What is Melasma? Melasma is the formation of large, dark blotches, sometimes sheet like, of pigment that are caused by hormone surges or medications. They’re most commonly caused by hormones associated with pregnancy or contraceptives. The patches are often symmetrical around the mouth and on cheeks.
What Not to Do If You Have Melasma
Trying to get your Melasma patches to fade? Here’s a list of things that will sabotage your efforts:
- The sun. Melasma is often exacerbated by slight to moderate sun exposure. Skin irritation and heat can also make it worse.
- Glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acid. These are inflammatory and very drying.
- Essential oils, as these can cause dehydration lines.
- Skin bleaching and all skin lighteners. I know this sounds ridiculous, but these products often cause more pigment confusion than they are worth.
- Astringents, scrubs, chemical peels, and lasers. These will aggravate your condition, especially on darker skin, where melasma is most common.
These old protocols cause dehydration, irritation, and the destruction of the natural barrier, which is never a good idea — but that can especially exacerbate Melasma.
How to Treat It
If you want to treat melasma, establishing a skincare routine that provides a fundamental baseline for skin health is imperative. This means hydration, Dermal Nutrients, antioxidants, and barrier restoration. You also want to balance your hormones as much as possible, explore liver health, and avoid the sun and over-exfoliation.
Once this is in place, the evening use of a potent vitamin C product, minimal exfoliation, and diligent sunscreen application will go a long way. SPF use is absolutely necessary.
The combined effort of hydration and restored skin barrier, along with topical Dermal Nutrients (which speeds up the amount of new skin cells being made) will push the old pigment away over time. Protecting the upcoming, new skin cells with antioxidants and overall equanimity allows our skin to expedite a resurfacing process unencumbered by additional traumatic events like lasers, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion, all of which would distract our skin from this aim.
Establish this supportive holistic care routine, and then wait it out. Trying to fix your melasma overnight will backfire.
These are the same protocols for hyperpigmentation, which is not related to hormonal or medication side effects. The “waiting it out part” is important in both situations, but it’s extra important with melasma. Skin inflicted with melasma is even more reactive to sun, astringents, trauma, and inflammation. The more you can do to soothe, hydrate, and protect your skin, the sooner the patches will fade.