I have been struggling with Melasma for a few years now. As soon as I hit my mid-twenties, dark spots started to appear on my cheeks. I didn’t think much of it at the time because I had always had good skin, but eventually they became too noticeable to ignore. They got so bad that foundation wouldn’t even cover them up. I tried everything possible to get them to go away, but like my dermatologist says ‘they didn’t happen over night, so they aren’t going to go away over night.’ It takes patience and persistence.
My melasma has been caused by a mix of sun damage and hormones. Growing up in Southern California, I spent a lot of time at the beach and laying out by the pool, using tanning lotion instead of sunscreen, and never wearing a hat. I also took birth control for about 10 years. Women who take birth control pills tend to have higher estrogen levels and are more prone to melasma or hyperpigmentation.
Melasma is hard to get rid of, and even once you do start to see an improvement, the best you can do is keep it at bay. I’ve seen tons of different dermatologists and their advice is always the same:
- wear moisturize daily,
- use a vitamin c serum,
- always wear sunscreen,
- and drink plenty of water.
Not everyone is the same, products work differently on different people, but here are a few products that helped get rid of my melasma and dark spots:
- Dermalogica’s Skin Resurfacing Cleanser: This is a great daily cleanser/exfoliator. It dramatically improves skin texture and helps accelerate cell renewal.
- Mario Badescu’s Vitamin C Serum (this one is my favorite!): Mario Badescu’s Vitamin C Serum is affordable and effective. I’ve tried so many different types of Vitamin C Serums ($$$) and this one is definitely my favorite. I love how it feels on my skin and it lighted my dark spots within just weeks of using it (every morning). It contains 7.5% ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to reduce discoloration and brighten skin. Formulated with hyaluronic acid to retain skin’s natural moisture and collagen to enhance skin’s firmness and elasticity. This serum is perfect to use every morning (after you cleanse and exfoliate).
- Mario Badescu’s Oil Free Moisturizer with SPF 30: An excellent daily moisturizer. Super hydrating and light-weight. Wearing SPF is essential to protect your skin from further sun damage.
- Rhonda Allison’s Skin Brightening Enzyme (another favorite): My dermatologist recommended this one. I use it as a facial mask once a week. It’s a weird green color… kind of slimy looking… but I swear it works! You can literally FEEL it working, a tingling burning sensation as it brightens your skin! I love it! It has Kojic Acid in it, which is great for skin lightening and depigmenting.
- Estee Lauder’s Dark Spot Correcting Serum: I’ve used lots of products and this one definitely works! It significantly reduced my dark spots and uneven skin tone. This serum is perfect to use at night, followed by Estee Lauder’s Even Skintone Correcting Creme.
There you have it! Those are my favorite products to get rid of melasma, hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and uneven skin tone. They worked for me and I hope they work for you!
When doing research on Melasma, a lot of sites recommended using Hydroquinone. I tried this Skin Bleaching Cream, which has 2% Hydroquinone, and it did not work for me, it actually made my skin worse. I started to develop a lot of redness on my face, which didn’t help in addition to the dark spots. I would recommended staying away from skin bleaching products and going the more natural route – organic, natural products are much healthier for your skin. This is just one of the many products I tried that did not help my melasma. Do you want me to list some more products that didn’t work, so that you don’t waste your time or money on them?
In regards to treatments, I’ve tried microneedling (not worth it), microdermabrasion (not a fan), dermaplaning (love! I recommend doing it every 3 months to remove the top layer of your skin), chemical peels (love! I recommend doing every 3 months), facials (love! do them weekly at home and monthly with a facialist). Next on my list of treatments to try is IPL.
Do you have Melasma? What products or treatments have you tried? Share in the comments below!