Uneven skin tone, or hyper-pigmentation, is a common dermatological problem that many of us suffer with. Naturally, some of us (me) may have an uneven skin tone on our face, with dark areas around our mouths (me, again) and lighter areas elsewhere. However, there are many other reasons for hyper-pigmentation.
According to Dermalogica.co.uk, common reasons for hyper-pigmentation, particularly of the face, are sun exposure and post-inflammatory pigmentation – a darkening of the skin after scarring.
Personally, for me, I have experienced hyper-pigmentation as a result of acne scarring and have tried numerous unnatural, unhealthy products and habits to “cure” my uneven skin tone, which ultimately led to more hyper-pigmentation. However, I’ve had a revelation – less is really more – and my skin care routine is so simple and effective, leading to the fading of my hyper-pigmentation and a more even skin tone.
Rather than go through my whole skincare regimen (which is quite minute), I am going to go through a very simple skin mask/scrub you can make, specifically for uneven skin tone, with ingredients from your kitchen.
You will need:
· An oil of choice (I use Hemp oil or Olive oil)
· Lemon Juice (optional)
· Black soap
Turmeric, the main ingredient, is a common spice used in Asia and is an antioxidant with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. For years, it has been used to “lighten” skin, and to treat uneven skin tone and acne.
Now the process for the mask/scrub is extremely simple, I pour some turmeric into the palm of my hand – around the size of two 50 pence piece – and then I pour my oil of choice into the same palm and mix it together with my index finger to make a paste. The paste is to be thick enough to stay on my face, and not run, but also easy to spread evenly on my skin.
Next, I spread the paste evenly on my face using my index finger. Once my face is covered, I rub, scrub and massage the paste into my face* – paying particular attention to the areas of my face with the most hyper-pigmentation. I then leave the “mask” on my face for 15-20 minutes**.
After the relevant time, I wash the mask off my face using circular motions with my hands – still rubbing the paste into my face. Turmeric does have a strong yellowish/orange tint to it and so; I wash my face again with black soap in order to get rid of the tint, remove any residue and it’s a bonus that black soap is also good for an uneven complexion. I follow this with a night cream of my choice – Aloe Vera gel!
If I make this paste in bulk, I mix 24g of turmeric (which is half of the small jar it comes in) with enough oil to make a paste and mix a tablespoon of lemon juice into the paste. Lemon juice and lemon oil are also effective in treating uneven skin tones and acne but, if you have open skin on your face (cuts/scratches etc.) or extremely sensitive skin, stay clear of the lemon!
And that’s literally it! It’s very simple, but very effective and has improved my skin a lot.
The turmeric paste can take longer than a normal face wash to rinse off and can stain your towels if you are not careful!
Overall, I have not had any stains in my sink using turmeric - as I wash my sink out as soon as I’ve washed my face – but it can stain if left too long.
Turmeric can stain your hands and fingernails, but it doesn’t last long and isn’t a huge problem.
*Turmeric makes a grainy mixture, and can be rough on the skin when you over scrub so be mindful of sensitive areas of the face such as around the eyes and mouth.
**If you have sensitive skin, like myself, your skin will tell you when to take the mask off – i.e. it may tingle, itch etc. Listen to your skin and wash the mask off in good time.