Uneven Skin Tone: Tips to Manage it Naturally

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

What Is Uneven Skin Tone?

Uneven skin tone is a harmless and very common skin condition. Certain parts of your skin become darker than the rest, giving your skin an inconsistent color and a blotchy appearance. The patches of the skin become darker due to excessive melanin production in a particular area. There are several factors that can cause an uneven skin tone.

Causes Of Uneven Skin Tone

Your skin tone becomes uneven due to several reasons:

  • Sun Exposure: Who doesn’t love sun-kissed skin? But when the love affair with the sun gets too intense, your skin produces excessive melanin. These pigments absorb UV rays, which ultimately damage your skin cells, making the exposed areas darker than the rest. This also causes hyperpigmentation (1).
  • Post- Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation: If any part of your skin has sustained wounds, the scar may get darker (2). This is called scarring. Acne on your face can also leave ugly scars behind.
  • Hormonal Changes: If you are pregnant or take contraceptives, the imbalance in hormones may cause high melanin production (3). This condition is called melasma, and it can give you an uneven skin tone. You may develop melasma if your skin reacts to certain cosmetic products or drugs.
  • Aging: As you age, you get age-related spots on your face and other areas.

The road to even skin tone starts with the right skin care. Here are some natural home remedies that can help you.

Home Remedies For Uneven Skin Tone

1. Milk, Gram Flour, And Baking Soda

You Will Need

  • 2 teaspoons goat’s milk
  • 1 teaspoon gram flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and apply it to your face.
  2. Let it dry.
  3. Wash with cold water.

Goat’s milk is exceptionally gentle, and out of all types of milk, its pH is said to be the closest to our skin. It contains lactic acid, which is known as a mild exfoliator. Gram flour helps to exfoliate the skin, reduce tanning, and lighten skin tone (4).

2. Lemon, Sugar, And Coconut Oil Scrub

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Apply the mask on your face and scrub gently, avoiding the area around your eyes.
  3. Wash with lukewarm water and pat dry.

Lemon juice is said to have astringent properties that help to diminishes dark spots and blemishes, giving you an even skin tone. Sugar helps to exfoliate the dead skin cells, and coconut oil keeps your skin moisturized.

3. Turmeric, Yogurt, And Lemon Juice Face Pack

You Will Need

  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a clean bowl.
  2. Apply the face pack and massage for 2 minutes in a circular motion.
  3. Let it dry and then wash with cold water.

Both yogurt and lemon cleanse your skin and brighten your skin tone. Yogurt contains lactic acid that also acts as a mild exfoliator (5). Turmeric has therapeutic benefits that help to keep your skin healthy (6).

4. Milk Powder Face Mask

You Will Need

  • 2 teaspoons milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice

What You Have To Do

  1. Combine the ingredients and apply a thin layer of the mixture to your face.
  2. Let it dry and then wash with warm water.

Milk powder contains lactic acid that has a brightening effect on your face. This face pack not only sloughs off the dead skin cells but also keeps your skin hydrated and soft. Orange juice contains vitamin C and citric acid, which reduce the pores and make your skin bright.

5. Tomato, Lemon Juice, And Honey Face Pack

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon tomato juice (you may use the blended pulp as well)
  • 2-3 drops lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey

What You Have To Do

  1. Blend the tomato juice or the pulp with lemon juice and honey.
  2. Apply evenly throughout your face.
  3. Let it stay for 15 minutes.
  4. Wash it off with lukewarm water and then follow it up with cold water.

Tomato is rich in lycopene that helps to prevent cell damage caused by harmful free radicals (7). Together with lemon and honey, tomato can keep blemishes away and give you a healthy and even skin tone.

6. Tulsi, Neem, Multani Mitti, And Rose Water Face Pack

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon multani mitti
  • 1 teaspoon tulsi powder (dry some leaves and powder them)
  • 1 teaspoon neem powder
  • 1 tablespoon rosewater (adjust the quantity)

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix all the ingredients to make a paste.
  2. Spread the paste on your face and allow it to dry.
  3. Rinse off with cold water.

Why This Works

Tulsi and neem are two medicinal plants known for their anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and skin healing properties (8), (9). Multani mitti absorbs the excess oil and removes dirt to make your skin clear and bright.

7. Raw Papaya And Milk Face Wash

You Will Need

  • ½ cup raw papaya (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons raw milk (adjust the quantity as per the consistency)

What You Have To Do

  1. Blend the raw papaya into a smooth paste. Add a tablespoon of water if needed (but not more than that).
  2. Add milk to it and make a thick paste.
  3. Spread the paste all over your face and neck.
  4. Wait for 15-20 minutes and let it dry.
  5. Wash off with cold water.
  6. Why This Works

Green papaya is often used in DIY face masks. It is said to brighten the skin (10). This face mask can help remove tan and make your skin soft and healthy.

8. Lemon, Honey, Nutmeg, And Cinnamon Mask

You Will Need

  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon honey

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Massage on your face and leave it on for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Remove the mask by massaging with your fingers in a circular motion.

Why This Works

Lemon can help brighten the skin, while cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties and was found to be effective on mild to moderate acne (11). Honey has antibacterial properties and is a natural humectant that keeps your skin moisturized (12).

9. Honey And Oatmeal

You Will Need

  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 drops tea tree essential oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Grind the oatmeal.
  2. Mix lemon juice, honey, oats, and tea tree oil in a bowl.
  3. Apply the mixture to your face and let it stay for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Wash the mask with cold water.

Why This Works

Oatmeal contains saponins, which cleanse your skin thoroughly and make it bright (13). It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which make it suitable for all skin types. Honey nourishes the skin, and lemon juice contains citric acid that works on dark spots and reduces blemishes.

10. Orange Juice And Turmeric

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

What You Have To Do

  1. Blend the orange juice and the turmeric well.
  2. Apply it to your skin and let it dry for 10 minutes.
  3. Wash with cold water.

Why This Works

Turmeric has been used as a skin-lightening agent for ages. It also offers skin- soothing and therapeutic benefits (6). Orange juice helps to reduce blemishes and dark patches and make your skin glow.

11. Honey And Lemon Peel Face Mask

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon lemon peel (dry the peels under the sun and grind them into a powder)
  • 1 tablespoon honey

What You Have To Do

  1. Blend the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Spread the blend evenly all over your face.
  3. Wait for 15-20 minutes before washing it off.

Why This Works

Lemon peel has antimicrobial properties (14). This can keep your skin free of acne and other issues. It may also lighten the dark spots and blemishes. This face mask is useful for all skin types.

12. Sandalwood And Milk Face Pack

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon red sandalwood powder (Rakta Chandan)
  • 1 tablespoon milk (adjust the quantity as per the consistency you want)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix all the ingredients and blend into a thick creamy paste.
  2. Apply it to your face and let it dry.
  3. Wash using lukewarm water.

Why This Works

In Ayurveda and traditional medicine, the heartwood of Red sandalwood tree is used for healing skin inflammation (15). It may help in reducing mild to moderate acne. Together with milk and turmeric, it removes tan and gives you bright and glowing skin.

13. Orange, Sugar, And Aloe Vera Gel Face Pack

You Will Need

  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons aloe vera juice
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the orange juice, aloe vera pulp, and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Apply the face pack and leave it on for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Soak your hand in lukewarm water and then gently massage the face pack for 10 minutes.
  4. Wash it off.

Why This Works

Orange juice and aloe vera can help reduce blemishes on your skin. The topical application of aloe vera can help reduce skin inflammation (16). Sugar is an excellent exfoliant that exfoliates the dead skin cells, making your face bright and radiant.

Caution: Be gentle. Do not rub hard as the sugar may scrape your skin.

14. Cucumber And Lemon Juice

You Will Need

  • ½ cucumber
  • Juice of ½ lemon

What You Have To Do

  1. Grate the cucumber in a bowl and keep in the fridge for an hour.
  2. Add the lemon juice to the cucumber pulp/juice and apply it to your face.
  3. Leave it on for about 15 minutes.
  4. Wet cotton pads in cold water and clean your face.

Why This Works

This is an extremely hydrating face mask and a cool way to reduce blemishes and get an even skin tone. Cucumber and lemon juice not only brighten your skin but also reduce inflammation, calm your skin, and shrink pores. This is a quick solution for dark circles.

Caution: Be careful with the quantity of lemon juice as it may irritate sensitive skin.

15. Tomato Pulp

You Will Need

  • 1 tomato (pulped)

What You Have To Do

  1. Apply the tomato pulp all over your face and neck. Let it dry.
  2. Wash with cold water.

Why This Works

  • This is probably the easiest way to get rid of an uneven skin tone. Tomato juice is popularly used to reduce tanning and to brighten the skin. It also helps in tightening and cleansing the pores thoroughly.
  • Apart from home remedies for uneven skin tone, you may also try medical treatment options.

Medical Treatment Options For Uneven Skin Tone

1. Laser Resurfacing Treatment

In this process, the doctor uses highly concentrated laser beams to treat blemishes, hyperpigmentation, and dark spots, and any other skin discoloration to give you an even skin tone (17). You have to consult a doctor to determine whether you are suitable for laser treatment or not and to decide the type of laser for your skin.

2. Hydroquinone

This is a skin bleaching medicine and is meant for hyperpigmentation (18). The FDA allows only 2% hydroquinone to be sold as OTC medicine. For a higher percentage, you need to consult with your doctor. Although this medicine is well tolerated, it may not suit all skin types. Hence, you need to consult a dermatologist before using this medicine.

3. Chemical Peels

Chemical peeling is a cosmetic procedure in which a doctor applies chemical solutions to your skin to remove its topmost layer. It is usually recommended for treating skin discoloration, wrinkles, and scars (19). It may cause side effects like redness and scarring if not done properly. Never go for the treatment without consulting a dermatologist. The doctor can help determine whether you are the right candidate for it or not.

4. Microdermabrasion

This is a safe way to gently remove the top layer of your skin and treat unwanted pigmentation and discoloration (20). However, you need to consult a skin care specialist and get the procedure done by a trained esthetician.

Whether you follow natural remedies or medical treatment options, you need to be patient and wait before you see results. However, if you need any quick-fixes while you wait to get back your natural and an evened out skin tone, you can use makeup.

How To Manage Uneven Skin Tone With Makeup

  • This is just a temporary solution to conceal uneven skin tone. Here are the steps that you need to follow to get an even skin tone with makeup:
  • These are basic makeup tips that you can follow to fix the uneven spots on your face quickly.

    Taking care of your skin is something that shouldn’t be an occasional affair. While these face masks can help you combat uneven skin tone, blemishes, and acne, embracing daily skin care practices is the only way to maintain great skin. Here’s a quick view of the things you need to do to fix an uneven skin tone.

    Lifestyle Tips To Reduce Uneven Skin Tone

    Adopt these healthy lifestyle habits to maintain a blemish-free skin:

    1. Keep Your Skin Hydrated

    Dry skin appears dull and lifeless. It makes your skin appear uneven. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking water at regular intervals. Opt for herbal drinks and flavored detox water.

    2. Avoid Excessive Sun Exposure

    Long-term exposure to sun rays may cause hyperpigmentation, tanning, and uneven skin tone. Use sunscreen before you step out. Also, avoid the sun during peak hours and try to stay under the shade.

    3. Exfoliate Regularly

    This is the best way to maintain an even skin tone. Exfoliation sloughs off the dead skin cells to reveal glowing and healthy skin.

    4. Add Antioxidant-rich Foods To Your Diet

    Consume more vegetables, whole grains, seafood, poultry, and low-fat dairy products. These foods provide your cells with all the essential nutrients and keep them healthy and give you a clear skin tone.

    5. Exercise Regularly

    Exercising is not only great for your body, but it also boosts circulation, tones your muscles and skin, and reduces skin-damaging stress.

    Unless you follow a proper skin care routine religiously, it is nearly impossible to combat issues like uneven skin tone. A toner rebalances your skin, keeps it glowing, and gives it an even tone. A lot of these results depend on what type of toner you use. Let’s take a look at the types of toners.

    Best Toners For Uneven Skin Tone

    Toners essentially come in three variants:

    • Alcohol-free (contains glycerine and 0% alcohol)
    • Skin tonics (containing up to 20% alcohol)
    • Astringents (containing up to 60% alcohol)

    Select a toner depending on your skin type:

    • If you have dry skin, alcohol-free toners are best for you. They are neither too harsh on the skin, nor do they dry the skin out. They do just what they are supposed to – maintain the pH balance of the skin.
    • For people with other skin types, skin tonics work better. These remove all traces of oil from the face. They help keep your face squeaky clean.

    There are a number of beauty products available on the market that you can use to bid goodbye to uneven skin tone. Let’s check out a few of them.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Are hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone the same thing?

    They are similar with subtle differences. Hyperpigmentation may be a reason for uneven skin tone, which can also be caused by a lot of other factors. Hyperpigmentation is usually caused by any inflammation caused by skin damage.

    How do I know what’s causing my uneven skin tone?

    Consult the doctor to know if there are any underlying reasons.

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