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Dermatologist-Approved Melasma Treatments

by Marla Willis 24 Jul 2022

What is Melasma?

Melasma is a common dermatological condition in which the skin has dark patches in sun exposed areas. It is due to hormones, pregnancy, heat, and sun exposure. There is no cure, but there are lifestyle changes that can reduce the risk. Melasma is not harmful, but many people do find it to be a cosmetic nuisance.

Thankfully, there are numerous treatment options that are easy-to-use and practical. A combination of lightening and exfoliation products, along with sun protection can be helpful for some types of melasma. We always recommend consulting with a Dermatology provider to confirm the condition you are dealing with and rule out other possible conditions and causes.

Consistent Use of Sunscreen

The first step is a daily sunscreen application. The best sunscreen for melasma is one containing iron oxides (typically a tinted zinc-based sunscreen) because it offers HEV protection.

Revision Skincare Original Intellishade SPF 45 Tinted Moisturizer - Provides make-up like coverage

Revision Skincare Original Intellishade SPF 45 Tinted Moisturizer

EltaMD UV Elements Broad-Spectrum SPF 44 Tinted - Recommended for Dry Skin Types

EltaMD UV Elements Broad-Spectrum SPF 44 Tinted Sunscreen

PCA Skin Sheer Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 45 - Recommended for Oily Skin Types

PCA Skin Sheer Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 45

EltaMD UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41 Tinted - Recommended for Dry or Oily Skin Types

EltaMD UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41 Lightly Tinted Sunscreen

Glycolic Acid Treatments

Glycolic Acid is great for combating hyperpigmentation that can occur from hormonal surges. Glycolic acid is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) that is safe to use during pregnancy. It's important to note that inflammation is the enemy with pigmentation so incorporating these ingredients and products slowly to minimize irritation is key.

SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser - Recommended for Oily Resistant (Not Sensitive) Skin Types

SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

ClarityRx Cleanse As Needed 10% Glycolic Cleanser - Recommended for All Skin Types (except Sensitive Skin)

 ClarityRx Cleanse As Needed 10% Glycolic Cleanser

Glytone Mild Cream Cleanser - Appropriate for Dry Skin Types 

Glytone Mild Cream Cleanser

Replenix Glycolic Acid 10% Resurfacing Peel Pads 

Replenix Discoloration Glycolic Acid 10% Resurfacing Peel Pads

Brightening Serums 

Lightening ingredients work in a variety of ways to inhibit pigmentation in your skin cells. Some skin lightening ingredients to look for in brightening serums are Vitamin C, kojic acid, Niacinamide, azelaeic acid, arbutin and tranexamic acid. 

Jan Marini Marini Luminate Face Lotion

Jan Marini Luminate Face Lotion

SkinMedica Lytera 2.0 Pigment Correcting Serum

SkinMedica Lytera 2.0 Pigment Correcting Serum

SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense

SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense

Antioxidants

Antioxidants provide your skin in added defense from free radicals. These are crucial in any anti-aging and pigmentation skincare routine. 

Revision Skincare C+ Correcting Complex 30%

Revision Skincare C+ Correcting Complex 30%

SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic Antioxidant Serum

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Antioxidant Serum

Heliocare Sun Protection Antioxidant Oral Supplement

Heliocare Oral Supplement

Retinols

Retinoids is a powerhouse ingredient for a comprehensive regimen for melasma. However, retinoids are not recommended if you are breastfeeding or pregnant. To avoid irritation, start these products slowly.

SkinMedica Retinol Complex 0.25

SkinMedica Retinol Complex 0.25

Medature Encapsulated Retinol Serum

Medature Encapsulated Retinol Serum

PCA Skin Intensive Brightening Retinol Treatment

PCA Skin Intensive Brigthening Treatment 0.5% Pure Retinol

While knowing your specific skin types is key when creating a skincare regimen, these are dermatologist recommended products to treat melasma. A sample regimen for melasma would look something like this:

AM:

  1. Cleanse

  2. Eye Cream

  3. Antioxidant Serum

  4. Moisturize

  5. SPF

PM:

  1. Cleanse

  2. Eye Cream

  3. Lightening Agent

  4. Moisturize

  5. Retinoid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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