A blotchy uneven complexion, known as hyperpigmentation, such as age spots and an excessive amount of freckles. They can occur due to external or internal factors which can trigger an overproduction of melanin. Sun exposure tends to darken areas that are already hyperpigmented.
What’s happening to your skin when you have hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is due to an overproduction of melanin - the brown pigment that produces normal skin colour - in a concentrated area, causing the skin to become much darker in patches. Melanin is produced by cells that are located in the basal layer of the epidermis, known as melanocytes.
What causes an uneven skin tone?
There are three main reasons why the body produces excess melanin. Too much sun, fluctuations in hormone levels or scarring due to acne, imperfections, injuries or surgery, can all lead to an uneven skin tone.
Melanin is key for protecting skin against sun damage. When skin is exposed to the sun melanin absorbs the energy of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays in order to protect the skin from overexposure. The result of this process is skin tanning. However, sometimes sun exposure triggers an overproduction of skin cells and these cells cluster together to form small circular marks known as age or sun spots (solar lentigines) on the areas of skin most exposed to the sun like face, décolletage and backs of the hands.
Fluctuations in oestrogen levels, due to pregnancy or taking birth control pills, can also stimulate your melanocyte cells to work overtime and create pools of melanin on the skin called melisma spots. Pregnancy, for example, can trigger overproduction of melanin on the face and darkened skin on the abdomen and other areas.
A swollen pimple, acne or anything that causes scarring can also jump-start melanin production (especially in Asian, Hispanic or black skin), leaving a stubborn mark called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
How to care for uneven skin tone
Sun exposure is the primary cause of pigment changes. Wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF15 every day (even during wintertime) may help prevent any further damage from the sun’s harmful UV rays and when used over time may reduce the appearance of uneven skin tone.
Your recommended regimen
At SkinCeuticals we believe that an effective skincare regime is based around five fundamental principles — cleansing, prevention, correction, hydration and protection.
CLEANSE/TONE - Blemish + Age Cleansing Gel & Solution
This comprehensive cleansing ritual unblocks pores, lifts impurities and prepares skin for optimal product efficacy.
PREVENT - Phloretin CF
This innovative serum combines 2% Phloretin, 10% L-ascorbic acid and 0.5% ferulic acid, it accelerates surface skin cell renewal and promote a brighter, firmer-looking complexion. Also available in a gel formula, Phloretin CF Gel
CORRECT - Advanced Pigment Corrector
This powerful multi-layer product has been clinically proven to help correct the appearance of skin discolouration and boost the appearance of skin tone, evenness and radiance.
HYDRATE - Retexturing Activator
An innovative exfoliating and replenishing serum, which has been proven to help reinforce the skin’s natural barrier, reduce the appearance of visible surface lines and wrinkles and radiance.
PROTECT - Ultra Facial Defense SPF 50 or Sheer Mineral UV Defense SPF 50
These lightweight sun creams are an excellent protective layer against the damaging effects of the sun. Both provide high-factor, broad-spectrum UV protection and help to protect against photo ageing and environmental damage.