An uneven skin tone, called hyperpigmentation, is irregular darkening of the skin. The cause: overproduction of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin and hair color. The resulting dark patches and spots are typically perceived as “aged skin” and can make you look more than 12 years older.
Dark spots are all too common. They can appear as a result of acne, sun damage, or a rash, which is also known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. They can can also occur when dealing with hormonal melasma. No matter the cause, it takes a special cocktail of brightening ingredients to lighten them up. That’s where dark spot correctors come in.
How is uneven skin tone caused?
Sun exposure: When your skin is repeatedly exposed to UV light, sun damage occurs. Brown spots and uneven skin tone develop as a result of too much melanin being produced to help protect your skin from UV light.
Pollution: Particles and gasses from traffic-related air pollution are able to penetrate the skin and lead to formation of brown spots, particularly on the face.
Hormones: Melasma is hormone-related hyperpigmentation caused by increased hormone stimulation. It’s most commonly experienced by women who are pregnant (which is why it’s also known as the “mask of pregnancy”) or taking contraceptives, but can also be a reaction to cosmetics or medications.
Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation: This is a darkening of the skin as a result of scarring, which can be caused by acne lesions or skin injury.
How to get an even skin tone.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on laser treatments and prescriptions. Here are ways to safely and non-invasively brighten skin for a more even skin tone:
You’ll most likely find vitamin C, which is known for its brightening properties, in most dark spot correctors. But for those with medium to deep skin tones, it might take other ingredients to help.
Any of our skin toning brightening and glowing packages will do but you have to be patient and know that this is a process and only consistency and keeping a good skincare routine will pay off over time.
Apply SPF daily. Unprotected sun exposure is the number one culprit behind hyperpigmentation. Applying a sunscreen or moisturizer with a Broad Spectrum SPF of at least 30 is the easiest way to help prevent new spots. Tip: Look for Oleosome technology, which increases SPF performance.
Exfoliate. Treat existing hyperpigmentation by first sloughing off dead, dulling skin cells at the surface. This clears the path for the ingredients in your serums and moisturizers to better penetrate the skin. Tip: Look for a gentle, micro-fine exfoliant you can use daily.
Use the right ingredients. Seek out products that contain Activated Charcoal to help remove pollutants; Oligopeptides, Niacinamide and Zinc Glycinate to help control melanin production; and Retinol to restore skin.
With all that in mind, we’ve gathered the best and the brightest dark spot correctors and removers from $20 to $300 on our site—so you can kiss dark spots goodbye at every budget—and for every skin tone. Scroll down to find the right one for you.
Be patient. There’s no quick fix for an uneven skin tone. Traditionally it takes at least 30 days of vigilant skin care treatment before you see any progress. Successful, 75 percent skin brightening can take up to four months, so don’t give up!