Healthy Skin Favorites



Uneven skin tone, or hyperpigmentation, is when skin displays uneven pigmentation in the form of brown spots, patchy skin, or a blotchy complexion.


Uneven skin tone is caused by overproduced melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. It has many causes and can occur in all skin types. Some causes of uneven skin tone can include:

  • Sun Damage: Sun damage, from years of overexposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays, is the leading cause of dark spots in light-skinned individuals.
  • Post-Acne Marks: Post-acne marks, also known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, is a condition most common in people with darker skin tones in which inflammation to the skin from acne causes increased pigment production.
  • Age: Skin changes as we age and over time can cause skin discoloration and an uneven appearance.


Although the natural aging process is inevitable, there are steps you can take to help prevent discolorations caused by sun damage. Since UV damage causes darkening, we recommend using a daily broad-spectrum sunscreen. When unprotected skin is exposed to the sun, melanin absorbs the harmful ultraviolet rays and makes dark patches more pronounced. Kiehl’s sunscreens are all specifically formulated to help protect skin’s surface from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Discover the best sunscreen for your skin type.


In addition to protecting your skin with a broad-spectrum sunscreen, another effective way to help even skin tone is to implement a gentle, brightening skincare routine. Whether you have dark spots, a rough texture, or discolorations, a brightening skincare routine can help correct discolorations and boost clarity for a more even-appearing complexion.

Our skincare experts have curated this effective skincare routine uniquely formulated to help improve clarity and address the appearance of uneven skin tone. Here are our 5 steps to help even skin tone:

Step 1

Gently Exfoliate With A Brightening Exfoliator

Most dark areas from early sun damage tend to be more superficial, affecting only the top layer of skin. Exfoliating helps refine skin’s texture by helping to slough off dead skin cells and reveal new ones for a smoother, more even appearance. Look for gentle exfoliators that help soothe and refine skin. Try a skin brightening face wash that gently exfoliates and helps purify skin of environmental pollutants for visibly improved clarity. Formulated with White Birch Extract, Peony Extract, and Pearlstone, this daily exfoliator is mild enough to use morning and night for brighter, smoother, more even-looking skin.

Step 2

Brighten Skin With A Dark Spot Corrector

An effective dark spot corrector helps refine skin’s texture for a smoother appearance and diminish the intensity of dark spots over time.

Brighten the appearance of skin and target discolorations with a dark spot corrector formulated with a potent complex of Activated C, White Birch Extract and Peony Extract. This efficacious serum is clinically demonstrated to help correct dark spots and discolorations for visible correction and clarity.* In a clinical study** after 8 weeks of using Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution, 90% of women showed a dramatic reduction of discolorations.

* Based on a 12-week clinical study of 104 women, ages 29-65, Caucasian, African American, Asian and Hispanic (about 25% each), with all skin types, presented with mild to moderate severity of attributes, including post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation on face, neck, chest, and back of hands.

**91 Women, 30-65-year-old females with mild to moderate hyperpigmentation (mottled), and mild to moderate dark spots (age/sun spots), uneven skin tone, and dull skin on their face, neck, chest, and hands and subjects with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (acne scars). Multi-ethnic panel equally distributed: 25% African American, 25% Asian, 25% Caucasian, 25% Hispanic. All skin types. Changes versus baseline.

KIEHL’S TIP: In addition to your face, apply several drops of Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution to the neck, upper chest, and backs of hands, too!

Step 3

Use A Skin Brightening Moisturizer With Intensive Hydration

Effective moisturizers have many benefits. They help increase skin hydration and improve skin tone and texture. When choosing a moisturizer to help with an uneven skin tone, reach for hydrating formulas that can also help boost clarity and reduce the appearance of skin discolorations.

Try a skin brightening moisturizer infused with Glycolic Acid, known to help smooth skin. Clearly Corrective™ Brightening & Smoothing Moisture Treatment is clinically-demonstrated* to help correct the appearance of skin discoloration and rough texture for improved skin clarity. Formulated with Activated C and White Birch Extract, this efficacious skin brightening moisturizer provides continuous 24-hour hydration and helps even and brighten skin!

*Results based upon a clinical study of upper layers of the skin

Step 4

Use A Daily Sunscreen

Our final tip is a reminder that incorporating a daily sunscreen into your skincare routine is essential in helping protect skin from sun damage, which could lead to uneven skin tone. Remember, daily use is key, even on cloudy days. Use a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection with an (SPF) of 30 or greater. Explore all our sun care products that help protect against UVA and UVB rays.