Friends, does this sound familiar?
Looking in the mirror, my eyes go straight to my imperfections. I pull faces at every spot and impurity. The comparison song is running on repeat in my head. It takes everything inside of me not to scratch at every bump, scrub at every textured spot and pile on loads of concealer.
I love the outdoors, getting older is inevitable, breakouts happen to everyone and pregnancy was magical (both times); but it left my skin tone uneven. There are natural solutions to uneven tone. First, let’s talk about the types of disruptions to your tone that can occur.
Types of uneven tone
Hyper pigmentation is simply the over production of melanin. Anytime you look at your face and see discoloration or unevenness in your complexion, that is melanin at work.
These also go by the name liver spots or chloasma. They are the dark spots that seem to show up out of nowhere.
These are groupings of liver spots that people usually refer to as freckles. They arrive due to sunlight and lighten/ darken based on sun exposure.
Many of us know of this as “the mask of pregnancy.” It usually appears as patches of hyper pigmentation that occurs due to hormonal shifts. This uneven tone can be brought on during pregnancy or due to birth control.
Dark spots that show up after you have had breakouts. This is also known as post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation.
I’m not here to just talk about the issues your skin can have. Let me provide gentle ways to even skin tone. Just for a moment, step away from the laser treatment service menu and put down the retinol and let’s talk. Those solutions can be aggressive and have adverse side effects (like more hyper pigmentation). Give these three steps a chance!
Tricks to reduce current unevenness
1. Exfoliate: bringing your skin down to a level where the discoloration no longer exists.
Physical: This type of exfoliation occurs when dead skin cells are mechanically rubbed away with a textured ingredient.
- At home: You can use scrubs or exfoliating cleansers. Always start with only once a week in the evening to see how your skin responds. Over scrubbing can lead to dry skin, sensitivity, redness, breakouts and even have an adverse effect on tone. Be gentle.
- Professional: During a facial treatment, I use gommaging techniques to gently remove dead skin and stimulate good cell turnover without irritation. In my exfoliating treatments, I use walnut as the exfoliating ingredient.
Gentle actives: This type of exfoliation dissolves dead skin cells without having to scrub them away. This is especially beneficial for people with acne or sensitive skin.
- Fruit enzymes: The two most commonly used fruit enzymes are Papain which is from Papaya and Bromelian from Pineapple. There is Papain in my new at treatment serum that not only helps to even tone, but also to reduce signs of aging. Grab yours here: Papaya + Vitamin C Serum. A brand new brightening mask is in the works for facial treatments that has Pineapple enzymes.
Essential oils: When diluted properly, these oils can help to brighte and even skin tone. Some of my favorites are below.
- Grapefruit & bergamot: These two uplifting citrusy oils are the aromas in the new Touch of Radiance skin care line
- Lavender, patchouli & palmarosa: All of my facial masks used in treatment sessions are fragrance free, and I only use essential oils to add skin benefiting scents. These three oils are among the list of oils I utilize in my facials.
2. Protect: every form of hyper pigmentation is worsened by sun exposure.
Sunscreen: I prefer physical sunscreens that reflect UV light opposed to chemical sunscreens that absorb UV light.
- My two favorite sunscreens to help even tone are Devita Solar Body and Badger Rose Zinc Oxide
- Other ways to get great sun protection: hats, sunglasses and long sleeves. You can always find me hiding in the shade.
Antioxidant rich ingredients & Vitamins: Make sure your products are utilizing nature’s gift of botanical ingredients that balance out sun damage. Both antioxidants and certain vitamins are easily absorbed through the top layer of your skin. These ingredients also help with fine lines, loss of elasticity alongside dark spots to provide a youthful even tone. The list of ingredients with antioxidant properties is pretty extensive, but here are a few of my favorites along with my two favorite skin benefitting vitamins!
3. Consistency: This is the single most important step to implement.
At home skincare routine: Make sure that you have both a morning and night routine that works with your schedule, and then stick to it. If you need to, find a support partner or use a rewards system to hold yourself accountable. However, I believe that with consistency the reward of clear, even skin will be enough.
Professional skin treatments: Regular skin treatments with a professional esthetician can help you work towards your goals. Setting up a treatment plan with someone who has evaluated your skin can be an excellent way to track your progress, get advice and maintain healthy skin throughout the process.
Picking breakouts: If you have ever seen me for a skin treatment, you know that it is a judgment free zone. No one wants to walk out of the house with a pimple on their face. Unless you pick under optimal conditions (and sometimes even then) you can cause dark spots. If you feel like you must pick, be sure to only do so following a shower or hot compress. Afterwards, be sure to use a toning mist to clear away bacteria, constrict pores and make sure the pimple doesn’t move from one spot to another. Using a toner can also reduce your chances of getting a post-acne spot.
You can do this
Next time you have that urge to aggressively pick, scrub and cover up remember this: your skin needs your support. In order for you skin to function properly, it needs you to commit because this is going to be a process. Give your skin a chance to work the ways it’s suppose to for a clear complexion. Commit to consistency, a sunscreen, skincare products with botanical ingredients and regular skin treatments. Now you know how to reach your goals of even tone and healthy skin.