Melasma is a skin condition I have been asked a lot about lately. Usually problematic in the face, melasma is an overproduction of pigment making the skin appear darker in certain areas. It is a skin condition that is typically related to hormones and can be worsened by sun light, skin inflammation/acne or certain types of medication.
Some of the women I talk to have seen an increase or experience melasma for the first time after having kids. One way to avoid it from getting worse is to avoid excessive sun exposure. I know personally after having kids I am in the sun much more than before. Between pool days, going to the park and other outside activities it is hard to avoid. Here are some helpful hints to help tackle melasma.
1. Limit Sun Exposure – If you have to be in the sun, make sure to cover your face. I try and wear a hat as much as possible when I am out with the kids. Even the best sun protection has its limitations so try and cover up. This is the first and most important tip because if you start to treat the skin without covering up it will not help and could even make it worse. I think getting out in the sun is healthy and Vitamin D is crucial for our health but at least limit your face if working on this problem.
2. Look at Medications- Some of the birth control out there among other prescription medication can lead to an increase in pigmentation, so ask your doctor.
3. Topical Treatment Options– I am not a fan of harsh lightening creams, partially because they are not exactly great for the skin but also because if you aggravate the cells in the skin responsible for melanin production while using those products, the problem will come back even worse.
Regular exfoliation and brightening/lightening serums do a great job of managing pigmentation in the skin. I love Brilliance from Sircuit Cosmecuticals for its brightening agents. They ship free over 50 dollars as well. If you want to add a Vitamin C/A regimen, check out Sircuits website, they have amazing products that target pigmentation and use high quality and effective ingredients. Read more here on these products: Repair Post ‘Summer Skin’
4. Laser – If skin care treatments are in your budget I would recommend going to a medical spa or dermatologists office for a consultation. Some of the lasers out there do wonders, make sure you are going to a reputable place where the technician is experienced. Remember to be vigilant about covering up during these treatments. The summer months are not ideal for these types of treatments, although in Southern California I think Summer is the only season we have left.
I hope this helps navigate how to best work on decreasing melasma and pigmentation while brightening your skin in a safe way. Please comment below if you have a product or treatment that has worked for you or if you have any questions!