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 can help in hiding those uneven patches. But did you know that you can even out your skin tone naturally?
Rather than dedicating hours to perfecting makeup blending, consider finding an uneven skin tone home remedy that works for you.
For this, the first and foremost step you need to take is to find the root cause. Let us discuss some of the leading causes of uneven skin tone - the biggest one being hyperpigmentation.
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.
Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to warding off the harmful effects of the sun. But, if you already have hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone treatment is possible naturally with home remedies.
Unfortunately, hyperpigmentation isn’t the only cause of uneven skin tone.
Various other factors besides hyperpigmentation can trigger uneven skin tone. Some of the most common ones are listed below.
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)
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.
You need to choose 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.
Exfoliation is key to addressing uneven skin tones. It enhances the effectiveness of cleansers, toners, serums, and moisturizers by allowing them to better penetrate the skin's epidermis.
To let these products work their magic, it's essential to clear away dead and dull skin cells. Choose an exfoliator suited to your skin type and use it bi-weekly to diminish dark spots.
For optimal results, apply the exfoliator to clean, damp skin and gently massage in circular motions using your fingers. Rinse with lukewarm water. Remember, over-exfoliating or being too rough can disrupt the skin's balance, potentially exacerbating issues.
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.
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)
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 by consuming only the best food for glowing skin. 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 -
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 -
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
The following are the different home remedies that can give you the even skin tone you dream of.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What is an uneven skin tone?
Uneven skin tone, often referred to as hyperpigmentation, refers to the irregular darkening of patches of the skin, especially on the face. This can be caused by a variety of factors including sun damage, aging, and inflammation of the skin.
What causes uneven skin tone on the face?
Common causes include sun exposure, skin damage from injury, skin inflammation, and certain skin conditions. Other factors, like aging, can also lead to age spots and uneven complexion.
How do different skin types affect uneven skin tone?
Every skin type - dry, oily, combination, and sensitive skin - reacts differently to external factors. For example, oily skin may be more prone to dark spots from sun damage, while dry skin might experience flakiness along with unevenness.
How can I get rid of uneven skin?
Removing dead skin cells through exfoliation and protecting your skin from UV rays are crucial steps. It's also essential to use products tailored for your skin type to ensure the best results.
Is uneven skin tone a common skin condition?
Yes, uneven skin tone is a common skin concern faced by many. Factors like sun exposure, skin damage, and even genetics can contribute to an uneven complexion.
How does sun exposure affect uneven skin tone?
Sun exposure can exacerbate hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone. Prolonged sun exposure without protection can lead to sun spots, age spots, and worsen the existing uneven tone.
How often should I exfoliate to manage uneven skin?
Exfoliating helps remove dead skin cells, improving skin texture. It's generally recommended to exfoliate 1-2 times a week, but always ensure you're not over-exfoliating as it can disrupt the skin's natural balance.
What role does moisturizing play in maintaining an even skin tone?
Keeping your skin hydrated can help manage uneven skin. Moisturizing ensures your skin barrier remains intact, preventing further damage and promoting healthier skin.
Are there specific products for oily or dry skin to combat uneven skin tone?
Yes, products are tailored based on skin type. For oily skin, non-comedogenic products can help reduce unevenness without causing breakouts. Dry skin types might benefit from hydrating products that lock in moisture.
What are expert-approved tips for evening skin tone?
Experts often recommend regular exfoliation, using sunscreen, staying hydrated, and following a balanced skin care routine tailored to your specific skin needs.
How does hyperpigmentation differ from an uneven skin tone?
While both relate to skin discoloration, hyperpigmentation specifically refers to the darkening of an area of skin due to an increase in melanin. An uneven skin tone can include hyperpigmentation, but it also encompasses redness, dullness, and other discolorations.
Remember, while managing an uneven skin tone, it's essential to understand the underlying cause and treat your skin with care. Always consult with a dermatologist for persistent skin concerns.
Shreya Dalela is a certified Yoga instructor and a professional dancer trained at The Danceworx. She’s passionate about Ayurveda and holistic living with over 6 years of experience in doing extensive research and content creation in the domain.
An ayurveda doctor with 14 years of experience in yoga, panchakarma and general wellness. Currently working with Kama Ayurveda, analysing and remediating dermatological concerns and queries of the consumers via in-store, virtual and IVR consultation.