What Causes Uneven-Looking Skin Tone?

Back to blog
What Causes Uneven-Looking Skin Tone?

What Causes Uneven-Looking Skin Tone?

In the pursuit of attaining a smooth, glass-like complexion, it can feel frustrating to be perpetually stuck in a seemingly never-ending cycle of rough patches and dark spots. As with many skincare concerns, the first step to addressing an uneven-looking skin tone is understanding what causes it. 

What Does an Uneven Skin Tone Look Like?

An uneven skin tone is any skin tone with noticeable variations in color or texture. For instance, your skin might have red areas or dark spots. An uneven skin tone would also include skin that appears dry, rough or scaly in some areas.

Many people have uneven skin tones, and it’s a very common skincare concern. That said, it is important to keep track of your skin health and take note of any sudden changes in your skin texture or appearance.

Uneven skin can be normal, but it may also indicate a more serious skin issue if it shows up overnight or has noticeable changes. If you’re ever concerned that your uneven skin tone could be due to something serious, it’s a good idea to contact your dermatologist.

What Are the Causes of Uneven Skin Tone?

Once you understand what’s causing your uneven-looking skin tone, you can take steps to address it at the source. 

Here are some of the most common causes of uneven skin tone.

Genetics

One potential cause of an uneven skin tone is genetics. Many skin conditions are genetic—for instance, vitiligo is an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system attacks melanocytes, or melanin-producing skin cells. This creates a mottled or patchy skin tone.

You may also have an uneven skin tone if you have oily skin or develop breakouts. Extreme blemishes and oily skin can have genetic factors, and having oily skin is often a risk factor for developing breakouts. The blemishes from these breakouts can cause uneven-looking skin and scarring.

Sun Damage

You may know that sun exposure can cause sun damage and sun spots, also known as freckles. However, damage from UV rays can also contribute to long-term skin tone unevenness.

UVA radiation exposes the skin to free radicals, which are atoms that are missing an electron. These atoms steal electrons from other atoms, creating more free radicals in the process. Ultimately, this can cause major skin damage, even impacting melanin production. Free radical damage can cause melanocytes to produce excess melanin.

However, UV rays aren’t the only sources of free radicals. You can also experience free radical damage after exposure to air pollution, chemicals and stress.

Dead Skin Buildup

As skin renews itself, it sheds old skin cells. These dead skin cells can pile up on your skin, forming a rough-looking layer.

These dead skin cells cannot hold moisture, which can cause the skin to have a rough and dry appearance. This is different from having a dry skin type—dry skin is the normal state of the skin for those with a dry skin type, while dead skin cell buildup can cause patches of uncharacteristic dryness.

Aging

Another common cause of an uneven skin tone is aging. The appearance of signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles, can cause shadows on the face, which can make the skin look uneven. 

Skin also tends to lose its natural supply of hyaluronic acid as it ages, which can cause dryness. This dry skin can show up as patchy spots of flaking skin that look and feel uneven.

Aging can also affect the skin’s natural collagen production, causing it to slow over time. This contributes to the increasing appearance of wrinkles as we age.

Finally, aging skin can develop age spots over time. These are a common sign of aging skin and result from years of sun damage built up over time.

Skin Conditions

Many skin conditions can cause skin discoloration. Some might cause excessive redness or bumpiness, some might cause dark and speckled skin and others might cause dry and flaking skin.

Unfortunately, many of these skin conditions are genetic. You may be able to manage the symptoms by working with a dermatologist, but it might not be possible to treat or reverse the skin condition.

Hormonal Changes

Finally, hormonal changes can have an effect on skin tone. For instance, pregnancy is known for causing glowing skin—however, it can also cause excess pigmentation in some cases.

Many women also notice that their skin tone changes with their menstrual cycle. This is because the hormones progesterone and estrogen rise and fall in different phases of the menstrual cycle, causing changes in skin dryness and radiance.

How Can You Address an Uneven-Looking Skin Tone?

There are several ways to manage an uneven-looking skin tone, such as over-the-counter skincare products, prevention tactics and professional treatments.

Topical Skincare Products

You likely already have a skincare routine made up of over-the-counter skincare products. When it comes to an uneven-looking skin tone, it’s all about making sure you’re using the right ingredients.

For instance, exfoliating ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) can help gently remove dead skin cell buildup, helping the skin appear smoother and fading the appearance of dark spots. Popular AHAs include glycolic acid and lactic acid. 

Meanwhile, beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) like salicylic acid can help the skin appear less oily, which may help manage imperfections. On the other hand, antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E can help minimize the appearance of dryness and fine lines

You can also help your skin tone look more even with retinol, an ingredient that helps smoothen the look of the skin and minimize the appearance of dark spots. Other helpful ingredients include kojic acid and niacinamide, a vitamin B3 derivative.

To take advantage of these brightening ingredients without splurging on a whole medicine cabinet of skincare products, try our resurfacing serum. U Beauty Resurfacing Compound uses double patent-pending SIREN Capsule Technology to deliver ingredients like stabilized retinol, stabilized vitamin C, multi-hydroxy acids and hyaluronic acid to the areas of skin most in need of recuperation.

Prevention

While it’s possible to help the skin look more even, one of the best ways to address the issue is to keep it from happening in the first place. One way to protect your skin is to wear sunscreen daily to block sun damage.

When choosing a sunscreen, it’s generally recommended to choose one with an SPF of at least 30. For instance, consider our Multimodal Defender Broad Spectrum SPF 30. This innovative product effectively diminishes discoloration, dark spots, sun-induced freckles, and fine lines. 

Additionally, this advanced solution offers comprehensive defense against UVA, UVB, infrared, and blue light radiation. By combining multiple strategies, MMD not only shields against various light sources but also addresses existing signs of sun damage, promoting overall skin health.

Plus, it contains ingredients like vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid and shea butter to help address the appearance of existing sun damage.

Professional Solutions

Finally, professional treatments can help create a more even skin tone. These can only be offered in a dermatologist or esthetician’s office. 

While the effects can be dramatic, these treatments often require a lot of downtime, and some of them can only be performed safely a couple of times before the side effects outweigh the benefits.

These treatments include:

  • Chemical peels
  • Laser treatments
  • Dermabrasion
  • Microcurrent facials

Keep It Even

An uneven skin tone can look like patches of dryness, blemishes, red patches and dark spots. These can often be caused by genetics, sun damage, aging, skin conditions and even hormones.

Luckily, it is possible to help the skin look more even if you use the right products in your skincare routine. At U Beauty, our products all use our SIREN Capsule Technology, which delivers top-tier nutrients to the most vulnerable-looking areas of your skin, where free radicals accumulate. 

To learn more about our groundbreaking skincare technology, visit our website today.

Sources:

Ultraviolet radiation and free radical damage to skin | PMC

Decreased Collagen Production in Chronologically Aged Skin | PMC

Vitamin C in dermatology | PMC

Deep Chemical Peel | American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Featured Products

img-fitheight

Resurfacing Compound

Translation missing: en.collection.product.from_price_html

You May Also Like

Resurface, renew, and tighten with one complexion-boosting compound.

Shop now

A mega-dose of moisture that keeps hydrating for up to 48 hours.

Shop now

Two high-performance heroes for one foolproof routine.

Shop now

Plumps, contours, and enhances lips with a 3-D cushion-effect and visible volume.

Shop now

A revolutionary concentrate that visibly tightens and tones skin on the arms.

Shop now

A mega-dose of moisture that keeps hydrating for up to 48 hours.

Shop now

Plumps, contours, and enhances lips with a 3-D cushion-effect and visible volume.

Shop now

An overnight treatment to renew moisture barrier function for softer-, stronger-looking skin.

Shop now

A next-gen treatment that reduces hyperpigmentation while offering sun protection.

Shop now

A visionary approach to eye care, erasing the look of fine lines, dark circles and puffiness with every use.

Shop now

A futuristic formula that does the work of a double-cleanse and makeup remover in a single step.

Shop now

A luxe-yet-lightweight emulsion with lightning-fast absorption and groundbreaking body benefits.

Shop now

A breakthrough oil-hydrator hybrid built to prevent dry, dehydrated skin.

Shop now

A breakthrough body exfoliant for smooth skin free of visible irregularities.

Shop now

Brighten, resurface, renew, tighten, equalize, and defend with one complexion-boosting...

Shop now

An essential quartet of our award-winning classics.

Shop now

The foundational routine featuring our two original power players for...

Shop now

Brighten, resurface, renew, tighten, equalize, and defend with one complexion-boosting...

Shop now

Our cult-favorite multitasking hero, squared: This special-edition set offers the...

Shop now

A transformative treatment that plumps and contours the lips, featuring Universal, Cassis, and Sunset.

Shop now

“The Resurfacing Compound quickly reached cult status (a.k.a. it sold...

Shop now

The consummate limited-edition summer travel set, designed for long weekends and last-minute getaways.

Shop now

The streamlined U Beauty routine for glass-like skin with locked-in...

Shop now

Are you ready for the most beautiful skin of your...

Shop now

The ultimate reset for visibly reawakened skin.

Shop now

Two groundbreaking body formulas, one jetset duo.

Shop now

Two steps for firmer-looking skin with improved-looking vitality and sumptuous,...

Shop now

Two hero products, featuring multiple SIRENS, come together for your ultimate brightening routine.

Shop now

Powered by our patent-pending HYDRA-SIREN Capsule, the SUPER delivers long-chain...

Shop now

U Beauty’s first luxury tool for controlled, precision-perfect product application.

Shop now

Your year-round routine updated with a limited-edition makeover.

Shop now

Powered by our patent-pending HYDRA-SIREN Capsule, the SUPER delivers long-chain...

Shop now

A groundbreaking body treatment that strengthens the skin’s appearance while...

Shop now

Two stellar products, featuring multiple SIRENS, come together to restore...

Shop now

A groundbreaking body treatment that strengthens the skin’s appearance while...

Shop now

A powerful trifecta of our cult-favorite team players.

Shop now

A custom dry brush designed to cleanse, detoxify, and energize...

Shop now

A transformative treatment that plumps and contours the lips with...

Shop now

A highly concentrated, restorative overnight treatment that uses bioactive marine...

Shop now

Artis’ densely packed, animal-free brushes are engineered for the softest...

Shop now

A revolutionary concentrate that visibly tightens and tones skin on the arms.

Shop now

Two groundbreaking body formulas, multiple transformative benefits: The Body Duo...

Shop now