Rana Good is the founder of Naïra NYC. A writer for publications such as Forbes, Travel + Leisure, Coveteur, Mens Journal and others, she created her own platform celebrating women of color.
Real skin has texture — in our social media-filled, heavily-filtered world we sometimes forget that. However, most of us strive to have somewhat smooth and even skin, as it makes us feel confident bare-faced and makes it easier to apply makeup. While you’re born with a certain skin type, external factors like your environment, nutrition, hormones, and skincare routine can affect what your complexion looks like.
We spoke to dermatologist and founder of skincare brand Acaderma, Dr. Shuting Hu about the basics of skin texture, what causes it to be uneven or grainy, and how to how to improve your texture. Here’s what she had to say:
“Skin texture is referring to the condition of the surface of your skin. The ideal condition is an even texture that’s smooth and soft, however, it’s very common for the skin to be uneven, coarse, dry, or bumpy.”
“There are many factors that determine our skin’s texture. Excessive sun exposure, dehydration, lack of exfoliation, environmental aggressors, and hormones are the most common causes of unevenness. As you age, the body’s collagen production levels will start to slow down and the epidermis (top layer) of your skin will begin to thin. The thinness of your skin can also have an effect on your skin’s texture.”
“Hyperpigmentation is a common skin problem for women of color that has an effect on the skin’s texture and tone. The most common types of hyperpigmentation are melasma, sunspots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation occurs when the skin’s cells overproduce melanin triggered by hormonal shifts, UV exposure, or inflammation.”
“The buildup of dead skin cells due to a lack of exfoliation is one of the most common causes of uneven skin texture. However, things like dryness, excessive sun exposure, and acne can also lead to an uneven skin texture.”
“The best way to avoid uneven skin texture is by taking care of your skin. Keep your skin healthy and hydrated (make sure you’re drinking a lot of water throughout your day), wear SPF, and find the right skincare products for your skin. I always recommend working with a dermatologist who can build a skincare routine for you that works for your skin type and main areas of concern.”
One of the main causes of uneven skin is the buildup of dead skin cells so make sure you’re exfoliating at least once a week to remove this layer of dead skin. Find a gentle exfoliator that isn’t abrasive on your skin to minimize any irritation.
2. Laser Treatment
Different laser treatments, such as fractional lasers, can be a non-invasive way to stimulate collagen production while gently exfoliating dead skin cells to reveal an even, youthful-looking glow. Laser treatments are very effective at improving the skin’s texture as they can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, minimize hyperpigmentation, and promote collagen production.
3. Wear SPF
Wearing sunscreen every day, even if you are not out in direct sunlight, is essential for protecting your skin while also combating uneven skin texture. Uneven texture is often caused by sun damage, so find a sunscreen that works for your skin and make sure you apply it every morning.
4. Vitamin C
Use a Vitamin C serum to help combat uneven skin texture. This is a powerful, antioxidant ingredient that not only brightens your skin but will protect against free radicals in the environment that can cause uneven skin. If you’re experiencing hyperpigmentation, Vitamin C is also a great ingredient that will help reduce the appearance of dark spots.
(Try One of These 10 Affordable Vitamin C Serums)
“While the ‘ideal’ skin texture may be smooth and soft, the majority of people experience uneven, dry, discolored skin. However, this isn’t represented within the beauty industry, so I think most people do not realize that most people are also experiencing the same problems they are having with their skin.
I always encourage people to embrace their skin, in whatever state it might be in. It doesn’t matter whether or not your skin fits within the ‘ideal’ look — what matters is that you are taking care of your skin and overall health.”