Uneven skin tone is annoying anywhere on your body, but it's the worst when the discoloration strikes your face. Blotchy skin can pop up because of sun damage, acne scarring or even pregnancy hormones. Sometimes it's a reaction to a medication or makeup you've been using. An uneven skin tone can go away on its own, but it may not fade without help. Tone-correcting cosmetics cover up discoloration, while skin-brightening creams and exfoliating products get rid of it.
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The right makeup can make your skin tone look more even. To start, massage a dab of primer into your skin so makeup stays in place. Using a makeup sponge, smooth a tone-correcting moisturizer over any dark spots or discolored areas, or use a concealer that matches your normal skin tone. Alternatively, apply a foundation that contains light-reflecting particles to your whole face. These particles detract from any unevenness. Dust your face with loose powder to set the foundation.
The sun's UV rays don't just burn you -- they can also cause sun spots, brown patches or freckles. Further sun exposure can make existing blotches worse. To avoid this, wear sunscreen when you go outdoors, year-round, even if it's cloudy outside. Opt for a broad-spectrum SPF 30 product for the best protection. It shields skin from UVA rays, which cause aging, and UVB ones, which spur a sunburn. Use mineral-based products, such as those that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, to protect your face.
If your face looks dull in spots, exfoliating may help. This process strips away dead skin cells that can clog pores and make your face look older. If you have normal skin, rub an alpha-hydroxy cleanser into your face every other day. Use a face-massaging device to make this easier. Get a prescription for retinoic-acid cream if you need stronger treatment. For dry skin, use a product that contains round synthetic spherules and exfoliate once a week. Opt for a jojoba-bead scrub if you have oily skin.
Creams and Treatments
Creams that contain hydroquinone, which halts melanin production, work well for discoloration. Long-term use of high-potency formulas may cause irritation, though, as well as a bluish-black discoloration of the skin. Spot correctors containing vitamin C and niacin may also work. Spots caused by UV damage can be reduced by a dermatologist with an in-office laser treatment. This isn't a good option if you have melasma or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), though. Ask a dermatologist about salicylic-acid peels for severe cases of oily skin or acne.