1. Look for skincare products that contains these five ingredients.
- Kojic Acid
- Alpha Arbutin
- Vitamin C
- Glycolic Acid
What it does and how it works:
- Kojic Acid
- One of the most effective (and possibly the strongest) treatments for melasma. It is a very powerful bleaching agent that’s used to help lighten dark patches on the face.
- It brings back the skin to its normal color and tone.
- The use of kojic acid as an alternative melasma treatment has risen to popularity in the past few years because of its effectiveness.
- Kojic acid stops the formation of discoloration by attacking the root cause of the pigmentation and prevents further formation of melanin (dark pigments).
- In a study that was conducted on 40 women suffering from melasma in China, researchers found that women who took glycolic acid mixed with kojic acid significantly improved the appearance of melasma.*
- Few women reported mild skin irritation. It is, however, important that you do a patch test before using using kojic acid.
- A Baumann study found that 2% kojic acid mixed with glycolic acid was more effective than 10% glycolic acid or 4% hydroquinone.
2. Alpha Arbutin
- Derived from the Bearberry tree, is a powerful lightening agent that helps even out the skin tone and as powerful as hydroquinone.
- Gentle on the skin and has lesser side effects.
- This is a good melasma treatment for women who have sensitive skin.
- Popularly known as Vitamin B3 is a natural ingredient that has been shown to be a very effective melasma treatment and other skin pigmentation problems.
- Most gentle yet effective.
- Studies recommend the use of Niacinamide as it not only reduces pigmentation but also but also minimizes the appearance of wrinkles.
4. Glycolic acid
- Usage of this ingredient as treatment for melasma has expanded dramatically over the past few years.
- Glycolic acid is a peeling acid that is included as an ingredient in most derma products.
- It effectively peels off the darkened skin, leaving a new layer of skin underneath.
- It is mostly recommended for patients with darker skin since it is milder than trichloroacetic acid (TCA).
- Regular use of ingredients that contain this active will help remove hyperpigmentation.
5. Vitamin C
- There is a growing body of evidence that indicates that Vitamin C helps lighten the appearance of melasma.
- Has been used in skin care products for many years.
- It serves as an antioxidant but is also an essential constituent for building collagen in the skin.
- Is a skin lightener and prevents the pigment cells from re-darkening the skin.
- There’s a study confirmed that Vitamin C has a 62.5% success rate in treating melasma and less than 1% possibility of developing side effects.
Important information: Note that these actives are extremely effective, however, avoid using a cream or serum that contains all of these ingredients together.
The reason behind this is some of these ingredients do not work together. For example, glycolic acid cannot be mixed with niacinamide. This would cause skin redness and irritation on your skin.
However, niacinamide mixed with alpha arbutin will work wonders for you. What you need to do is to use separate products that contains these actives.
2. Take supplements that contain Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids.
What it is and how it will help you:
- Bioflavonoids are water-soluble pigments that are found in fruits such as oranges and lemons.
- While Vitamin C is a powerful melasma treatment, combining Bioflavonoids with it makes it become even more potent.
- Several case studies have proven that bioflavonoids enhance the absorption of Vitamin C.
- They also contain antioxidant qualities that attack and destroy skin-damaging radicals that may be present in the body.
3. Stay away from heat and direct sunlight.
This one is the hardest to do but here’s why you need to do it:
- Dermatologists agree that melasma usually occurs in areas of the skin that are exposed to direct sunlight.
- Staying under the sun makes melasma worse and would be harder to remove it the longer you stay under the sun.
- If you’re pregnant, your estrogen levels rise and this puts you at an increased risk of getting melasma from the sun.
- Melasma can occur quite suddenly if you spend to much time in a hot area.
- A single day’s exposure to sunlight and heat could be all it takes for melasma to start developing again or make it worse.