Skin discoloration occurs for a variety of reasons: sun damage, acne scarring and other skin injuries. It can be annoying and cause insecurity for many — I know because I’ve lived with skin discoloration for most of my life. I have patches on my inner arms that have been there since I can remember. I also have a ton of acne scarring on my face, and skin discoloration and uneven skin tone are still my biggest skincare concerns. Here are a few things that I’ve tried that have helped me deal with my skin discoloration.
I’ve written about it before, but I’ll say it again. I SWEAR by vitamin E oil! It’s a personal go-to and favorite of mine. Although you might have heard about the health benefits of taking vitamin E (it can boost your immune system), it's also fantastic for your skin. I like to purchase it in the oil form, but you can always purchase the capsules and break them open to apply vitamin E topically. Vitamin E is GREAT for scarring, and I’ve noticed a difference in the presence and darkness of my acne scars when using it frequently. When using it on a newer zit (or small scrapes, I have two cats so you never know) it helps to avoid and prevent scarring. However, Vitamin E oil is very heavy. If you're prone to breakouts or have naturally oily skin, make sure to apply it at night in place of a moisturizer to help avoid further breakouts.
Microneedling (also called rolling)
Microneedling (also called dermarolling or rolling) is an at-home, less intense version of microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion, which can be done at most dermatologist’s offices, essentially removes the thicker, uneven layer of your skin.
The idea behind microneedling is that by rolling the needles over your skin, you create tiny abrasions which the body then works to heal. The process of rolling stimulates collagen production and helps increase the absorption of skincare products and serums.
If you want to try microneedling at home, make sure you watch technique and how-to videos on YouTube first. I use a dermaroller from Rodan + Fields, which comes with its own serum and retails at about $220. Another popular roller is the ORA Microneedle Face + Full Body Kit, which retails for about $84.
It's SO important to exfoliate your skin. When you do, you help your skin shed dry and dead cells that sit on the surface. The process of exfoliation helps stimulate blood flow to your face and can help with uneven skin tones.
Make sure you don’t exfoliate too often, however. You want to remove dead skin cells, but you don’t want to strip your skin of its natural oils either.
If you don’t already, try finding an exfoliating scrub or face mask that you like. I personally like using Herbivore Blue Tansy AHA + BHA Resurfacing Clarity Mask, it gently exfoliates and smells so good! It retails for $48 and can be purchased at Sephora.
Although these things can help you treat skin that is already discolored, the most important thing to remember moving forward is to protect your skin! Make sure to wear sunscreen every day. Even if the sun isn’t out, the UV rays that cause skin damage are still in the atmosphere. Also, try not to pick at your pimples. If you’re prone to skin discoloration, picking your acne makes it more likely to scar.
Add one or more of these techniques to your skincare routine and watch the results start to roll in!