If you have problems with uneven pigmentation, you're not alone. A recent study by Mintel, a market research firm, found that it's a top concern for women, more so than stretch marks and visible pores, the New York Times reports.
The cause of discoloration is varied: For younger gals, hormones are often the culprit; For older gals, sun damage is typically responsible; and for those with sensitive or darker skin, the blotchy spots tend just tend to stick around a lot longer. "A pimple can resolve in a week, but leave a mark on more heavily pigmented skin that lasts for months," said dermatologist Dr. Susan Taylor. Find out what ingredients and methods combat uneven pigmentation when you read more.
Simply put, prescriptions from a doctor are the speediest option. "With over-the-counter it can take anywhere from 8 to 16 weeks to see results," said Dr. Leslie Baumann. By that time, your expensive cream might already be gone. On the flip side, many over-the-counter treatments are a lot cheaper than services available at the doctor's office.
Regardless what method you choose, one of the most common ingredients used in evening out pigment is hydroquinone, although the safety of this product is under fire. From retinoids to soy to kojic acid to licorice extract, there are other options, and the options are aplenty. Look for brightening and illuminating products, like Aveda's Embrightenment line ($45 to $177) or Kiss My Face Potent and Pure Brightening Day Creme ($17). But, when it comes down to it, it looks like patience is your best friend on this one, particularly when done on the cheap.