An uneven skin tone, called hyperpigmentation, is irregular darkening of the skin. The cause: overproduction of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin and hair color. The resulting dark patches and spots are typically perceived as “aged skin” and can make you look more than 12 years older.
How is uneven skin tone caused?
Sun exposure: When your skin is repeatedly exposed to UV light, sun damage occurs. Brown spots and uneven skin tone develop as a result of too much melanin being produced to help protect your skin from UV light.
Pollution: Particles and gasses from traffic-related air pollution are able to penetrate the skin and lead to formation of brown spots, particularly on the face.
Hormones: Melasma is hormone-related hyperpigmentation caused by increased hormone stimulation. It’s most commonly experienced by women who are pregnant (which is why it’s also known as the “mask of pregnancy”) or taking contraceptives, but can also be a reaction to cosmetics or medications.
Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation: This is a darkening of the skin as a result of scarring, which can be caused by acne lesions or skin injury.