This is probably one thing you haven’t heard of: you can only get rid of melasma if you treat it both internally and externally at the same time.
So, how do you do it?
1. Look for skincare products that contains these 5 ingredients.
- Kojic Acid
- Alpha Arbutin
- Vitamin C
- Glycolic Acid
What it does and how it works:
- 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.
What to look for:
Look for a soap that contains maximum-strength and pure kojic acid like this one.
Note: Make sure that you get the real soap. You can get the authentic kojic acid soap direct from the manufacturer here.
It takes about 4-8 weeks of consistent, twice a day results to see a difference. Stay patient, be consistent.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 like this one.
2. Take supplements
Look for dietary supplements that contain these ingredients:
- 350mg Pure DIM
- 500mg Glutathione
Pure DIM (Diindolylmethane).
What it is:
- Balances your hormones (melasma is caused by hormonal imbalance).
- A compound commonly found in green veggies from Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, etc.
- Supports healthy estrogen level.
- Promotes weight loss.
- Reduces symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome)
- Improves mood
How it helps get rid of melasma:
A lot of people don’t know this but melasma is caused by hormonal imbalance aka higher estrogen and progesterone levels.
What do hormones have to do with melasma?
According to Axia Women’s Health:
Your body undergoes many changes during pregnancy, including your skin. During pregnancy, you will experience heightened levels of estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are believed to contribute to the skin condition melasma. This common condition affects 50 to 70 percent of pregnant women.
How does DIM fade melasma?
DIM helps balance estrogen.
By regulating estrogen in your body, it will reduce the amount of stimulation on your melanocytes (pigments that cause melasma) and therefore help reduce pigmentation.
What to look for:
Look for a supplement that contains 350 mg pure DIM such as this one:
What it is:
A very potent tyrosinase (pigment responsible for melanin production) inhibitor.
Here’s a simple explanation from Revitaliv:
Glutathione, for example, is a potent tyrosinase inhibitor, which can reduce melanin production in the skin. When blended with the vitamin A and other ingredients typically used in retinoids, this unique antioxidant can prove highly effective in reducing and masking the appearance of melasma on the skin.
How does Glutathione help with melasma?
It helps decrease melanin (dark spots) formation.
What to look for:
Look for a supplement that contains 500mg of pure glutathione like this one.
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.
*=Disclaimer: Results may vary based on skin type, usage consistency and other conditions. This is not a medical advice. Please consult your doctor prior to using any products mentioned in this blog.