There are a lot of opportunities for your skin tone to become uneven throughout your daily life. After all, it is extremely common for men to struggle with damaged skin tone and texture.
While common, these damages should not be left untreated, especially when there are many solutions available.
Here are the most common causes and steps on how to help even out your skin tone.
Cause of Uneven Skin Tone
Before treating your uneven skin tone, it can be helpful to find the source of your problem.
When consistently exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation without any layer of protection, your skin can become damaged. This damage typically contributes to a process called photoaging.
Photoaging is the premature aging of your skin caused by the sun’s rays attacking your vulnerable skin. Unwanted features of photoaging include dark spots, wrinkles, and redness, all of which contribute to damaging one’s texture and tone.
Pigmentation disorders involve any disorder of the skin that unnaturally influences the natural coloring of one’s tissue or skin.
The pigment of one's skin is determined by something called melanin.
Melanin is a group of molecules that influence the natural pigmentation of both your skin and hair. These pigments are produced in the epidermis, the thin outer layers of skin surrounding your body, through a chemical process called melanogenesis.
The process of melanogenesis takes place in cells located in the skin and eyes that produce pigment and are called melanocytes. The amount of melanocytes a person has in their body does not determine their skin color. In actuality, people of all shades have around the same, if not the exact same, number of melanocytes.
What does determine your skin color is the rate at which these melanocytes produce melanin. While these cells are capable of producing melanin at the same rate, they do so differently in every individual.
Melanin being produced at varying rates results in varying degrees of pigmentation. The process of melanogenesis involves a range of brown and black pigments. Those with more melanin, meaning melanin produced at a faster rate, have darker skin, while those with light skin have melanocytes that produce melanin at a slower rate, leaving them with less.
Hyperpigmentation vs Hypopigmentation
Hyperpigmentation is a very common pigmentation disorder in which excess amounts of melanin form in only certain areas of your skin, causing these spots to appear darker than the rest of your skin.
Hyperpigmentation can be caused by overexposure to the sun, acne scarring, and even a bad reaction to prescribed antibiotics. The result of hyperpigmentation is dark patches.
Another common pigmentation disorder commonly mislabeled as hyperpigmentation is hypopigmentation. If you find that your skin is struggling with depigmentation, you likely have hypopigmentation.
Hypopigmentation results from decreased melanin production that occurs when pigment-producing cells lose their ability to function as intended. The result is typically lighter patches on the skin.
Hypopigmentation is sometimes also confused for erythema. Erythema is the reddening of the skin following an injury or skin irritation. The result of injuring one’s skin is typically swelling. This effect can damage blood vessels and, in turn, cause red patches to form on the skin.
Erythema is similar to hyperpigmentation in that it involves an increase in melanin production. Erythema is different from hyperpigmentation because it more commonly impacts those with light skin tones while those with dark skin tones tend to deal with hyperpigmentation.
Additionally, hyperpigmentation tends to result in grey or brown spots, while erythema forms spots that appear as pink, purple, or red.
After shaving your skin, even after doing so with extreme attention and precaution, part of your epidermis will be left exposed and vulnerable to bacteria and infection. In addition to cuts accidentally made during the process, shaving leaves your skin tender and in need of soothing.
If left untreated after a shave, your skin can become irritated, swell, and feel itchy, and your hair follicles may become inflamed as you develop razor burn and breakouts. These symptoms will affect the appearance and feel of your skin’s texture.
Methods For Evening Out Your Skin Tone
There are several different ways to help even out your skin tone and prevent further damage. Here are some of the most effective:
Cleanse and Moisturize Regularly
In order to provide your skin with the time it needs to repair itself, you must do your part to keep it regularly washed and moisturized. The right products may even be able to support and encourage your skin as it rebuilds itself.
For this, we recommend using MadeMan’s The Re(Set) Collection.
This collection consists of just two products and two steps that can be accomplished in under two minutes. The two products involved are The Resetter and The Refresher. Both of which are water-based and use all-natural ingredients.
The Resetter is a cleanser that doubles as a shaving gel. Our formula can provide you with a deep but gentle, non-irritating cleanse. It is safe to use on all skin types. It does its job of eliminating impurities from your pores and leaving your skin smooth, all while maintaining your skin’s natural pH balance and avoiding breaking down the skin’s moisture barrier.
The Refresher is a moisturizer that is designed to quickly penetrate your skin’s outer layers and provide it with the nutrient and antioxidant blend that it needs to naturally repair and restore itself. Benefits of using our product include fixing fine lines, boosting your natural collagen production, and fighting against aging, discoloration of the skin, and uneven skin texture.
Apply both of these products twice a day, once in the morning after you wake up and once at night before you go to bed.
As already discussed, sun damage and photoaging are common causes of negatively altering your skin tone. To protect yourself from these effects, all you need to do is wear sunscreen every day, even when you do not suspect that the sun will be out or that you will be outdoors for long.
You have the option of choosing between chemical and mineral sunscreen. Both types of sunscreen use their active ingredients to prohibit the sun’s rays from penetrating your skin and inflicting harm. They simply do so differently.
With chemical sunscreen, the ingredients, including octisalate and avobenzone, can absorb the sun’s UV rays when they touch your skin, keeping them from causing any damage.
With physical sunscreen, the ingredients, which include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, work together to deflect the rays, scattering them before they have the chance to penetrate your skin.
Both forms of sunscreen have been proven to work safely and effectively, though some have argued that mineral sunscreen is the better option for sensitive skin. In contrast, chemical sunscreen will better suit those with busy lifestyles that need something fast-absorbing and invisible to the eye once dry.
Also previously mentioned is the role of shaving in damaging one’s skin tone. Skin left untreated after a shave can result in an unhealthy feel and appearance. The easy fix is to start using aftershave if you do not already.
Aftershave is a popular alcohol-based liquid found in men’s grooming and applied to the skin for treatment post-shave. The three primary forms of aftershave include lotions, balms, and splashes.
Aftershaves are designed to effectively treat the tiny cuts acquired by your face during a shave, even those invisible to the eye. It can stop the skin from bleeding and reduce your risk of infection,
There are different forms of aftershave. The most typical formulas are antibacterial and alcohol-based, containing ingredients like isopropyl alcohol or ethyl alcohol. Others are astringent and antimicrobial and contain witch hazel instead.
The specific benefits of your aftershave will be dependent upon which aftershave you decide to use, although most tend to reduce itching, ease swelling, close pores at risk of developing pimples, and razor bumps, support your skin’s tissue growth, and prevent hair follicle inflammation.
As far as skin treatments go, one of the most popular for treating one’s skin tone is a common facial treatment called chemical peels. Chemical peels are used to improve your skin’s texture by deeply exfoliating the skin’s surface with a chemical solution designed to boost new and healthy skin growth.
If you are concerned that your skin may not react well to a chemical peel, or if your dermatologist feels that your skin may be too sensitive for the procedure to do you well, you can try chemically exfoliating instead.
A chemical exfoliant involves the use of washes and scrubs containing alpha-hydroxy acids, like glycolic and lactic acid, or beta hydroxy acids, like salicylic and tropic acid.
Similar to chemical peels, these exfoliants can treat and resolve blemishes on the skin, simply to a lesser degree. They are also safer to use at home on our own instead of chemical peels which, ideally, should be left to the professionals.
Laser therapy is another viable treatment option for repairing your skin’s tone and texture. Laser treatments use focused light tuned to specific wavelengths to treat your skin back to health.
One of the most sought-after benefits of laser therapy is its ability to encourage elastin growth and to reduce discoloration, though the treatment can also be used to prompt resurfacing in instances with severely damaged skin texture.
Laser treatments are costly and usually require multiple rounds of therapy to receive the full results. This makes it all the more important to discuss with your dermatologist ahead of time.
Uneven skin tone can stem from several sources, including sun damage, pigmentation disorders, and poor shaving habits. The good news is that there are ways to rectify these issues.
By keeping your skin clean and moisturized, using sunscreen, and applying aftershave, you can both treat and prevent tone and texture problems with your skin. For trickier cases like those involving pigmentation disorders, you can consult with your dermatologist about viable procedures.
[Sun-damaged skin (photoaging): what is new?] | PubMed
Biochemistry, Melanin - StatPearls | NCBI
Chemical Peel (Deep, Medium, Light) | PubMed