The Acne Expert

Here Comes The Sun – And For Some Melasma!

Posted by Mary Freihofner on


Melasma is dark patches appearing typically
on the upper cheeks, upper lip, forehead,
and chin of women 20-50 years of age.

It is a common condition and can be an ongoing source of concern aesthetically.

When it occurs it is genetic and often hormone related. Appearing during pregnancy or with the use of birth control pills-it is also termed The Pregnancy Mask~


             ~But There Are Things Can Do To Control It~

1)  I know, even we Estheticians get a bit tired of hearing it but, Sun Screen is your #1 line of defense. You’ll notice in the helpful diagram above that topical (and oral) chemicals can irritate melasma. The only chemical free sunscreens are Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. We would not forgo the chemical sunscreen over using nothing but the mineral sunscreens will be the best bet for melasma prevention in the summer and winter! Our all time favorite sunscreens with zinc and titanium are Peter Thomas Roth’s Instant Mineral SPF 30. And, they’re a great price point!


2)  There are topical ingredients that will help lessen dark melasma patches. Traditionally the most effective would be hydroquinone. This ingredient mixed in a formula at 2% with kojic acid and retinol is strong enough to make a difference without any real adverse reactions. A doctor can prescribe a 4% hydroquinone which definitely is stronger, and more effective. But there can be some risk for somewhat severe reactions. Also newer to market are tyrosinase inhibitors which are enzymes that control the rate of melanin production. A third alternative would be exfoliators such as glycolic acid and fruit enzymes. These agents in conjunction with microdermabrasion is recommended for good results!

3)  Another good option is laser treatments from a physicians facility only. This in conjunction with a couple of microdermabrasion appointments after the area has begun to fade, is recommended for amazing results.

If you have questions please tune into my Live Q&A on Instagram where you can send me questions any time!