What is the best way to treat Melasma? - Skinora
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What is the best way to treat Melasma?

Have you heard of Melasma?
This common skin condition causes brown patches across the face – especially the cheeks, bridge of nose, forehead, and upper lip. Although there is no cure for melasma, we’ve got you covered with the best skincare treatments and advice to help improve the appearance of melasma.
What is Melasma?
It is a common symmetrical pigment related skin condition that affects adults.  It is usually caused by hormonal changes and/or sun exposure.
Melasma can affect both men and women, but it is more common in women especially during pregnancy ( also known as the mask of pregnancy). Melasma tends to be more common in people with darker skin as well as those who develop a tan rapidly after sun exposure. Also if you have a relative with melasma you have a higher risk of developing it.
What causes Melasma?
Although the cause in not known, pigment producing cells (melanocytes) create too much colour (Melanin is the pigment that gives colour to the skin). People with darker skin tend  to be more susceptible to melasma as they have more active melanocytes than people with lighter skin.
What can trigger Melasma?
The UV light from the sun can stimulant melanocytes to release more pigment, and this is why melasma tends to be more obvious in the summer months and less noticeable in the winter months.
Visible light from digital devices and phones can also worsen melasma.
It can be influenced by hormonal changes such as pregnancy, birth control pills and hormonal replacement therapy.
How do I prevent and treat Melasma?
Melasma can fade with time but prevention is better than cure. Always wear sunscreen. Use a broad spectrum SPF 30 and above, minimise sun exposure in the summer months and wear a protective sun hat.
Consider using pigment control active ingredients in serums, lotions and creams such as vitamin c, retinol, niacinamide, azelaic acid, glycolic acid, kojic acid and/or tranexamic acid to reduce the appearance of melasma.
Skin lightening prescription creams containing hydroquinone can be used to manage melasma under the guidance of a doctor because incorrect use can worsen the pigmentation.
In-house chemical peels can be effective in the management of melasma.
Our Skinora experts top recommendations
NeoStrata Enlighten Illuminating Serum
Neostrata Illuminating Serum

A brightening serum that targets uneven skin tone and discoloration.

Key Ingredients; Neoglucosamine®: a proprietary blend that increases natural cell turnover to exfoliate and fade existing skin discolouration.  Licorice Extract, Vitamin C and 7 Alpine Plant Extracts: inhibit tyrosinase and melanin production to minimise hyperpigmentation.  Peptides: improve cell’s natural renewal functions. Niacinamide-brightening, prevents signs of ageing, reduces acne, reduces the appearance of pore size and anti-inflammatory.

NeoStrata Enlighten Pigment Controller

Neostrata Pigment Controller

This high strength brightening treatment formulated with vitamin c and retinol is designed to even the skin tone and control excess pigmentation including the skin condition melasma.

Key Ingredients; 0.1% Retinol: disrupts the ageing process by supporting cell repair.  Stabilised Vitamin C: penetrates the skin to brighten and even skin tone.  NeoGlucosamine®: a proprietary blend designed to exfoliate dark spots and increase natural cell turnover rate to boost healing.

 

 

SkinCeuticals Advanced Brightening UV Defense SPF 50

SkinCeuticals Advanced Brightening UV Defense SPF 50

This residue-free sunscreen uses a dual-action, lightweight formula that is enriched with potent ingredients including 1% Tranexamic Acid and 2% Niacinamide. Apply every morning to target discolouration, protect the skin from broad-spectrum UV rays and brighten your overall skin tone

 

Obagi Retinol 1.0

 

Obagi Retinol 1.0 %

A great anti-ageing product boosting skin cell renewal, reducing the appearance of fine lines and combatting hyperpigmentation.

Key Ingredients; Time released retinol -a proven antiaging ingredient with minimal irritation. Jojoba and Shea Butter-promotes firmness and elasticity. Vitamins C and E -powerful antioxidants which neutralise the free radicals present in the environment that damage the skin.

Skinceuticals Discoloration Defense Serum

Skinceuticals Discoloration Defense Serum

Discoloration Defense Serum is a daily-use dark spot corrector serum clinically proven the reduce the appearance of skin discolouration, including stubborn brown patches and post-blemish scars. Powered by kojic acid, tranexamic acid and vitamin B3, this advanced formula is a hydroquinone-free skin brightening serum.

Key Ingredients; 3% Tranexamic Acid: minimises the recurrence of discoloration and stubborn brown patches with continued use. 1% Kojic Acid: naturally produced by certain fungi, kojic acid helps improve skin brightness. 5% Niacinamide (Vitamin B3): a water-soluble vitamin that has been shown to help reduce the appearance of skin discoloration. 5% HEPES: a synthetically-derived acid that activates natural enzymes in skin to help break the bonds that bind dead skin cells to the surface for even exfoliation.

 

Skinceuticals Phloretin CF serum

 

Skinceuticals  Phloretin C F Serum

This wonderful vitamin  c serum has antioxidant protective benefits, improves the appearance of discoloration, fine lines, and uneven skin tone.

Key Ingredients; 2% Phloretin: derived from apples and the root bark of fruit trees including apple, pear, and grapefruit, this antioxidant neutralizes damaging free radicals, helps improve cell turnover, and improves the appearance of discoloration. 10% Pure vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid): lauded for its superior antioxidant benefits, this highly potent form of pure vitamin C neutralizes damaging free radicals and protects against oxidative stress while providing visible anti-aging benefits. 0.5% Ferulic acid: a plant-based antioxidant, ferulic acid neutralizes free radicals and enhances the antioxidant benefits of phloretin and vitamins C and E.

 

ZO Retinol Skin Brightener 0.5% Retinol

ZO Skin Health Retinol Brightener 0.5%

A brightening retinol containing cream designed to reduced hyperpigmentation and even skin tone.

Key Ingredients; Retinol and ascorbic acid-2 glucoside-Breaks up existing pigmentation and increases cell turnover to rapidly brighten and even skin tone. Glutathione, soy isoflavones and n-acetyl glucosamine- prevents new age spots and uneven colour. Stachys officinalis- Helps block melanin production by blocking messengers triggering melanogenesis. Vitamins C and E- Provides antioxidant properties.

 

Cyspera

Last but not least, our new pigment corrector formulated with cysteamine (a powerful antioxidant that helps lighten the target areas by blocking melanin/pigment production) and free of hydroquinone to improve the appearance of stubborn discoloration. It is very effective at treating melasma and is not photosensitive so you will not have to deal with the effects of skin irritation after sun exposure. Cyspera treats all types of pigmentation including post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), melasma, freckles, and hyperpigmentation. It has even been shown to treat darker body areas like underarms, knees, elbows, etc. Most users see results after 8-10 weeks of daily use. Available after a consultation with your Skinora doctor as it is a prescription strength product.

Still not sure about the right pigment correcting treatment to manage your melasma? Take our 3 min skin quiz to start your journey towards clearer, brighter skin.

 

 

About the Author: Lucinda Appiah

Dr Lucinda Appiah studied Medicine and Haematology at Imperial College London from 2003-2009. She later went on to attain her postgraduate certification in Aesthetic Medicine at Queen Mary University in London with merit and trained with some of the top plastic surgeons and aesthetic medicine practitioners in the country. Dr Appiah also continues to practice as a GP and has extensive experience in treating a range of skin conditions. She has an empathetic approach to all skin concerns and has also had her own skin journey managing post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. She is passionate about working with brands that deliver results backed by science, empowering clients to explore new ingredients and grow their self confidence.

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Last update: August 13th, 2021

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