The perils of blotchy skin, and what you can do to improve your complexion.
Uneven skin tone is something that will affect many of us at some point in our lives, and yet it is one of the trickier beauty bugs to fix. Why? Because not only are there various conditions which cause hyperpigmentation and patchy skin, but the cure depends on your individual skin type and various other factors.
Here we help you identify which ailment you may be suffering from and the speediest route to a smooth complexion.
Any beauty buff knows that too much sun exposure can cause real problems for their skin, and yet despite the knowledge that any kind of tan is a negative response to UV rays, that golden glow still proves hard to resist.
Sunspots are brown patches that almost look like a cluster of freckles, and while they aren’t dangerous, they aren’t great either.
Though men can suffer from this condition, it is often caused by hormonal changes – specifically fluctuations in oestrogen – that occur during pregnancy or the use of birth control. Frequently forming on the forehead, cheeks, nose and upper lip, these swathes of brown or greyish pigmentation can be a real cause of distress due to their size and location on the face.
Flaky or scaly patches of skin may be easier to fix than hyperpigmentation, but they are harder to conceal with make-up and can be exacerbated by too many products.
Pollution, dehydration, fatigue, or a general imbalance within your body can all cause skin to flare-up in this manner.
ONE: Get serious about skincare
It is vital to adapt your skin routine as you age, and as a rule this means investing in products of increasing quality as the years go by.
Dry skin benefits from creams and serums which are rich in oils or lipids and contain ingredients such as hyaluronic acid or glycerine, whereas oily skin reacts better with water-based blends.
Exfoliation is a vital tool in your fight against uneven skin as it sloughs away the dead, dry skin cells which cause a dull complexion and prevent creams and serums from reaching the deeper layers of the epidermis.
Beware of exfoliating too aggressively and frequently though as this can upset the natural balance of your skin.
THREE: Use a dedicated pigmentation product
Hydroquinone, mulberry, kojic acid and glutathione are the ingredients to look out for when it comes to selecting a serum or cream to help tone the colour and lighten skin.
FOUR: Eat your way even
Whether you want plumper, smoother, luminous, or more even skin, it always helps to boost from the inside out.
There are many things that can contribute to a glowing complexion. Green tea is high in antioxidants, citrus offers a vitamin C boost, green vegetables contain vitamins B and E, while oily fish boasts omega 3.
FIVE: Prevent where possible
Shape up your nightly beauty routine, wear sunscreen every day and try not to pick at the skin which is inflamed or irritated. You may not be able to undo all the damage done, particularly by the sun, but you can keep your skin safe going forward.