Pigmentation disorder or uneven skin tone? Here’s the difference 

The terms “pigmentation issues” and “uneven skin tone” are often used interchangeably, but do they actually mean the same thing and should they be treated the same way? Here are the facts.

Pigmentation disorders vs uneven skin tone

Skin pigmentation disorders, such as hyper-pigmentation and hypo-pigmentation, are the result of damaged or unhealthy melanin-producing cells.  Hyper-pigmentation is caused by an increase in melanin, which can lead to conditions such as melasma. Hypo-pigmentation is the opposite- it’s caused by a reduction in melanin production. Examples of hypo-pigmentation include vitiligo and albinism. Both hyper-pigmentation and hypo-pigmentation can affect one or more patches of skin, or your entire body.

Generalised uneven skin tones, on the other hand, can appear as increased redness, a dull, ashy appearance or dark marks. These can occur due to different biological and environmental reasons, ranging from stress, illness, hormones and even travel. Other existing conditions such as sensitive skin, mature skin with broken capillaries, mild rosacea, acne, etc. can further compound onto an uneven skin tone.

Prevention and treatment

There are many ways to treat pigmentation disorders and uneven skin tone, and the method you choose will depend on your specific concern. Some conditions may not be within your control (due to genetics, for example), which is important to know from the start. But if lifestyle and environmental factors are causing or making your pigmentation worse, then there are some things you can do to manage it.

A common culprit that makes hyper-pigmentation worse is sun exposure, which is why it’s important to add a good sun protection product to your skincare routine. You can switch to a moisturiser containing SPF, such as our Manuka natural sun protect moisturiser. It's formulated with natural zinc oxide, which protects your skin from UVA and UVB rays without leaving a white residue.

If you’re looking for a product specially formulated to even out your skin tone and reduce dark marks, we recommend something gentle and natural. For example, our Manuka Natural Even Brighter Serum contains Gigawhite- a natural skin lightening ingredient made up of 7 organically grown Swiss Alpine herbs. 


Knowing the cause of your specific pigmentation concerns goes a long way in helping you address them. By getting to know your skin and it’s needs, you can care for it better and it’ll return the favour by looking healthier and more radiant.