Last week I posted a blog post and video about choosing the right sunscreen for melasma and hyperpigmentation (because some will help protect it from getting darker, and others won’t).
One of my subscribers from YouTube asked if I could talk more about the products and active ingredients I used to fade the melasma that I developed during my pregnancy. She asked specifically if I used vitamin C, lactic acid, glycolic acid, retinols, etc?
Over the past year, I’ve used all these active ingredients in one form or another to try and fade the melasma (the only active ingredient I won’t use for hyperpigmentation is hydroquinone. Personally, I don’t feel it’s safe). In the past year, I’ve been able to get rid of 90% of the hyperpigmentation. And I’m happy to say, it’s continuing to fade.
In today’s video I go over all the products I tried and used over the past year in hopes of fading the melasma.
I will tell you right now that some products worked great at fading the pigmentation, but many did nothing. Strangely, there was one natural brightening product that made my pigmentation even darker! (and this isn’t the first time a product has done that to me, more about that in my video below!).
If you have hyperpigmentation or melasma, and struggle to fade it, check out today’s video. As you’ll see in the video, I’ve tried many different products and there’s definitely a pattern of what active ingredients really work at targeting hyperpigmentation and melasma. Not all exfoliants and active ingredients work the same. And even though some products are great at brightening, resurfacing the skin, and evening skin tone – they might not get deep enough to help the hyperpigmentation or melasma.
Products mentioned in the video
Below is the list of all the products I mentioned in the video. All these products are great (for exfoliation, skin brightening, getting smooth skin, or preventing clogged pores and congestion). But, not all these products help hyperpigmentation or melasma. In fact, there’s only a few products out of the bunch that really made any difference. (To find out which ones worked for fading the hyperpigmentation and melasma, make sure to watch today’s video).
- OSKIA Renaissance Cleansing Gel
- DRUNK ELEPHANT C-Firma Day Serum
- DRUNK ELEPHANT T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum
- TATA HARPER Concentrated Brightening Essence
- ANDALOU NATURALS Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask
- OSKIA Renaissance Mask
- VERDURA NATURALTERNATIVES Fruit Complex Facial Mask
- THE ORDINARY 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
- THE ORDINARY Granactive Retinoid 2% In Squalane
- UMA Absolute Anti Aging Face Mask
Products for fading hyperpigmentation and melasma
UPDATE: As of 2023, these are my top recommended products that can help fade melasma, hyperpigmentation and dark spots:
- Leahlani Aqua A Retinoid Renewing Serum – Most retinols and retinoids do nothing for my melasma, but Leahlani retinoid serum has a way of evening out skin tone, fading stubborn sun spots, and reducing the appearance of deep dark patches and pigmentation. This retinoid is also very gentle, and along with evening out skin tone, it makes skin soft and smooth, helps with firmness, clarity and texture. All around great product and suitable for all skin types.
- Living Libations Frankincense Best Skin Ever and Rose Renewal + Frankincense Firming Fluid. These two products need to be used together to fade dark patches and hyperpigmentation. Use the Frankincense Best Skin Ever as an oil cleanser (apply to dry skin and remove with a damp wash cloth), and follow with using the Rose Renewal + Frankincense Firming Fluid which is a soothing and hydrating serum. The Frankincense Best Skin Ever oil cleanser works to cleanse and brighten skin, while the Rose Renewal Serum works deeply to calm inflammation, even out skin tone, and gives skin a healthy dose of hydration. I recommend these products for anyone dealing with dermal melasma that have tried brightening products and vitamin C with no results. This works deeply in the skin calming the inflammation that can be triggering pigmentation issues. For best results, if you need to use a moisturizer on top, use something plain with no essential oils or fragrance (I recommend Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil, Jao Brand Face Creme Sensitive Skin or Josh Rosebrook Unscented Vital Balm Cream).
- If stubborn sun spots is your challenge, you can also try Living Libations DewDab, which is a pure essential oil blend formulated to fade hyperpigmentation from the sun, age spots, acne marks, and dark spot pigmentation. This is a spot treatment, so you just apply it on the dark spots, not all over your face. I recommend using it only at night. If you have very sensitive or dry skin, you can use Living Libations DewDab Ozonated Beauty Balm instead, which is diluted with an ozonated oil making it more gentle and nourishing.
- MARA Sea Vitamin C Serum is a potent vitamin C serum and one of the best vitamin C serums for brightening skin and fading dark spots. This is a great product for surface hyperpigmentation caused by sun damage. The ultra-lightweight serum instantly brightens skin and gives dull complexions a radiant glow.
- Leahlani Siren Brightening Serum and Bless Beauty Balm is another set of products that work beautifully evening out skin tone and fading dark spots. I have customers using this saying they’ve never seen their skin tone so even. I highly recommend this if you have deep melasma or pigmentation, or your skin is looking patchy. Simply mix 1/2 pump Siren Serum with a small dollop of Bless Beauty Balm and apply to clean skin. This duo is hydrating and nourishing, no moisturizer needed.
More blog posts on hyperpigmentation & melasma
Check out these blog posts and videos, they can help too!