Patchy, uneven skin tone is a common skin concern for many people. While some people resign themselves to their fate, there are topical products and treatments that can improve one’s complexion.
We seek out one of the leading aesthetic doctors in Singapore to tell us how you can achieve the complexion of your dreams:
Understand your skin
There can be many causes of an uneven skin tone. The first step is to identify what the cause is. “The most common cause of patchy, uneven skin is due to exposure to the sun,” says Dr. Siew Tuck Wah, Medical Director of Radium Medical Aesthetics.
Melanocytes cells in our skin is responsible for giving your skin its color. These cells usually react to sun exposure, creating a darker, more tanned complexion over time. Sunspots and pigmentation may occur after prolonged unprotective sun exposure.
Some other causes of patchy skin include post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), caused by trauma to the skin such as pimples, insect bites, or burn. Melasma, another type of common pigmentation issue is triggered by hormonal change, when you’re pregnant or using birth control.
Skin inflammation and erythema is another common factor that can contribute to uneven skin tone. It is often caused by skin injury or conditions such as rosacea. These are often triggered by exposure to the sun – which weakens and dilates tiny blood vessels under the skin, causing redness.
What can be done to improve skin tone?
Tailor a suitable skincare routine that works for you. It should include steps to smooth out the texture of the skin and treat hyperpigmentation.
These skincare tips are tested and approved by doctors that can improve your skin texture effectively:
EXFOLIATE REGULARLY The top layer of the skin is mostly made up of accumulated dead skin cells. Regular exfoliation helps to speed up the process of removing the dead skin cells so as to reveal brighter, smoother skin underneath.
It also helps to decongest the pores by extracting sebum and debris that can cause breakouts. When seeking for treatments to exfoliate your skin, bear in mind that you need to consider your skin type. If you have dry and sensitive skin, you should avoid physical exfoliants as they tend to be abrasive and could further irritate inflamed skin.
People who have oily or acne-prone skin, Dr. Siew recommends using an exfoliator that has salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that is used in many chemical peels in doctor’s office. It effectively sloughs off dead skin cells and debris and is great for treating acne.
Alternatively, you can leave the exfoliation to the hands of professionals. Visit a doctor’s office to get a chemical peel or microdermabrasion treatment to safely remove the layer of dead skin cells.
Vitamin C Serum
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that is used in many treatments and skincare products because it helps to reverse signs of aging and treat sun and environment-induced damage to the skin. At the same time, it neutralizes free radicals.
Serums containing Vitamin C, B, E & Ferulic Acid are becoming more popular as a powerful age-reversing treatment. Try to apply such Vitamin C serum during the day and make sure you keep them in the fridge to extend the lifespan of the product.
Wear Sunscreen daily
The importance of applying sunscreen can never be over-emphasized. If there is only one thing you want to do, applying sunscreen has to be it. Remember, the cells that create the dark spots on the skin are activated by sunlight.
So, if you want to keep dark spots at bay, don’t forget to regularly apply a broad-spectrum SPF sunscreen before you step outside.
Applying sunscreen has to be done daily, rain or shine. UVA and UVB rays are still present even if the sun is not hanging above your head.
Don’t pick your skin
Don’t pick your skin or squeeze your pimples. Let it heal naturally The more you pick your pimples, the longer you’ll struggle with hyperpigmentation, and in some situations, permanent scarring the skin may occur.
Both hyperpigmentation and erythema, the 2 main culprits behind uneven skin tone, can be treated easily with lasers such as PicoSure laser or Dual Yellow Laser. But much is dependent on what’s the cause of the skin issue.
Hyperpigmentation, for instance, can be caused by photoaging, melasma, or trauma to the skin. The kind of treatment that doctors may recommend depends on what the underlying cause is in your case.