What Causes Uneven Skin Tone?

Face with textured skin and uneven skin tone

Have you looked in the mirror and noticed darkened spots or patches on your skin? . There are many different causes of uneven skin tone, but fortunately there are products available to improve skin complexion. There are also precautions you can take to help prevent the progression of uneven skin tone or pigmentation.

What Is Uneven Skin Tone?

Uneven skin tone affects the appearance of the skin by creating discolouration. Are you wondering what it looks like? The appearance can vary, taking on different forms like age spots, sun damage patches, scars from past acne, redness or other concerns1.

Depending on the cause, the discolouration may be permanent or a temporary concern, and it can cover small or larger parts of the skin on the face and/or other parts of the body. Some cases go away on their own, while in other cases treatment may help. Inflammation and sun exposure are the main contributors to general hyperpigmentation, , affecting the skin by stimulating the production of melanin2, a pigment that is naturally found in skin, and hair.

What Causes Uneven Skin Tone?

To target the discolouration you're noticing on your face and body skin, it's helpful to understand why it is happening. The following are various causes of an uneven skin tone1,2:

  • Sun exposure: In time, sun exposure can create sunspots on the skin, which are also called solar lentigines, age spots or liver spots.
  • Skin inflammation: Acne, eczema and some other skin or health conditions can lead to inflammation of the skin that creates discolouration.
  • Skin injury: Wounds, burns and other injury to the skin can lead to discolouration.
  • Hormonal changes: Changes to hormones, especially for women during pregnancy and those taking oral contraceptives, can result in melasma, which involves hyperpigmented skin areas.

How to Address Uneven Skin Tone

It is best practice to consult your doctor or a dermatologist to understand the causes of the uneven skin tone and determine if there is an underlying problem that needs to be addressed by a health care professional.

There are skincare products available that can help to address the concern of uneven skin tone. These include1,2:

How Can I Prevent Uneven Skin Tone?

We cannot prevent all skin discolouration. The main prevention step that you should take is to focus on reducing your skin’s exposure to harmful sun rays. It helps to cut down on sun exposure by wearing clothing that covers skin from the sun’s rays or SPF clothing, using overhead protection like an umbrella, avoiding being in the sun during the most intense times of day and wearing sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher2.

Other tips to prevent uneven skin tone include:

  • Avoiding picking skin
  • Keeping up with a skincare routine

Key Takeaways

Uneven skin tone impacts the look of your skin’s pigmentation. There are various causes, although it generally happens because of sun exposure or skin inflammation. There are a range of skincare products available to help improve the look of uneven skin tone . Neutrogena® products can help you manage this concern so you can feel better about the look of your skin.


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