Asian woman with bright glowing skin at home

Uneven skin tone is a popular term in the skincare world, but what is it, really? When people talk about uneven skin tone, they’re usually referring to hyperpigmentation. It isn’t necessarily a skin condition but a term that describes areas of skin that are darker than the rest of the body. This darkening can appear as dark spots or cover larger areas, resulting in so-called uneven skin tone. Hyperpigmentation isn’t harmful, but it can be a symptom of other conditions. Here are the different types and how to treat them:

Sunspots

This one has many names. Also called solar lentigines, liver spots, and brown spots, this type of pigmentation comes from aging. As we age, our skin becomes thinner, dryer, and a bit translucent. It can also develop brown, white, or red patches called suns spots. These appear on areas constantly exposed to UV rays, such as the face, neck, arms and hands, and shoulders. If you’re always under the sun without sunscreen, you may develop sunspots sooner.

Sunspots differ from freckles, a genetic feature in people with fair skin. The latter is flat, brown spots that become more visible with sun exposure. They fade with less frequent exposure to UV rays. Unlike sunspots that appear later in life, freckles fade as you get older 

For sunspots on your body, use Vaseline Gluta Hya Flawless Glow. It has Gluta Glow technology that reduces the causes of dark skin, along with Hyaluron, which has 10 times the brightening power of Vitamin C. This formula also contains Pro-Retinol to help increase the rate of cell turnover for more radiant skin.

Melasma

Melasma is caused by hormonal changes and is often associated with pregnancy.

Melasma differs from other types of hyperpigmentation because of its cause. Instead of sun exposure, hormonal changes in the body, often associated with pregnancy, are the primary cause of melasma. Also known as “the mask of pregnancy,” melasma is characterized by dark patches of skin on different parts of the face. Usually, it appears on the forehead, cheeks, nose, and around the lips. It’s more difficult to treat than other types of pigmentation because of its cause. 

To improve uneven skin tone, use products with brightening ingredients, starting with your cleanser. A clinical trial published in the National Institutes of Health found niacinamide to be effective in decreasing melanogenesis. POND’S Vitamin Micellar Water Brightening Rose has niacinamide, along with Vitamin A, B5, C, and E to improve skin tone and smoothness. Use it as a cleanser on its own or as a first step in a double cleansing routine.

Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

Avoid picking at your pimples to prevent post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is the marks your acne leaves after it heals. These marks are the result of injury from the inflammation of the skin, leading to uneven skin tone. The more serious the inflammation, the darker and larger the mark. According to the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, this is the skin’s natural response to inflammation. Aside from acne inflammation, PIH can also result from an inflamed wound, scrape, or rash. PIH can also develop from sunburn, dermabrasion, or chemical peel.

It’s different from scarring because there is neither a loss nor an overgrowth of tissue that results in a pitted or raised scar. The best way to avoid uneven skin tone from PIH is to avoid touching your pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. When you pick or pop a zit, you increase your risk of inflammation and pigmentation. While most instances of PIH fade over time, some need a little bit of help with topical treatments.

A study published under the National Library of Medicine is effective in lightening hyperpigmentation. It also has anti-inflammatory and photoprotective properties that help improve skin health. To help with uneven skin tone, apply POND’S Vitamin Duo Brightening Sheet Mask. Formulated by Korean beauty experts, this has 50 times more Vitaboosters from Vitamin C to exfoliate the skin. It also has antioxidant-rich pineapple enzymes that help fade dark spots. 

Correctly identifying the cause of your uneven skin tone can help you and your dermatologist choose the best treatment. Meanwhile, at home, observing a brightening skincare regimen and religiously applying sunscreen can help.