From dark marks and age spots, to scars and sun damage — an uneven skin tone can mark both your complexion and your confidence. Fortunately, you can treat those stubborn spots by incorporating the right products into your skincare routine. Let's take a closer look at the best beauty ingredients to look out for to help you achieve an even skin tone.
Vitamin B3, more popularly known as Niacinamide, is a skincare ingredient that has taken the beauty world by storm, since it's been deemed as an effective tool for treating acne and inflammation. However, an often overlooked benefit of this ingredient is that it can help restore uneven skin tone because it boosts hydration. This is key to having an even skin tone, and one of the best ways to keep your skin hydrated is to use a hydrating face cream or oil, which we previously shared as part of our '3 Tips to Hydrated Skin'. In this regard, you should invest in a hydrating product with niacinamide as its main ingredient, like the French-favourite BioDerma's Hydrabio Serum.
2. Vitamin C
When you hear the word 'Vitamin C', perhaps a glass of orange juice is the first thing that comes to mind. But did you know that it has antioxidant properties that help even out your skin tone? What's more, it protects you from harmful free radicals in the environment that can cause dark areas on your skin. This is why your skincare arsenal should have a Vitamin C serum on deck, such as these reviewed and approved by Byrdie beauty editors.
Derived from Vitamin A, retinol is an antioxidant that helps repair skin to reach an even tone by cleansing dead skin cells away. It's important to note you should stick to a retinol product with a straightforward formula like La Roche-Posay's cream, as the ingredient has a potent effect on the skin. The trick to unlocking retinol's restorative benefits is to use pea-sized amounts and applying it in an upward motion.
4. Kojic Acid
Kojic acid may not have the most glamorous backstory, as it originates from different kinds of fungi, and is also a byproduct of a Japanese fermentation process. Despite this, the ingredient has come to be known as an antioxidant with lightening abilities that can help even out your skin tone. This is why Pretty Me’s review of the Asian-favourite Kojic Acid Soap highlights how it’s become a go-to product for fading scars from acne and even skin damage from sun exposure. In turn, kojic acid's swift and strong healing properties also have an anti-ageing effect on your skin that will surely provide you with a youthful glow.
5. Salicylic Acid
While salicylic acid may be known for treating acne, it also contains astringent properties that help diminish skin discolouration, and ultimately, even out your skin tone. However, be sure that you apply this ingredient only in small amounts, as too much of it can irritate your skin. To ensure your skin's safety and an even skin tone, look for gentle products like the Korean skincare brand Eco Your Skin's sleeping mask — it has combined salicylic acid with the soothing ingredient of lavender.