The Best Skin Lightening Creams For Melasma

Get even (literally)!
BY Sarah Lim
| Last updated Jul, 2022
skin lightening cream for melasma

All skin is beautiful. But some people who have melasma, want the focus on their bright complexion—not the spots and try to find the best skin lightening cream for melasma. Melasma is more noticeable than just dark patches on the skin and it’s a form of hyperpigmentation. For many, this skin condition can affect the entire appearance of the face and other areas of the body, leading people to look for skin treatments for melasma.

But are there products that can help improve the appearance of melasma? This article is going to explain what you need to know about skin lightening cream for melasma. You can even know if it’s necessary if it works, and what are the active ingredients that may help transform your skin.

Does Melasma Need To Be “Lightened”?

Does Melasma Need To Be “Lightened”?

Although melasma can undoubtedly affect your appearance and your self-confidence, technically, melasma isn’t harmful. And it doesn’t need to be lightened on principle.

If you take care of your skin by using sunscreen and avoiding harmful sun exposure (such as exposure during peak hours of the day or exposure without sunscreen), then melasma can actually fade over time.

However, melasma is unlikely to go away without some type of melasma treatment altogether. A melasma bleaching cream can help—although these creams don’t actually contain bleach. Still, they can help lighten the areas of your skin affected by melasma, potentially helping to restore your skin tone and appearance.

Lightening Agents Used In Skincare Products

Lightening Agents Used In Skincare Products

People use several different “lightening” agents in skincare products, which eventually help treat hyperpigmentation and melasma. Many of these agents work by inhibiting the production of tyrosinase. Tyrosinase is basically an enzyme that controls melanin production in the skin and influences melasma formation.

Hydroquinone, a lightening agent, has been considered one of the best ingredients for treating hyperpigmentation and melasma. But use this ingredient with caution: The European Union banned its usage in cosmetics because of the potential harm it can cause to skin and organs. You may check some hydroquinone alternatives if you want to get few of its benefits.

Let’s have a closer look at a few of the other active ingredients and what role they play in skin lightening cream for melasma.

Azelaic Acid

Shown to be superior to hydroquinone, you can also use azelaic acid with tretinoin (our friend retinol) to help lighten areas of skin affected by melasma.

• Glycolic Acid

Regular glycolic peels have been shown to help improve melasma. Getting a glycolic peel every two to three weeks—or as your skin tolerates it—may help lighten melasma.

• Kojic Acid

This antioxidant is used in different concentrations. And you can combine it with other effective treatment options such as the combination of hydroquinone and glycolic acid to be more effective. Kojic acid may be suitable for people who are sensitive to other treatments. But eventually can cause dermatitis-like possible side effects for those with very sensitive or reactive skin.

• Salicylic Acid

A type of beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), salicylic acid chemical peels may also help lighten melasma on the skin. You can also use salicylic acid on its own in skin lightening cream for melasma.

• Tretinoin

A derivative of vitamin A, tretinoin, a retinoid, is often used in melasma bleaching cream. Because it increases cellular turnover, which can help decrease the appearance of melasma over time.

• Vitamin C

Another antioxidant, vitamin C, can help lighten skin and also prevent existing melasma from getting worse. Different forms of Vitamin C exist there so that you can choose the best type for your particular skin type.

Best Skin Lightening Cream For Melasma For You To Consider

The following are some over-the-counter skin treatment plans that are available for melasma. But keep in mind that your dermatologist may also be able to write you a prescription for melasma cream if you want to try a different option!

Amarte Aqua Cream®

This skin lightening cream for melasma uses a 1% encapsulated retinol concentration to help improve skin tone and lighten areas affected by melasma. It also contains antioxidants such as arbutin that inhibit melanin formation. Other noteworthy ingredients include argan oil, chamomile and rosemary extract, and glycerin as a humectant.

Derma E Skin Brighten

This cream uses vitamin C along with arbutin, which can help brighten skin and improve skin tone, as well as licorice extract. In studies, researchers have seen that licorice extract help disperse melanin in the skin and prevent future hyperpigmentation. Thus it gives the skin both a corrective and preventative punch for melasma!

SkinCeuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector

Skinceuticals designed this pigment corrector lotion for all skin types that have become affected by hyperpigmentation. With salicylic acid, antioxidants, and hydroxy phenoxy propionic acid—a non-toxic derivative of hydroquinone—this cream helps fight dark spots with daily use.

Skinfix Correct Dark Spot Corrector

This dark spot corrector helps to reduce the appearance of dark spots and improve skin tone. It includes glycolic and lactic acid to increase cellular turnover, turmeric, niacinamide, and Kakadu plum to brighten skin. This corrector also contains a rich blend of oils, including almond, coconut, and jojoba oil, to nourish the skin.

Topicals FADED Brightening & Clearing Serum

Although this product is a serum, it’s noteworthy because it uses both azelaic acid and kojic acid along with niacinamide, shea butter, glycerin, and jojoba seed oil to brighten and nourish the skin. Turmeric root extract also appears in this formula. And you should apply it once a week before working your way up to daily use.

SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense

This serum adds a bit more punch to stubborn dark areas with kojic acid, niacinamide, and tranexamic acid. These ingredients can help reduce skin discoloration. Apply three to five drops twice daily for best results.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare All-Physical Dark Spot Sun Defense

This sunscreen helps both prevent the appearance of dark spots and improves existing ones. With vitamins C and E, hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA, and evening primrose oil, this sunscreen is SPF 50 to protect skin with purely physical agents—no chemical sunscreen here!

Looking For Skin Treatments For Melasma?

If You’re searching for skin treatments for melasma, creams, serums and even exfoliants can help improve the appearance of those stubborn dark spots on your skin. While you’re looking for the best products and preventative measures to help correct your hyperpigmentation, download our free checklist on ingredients to avoid!

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