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Uneven Skin Tone

Even skin tone is considered to be the ideal from a beauty standpoint, but skin often becomes more mottled with an uneven skin tone over time. This happens when too much melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color, is produced. This is a source of great frustration, especially when it involves the face. Not surprisingly, some women try to cover it up with make-up, but this isn’t a very satisfying solution. Fortunately, there are better ways to deal with this common skin problem.

What Causes It?

Anything that triggers overproduction of melanin can cause uneven skin tone. This most commonly comes from overexposure to the sun and female hormonal fluctuations. Another less frequent cause is a condition called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation that comes from injury to the skin or scarring due to acne. Less frequently, increased melanin production can be a sign of a medical problem, a nutritional deficiency or a side effect of medications.

Sunlight is the frequent cause since melanin production is the skin’s way of protecting itself against damage. People who have spent lots of time in the sun or frequented tanning booths are more likely to have problems with uneven skin tone. Women are also at higher risk during pregnancy and around the time of menopause when hormone levels fluctuate. Birth control pills can also cause pigmentation problems and irregular skin tone.

Treatment

A high-powered sunscreen is a must for dealing with uneven skin tone. Sunlight stimulates melanin production, which can worsen the problem and make other treatments less effective. The best sunscreen is one that protects against both UVA and UVB light and has an SPF of at least 30. Sunscreen isn’t just for outdoors. UVA rays can even penetrate glass, so it’s important to wear sun protection daily - even indoors.

Hydroquinone is a chemical that’s been used for more than half a century to treat uneven skin tone due to hyperpigmentation. It works by blocking the main enzyme involved in melanin synthesis. It works best when combined with glycolyic acid since the weak acid makes it easier for the hydroquinone to penetrate the skin. Glycolic acid also helps to slough off the outer layer of skin, which helps to remove superficial cells containing melanin.

Another chemical called kojic acid also helps to lighten pigmented areas that cause skin tone to be uneven. It’s a natural acid that’s a by-product of the fermentation process used to make Japanese sake.

Retinoids like those in prescription strength Retina-A are often used to treat acne and aging skin. Retinoids help to fade pigmented areas, but they work best when used in combination with hydroquinone. Otherwise, it can take 6 to 12 months to see results. Dermatologist can also do a series of facial peels using acids of various strengths to decrease pigmentation over time. Unfortunately, people with darker skin tones can sometimes experience increased skin pigmentation as a result of this treatment.

The Bottom Line?

There are a variety of effective ways to treat uneven skin tone that comes from overproduction of melanin. In many cases, a combination of hydroquinone and glycolic acid will fade darkened areas over time and improve skin texture too.

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Uneven Skin Tone Products

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This two-step peel combines the benefits of a detoxifying mask with the brightening of an oxygen facial.
$62.00
PY10002
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Resurface dull, rough skin and restore silky softness to arms and legs with this potent treatment.
$42.00
6 oz | EX136
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A multi-tasking body treatment with active charcoal that cleanses, exfoliates and smoothes skin.
$28.00
6 oz | FC050
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A hydrating serum formulated to smooth skin and leave a more vibrant complexion.
$68.00
1 oz | WE040
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A hydrating facial toner formulated to soften skin and improve skin tone and texture.
$48.00
6.7 oz | WE039
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A lightweight hydrating cream formulated with coconut water to leave skin softer and more radiant.
$58.00
1.7 oz | WE041
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A nourishing mask, best used at night, to restore moisture and revive dull complexions.
$55.00
3.4 oz | WE042
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Suitable for all skin types, even sensitive, this 2-step system smoothes and hydrates skin leaving it firmer and more radiant.
$48.00 $57.00 value
DG186
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A two-in-one gentle scrub and hydrating facial for smooth, glowing skin.
$45.00
3 oz | OS089
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A dual action body scrub with physical and chemical exfoliating ingredients.
$46.00
16 oz | QB017
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A packaged pair to create a complete two-step body treatment with chemical + physical body scrub and rich moisturizer.
$63.00
QB018
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Instantly tightens and firms the look of the eyelids with acyl-glutathione, while restoring healthy-looking even color.
$35.00
0.3 oz | NV252
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A resurfacing and detoxifying mask packed with vitamin C to promote smoother, brighter, softer skin.
$58.00
1.7 oz | QB012
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Enjoy the benefits of a chemical peel and gentle microdermasion in one product.
$75.00
1.7 oz | QB022
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A hydroquinone-free skin brightener for discoloration on the face, body or hands.
$60.00
1 oz | QB020
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A hydrating gel cream with a cool sensation to revive and plump the skin for a fresh faced complexion.
$58.00
1.7 oz | WE047
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A daily facial lotion to improve elasticity and promote a healthy, dewy complexion.
$58.00
3.4 oz | WE046
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This ultra-rich hydrating crème with anti-aging vitamin C derived from Kakadu plums.
$65.00
1 oz | QB014
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Deeply hydrating oil-free moisturizer that smoothes, refines and refreshes overnight.
$52.00
2 oz | PY1308
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Reveal softer, smoother skin while cleansing away oil, makeup and surface impurities with this foaming cleanser.
$38.00
4 oz | KS087
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Daily UVA/UVB protection in a lightweight, tinted primer for face and eyes.
$40.00
1.35 oz | LP125
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Deeply cleanse, smooth and brighten with this decadent exfoliating mask.
$42.00
3.5 oz | OL110
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A bio-cellulose sheet mask formulated to smooth and tighten the neck area with synthetic snake venom.
$65.00
8 ct | RD144
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Microdermabrasion tool for superior exfoliation at home.
$159.00
1 ct | PW010
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Features clinically proven non-stop skin renewal technology to give skin an all-day glow.
$75.00
4 oz | PY1305
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A daily skin tone-balancing cream that protects and visibly perfects the surface of the skin, boosting a luminous glow.
$115.00
1.7 oz | ER071
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A revolutionary at-home skin care tool that provides the same brilliant results as professional treatments.
$179.00
1 ct | PW015
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Microdermabrasion tool for superior exfoliation at home.
$159.00
1 ct | PW013
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Microdermabrasion tool for superior exfoliation at home.
$159.00
1 ct | PW011
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A lightweight but deeply moisturizing cream to eliminate signs of fatigue and restore radiance.
$75.00
1.7 oz | DC265
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A mini microdermabrasion tool to exfoliate dead skin and reduce the appearance of fine line, age spots and mild scarring.
$99.00
1 ct | UF001
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A daily eye cream that visibly reduces the look of blue and brown dark circles.
$42.99
0.5 oz | LP124
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An ultra creamy body scrub with crushed Madagascar vanilla beans and whipped shea butter.
$40.00
8.5 oz | LV050
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For use with the MiniMD microdermabrasion tool to reach angular areas of the face.
$35.00
1 ct | UF003
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An attachment for use with the MiniMD device to remove stubborn clogged pores, blackheads, oil and sebum.
$15.00
1 ct | UF006
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A standard, medium coarse tip for use with the MiniMD microdermabrasion tool.
$35.00
1 ct | UF002
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A smoothing body scrub with natural buffers along with bright citrus and marine notes inspired by the mysterious Black Sea.
$22.00
8 oz | HP292
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A fine coarse diamond tip designed for sensitive skin types with the use of MiniMD microdermabrasion tools.
$35.00
1 ct | UF005
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A gentle cream packed with exfoliating enzymes to reveal fresher, softer skin.
$48.00
1.75 oz | UC009
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A medium coarseness body tip for use with the MiniMD microdermabrasion tool for larger areas such as back, arms and thighs.
$35.00
1 ct | UF004
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A gentle exfoliant that deeply cleanses, polishes and brightens while helping to sooth irritation.
$49.00
3 oz | UC026
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A bio-cellulose mask with a powerful combination of moisturizing and repairing ingredients to soothe and restore sun damaged skin.
$12.00
1 ct | TL058
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A three phase body exfoliator with physical and chemical exfoliating ingredients.
$44.00
7.5 oz | DC264
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A unique attachment for the MiniMD microdermabrasion device to enhance the effectiveness of every treatment.
$15.00
1 ct | UF007
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A non-grainy, amino acid cleansing scrub that deeply cleanses and decongests pores without irritation.
$25.00
1.69 oz | TL061
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A refreshing mist for after cleansing, to set makeup or whenever skin needs a burst of hydration.
$42.00
3.3 oz | DC267
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A sea salt scrub formulated to exfoliate dead skin without causing irritation to deeply moisturize.
$54.00
1.69 oz | PM129
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This restorative sheet mask helps reduce the appearance of dark spots.
$60.00 $72.00 value
6 ct | WE035
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