Patchy skin and uneven skin tone can be caused by a multitude of factors. Whether you’ve spent time in the sun without wearing a broad-spectrum SPF or you’re one of the 15 to 20% of women whose hyperpigmentation is caused by melasma, there are a few skin tips and tricks that will help to even out your skin tone. Read on to find out more about the essential skincare steps you should be focusing on as well as the ingredients to include in your routine.
What causes patchy skin?
Put simply, hyperpigmentation is what causes patchy skin and uneven skin tone. This discolouration of skin occurs when too much melanin is produced in certain areas. As melanin is responsible for making your skin appear darker, uneven production can causes dark spots. How hyperpigmentation is triggered is a more complex matter, but the most common causes include sun exposure, acne and scarring, hereditary skin conditions, hormonal changes, and lifestyle choices such as smoking.
5 tips to help you manage patchy skin
1. Know your skin type
A recent poll that surveyed 4 000 women across eight countries found that 68% of skincare users believe it’s important to know what’s best for their skin type. And they’re not wrong. While oily skin is generally less fussy, dehydration can worsen pigmentation. If your skin is sensitive or dry, it’s important to ensure you’re getting the hydration you need for glowing skin.
2. Wear sunscreen
When it comes to preventing pigmentation, there’s one product that cannot be ignored: broad-spectrum SPF. A healthy dose of sunscreen will protect your skin from the harmful UV rays that worsen pigmentation and patchy skin.
A lot of how your skin looks is determined by the way it reflects light. A rough, uneven surface is unlikely to look even and toned, so ensure that you use a gentle salt-based mechanical scrub enriched with alpha-hydroxy acids to slough off dead cells. Once a week should do the trick.
4. Stay hydrated
Be sure to keep your skin moisturised – both inside and out. Purchase a pretty reusable water bottle that you can carry around or keep on your desk to ensure you’re sufficiently hydrated. When you’re looking at nourishing creams and lotions, go for a moisturiser that contains antioxidants like Vitamins E and C. These nourishing ingredients will help to reduce the appearance of dark marks while revitalising your skin.
5. Say AHA
Alpha-hydroxy acids, also known as AHAs, are known for their chemical exfoliation powers. Not only do they rid the skin of dead cells, they also penetrate deep into the dermis to provide moisturisation and encourage collagen production. Look out for glycolic acid, citric acid, malic acid and tartaric acid if you’re after younger-looking, glowing skin.
One of the best ways to prevent pigmentation and patchy skin is to wear sunscreen daily. In addition to protecting your dermis from harmful UV rays, you should understand your skin type and what products will work best for it. Be sure to stay hydrated – inside and out – and exfoliate regularly with mechanical and chemical exfoliants.