Ideally, skin should be soft with a smooth, even texture, but it’s not uncommon to have skin that feels rough and irregular. Sometimes this is due to specific skin problems such as rosacea or acne, but it can also be a product of sun damage, aging or the result of using the wrong skin care products. Dry skin can also cause skin texture to feel rough and uneven, especially during the winter months. Uneven skin texture not only feels unpleasant, it makes skin look dull because it doesn’t reflect light as well. In addition, it makes it hard to apply cosmetics smoothly.
What Causes It?
Skin in areas that are not exposed to sunlight is usually soft and smooth to the touch, an indication that sun damage contributes to uneven skin texture. Sun exposure causes the breakdown of collagen and elastin that gives skin its smooth texture and resiliency. Smoking also damages collagen and elastin and contributes to rough, prematurely aged skin. Aging is another common cause of irregular skin texture. With aging, surface skin cells aren’t shed as rapidly. This causes dead skin cells to build up, leading to skin that feels rough and has a dull appearance. Dry skin that lacks moisture also feels less smooth to the touch.
There are a variety of treatments that can improve uneven skin texture. One of the most effective is to exfoliate the surface of the skin to remove dull, dry skin cells that have built up. With exfoliation, you’ll see immediate results as dead cells are gently removed to reveal healthier skin underneath. Exfoliation not only improves skin texture, it also gives skin a youthful glow. After exfoliating, it’s important to follow up with a moisturizer to shield skin against further water loss that can make it feel dry and rough.
Glycolic acid is a weak acid that most commonly comes from sugar cane. When used topically, it increases skin cell turnover so that dry, dead cells are shed more rapidly. This creates a smoother skin surface. Not only does it improve skin texture, it gives skin a more youthful appearance by softening fine lines and causing it to reflect light better.
Sun protection should also be a priority since sun damage contributes to uneven skin texture by breaking down collagen and elastin. Choose a sunscreen that offers high-powered protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Wear it indoors and outdoors since UVA rays can penetrate glass.
There are other treatments that are administered by a dermatologist or esthetician in order to improve uneven skin texture. These include microdermabrasion and chemical peels using a higher strength of glycolic acid to remove the outer layer of skin cells, revealing smoother skin underneath. These treatments are effective, but they require a series of treatments, which can be expensive.
The Bottom Line?
Uneven skin texture makes skin look older, and it makes it difficult to apply cosmetics evenly. Fortunately, gentle exfoliation, sun protection and treatments that contain glycolic acid improve skin texture while making skin look smoother and more youthful.