Balancing an Uneven Skin Tone
Dreaming of time traveling to a day when your skin was pre-wrinkles and post-teenage blemishes? Often times, obtaining a flawless, even skin tone seems like natural perfection reserved for only a handful of lucky individuals; however, everyone can achieve even skin tone with proper skincare practices. Dark spots, dry patches, and blemishes can make maintaining even skin tone a balancing act for people on all ends of the spectrum, but by indentifying your skin tone and problem areas, even skin tone doesn’t require a time machine!
The first step to attaining even skin tone is to not only understand its definition, but also identify your personal skin tone. When asking yourself, “What skin tone am I?” keep in mind that skin tone is comprised of both your surface tone and your undertone. Surface tone is what one typically thinks of when they think of the color of their skin. The standard colors you see when browsing the cosmetics aisle: ivory, fair, light, medium, tan, dark, etc… is what your surface tone can be labeled as. Surface tone is tricky because it can vary based on the elements you are surrounded by. Think of your surface skin tone after a nice long summer spent outside on the beach versus a cold winter bundled up under cozy blankets. Your surface tone can fluctuate greatly, and is affected by the elements and the products you treat it with.
Though your skin tone can vary on a day-to-day basis depending on the conditions you are in, your skin’s undertone remains the same despite the impact of outside elements. Skin undertones are categorized into three classifications: cool, neutral, and warm. For those with cool undertones, you can find pink, red, and blue tones, while those with warm skin tones will find yellow, peach, and golden hues. Individuals with neutral undertones hold a combination of both warm and cool colors, which allows for versatility in what looks great with your skin tone!
It’s easy to jump to the conclusion that if you have fair skin that you also have cool undertones, and if you have tan skin you have warm undertones; however, this is not always the case. For example, Nicole Kidman and Rachel Bilson are both fair skinned and have warm undertones. There are a few simple tests to determine what your undertone is. The first test is to take a look at the veins on the inside of your wrist. If they appear green, you have warm undertones. On the other hand, if they appear blue, you have cool undertones. If you aren’t getting clear results from the vein test, then think about your favorite pieces of jewelry. Do you tend to gravitate toward gold pieces or silver? If you are a gold kind of gal, you most likely have warm undertones. If your jewelry box is filled with silver and platinum pieces, you probably have cool undertones. Look great in everything? You are neutral! If you’re still struggling to determine your undertone, your natural hair and eye color can also help determine if you have cool or warm undertones. Those with blue, gray, or green eyes combined with blonde, brown, or black hair with blue, silver, and ash undertones typically fall into the cool category. Oppositely, those with brown, hazel, or amber eyes with red, black or brown hair with gold, orange, and yellow hues have a warm skin undertone.
Now that you have an understanding of both surface skin tone and undertone, use these your findings to create your individual combination. A skin tone chart can help you match your surface tone and your undertone. Are you fair with cool undertones? Tan with warm undertones? This personal skin tone recognition will help you crack the code to achieving even skin tone, specific to your unique color combination.
Uneven skin tone can be caused by a number of factors including sunspots, hyperpigmentation, acne scars, pollution, dryness and more. Although it’s essentially inevitable to go through life without encountering one or more of these culprits that cause uneven skin tone, natural products and smart skin maintenance can help reverse damaged skin and prevent further spots and blotchiness.
What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body, so it’s essential that you do your homework before falling for one of the latest fads in order to get the smooth, even skin you’ve been dreaming of. One of the latest trends is Cryotherapy, which claims to slow signs of aging and wrinkles by exposing the skin to -264 degree temperatures. Although Cryotherapy is #trending, it puts you at risk of hypo-pigmentation, which leaves patients with pigment loss. Chemical peels and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) photofacials are also common, quick fixes that yield visible results, but not without potentially harmful side effects. Although these remedies can be safe when administered by a professional dermatologist who has assessed your personal skin tone and target areas, they still leave you at risk for scarring, permanent change in skin color, and infection. Needless to say, opting to use natural remedies and products is the best way to go when caring for the skin you are in!
One of the top offenders of uneven skin is the sun. Exposure to the sun can cause uneven skin through sunspots, hyper-pigmentation, rough or dry patches, and wrinkles. The harmful UV rays emitted by the sun impact skin tones on all ends of the skin tone chart, even those with tan to dark surface tones. However, those with fair surface tones with cool undertones tend to see the damaging effects of the sun’s rays at a faster rate than those with tan surface tones and warm undertones.
Even if you skimped on the sunscreen in your younger years, it is never too late to start wearing this crucial product to keep your skin healthy and even. It is important to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which protects from both UVB and UVA rays. We carry two age-defying sunscreens that are an essential to maintaining even skin. Both OZNaturals sunscreens are mineral based, keeping you safe from harsh chemicals and their side effects. The Moisturizing Sunscreen is perfect for head to toe use, keeping your whole body safe from uneven skin tone caused by the sun’s rays. The Tinted Sunscreen provides a light moisturizing base for your face, and is compatible with all skin tones. Even if you have already incurred damage from the sun, there’s no better way to stop further damage and allow your skin to recover than with sunscreen.
While sunscreen is key to protecting your skin from further UVB and UVA rays, there are also ways to help replenish youthfulness to the skin that is lost to sun damage and aging. One of the leading holistic ways to refine skin texture is to enhance it with Vitamin C. The natural antioxidants work to lighten existing discoloration and sunspots, brightening the skin. Try our gentle Vitamin C Facial Cleanser with up to eight-fold antioxidant protection. Using a Vitamin C enriched cleanser works wonders when trying to improve even skin tone by eliminating discoloration and fine lines brought on by exposure to the sun. Up the ante by combining the facial cleanser with OZNatural’s Vitamin C 20 Serum + Hyaluronic Acid. By utilizing a serum that is 20% Vitamin C, you are tapping into a potent antioxidant and powerful anti-aging serum that delivers brighter, healthier skin with improved tone and glow. Return your uneven skin tone to its natural radiance by protecting yourself from too much of the sun’s Vitamin D and upping the Vitamin C!
To maintain your natural surface tone, Exfoliation once or twice a week is a wonderful way to brighten your skin and reveal a more youthful, fresh layer. Natural aging and sun exposure often leave the outer layer of your skin with patchy dryness and hyper-pigmentation. Using a natural exfoliant can reduce this build-up, allowing your natural even skin tone to shine through. Using Ancient Orient Rice Enzyme Dermafoliant regularly will not only show immediate effects, but also yields lasting benefits. This scrub diminishes uneven skin tone, smoothes skin texture, reduces redness, reduces pore size, minimizes acne and breakouts, diminishes fine lines and wrinkles, and more! A natural antioxidant, anti-irritant exfoliant is key to balancing an even skin tone for those of all skin types.
Another primary cause of uneven skin tone are the effects of dryness and oxidants. Oxidation is the chemical process that causes visible signs of aging such as dark spots, wrinkles, uneven texture and skin tone. The way to combat these free radicals is with a moisturizer filled with anti-oxidants. Restoring moisture to your skin can reduce any excess redness in your undertone and alleviate uneven blotchiness in your surface tone. Antioxidant rich products can not only fight against further damage, but can also repair existing problem areas. Both our Sea Infused Herbal Moisturizer and our Super Youth 2.5 Retinol Moisturizers are chock-full of antioxidants, vitamins, and natural extracts that actively protect and restore skin from the causes of uneven skin tone. The secrets behind the effectiveness of these products aren’t mystery chemicals you might find on the labels of some off-the-shelf products, but vitamins and elements found in nature. Vitamin A, or retinal, increases the skin’s structural elements, reducing wrinkles, diminishing dark spots, and improving an even skin texture and tone. Vitamin E is another key player in OZNatural’s moisturizers, strengthening the skin’s surface layer to lock in moisture and prevent membrane damage. Vitamin C plays a key role in moisturizers as well, kicking in the anti-oxidants, reducing inflammation, and combating the sun’s rays. Finally, natural extracts such as green tea provide anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties, keeping your skin calm, smooth, and even! It’s truly amazing what holistic products can do to help protect your skin and restore it to its natural surface tone and undertone.
Irritants such as the sun, free radicals, pollution, and more can leave your skin begging for a boost of moisture and a good cleanse. Even out patchy dry sports with a burst of hydration. Naturally occurring aloe vera, Vitamin B5, and Vitamin E deliver moisture deep into your undertones, calming and cooling irritated skin. Dry complexion can lead to rough texture and blotchiness, and can also cause your skin to overcompensate, producing too much oil, leading to acne or shiny skin.
Topical beauty regiments aren’t the only way to keep your skin even and fresh. The way you treat your body and what you put in it have a large impact on your skin’s health and outward appearance. One failsafe way to cleanse your skin and keep wrinkles under control is to stay well hydrated. Make water your best friend and nix sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. Alcohol and caffeine leave you dehydrated, and the effects will show inside and out. An excess of sugar will cause an abundance of oil build up, leading to a shiny surface tone and acne. If you don’t love drinking plain water, try sprucing it up with mint and lemon or fresh strawberries. Similar to sugary drinks, the chemicals, oils, fats, and sugars in junk food can trigger an excess of oil in your pores, leading to an uneven skin tone. By limiting junk food consumption, you will be doing your skin and overall health a favor!
Whether you have fair or dark skin, cool or warm undertones, uneven skin tone is a balancing act that we all strive to achieve. Luckily, we don’t have to put our skin through the ringer with test tube chemicals and harmful side effects to achieve a natural, even skin tone. Holistic vitamins and nutrients can not only protect skin from the sun, dryness, natural aging, and other causes of uneven skin tone, but can also reverse these effects. Provide your skin with a natural time machine and explore these products that will actively restore your skin to its natural even tone.
-- Angela Irish, Certified Aesthetician & Co-Founder OZNaturals