Everyone desires clear, even, and glowing skin. Although there is no such thing as perfect skin, certain skin issues like hyperpigmentation might make your skin tone appear more uneven than normal. You might notice your skin tone appearing darker in some areas (like the area around the mouth and eyes) and lighter in others. And this can be worrisome.
Using a face primer and a layer of concealer and foundation helps in hiding those uneven patches. But did you know that you can even out your skin tone naturally? If you spend hours and hours mastering the best technique to blend your makeup, you might benefit from discovering the natural and organic ways to treat uneven skin tone.
The first and foremost step you need to take to solve any skin issue is to find the root cause. Let us discuss some of the leading causes of uneven skin tone.
How Hyperpigmentation Causes Uneven Skin Tone?
Hyperpigmentation isn’t a skin condition but rather a term that refers to dark spots on the skin. Hyper means above. Pigment means color. Together, hyperpigmentation refers to excess production of melanin. Melanin is a pigment that is produced by melanocytes. It is responsible for the color of our hair, eyes, and skin.
You can observe the excess production of melanin after a day in the sun when your skin gets tanned. This happens because the complex polymer is a part of our body’s natural defense against harmful UV rays. Melanocytes increase their production of melanin in response to sun exposure. As the production levels of melanin increase, the dark brown colored pigment spreads across our skin. These spots are formed when melanin is overproduced and can range in color, size, and shape.
This pigmentation is harmless, unlike the melanoma growths that occur when melanocytes become cancerous. Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to warding off the harmful effects of the sun. But, if you already have hyperpigmentation, you can still treat it.
Unfortunately, hyperpigmentation isn’t the only cause of uneven skin tone. Learn more about the other reasons by scrolling down. (1) (2)
What Else Causes Uneven Skin Tone?
Various other factors besides hyperpigmentation can trigger uneven skin tone. Some of the most common ones are listed below. (3)
Do you love to bask in the winter sun during chilly days? Well, who doesn’t! But when this love affair with the sun becomes too intense, you have problems to face. Your skin produces excessive melanin, as discussed above. The UV rays damage your skin cells by making the exposed areas darker than the others. (4)
Skin inflammation, caused by acne or injuries like cuts, eczema flare-ups, and burns, is never fun. Besides being uncomfortable, it can also leave a reminder in the form of scars or dark spots. When the skin undergoes the healing process, our natural protector, melanin, gets triggered. As a result, our skin tone becomes uneven. (5)
Dry skin often lacks sebum, making it vulnerable to cracking up easily. Unhealthy or damaged skin triggers melanin which leads to discoloration and patchy skin.
Age spots, also known as solar lentigines, are dark patches caused by sun damage as we age. Over time, these dark patches tend to darken and become more noticeable and pronounced. Age spots are most common for people with lighter skin tones, though they can affect all skin tones. They are usually flat, oval-shaped, and beige, brown, or black colored. Generally, age spots are observed in the most exposed areas to the sun for many years (like on the face, shoulders, arms, hands, and chest.) (6)
Going through the hormonal changes in the body is enough as it is, but alas, they can also cause uneven skin tone. Especially if you are on some form of contraceptives or pregnant, the imbalance in hormones leads to high melanin production. Another word for all of this is melasma. You may also develop melasma if your skin reacts to certain drugs or cosmetic products.
Though you can’t see them, floating particles in the air like smoke, chemicals, dust, and carbon dioxide are always present. These particles can seep into your pores, and as they get into your pores, your immune system gets into defense mode. Your skin starts producing excess melanin. As a result, your skin becomes more uneven. (7)
How To Correct Uneven Skin Tone
Armed with the knowledge about the underlying causes of uneven skin tone, you can now begin treating it. Let us take the first step towards correcting your complexion. Ready to get started? Read on.
1. Opt For A Skincare Routine That Suits Your Skin Type
The first and foremost step that you need to take is choosing products that suit your skin type. Using the wrong products can lead to additional problems like acne or dry, flaky skin instead of treating discoloration. If you are not sure which formulas are best suited for your skin type, don’t worry. Here is some help -
If you have dry skin, you need to look for mixtures with more oils or lipids than water (water-in-oil emulsions). Products with lipid film will smooth out cracked skin and prevent further loss of water from the epidermis (skin’s outermost layer). So, use products that have water-binding ingredients like urea, glycerin, and lactic acid. These ingredients enhance the hydrating effects of moisturizers.
If you have combination skin, you need to take special care. For dry areas, you need to use products that contain more oils or lipids than water (water-in-oil emulsions). And for oily areas, to prevent clogged pores, you need to use products that contain more water than oils and lipids (oil-in-water emulsions).
If you have normal skin, you need to focus on keeping the skin clean and moisturized without making it too oily. So, use water in oil emulsion formula for daytime, and an oil-in-water emulsion formula is recommended for nighttime use.
Oily skin types should only use oil-free fluids. Find oil-in-water emulsion skincare products that are labeled “non-comedogenic.” These products decrease the likelihood of clogging enlarged pores.
Also, don't forget to exfoliate your skin regularly. Exfoliating your skin plays a crucial role in managing uneven skin tones. Exfoliation helps the correcting ingredients present in your cleansers, toners, serums, and moisturizers penetrate the skin's epidermis layer. You first need to remove the dead and dull skin cells from the surface to allow the right ingredients to do their work. So find an exfoliator that is best suitable for your skin type. Use it twice a week to erase away dark spots.
The best way to exfoliate your skin is to apply your exfoliator to clean and damp skin. And using your fingers, gently rub the exfoliant across your face in a circular motion. Wash the product off with lukewarm water.
Also, make sure you are not exfoliating too aggressively or too frequently. Otherwise, you might make the problems worse by disturbing the skin’s natural equilibrium.
2. Make Lifestyle Changes
The following are a few lifestyle changes that you can make to help your skin heal and even out.
1. Stay Hydrated
As we all know, drinking at least eight water glasses helps keep the skin youthful and glowy. It also helps in replenishing the skin and reducing the early signs of aging. Drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated. Also, avoid consuming carbonated drinks or have added sugars as these drinks cause pimples and build-up oils. Alcohol, too, can dry out the skin.
2. Stay hydrated for even skin
As discussed above, staying out in the sun for too long causes hyperpigmentation. To protect your skin from the sun to some extent, make sure to apply good sunscreen during the day, even in winters. Reapply it whenever you are directly under the sun. This also helps in keeping the age spots at bay. (8)
Read - Which Sunscreen Lotion Is The Best For You?
3. Maintain A Balanced Diet
Don't just limit your skin treatment to using suitable skin care products. Consider taking it to the next level and treat it from the inside. Avoiding all types of junk food is essential when it comes to maintaining good skin health. These foods may trigger flushed, uneven complexions. Certain foods like sugary snacks can also speed up the development of age spots and uneven complexions. So, avoiding them helps in achieving the even skin tone that you desire.
Foods items to avoid are -
- Alcohol - alcohol causes blood vessels to dilate. This leads to a flushed face.
- Spicy foods - Spicy foods increase redness.
- Foods that are high in refined sugars.
- Dairy products - dairy products can trigger various skin irritations, including acne.
- Greasy or overly processed foods.
Consuming large quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables will heal your skin from within. They also help in fighting sunspots and give your skin deserved protection against free radicals. Maintaining a balanced diet is a more permanent and long-term solution for treating uneven skin tone.
Foods to include are -
- Green tea - As we all know, green tea is great for skin as it is rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants help in improving the quality of your skin while reducing the visible aging effects.
- Citrus - Citrus-rich foods like oranges and tomatoes help reduce pigment, repair skin cells, and minimize the effects of UV exposure. Grapes, carrots, and watermelons, a great source of a powerful antioxidant called Lycopene, can quench free radicals.
- Salmon - Salmon, Tuna, and other kinds of seafood are rich in healthy fatty acids and Omega 3. These foods help in preventing hyperpigmentation and allow your body to repair the damaged skin.
4. Regular Exercise
If you desire a healthy and fit lifestyle, you should work out for at least thirty minutes five days a week. When you keep your body fit, you ensure better circulation, which will help with the production of new skin cells. Production of skin cells is really important when it comes to achieving even skin tone and healthy-looking skin.
3. Home Remedies
Dark patches that cause uneven skin tone always get weaker when treated with the high acidity levels of lemon or lemon juice. The richness of vitamin C and other anti-inflammatory compounds in lemon makes it an excellent remedy for any skin issue. However, before using it on the sunburn affected area, make sure it is diluted so that your skin doesn’t burn.
Step 1: Mix one part of freshly squeezed lemon juice with five parts of plain water. (Alternatively, you can also add honey)
Step 2: Using a sponge or cotton ball, dab the mixture on the affected area.
Step 3: About ten minutes later, rinse off with cool water to reveal brightened, glowing skin.
2. Baking Soda
The minerals and carbonate salt content present in baking soda are excellent for lightening uneven specks on your skin. The exfoliating properties of baking soda also help provide a natural cleansing and calming effect to the skin.
Step 1: Make a paste with baking soda and a little bit of water.
Step 2: Apply the paste onto the skin and use your fingers, moving in circular motions, slightly scrub your face.
Step 3: Leave it on for about 15 to 20 minutes. Then, rinse off with cool water.
3. Turmeric Powder
As we all know, Turmeric is a time-tested herbal medicine for numerous skin issues. It is popularly used as a natural remedy for brightening dull skin.
Step 1: Mix a pinch of turmeric powder with milk and water to make a smooth paste. (Alternatively, you can also add gram flour to create a paste.)
Step 2: Apply the paste to the affected areas of the skin.
Step 3: You can leave this overnight and wash it off the following day for reinvigorated skin with an even complexion.
4. Multani Mitti
Multani Mitti, also known as Fuller's Earth, is considered mother nature's gift to rectify a host of skin woes. Its inherent antimicrobial properties and skin-fortifying components help in visibly brightening the skin, clearing all impurities' pores, and preventing acne.
Step 1: Mix Multani Mitti with water or milk of your choice to make a fine paste.
Step 2: Apply the paste all over the face, leave it on for about 20 minutes. Then wash off with lukewarm water. You can repeat this process once a week.
5. Honey And Oatmeal Exfoliant
Honey is an excellent source of antimicrobial compounds. These compounds help in killing bacteria that cause acne and irritation (11). On the other hand, Oatmeal helps in soothing irritation and minimizing redness while gently buffing away dead skin (12). These two ingredients together make for a skin-evening powerhouse.
Step 1: Mix one tablespoon or 15 mL of raw honey with one tablespoon or about 6 grams of ground oatmeal.
Step 2: Apply this paste on the face and gently rub your skin in a circular motion using your fingertips. Then, wash it away with cool water.
Step 3: You can also add skin-soothing essential oils like peppermint, tea tree, chamomile, or cinnamon oil (13). But, always dilute these essential oils in a carrier oil like jojoba or olive oil.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar And Onion Juice
Apple cider vinegar has become popular these days as a cure-all and is suggested for skin, nails, hair’s good health. When combined with onion juice, it serves as a great remedy to lighten dark spots.
Step 1: Cut onion and collect the juice that comes from it. Mix this juice with equal parts of apple cider vinegar.
Step 2: Apply this mixture all over the face and leave it on for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Step 3: Rinse off with cool water.
4. Natural Skin Care Products Proven To Treat Uneven Skin Tone
The following are the six best Kama Ayurveda products proven to give you an even skin tone free of dark spots, blemishes, and age spots. They are made from natural ingredients, so you can be assured of their benefits without having to worry about side-effects.
Kama Ayurveda's Kumkumadi Thailam is an Ayurvedic formulation that contains a blend of authentic natural oils and herbs that help the skin appear radiant and youthful. Kumkumadi Tailam is prescribed as an essential beauty treatment for the face in the ancient Ayurvedic text of Ashtanga Hrudaya.
This aesthetic formulation is clinically proven to illuminate and brighten skin while delaying the signs of aging. This serum also contains pure Kashmiri Kumkuma to give your skin an everlasting natural glow. While the extracts of Indian Madder help tone the skin, Vetiver, and Lotus help calm and cleanse the skin.
How To Use?
You can use this serum in your nighttime ritual after cleansing and toning your face. After toning your skin with Rose water or any water-based toner, massage the Kumkumadi Miraculous Beauty Fluid Ayurvedic Night Serum gently in upward stroke until it gets fully absorbed.
Kama Ayurveda's Suvarna Haldi Chandan is a complexion-enhancing face pack. It is proven to give you youthful vibrance, smoothness, and luminosity. With purifying, antibacterial Turmeric, and soothing, anti-aging Sandalwood, this formula helps treat acne and blemishes. With the natural astringent qualities of Rose, this pack tightens open pores and tones the skin. The extracts of Orange Peel which are rich in antioxidant properties, fight against premature skin aging.
How To Use?
- Mix 2 to 3 teaspoons of Suvarna Haldi Chandan using Kama Ayurveda’s Pure Rose Water/Pure Mogra Water (for dry skin), Or Pure Lavender Water/ Pure Vetiver Water (For sensitive, acne-prone, oily skin). You can also use milk, aloe vera, honey, or yogurt. Make a fine paste.
- Apply this paste to moist skin and leave it on until it dries. Then, rinse clean.
You can use Suvarna Haldi Chandan once a week.
Kama Ayurveda's Nalpamaradi Thailam is a natural skin illuminator and de-tanning oil for both face and body. It is prescribed in Ayurveda to lighten complexion as well as repair and soften skin. Potent Turmeric, with its antioxidant action present in this classic formula, is best known to treat pigmentation, uneven skin tone, and marks. Other botanicals like moisturizing Sesame Oil, cooling Vetiver, repairing Indian Gooseberry, and antibacterial Madder extracts in this magical oil help heal and relieve skin damage.
Nalpamaradi Thailam is highly recommended as a bridal beauty treatment for its repairing, healing, and brightening properties.
How To Use?
Take a few drops of Nalpamaradi Thailam and gently massage into the skin, ensuring the affected areas are covered. Leave the Thailam for about half an hour and rinse clean with a mild cleanser.
Kama Ayurveda’s Kumkumadi Brightening Face Scrub is a luxuriant face exfoliator that combines a host of skin-repairing ingredients with the potent Ayurvedic Kumkumadi Thailam to smoothen, brighten, and firm skin.
This Ayurveda formula contains the finest saffron to brighten and moisturize the skin naturally. The ground Walnut powder acts as a gentle exfoliator and removes dead skin cells as well as excess oil. Rich in Vitamins E and D, the finely grounded almonds help nourish and nurture the skin while lifting away impurities and pollutants.
How To Use?
After cleansing the face, take an appropriate amount of Kumkumadi Brightening Face Scrub and apply on to the face. Now, gently massage the skin in circular motions with your fingertips. Then, rinse clean.
You can use this scrub twice a week.
Kama Ayurveda's Kumkumadi Rejuvenating And Brightening Ayurvedic Night Cream is a perfect leave-in night treatment for naturally radiant and youthful-looking skin. This rich formula is a mixture of potent and rare ingredients proven to brighten skin, reduce dark circles and pigmentation.
Rich in antiseptic properties, the Indian Madder and Aloe Vera present in this formula helps prevent fine lines and reduce the signs of aging. Lotus and Vetiver help in cooling and cleansing the skin while clearing blemishes. Licorice which is an excellent source of antiseptic properties, protects against fungal and bacterial infections.
How To Use?
After cleansing, tone your skin with Pure Rosewater or a natural water-based toner. Then, apply enough amount of Kumkumadi Rejuvenating & Brightening Ayurvedic Night Cream onto the face and neck. Now, massage the face with upward strokes until the product is absorbed.
With that, we conclude our recommendations for natural skin care products to even out your skin tone. If you’ve any queries about forming the right skin care routine to even out your skin tone, book a free consultation with our Ayurvedic beauty experts.
- Hyperpigmentation Therapy: A Review - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4142815/
- Latest Insights into Skin Hyperpigmentation - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022202X15526651
- Facial hyperpigmentation: causes and treatment - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bjd.12536
- Hyperpigmentation and the sun – What causes dark spots and how can I protect my skin? - https://int.eucerin.com/skin-concerns/sun-protection/hyperpigmentation-and-the-sun
- Postinflammatory Hyperpigmentation - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2921758/#:~:text=PIH%20within%20the%20dermis%20results,at%20the%20site%20of%20injury.
- Hyperpigmentation in Aging Skin - https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007%2F978-3-642-27814-3_51-3
- Pollution as a risk factor for the development of melasma and other skin disorders of facial hyperpigmentation ‑ is there a case to be made? - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25844605/
- The Role of Sunscreen in Melasma and Postinflammatory Hyperpigmentation - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6986132/
- Are Natural Ingredients Effective in the Management of Hyperpigmentation? A Systematic Review - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5843359/
- The Hunt for Natural Skin Whitening Agents - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2801997/
- Honey in dermatology and skincare: a review - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24305429/
- Anti-inflammatory activities of colloidal oatmeal (Avena sativa) contribute to the effectiveness of oats in the treatment of itch associated with dry, irritated skin - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25607907/
- Commercial Essential Oils as Potential Antimicrobials to Treat Skin Diseases - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5435909/