How to Visibly Even Out Your Skin's Tone, According to a Dermatologist
Discoloration and dark marks seem to linger on our complexion for much longer than the acne and cuts that caused them in the first place. Whether it’s one little dot or a few marks, these blemishes on our once-even skin tone can be a real nuisance, but aren’t necessarily permanent in all cases. According to ethnic skin expert, founder of Kwan Dermatology, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. William Kwan, you can help even out the look of your skin tone with a little patience and the right tips.
WHAT CAUSES AN UNEVEN SKIN TONE?
UNEVEN SKIN TONE CAUSE #1: ACNE
Dr. Kwan notes that in order to create the right action plan for your uneven skin tone, you have to find out what’s behind it. While he did say that active acne can lead to red and brown marks in their wake, pimples aren’t the only factor that can lead to an uneven skin tone.
UNEVEN SKIN TONE CAUSE #2: SUN EXPOSURE
If you’re a sunbather, you may want to cut down on the amount of time you spend exposing your skin to the sun’s harmful UV rays. Dr. Kwan says that sun exposure can also lead to premature age spots and skin discoloration. The truth is in the science: according to a study published by Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, excessive UV exposure can lead to an array of skin issues in regards to appearance, one of the major ones being skin discoloration and pigmentation.
UNEVEN SKIN TONE CAUSE #3: HORMONES
This cause of skin discoloration and uneven skin tone is unfortunately out of our hands. According to the International Dermal Institute, your hormones can play a role in an uneven skin tone. The Institute notes that periods of heightened estrogen levels can actually leave you more susceptible to skin pigmentation and melasma, a skin condition that leads to brown or grey-brown patches on the skin.
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR SKIN’S TONE
While there’s no fool-proof way to avoid uneven skin tone for good, there are quite a few ways to help improve the appearance of your skin’s tone for a more even-looking complexion. To give your skin a more polished, even finish, check out a few of these expert tips:
TIP #1: USE A SKIN BRIGHTENER
Dr. Kwan recommends investing in a skin brightening product to help fade the look of dark spots and marks over time. One of our favorite brightening skincare products is the SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF. This serum is formulated with a fusion of antioxidants, like ferulic acid and vitamin C, and can help diminish the appearance of discoloration for brighter days ahead.
TIP #2: APPLY RETINOL
When it comes to an uneven tone, Dr. Kwan also recommends reaching for a product that contains retinol. This skincare ingredient has been touted for decades as an essential. According to a study published by the Clinical Interventions in Aging, retinol can help tackle the signs of photoaging, which includes discoloration.
However, it’s important to remember that retinol is a powerful ingredient and can cause skin sensitivity to sunlight. Make sure you introduce your skin to retinol in small amounts and low concentrations, and apply it right before bed in the evening. During daytime hours, apply broad-spectrum SPF 15 or higher diligently and take other sun protection measures. To introduce retinol to your skin for the first time, we recommend SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5, which is a pure retinol night cream that’s formulated to tackle a variety of skin issues.
TIP #3: PRACTICE PROPER SUN SAFETY MEASURES
As we stated before, exposure to the sun’s harsh UV rays can lead to an uneven skin tone, so Dr. Kwan states that it’s extremely important to stray from excessive sun exposure and to keep your skin guarded with broad-spectrum sunscreen daily (yes, even on cold or cloudy days, too!). In addition to sunscreen, be sure to wear protective clothing and seek shade when possible. To learn more about proper sun protection measures, check out our ultimate sun safety guide.