Uneven skin tone may be caused by sun damage, including freckles, sun spots and patches of intense dryness. Age can also bring about uneven skin tone, creating dry spots and areas of hyper-pigmentation sometimes referred to as age spots. Creams for uneven skin tone take three different approaches to the problem: exfoliation, peels and lightening.
Exfoliation gently sloughs away the outer layer of dead skin, encouraging new skin cell growth to look smooth and even. Exfoliation is particularly effective in evening out skin tone differences caused by dry, rough patches of skin. Sephora Beauty notes that it can be challenging to rectify uneven skin tone with cleansing and moisturizing alone; body scrubs buff skin into even tone and glowing condition. Sephora recommends Brown Sugar Body Polish by Fresh, a mixture of brown sugar with almond, apricot, and jojoba oils; Bliss Super Slough Scrub with beads of jojoba; and Dr. Brandt Skincare Microdermabrasion Body Exfoliating Cream, which uses aluminum oxide crystals to scrub and moisturize uneven skin.
Hydroquinone Lightening Creams
Hydroquinone is a benzene, chemically classified as a type of phenol. In skin creams, hydroquinone works by interfering with cell's ability to manufacture pigment, according to Dr. Peter Pacik of Skin Care MD. According to Dr. Pacik, hydroquinone at a 4 percent concentration is highly effective in resolving hyper-pigmentation skin unevenness. For patients without severe skin wrinkling, Dr. Pacik recommends Obagi-C Rx Complete System or Glyquin XM; for patients with more advanced skin damage, Dr. Pacik suggests tretinoin treatment along with the hydroquinone skin creams. Each of these treatment creams requires a prescription. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics notes that hydroquinone is banned in the European Union, and was found unsafe for products left on the skin by the U.S. Cosmetics Ingredient Review Panel. In 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stated that it cannot rule out carcinogenic risk from topically applied hydroquinone in humans. However, it is still lawfully available in the United States. Dr. Pacik recommends using sunscreen with hydroquinone skin creams.
Natural Skin Tone Creams
Natural skin tone creams even out skin texture and coloration with non-hydroquinone products, including acids that peel or dissolve away out dead layers of skin cells and natural pigment lighteners. Natural Skin Shop, purveyors of anti-aging and skin brightening products, states that their own clinical evaluations indicate that skin bleaching is not as effective as encouraging skin-cell turnover for evening out skin tone. Natural Skin Shop offers a wide variety of product sets for uneven skin tone treatment, with ingredients including glycolic and lactic acid to dissolve dead skin cells, bearberry and licorice extracts to inhibit melanin production. Barielle is a company that started more than 3 decades ago selling products to toughen horses' hooves. It is now a leader in effective nail and hand care products, and offers a hydroquinone-free cream to even out skin tone. Barielle's Advanced Formula Porcelain Skin Brightening Cream includes beeswax and natural oils as well as herbal extracts to leave skin moist and smooth.