Rough skin can be, well, rough. While we all crave silky smooth skin, a variety of factors—from environmental to behavioral—can keep us from getting there. Have you ever touched your skin and felt dry, rough patches on certain areas? Or found that certain spots seem to feel like they’re producing more sebum than others? These are the most common signs of an uneven skin texture. Skin texture isn’t one of those qualities that immediately comes to mind when you’re thinking about the ideal complexion. The buildup of dead and keratinized skin cells and repetitive irritation also take a toll on your skin’s texture and appearance. While being diligent with your regimen definitely helps keep your skin’s smoothness from going south, there are plenty of other factors that can make or break your skin care goals. Especially when you consider the fact that your skin takes a beating from a number of everyday stressors.
What is Skin Texture and what causes it?
Face texture is most commonly caused by a buildup of dead skin cells on the skin’s surface. This buildup clogs pores, resulting in texture, blackheads, and redness. The environment can also impact the way your skin looks, as pollution and sun exposure can cause oxidative stress that damages your skin’s ability to produce Collagen - the protein that keeps your skin looking smooth and young.
As you age, your skin can become rough and dry due to depleted collagen levels and lack of hydration. Additionally, acne and acne scarring may cause visible marks or uneven texture.
1. Acne and PIH
The most prominent symptom of acne is the change it makes to the skin’s surface. From small raised bumps to large inflamed comedones, all types of blemishes can cause a bumpy and irregular skin texture. Depending on the severity of your acne, these could be isolated to one area or cover your entire complexion. If you’re prone to picking and popping, acne scars may emerge on your skin. As blemishes heal, your skin elicits an inflammatory response to repair the damaged tissue which disrupts the production and overall structure of collagen, causing indented scars to sink into the skin.
2. Over Exfoliation
When exfoliation is done right, it makes the skin much smoother, cleaner, better, and younger. But if you use an exfoliator that’s a bit rough on the skin, or apply it too much or too often, or, even if you combine two or more exfoliating agents, then it’s very likely that they are going to over-exfoliate your skin. Over-exfoliation can cause irritation, a feeling of soreness and possibly some redness. Swelling and puffiness are other symptoms of overdoing exfoliation. That makes it bad for the skin. When the exfoliating substance works a little too deep, it can damage your skin’s lipid barrier. When this happens, our skin becomes puffy, or a bit swollen and textured. Over-exfoliated skin can become so vulnerable and damaged that it can be easily inflamed. This inflammation can then escalate into an acne breakout. Read more about it here.
As you age, your skin’s stores of Collagen, Elastin and Hyaluronic Acid deplete. Additionally, skin cell turnover slows and complexion becomes increasingly dry and rough. Without sufficient structural support, your skin may develop a variety of wrinkles, from crow’s feet and smile lines to rough and textured skin. Each of these affects your skin’s texture, causing its surface to wrinkle and crease.
Read our blog to know all about ageing skin and ingredients to battle ageing here.
If your skin is dry and dehydrated, this could be the cause of your sandy and bumpy skin texture. If this applies to you, stay away from exfoliating because it will irritate and further dry out your skin.
Your diet could be the driving factor in combating your skin texture. We’ve all heard the old adage that dairy or chocolate causes acne which can lead to skin texture and it's true. Dairy along with a high glycemic load diet, think white bread, white sugar and rice can cause acne and inflammation. Another item to avoid? Alcoholic beverages. Alcohol causes dehydration and inflammation in the skin. Both of which will exacerbate skin texture and slow down skin healing. Read more about how your diet affects your skin here.
6. Skin Conditions
Skin conditions like Rosacea can cause redness and skin texture but it’s generally very hard to treat at home and using chemical exfoliation to treat it will make it worse. If your skin texture persists, consult a dermatologist because ultimately, they have the most knowledge to help you and they can help you find the right prescription if what you’ve tried in the past hasn’t worked.
Read more about Rosacea here.
Ok so now what ? How to Improve Skin Texture?
1. Hydration is the key
Keep your skin moisturized from within by staying hydrated. Water helps your body flush out the toxins that can lead to dryness, clogged pores, damage, and irritation. Additionally, drinking water helps keep your skin moist, which reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, making your skin look fuller, plumper and healthier.
2. Take the AHA, BHA, PHA route
You have probably heard that acids are good for your skin and you may recognise acronyms such as AHA, BHA and PHA. Common to the different types of acid is that they exfoliate the skin, i.e. they help to loosen the very outer layer of old skin cells. The result is a smoother skin surface that has a healthier appearance. It is especially important to apply a high factor UV protection when using acids, as the skin may become more sensitive to the sun. You should also be a little more careful with your acids during times when you know that you will be spending a lot of time in the sun, for example, use them only in the evening or take a complete break during a holiday in the sun.
Read all about Exfoliation here
3. Exfoliate with Glycolic or Lactic Acid
If you are looking to simplify your skincare routine with a product that provides all the benefits of minimising pores, younger-looking skin and a clear, radiant complexion, keep your eyes on Glycolic acid. This miraculous ingredient is an all-in-one solution to your greatest skin troubles from ageing to acne and textured skin— Glycolic acid takes care of it all.
Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). This simply means that it is an anti-ageing ingredient. It works against wrinkles, age spots, and pigmentation, helping to even out your complexion and brighten it. You’ll be left with noticeably smoother, lovelier skin. The Skinpot.Co Hyper-Repair Exfoliation Peel is formulated with plant acid and enzymes that go deep within the skin to remove dead cells and bring forth a fresh layer of skin. This weekly ritual results in the deep cleansing of pores, diminished pigmentation and skin that is smooth and radiant.
4. Use Salicylic Acid if you’re acne prone
Salicylic acid is a skin care ingredient used for the topical treatment of acne, and it's the only beta hydroxy acid (BHA) used in skin care products. Perfect for oily skin, salicylic acid is best known for its ability to deep clean excess oil out of pores and reduce oil production moving forward. Because Salicylic Acid keeps pores clean and unclogged, it prevents future whiteheads and blackheads from developing and helps with skin texture.
The Deconstruct Pore Control Serum is a rare combination of Salicylic acid and Niacinamide that works effectively on pores, blackheads & whiteheads. This pore cleansing & oil control duo work well together to exfoliate pores off dirt, sebum and dead cells and control further oil production from the skin.
Head to our blog to know all about Salicylic Acid
5. Soften the skin with a Chemical Peel
Although it may sound scary, chemical peels are a great at-home treatment to further repair rough skin. A chemical peel helps remove sun-damaged skin, stimulates regrowth and evens out the texture and pigment of skin while promoting collagen production making it the perfect recipe for flawless skin.
Formulated by dermatologists especially for Indian skin, the Dr Sheth's Extra Gentle Peel works to manage key issues like pigmentation and uneven skin. It delivers Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) in a controlled and slow manner to evenly exfoliate the skin, remove dead skin and reduce blemishes.
Applied topically, Niacinamide can improve skin texture and strengthen the protective barrier function of the skin, which then helps to reduce inflammation — often appearing as dry, irritated or flaky skin. It does so by increasing natural lipids found on the skin surface and reducing water loss.
The Over Dermis Skin Alphabet Vitamin B Serum reduces and prevents skin damage caused by blue light and pollution. It inhibits melanosome transfer and so, helps lighten acne scars, age spots and sunspots and uneven skin texture. It stimulates collagen synthesis which in turn improves the firmness of your skin.
Read more about Niacinamide here
7. Incorporate an Enzyme Scrub to your routine
Whether glowing skin is what you are after, or you’re looking for an exfoliation method that is gentle, relaxing, and highly effective, an enzyme peel may be the solution you’ve been searching for. The exfoliation properties in the enzymes used in an Enzyme peel help to remove dead cells and loosen up dull skin to reveal smoother, more youthful skin.
The Aminu Forest Bath VIT-B Enzyme Scrub is a potent formula designed to visibly brighten skin, correct uneven skin tone, and clear clogged pores. It contains natural beads ( and not micro-plastic beads) that gently lift away dead skin cells and dirt without irritating the skin.
Using a well-formulated and stable product with retinol will visibly reduce the appearance of sun damage, brown spots, lines, wrinkles, and large pores. It can stimulate the metabolism of skin cells and encourage Collagen production. It’s magic is in its ability to resurface the skin’s texture for a smoother, more even-toned look.
The Neemli Naturals Retinol and Peptide Serum is here to be a part of your beauty arsenal, effectively renewing your skin’s tone and texture. With collagen stimulating retinol and firming Peptides, this serum brings together powerfully effective ingredients that help combat all visible signs of aging including fine lines and wrinkles giving you smooth, younger looking skin without any irritation.
Read more about this superhero ingredient here
9. Add Vitamin C to your routine
With a multitude of Vitamin C-infused serums and moisturizers on the market today, there’s no excuse for not taking advantage of this powerful antioxidant in your skincare routine. Vitamin C helps improve the skin’s texture by repairing and defending the skin from environmental stressors while reducing pigmentation, PIH and age spots. Incorporating Vitamin C into your skincare routine now, will help keep your skin young, fresh and soft in the future!
Designed with naturally effective ingredients that are safe and non-irritating, the Dear, Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop energizes and rejuvenates the skin with the power of pure Vitamin C. Containing key ingredients directly from nature and concentrated pure Vitamin C, this innovative multi-solution, non-irritating formula revitalises, maintains, and transforms your skin reducing blemishes and uneven texture.
Read more about Vitamin C here.
10. Adjust your diet
You are what you eat ! When it comes to achieving smooth skin, what you put in your body is just as important as what you put on it. Processed foods and refined carbohydrates can impede your body’s good bacteria, creating an imbalance that can lead to uneven skin texture and breakouts. Replacing these foods with ones that are rich in vitamins and antioxidants can make your skin appear smoother and healthier. Foods like salmon, berries, and leafy vegetables can help prevent and reverse the appearance of skin damage caused by environmental toxins and help your skin look more moisturised. Foods rich in antioxidants can also help reduce redness and inflammation.
11. Use a Facial Oil
It may seem counterintuitive, but adding oil to your face can actually make it less oily. If the texture on your face is concentrated around one area (for example, around your nose), try adding an oil treatment to your skincare routine.
When you strip your face of its natural oils with exfoliants and cleansers, it causes your skin to overcompensate and produce additional oils, leading to clogs that produce blackheads and texture. Applying oil-based products can help regulate your skin’s oil production so that you experience less texture-causing oil buildup. Start by applying the oil products to your t-zone and any other unusually textured spots.
The remarkable healing properties and antibacterial ingredients in the Vaunt Tamanu + Cranberry Seed Oil calms sensitive skin, balance oil production and prevent breakouts. Cranberry Seed Oil provides much needed elasticity, while super oils like Rosemary has antiseptic properties to protect delicate facial skin and Tea Tree clarifies it to keep it free of acne. Rich in the anti-oxidising properties of Vitamin E, this oil shields your skin from environmental aggressors and daily wear and tear.
To read more about FaceOils, Click here
12. Double Cleanse
Double cleansing each evening will brighten any dullness, ultimately lifting the complexion, uneven texture and incorporating a second, deeper, exfoliating cleanser into any regime to slough away the dead skin cells that are sitting on the surface. By cleansing twice, you're ensuring that the first layer of sebum, make-up, sunscreen and deeper layers of pore bacteria, which can all aggravate acne, are removed thoroughly.
The Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil is an amalgamation of the beneficial properties of assorted vegetable oils. It is a mild formulation that washes off easily, allowing a gentle yet thorough cleansing of the skin. It is well suited to sensitive skin as it uses natural oils extracted from black beans. They not only control excess sebum in your pores, but also help soothe the skin.
For your second cleanse, we suggest the Zyna Calming and Hydrating Face Wash. This cleanser gently dissolves impurities while soothing dehydrated skin. It is a calming, sulfate free foaming cleanser with a high-concentration blend of botanical extracts to dissolve impurities while soothing dry skin.
Read all about Double cleansing here
13. Mask your texture with Clay
Because clay is porous, it absorbs excess oil, impurities and dead skin from the surface, revealing softer, smoother skin. It also gently exfoliates the skin, making it an ideal exfoliating treatment for oily, textured acne prone skin.
The Ilana Organics Clarifying Clay Mask is an intensely clarifying face mask that offers superior hydration at the same time. Ilana Organics brings to you a blend of Seaweed and Activated Charcoal that is your ultimate go-to for vanquishing most skin problems. This tub of pure delight helps in drawing out Impurities, removing excess oil, clearing blackheads, unclogging pores & preventing breakouts. Solves all problems at once.
Read more about masks here
14. Wear Sunscreen Daily
We’ll say it once, we’ll say it twice, we’ll say it a million times, SPF is one of the most important skincare products when it comes to your skin’s texture and youth. The sun is one of the leading causes of uneven skin texture. Damaging UV rays can impact your skin’s ability to produce collagen and elastin, leading to wrinkles, age spots, and redness. Because of this, SPF is one of the most important skincare products to add to your beauty collection.
The Dr Sheths Oat & Zinc Mineral Sunscreen offers broad spectrum protection against UV rays, pollution and blue light damage. It also comes armed with oat lipids that help bolster the skin barrier and ectoin, a bacterial ferment that calms the skin’s microbiome from inflammation.
With so many potential factors that contribute to uneven skin, like acne scarring, sun damage, and aging, it's hard to say exactly what's causing the irregularities in your specific skin texture. While gentle chemical exfoliation and proper sun protection might help, the only real way to know what you’ve got going on is with a proper evaluation and diagnosis, so see your derm to really smooth things over.
- Drishti Khurana