Uneven skin tone is one of the most common skincare concerns, and it can be caused by a variety of factors, including UV exposure, genetics, and age. Luckily, there are several (natural!) ways to course-correct, and it doesn’t have to include an expensive Hollywood facial or a dozen costly creams. We’ve asked our skincare experts for their best tips for evening skin tone and creating a brighter, healthier-looking complexion as a result.
Whether you’re already a skincare maven or are new to the game, we’ve rounded up our favorite dermatologist-approved ways to even your skin tone, from simple lifestyle fixes to our favorite serums and creams.
Creating a glowing, radiant, and even complexion starts from the inside out. Regularly drinking enough water is a great way to prevent barrier damage to your skin and even reduce pesky redness, itching, and flaking that can contribute to an uneven skin tone and patchy dryness. Try to keep yourself hydrated by drinking purified water, toxin-reducing juices, or other beverages to help flush out impurities and harmful toxins on a cellular level to create a strong foundation for your skincare routine. After all, staying hydrated increases blood flow, leading to a glowing, youthful complexion that will make a big difference in your skin’s health–before you even begin with your favorite products!
It may seem like a no-brainer, but using sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays should be an imperative part of your skincare routine. Not only will wearing sunscreen prevent immediate redness and irritation from sunburns, but it also works as a preventative measure for reducing (or eliminating completely) age spot formation. Make sure to choose a high-quality, natural brand and apply it daily, regardless of the weather or cloud cover. After all, about 80% of rays can still penetrate on rainy days!
Cleanse with a Natural Face Wash
Now that we’ve covered the basics, we can begin to explore simple, easy-to-use products that will make a big difference in your skincare routine. If you already struggle with an uneven skin tone, we’d recommend using a natural, exfoliating face wash to help clear dead skin cells while removing dirt, oil, and other harmful impurities. Regularly exfoliating encourages cell turnover and regeneration, which will help improve the appearance of dark spots and other discolorations along the way.
Look for natural, gentle washes that will cleanse and refine your skin without aggravating your skin’s natural barrier. Products with retinol, vitamin C, and glycerin are all excellent options. If you have lash extensions, no worries! These products are super gentle, and likely won’t cause irritation.
Use a Hydrating Toner
Using a hydrating toner is also a great way to lessen redness, and there are plenty of easy-to-find, cost-effective products to add to your routine. We’re partial to witch hazel, a skincare superhero that’s best known for shrinking pores and easing inflammation. This is due to its medicinal anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties, and it’s absolutely worth the hype. It’s easy to find at your local drug or beauty store, and its unique make-up can work in tandem with other skin-cleansing products in your routine to reduce pore size, inflammation, and tighten your skin, creating a more youthful, radiant appearance along the way.
Witch hazel comes in a variety of sizes and formulations and often looks pretty enough to leave on your counter—and you can even keep it with your other skincare products in cute fabric storage bins—rather than shoving it into your bathroom drawer.
Dark spots and natural discoloration is often the biggest roadblock when it comes to achieving clear, even skin. While some age spots, inflammation, or redness may fade on their own, most are persistent and may need the help of medical-grade skincare to fully remove them. Look for serums and creams with brightening effects. It’s important to remember that these issues aren’t just limited to lighter complexions, either—skin discoloration creams are often highly effective on darker skin tones, too.
A rough, uneven skin tone can be caused by genetics, sun exposure, or simply age, but there’s a variety of simple methods that can be used to treat, and even remove completely, these marks. Start by staying hydrated and using sunscreen to prevent the formation of uneven skin tone in the first place. And always prioritize hydrating skincare products, like gentle face washes, toners, and serums to help stubborn spots fade.
Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and world of fitness.