Melasma is a skin condition caused by hyperpigmentation of the skin. Melasma and other types of hyperpigmentation should be treated with a customized skincare routine for your Baumann Skin Type® designed to target all of your barriers to skin health.
Best products to treat melasma and hyperpigmentation
The best way to treat melasma is alternating 2 skincare routines
Your skin becomes adapted to skin lightening ingredients, especially tyrosinase inhibitors.
This means that you need to chnage your skin care routine every 3-4 months. You should alternate between a treatment regimen and a maintenance regimen. Details about how to design your melasma skincare routines can be found at this link.
Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation and other skin problems that lead to dark spots on the skin can be treated the same way as melasma because they all are caused by the same pigment- melanin.
Melasma is harder to get rid of then other types of hyperpigmentation.
You can find tyrosinase inhibiting properties in countless popular skin care ingredients, including many natural plant oils.
How To Choose the Best Melasma Skincare for Your Skin Type?
You probably have more issues going on than just pigmentation. For example, inflammation can cause pigmentation.
If you take the Baumann Skin Type Quiz- we will tell you exactly what products are right for your Baumann Skin Type. We make it very easy. You get points towards free products when you take the quiz and you will be able to build your melasma regimen step by step- choosing from many brands and price points.
But- if you want to DIY and choose your own melasma treatment products, our melasma product guide will help.
Melasma treatments can be used on the forehead, upper lip, cheeks, arms or anywhere on the face or body. They work much better when used consistently and when combined with the correct products as a part of a comprehensive and complete skincare routine that targets melanin and any underlying causes of hyperpigmentation like inflammation.
What are the Best Skincare Products To Treat the Hyperpigmentation of Melasma?
Tyrosinase inhibitors are the strongest skin lightening and whitening ingredients. They block the production of the pigment melanin. They should be your first products to buy for melasma (in addition to a sunscreen!). Vitamin C serums are tyrosinase inhibitors but they are NOT the best choice to treat melasma for many Baumann Skin Types.
What are tyrosinase inhibitors?
Our favorite skin lightening products with tyrosinase inhibitors for dry skin are:
Our favorite skin lightening products with tyrosinase inhibitors for oily skin are:
Dermatologist Recommended Melasma Treatment Products:
You should combine several types of products in your melasma skin care routine for best results.
Exfoliating Products To Treat Melasma
Exfoliating ingredients gently break apart the attachments between pigmented cells on the surface of the skin, allowing them to exfoliate and be replaced by younger fresher skin. You can use either mechanical exfoliators, chemical exfoliators containing alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), such as glycolic acid or lactic acid, or beta hydroxy acid (BHA). AHAs and BHAs exfoliate pigmented cells from the surface of the skin. We prefer using hydroxy acids in the cleanser step of your routine. These lower your skin's pH allowing lightening serums to work better.
We prefer AHA and BHA cleansers for melasma over facials scrubs. You must be very careful with mechanical exfoliators like facial scrubs when you have melasma because you do not want to cause inflammation which leads to dyspigmentation. If you choose a facial scrub, use it gently and never on burning, stinging or irritated skin.
If you have oily skin and melasma, try a BHA Salicylic acid cleanser once a day in the morning.
BHA helps clear pores and decrease inflammation.
If you have dry skin and melasma, try a AHA Salicylic acid cleanser once a day in the morning.
AHAs are humectants so they help hydrate skin.
Dermatologist Recommended Serums For Melasma
There are many serums to treat melasma. the best have tyrosinase inhibitors. We do not love Vitamin C as the main treatment for melasma. We prefer Vitamin C serums for melasma when used in a Melasma Maintenance Routine, instead of in the Treatment Regimen because there are many tyrosinase inhibitors stronger than Vitamin C.
You do not need to buy an expensive Vitamin C, but you need one that has a low pH and is packaged properly and has not been open for more than 4 weeks. Fresh Vitamin C works much better. I would prefer to see you buy a cheaper Vitamin C and replace the bottle more often.
Here are Vitamin C serums that we recommend:
Retinoids to use at Night To Treat Melasma
Start with a low strength retinoid and work your way up according to these directions. Here are some of our favorite low strength retinols:
Best Sunscreens for Melasma
And last- but certainly not least- Sunscreens for melasma!
Dermatologists like myself recommend tinted sunscreens with iron oxide pigments for melasma because these pigments help protect your melasma prone skin from blue light. Yes light from your phone can worsen melasma!
These are my favorite hydrating tinted sunscreens for dry skin with melasma:
These are my favorite noncomedogenic tinted sunscreens for oily or acne prone skin with melasma:
Although the products we recommended above are the best skincare products for melasma in 2022 - it is MUCH BETTER if you choose products based on your Baumann Skin Type . You get points towards free products when you take the quiz and you will be able to build your melasma regimen step by step- choosing from many brands and price points.
8 Baumann Skin Types suffer from melasma and each has different skincare needs, discover your Baumann Skin Type and get a skin care routine personalized for you now.