available to help you deal with uneven skin tone. Remember that prevention is the best cure, so don’t go out in the sun without adequate skin protection and drink lots of water to keep your skin hydrated.