Best Skin Care Routine for Melasma


Melasma is a common skin condition that causes dark blotches on your skin. The brownish or bluish-grey spots typically develop in a concentrated area of your face, and this is why melasma is also known as the “mask of pregnancy.”


Melasma develops when your body produces too much melanin, the pigment that gives color to the skin. Having an even skin tone indicates that the melanin is evenly distributed throughout your skin. Freckles, melasma, and dark spots indicate that you have higher concentrations of melanin in your skin. Melasma is harmless, and people seek treatment to correct the cosmetic effects of the condition.


You may be able to cover your melasma with makeup, but there are ways to reduce the levels of melanin that cause the darker patches. The best skin care routine for melasma combines Vitamin C, lightening creams, sun protection, moisturizer, and tretinoin.


Clinical studies have proven the benefits of Vitamin C for treating melasma and other types of hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C reduces the amount of melanin that your body produces. By using serums that contain this important vitamin, you may see an improvement in your melasma. Vitamin C does not permanently eliminate melasma, so you should combine it with other professional skin care products.


While Vitamin C helps prevent new melanin from developing in your skin, lightening creams reduce the melanin that you currently have in your skin. Lightening creams not only help with melasma, but also dark spots and other types of hyperpigmentation. Hydroquinone and SkinMedica® Lytera are two of the most common lightening creams for melasma.

Hydroquinone vs SkinMedica® Lytera

Hydroquinone has been used for years to reduce the dark patches of melasma. It works by eliminating melanocytes in your skin, and this essentially bleaches the skin. You can find non-prescription products that contain 2% or less of hydroquinone, but they may not be as effective as prescription-strength products. Hydroquinone has a history of safety concerns, so it has been on and off the market. If you are considering a hydroquinone treatment for melasma, verify that it has been approved by the FDA.

An alternative to hydroquinone for melasma is a product by SkinMedica®. The company is a recognized leader in skin health, and Lytera was developed specifically for the treatment of melasma and hyperpigmentation. Lytera works faster than hydroquinone, and it is also known to be more effective. Lytera contains no hydroquinone, and it may be gentler on the skin. The product relies on the power of antioxidants to reduce hyperpigmentation and melasma.


UV rays from sunlight darken your skin by stimulating melanin production, and this increases the severity of melasma. Using a high-quality sunscreen protects against the development of new melanin, as well as sun damage that breaks down the skin’s protective barrier. The best sunscreen to use for melasma is a broad-spectrum product that is SPF 30 or higher. The product should also contain minerals, such as titanium oxide or zinc oxide. Use the sunscreen every day, and apply it at least 15 minutes before going outdoors. Reapply the sunscreen every two hours.


Moisturizing not only gives your skin a radiant appearance but also strengthens the protective barrier. This reduces the effects of sunlight and environmental factors that can damage your skin. Using a professional moisturizer one to three times per day minimizes the effects of melasma.


Tretinoin is another addition for your melasma skin care routine. Also known as Retinol-A, it stimulates cell turnover. When combined with other skin care products for melasma, tretinoin helps replace damaged, hyperpigmented cells with healthier skin cells that have more appropriate melanin levels.


Vein & Body Specialists help you find the right combination of skin care products for your melasma. We also offer non-invasive skin rejuvenation treatments to reduce the hyperpigmentation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation, and learn more about our professional skin care, including SkinMedica® and SkinCeuticals®.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.