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When asked what their primary skin care concern is, many women will respond with uneven skin tone. Hyperpigmentation in the form of age spots, sun spots, freckles or acne scarring can be quite frustrating to deal with and difficult to get rid of. Luckily, there are skin care ingredients, products and steps that can help you to even out your skin tone for a brighter look. “The winter months are the best time to treat an uneven skin tone, especially since, compared to the summer, you’re out in the sun a lot less,” says Amy Wechsler, M.D., dermatologist in New York. Repair your uneven skin tone for a brighter complexion using the following tips.
While exfoliating won’t get rid of age spots or other areas of hyperpigmentation, it can help with acne, which is another cause for uneven skin tone. Additionally, when dead skin cells accumulate on the surface of your skin, your complexion goes from bright to dull quickly. Using a product designed to rid the surface of your skin from dead skin cells allows newer, healthier and brighter skin to surface. Look for a chemical exfoliant, because physical exfoliants can be too harsh and cause more damage to your skin. Alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids are ideal for exfoliation. These chemical exfoliants both work by loosening and dissolving the bonds holding dead skin cells together, and then gently sloughing these dead cells from your skin.
“Sunspots are extremely common in all skin tones and can show up in the form of freckles (these tend to fade when you’re out in the sun), larger brown patches, or sun spots,” notes Wechsler. These forms of photodamage are major contributors to an uneven skin tone, and to keep your skin looking bright you need to continue to protect your skin against ultraviolet radiation. Not sure what kind of sunscreen you need? “It should be a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum of an SPF 30,” Wechsler advises. Broad-spectrum is important because it protects your skin from both UVA rays (which are primarily responsible for aging) and UVB rays (which cause burns and deeper skin damage).
Grab Some Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that also happens to be incredible for brightening your skin tone. This skin care ingredient works to lighten hyperpigmentation that is already present on your face, while adding protection against further damage. Studies have indicated that vitamin C boosts your skin’s natural ability to protect itself from the sun, which means that vitamin C can make your sunscreen even more powerful.
Treating an uneven skin tone is certainly not a once and done process, it requires consistent attention and care to see lasting results. Use the last few weeks of winter to begin to reverse any photodamage you may have, and use the above tips to help brighten your skin so you’ll have a natural glow when spring arrives.