How to Treat Uneven Skin Tone

In the day and age of Photoshop and various Instagram filters, it is easy to believe most people have a poreless, lineless, flawless complexion. Next, you catch sight of your face in the mirror and despair because your own complexion is anything but. Can we dispense some advice? It is a load of rubbish! We all have pores, laughter lines, blemishes, you name it. And most of us have uneven skin tone. Here at Ishtar, we are all about healthy skin, not Instagram perfect skin. If you are bothered by your uneven skin tone, here are some suggested routines, depending on the cause.

Pinpoint the cause of your uneven skin tone

Before you decide to throw everything and the kitchen sink at your face (no judgement here, been there, done that), it is essential to determine what the cause of your uneven skin tone is. In some cases it is photoaging. Sometimes it is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or melasma. If in doubt, consult a dermatologist. For any type of treatment, persistence and patience is the key. But inappropriate treatment can make matters worse. And no one wants that.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

treating adult acne

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation happens when blemishes and acne start to heal. Sometimes, they’ll leave behind persistent brown marks.

Ishtar products to treat post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

Try Mandelic acid, vitamin C, and Niacinamide

Our Ultralase Mandelic Gluconic Face Wash gently exfoliates the skin. It combines 6% Mandelic acid with 6% Gluconic acid and has a pH of 3.5.

Perfect & Glow Vitamin C serum contains Sodium ascorbyl phosphate liposomes and peptide P3. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and it also has anti-inflammatory properties that encourage cells to stop producing extra pigment.

Brighten Up Fluid combines 4% Niacinamide with Chromabright. Niacinamide reduces hyperpigmentation, regulates sebum production, and prevents new breakouts, while Chromabright is a patented active made famous by luxury brands. It treats hyperpigmentation without sensitising the skin.


Photoaging is caused by UV light and unprotected sun exposure. Melanocytes produce melanin, which is a pigment that gives our skin its colour. When we spend time in the sun, melanocytes overproduce melanin to protect us against the overexposure in the sun. Melanin deposits in the skin and as a result of this process hyperpigmentation appears in the form of sunspots (dark brown or grey spots).

Ishtar products to help treat photoaging

Try Retinol, vitamin C, and Mandelic acid

Our Bioactive Retinol serums come in two strengths – 1% and 2.5%. If you never used a retinol product before, go for 1%. If you used retinol before, go for 2.5%. Our serums use Rovisome technology. Rovisomes are 2nd generation liposomes, which encapsulate the retinol molecule in a biocompatible natural membrane. The molecule retains its potency and reaches deeper layers of the skin for improved results.

Our Perfect & Glow Vitamin C serum combines vitamin C Rovisomes with Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (a stable, water-soluble derivative of vitamin C). Peptide P3 is referred to as a non-acidic alternative to skin resurfacing. It evens out skin tone, improves hydration, and targets fine lines. Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) is a potent antioxidant that reduces oxidative damage and helps prevent signs of aging and sun damage.

Ultralase Mandelic Gluconic Face Wash is a good starting point. If you prefer a serum, try Ultralase 10 Mandelic acid serum. Research shows Alpha-Hydroxy acid improves the effectiveness of the retinol product in treating sun-damaged skin.

EFA ProRepair oil with Tocoretinate-10 & Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate

EFA ProRepair combines 5% Ascorbyl Teraisopalmitate, a stable vitamin C ester, with 2% Tocoretinate-10. Tocoretinate-10 is a retinoic acid ester (it is formed by bonding retinoic acid with vitamin E). Vitamin E potentiates the activity of vitamin C. Retinoids, on the other hand, work synergistically with vitamin C. They fight the signs of aging, photodamage, and improve elasticity.


Melasma can affect both men and women, but most commonly it happens to women when hormones fluctuate during pregnancy or as a result of birth control. Estrogen fluctuates and triggers melanocytes to overproduce melanin, which pools deposits in the skin. Often melasma appears on the forehead, bridge of the nose, cheeks, and upper lip.

Ishtar products to help treat melasma

Melasma is more problematic to treat. Epidermal melasma can be treated with topical products. Dermal melasma, on the other hand, occurs in the deeper layers of the skin and is more difficult to treat. That is why it is vital to consult with a dermatologist before you begin with treatment.

Try Mandelic acid, Retinol, and vitamin C (for epidermal melasma)

Ultralase 10 Mandelic acid serum gently exfoliates and reduces the number of over pigmented cells on the surface of the skin.

Bioactive Retinol serum increases cell turnover and encourages new cells to form.

Perfect & Glow Vitamin C serum acts as an anti-inflammatory and stops excess pigment from being released.

Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen

It is important to know the cause of your uneven skin tone as this will determine what type of treatment will work best for your skin. But regardless of the cause, one thing is applicable to everyone. Wear sunscreen!

Roberta Striga