Melasma Home Remedies

A simple yet effective home remedy for melasma is learning how to properly use sunscreen. The second step can incorporate naturally derived skincare ingredients such as ascorbic acid, arbutin, azelaic acid & glycolic acids. Learn more about how to treat melasma at home.

Recovery

NA

Results

30 - 60 days

Treatment Time

2 minutes

Aftercare

SPF + pigment correctors

Treatment science score

The Science of Melasma Treatments at Home

  • Using the correct sunscreen formulation in the correct manner is the first step
  • Iron oxides via mineral makeup is the second step
  • Natural ingredients include azelaic acid, beta arbutin, & vitamin C
  • AM routine goes like this: Vitamin C, E, + SPF + Mineral makeup
  • PM routine goes like this: Azelaic acid 10-15%
  • Once a week: AHA serum 10-15%
  • Supplement with glutathione & polypodium extract

The first step in melasma home remedies is the correct use of sunscreen. This entails understanding frequency, amount & basic formulations

What results can I expect from home remedies for melasma?

To date, this is the most effective laser for melasma. 85% of patients can expect a significant reduction of pigmentation. Adjunctive pigment correcting creams can amplify the results from laser treatments.

What are the steps required to treat melasma?

Though results from in-clinic treatments are far more effective in clearing pigmentation & melasma, there are simple at-home remedies that may be effective. I will go through a 3 step process that is cost effective.

  • Radiation protection with sunscreen & mineral makeup
  • Basic skin care for pigmentation.
  • Intermediate skin care

Why is sunscreen the most important step of the process?

Melasma is super sensitive to UVA & UVB as well as visible light, hence sunscreen forms the foundation of melasma management. Everyone gets collateral exposure, even if you work from home, or rarely venture out. If there is light, there is background radiation.

best sunscreen for melasma

How do I use sunscreen properly?

95% of melasma patients do not know how to properly use sunscreen. Let’s learn how to, by a dermatologist in 2 simple steps.

  • Apply after using antioxidants in the morning (vitamin C, E, ferulic acid). Apply 3-5 mls or ¾ to 1 teaspoon to the head & neck.
  • Reapply in the afternoon or sooner if you have significant UV exposure.

Apply sunscreen regardless of sun exposure

 

What are adjunctive methods of sun protection?

Iron oxide. That’s correct. It’s the magic ingredient after sunscreen. Why? Because it gives you HEV or blue light protection, in addition to other visible light. It also can be formulated for a specific shade, hence color matching to your skin.

Iron oxide can be found in some sunscreen products, namely Melan 130, Jane Iredale Glow time & other tinted formulations. The problem lies in a color match for your skin tone. This especially applies to darker – ethnic skin types.

Here is the solution, concentrate on buying a non-tinted sunscreen if color match is an issue. Augment your protection with mineral makeup with iron oxide in your shade. This ensures you have UVB, UVA & visible light protection in your shade. Job done.

best sunscreen for melasma

What is a basic skincare routine for pigment & melasma?

Step 2 consists of pigment correctors that can be found online.

AM: Vitamin C, E, ferulic acid. SPF then iron oxide mineral make up

PM: Azelaic acid 10-20% concentration

home remedies for melasma

What is an intermediate skincare routine for pigment?

Add glycolic acid serum 10-15% every 7 to 14 days. Do this after week 6 of your basic skincare routine. Do not add this to your routine if-

  • You don’t understand how your skin reacts to topicals
  • If you use other skincare products that may reduce your skin’s barrier function
  • If you suffer sensitive skin

home remedies for melasma

Your clinician will guide you through your specific protocol & pigment corrector. This only applies to potentially irritating agents, it is not a blanket guide for all topicals/pigment correctors 
.
Still sensitive, even if short contact? 
.
1️⃣Use half the amount (dilute in moisturizer) 
.
2️⃣ moisturiser before & after
. 
3️⃣Titrate use, ie. skip a day….or three
.
4️⃣Test spot for allergy (very rare, skin irritation more common). Use a tiny amount, apply to the inner arm, photograph 📸the reaction taking note of the time it takes to develop irritation. Show this to your treating clinician to interpret & they will guide you. Irritation is different from allergic reactions💯
.
👉🙏🏼Addition of topicals will be guided by your treating clinician, based upon your skin sensitivity, current topical use & treatment (peels vs lasers). Timing is important 
.
The Melasma Clinic
Brisbane | Sydney🇦🇺
.
#themelasmaclinic #melasma #dermatologistsydney

Your clinician will guide you through your specific protocol & pigment corrector. This only applies to potentially irritating agents, it is not a blanket guide for all topicals/pigment correctors
.
Still sensitive, even if short contact?
.
1️⃣Use half the amount (dilute in moisturizer)
.
2️⃣ moisturiser before & after
.
3️⃣Titrate use, ie. skip a day….or three
.
4️⃣Test spot for allergy (very rare, skin irritation more common). Use a tiny amount, apply to the inner arm, photograph 📸the reaction taking note of the time it takes to develop irritation. Show this to your treating clinician to interpret & they will guide you. Irritation is different from allergic reactions💯
.
👉🙏🏼Addition of topicals will be guided by your treating clinician, based upon your skin sensitivity, current topical use & treatment (peels vs lasers). Timing is important
.
The Melasma Clinic
Brisbane | Sydney🇦🇺
.
#themelasmaclinic #melasma #dermatologistsydney
...

Dr Vee Mang is an Australian trained physician with extensive experience in skin, having worked in the field of dermatology. She’s a cosmetic physician who works with Dr Van Park & Dr Davin Lim in Woollahra, Sydney
.
👉Her interests: Pigmentation, neurotoxin, acne management, anti-aging
.
📖Bookings: Open for consultation, send your expression of interest at our website, melasmaclinic.com.au Yes, an expression of interest is required for the Sydney clinic. 
.
The Melasma Clinic
Brisbane | Sydney🇦🇺
.
#themelasmaclinic #melasma

Dr Vee Mang is an Australian trained physician with extensive experience in skin, having worked in the field of dermatology. She’s a cosmetic physician who works with Dr Van Park & Dr Davin Lim in Woollahra, Sydney
.
👉Her interests: Pigmentation, neurotoxin, acne management, anti-aging
.
📖Bookings: Open for consultation, send your expression of interest at our website, melasmaclinic.com.au Yes, an expression of interest is required for the Sydney clinic.
.
The Melasma Clinic
Brisbane | Sydney🇦🇺
.
#themelasmaclinic #melasma
...

Dr Van Park is the co-founder of The Melasma Clinic. She’s a key opinion leader in the field of aesthetic injectables with her innovative & novel injection techniques with neuromodulators & soft tissue injectables
.
👉Rumor has it that Davin Lim fixed her melasma & hence why she founded this clinic. 
.
📖Bookings: She’s closed her books, but occasional consults may arise 
.
The Melasma Clinic
Brisbane | Sydney🇦🇺
.
#themelasmaclinic #drvanpark #dvp #clinicdvp #cosmeticphysician

Dr Van Park is the co-founder of The Melasma Clinic. She’s a key opinion leader in the field of aesthetic injectables with her innovative & novel injection techniques with neuromodulators & soft tissue injectables
.
👉Rumor has it that Davin Lim fixed her melasma & hence why she founded this clinic.
.
📖Bookings: She’s closed her books, but occasional consults may arise
.
The Melasma Clinic
Brisbane | Sydney🇦🇺
.
#themelasmaclinic #drvanpark #dvp #clinicdvp #cosmeticphysician
...

Davin Lim is a technician & co-founder. He comes up with the diagnosis, management plan & settings, nothing more. He fixed Van’s melasma & the rest is history☄️
.
👉In store: working on AI for ‘virtual Davin’, namely programmed AI bot for Q and A, coupled with AI video & virtual voice. Bot Q & A will be released in the next few weeks, virtual video & voice within 6 months (hopefully)
.
📖Bookings: handful of appointments available in Sydney every month, expression of interest via melasmaclinic.com.au 
.
🏡The Melasma Clinic
Brisbane | Sydney🇦🇺
.
#davinlim #drdavinlim #themelasmaclinic #dermatologistsydney #dermatologyclinicsydney

Davin Lim is a technician & co-founder. He comes up with the diagnosis, management plan & settings, nothing more. He fixed Van’s melasma & the rest is history☄️
.
👉In store: working on AI for ‘virtual Davin’, namely programmed AI bot for Q and A, coupled with AI video & virtual voice. Bot Q & A will be released in the next few weeks, virtual video & voice within 6 months (hopefully)
.
📖Bookings: handful of appointments available in Sydney every month, expression of interest via melasmaclinic.com.au
.
🏡The Melasma Clinic
Brisbane | Sydney🇦🇺
.
#davinlim #drdavinlim #themelasmaclinic #dermatologistsydney #dermatologyclinicsydney
...

IPL is awesome for non-melasma pigmentation but is often a cause of flare ups for melasma pigment. The reason is the excessive heat that is often associated with IPL. Exception to this rule is the use of exact filters in correct pulse widths with co-prescription of pigment inhibitors- medical therapy. It can be done, but the threshold for error is very thin💯
.
👉This patient: treated with old fashioned dermal toning with nano-lasers, Spectra by Lutronic, in addition to medical therapy
.
📆👉Timeline: 10 weeks. Pico lasers offer faster resolution, if performed correctly. 
.
Dr Davin Lim
Dermatologist
Brisbane | Sydney🇦🇺
.
#drdavinlim #IPL #IPLtreatment #melasma #melasmacure #melasmasurvivor #melasmaskincare #themelasmaclinic #sydneydermatologist

IPL is awesome for non-melasma pigmentation but is often a cause of flare ups for melasma pigment. The reason is the excessive heat that is often associated with IPL. Exception to this rule is the use of exact filters in correct pulse widths with co-prescription of pigment inhibitors- medical therapy. It can be done, but the threshold for error is very thin💯
.
👉This patient: treated with old fashioned dermal toning with nano-lasers, Spectra by Lutronic, in addition to medical therapy
.
📆👉Timeline: 10 weeks. Pico lasers offer faster resolution, if performed correctly.
.
Dr Davin Lim
Dermatologist
Brisbane | Sydney🇦🇺
.
#drdavinlim #IPL #IPLtreatment #melasma #melasmacure #melasmasurvivor #melasmaskincare #themelasmaclinic #sydneydermatologist
...

Dermamelan & Cosmelan peels have arrived 💯
.
👉Novel peels: are a good option for primarily epidermal melasma and superficial pigmentation, albeit a downtime of 6-12 days 
.
👌🏻Employ peels based upon diagnostic features of pigment and allowed recovery of the patient 
.
🏡The Melasma Clinic Sydney-Brisbane 🇦🇺
#melasma #cosmelan2 #cosmelanmask #cosmelanpeel

Dermamelan & Cosmelan peels have arrived 💯
.
👉Novel peels: are a good option for primarily epidermal melasma and superficial pigmentation, albeit a downtime of 6-12 days
.
👌🏻Employ peels based upon diagnostic features of pigment and allowed recovery of the patient
.
🏡The Melasma Clinic Sydney-Brisbane 🇦🇺
#melasma #cosmelan2 #cosmelanmask #cosmelanpeel
...

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What is the fastest & safest solution for melasma?

Picosecond lasers employ ultrashort pulses of light to safely shatter unwanted pigment without heating the skin. This is the fundamental difference between picosecond technology & lasers such as Fraxel & IPL.

With precise settings, Picosure can clear up melasma pigmentation within a few short weeks. Results are seen as early as one week after treatment.

what is the best laser for melasma

When should I restart my skincare routine after a chemical peel?

Post Cosmelan peel, you will be transitioning the Cosmelan 2 program which entails the use of products to be used at home.
For other peeling agents, you can transition back to your skin care 1-10 days post procedure.

cosmelan peel for melasma

What are chemical peels & should I do it at home?

Chemical peels are effective treatments for melasma & pigmentation. Prior to the invention of lasers AHA & TCA peels were the standard of treatment, however these peels were hampered with rebound pigmentation & melasma recurrences.

I do not endorse home chemical peels (in the context of melasma). Why? Because if you get it wrong pigment can be 10 times worse. Off the record, here are my thoughts.

Safest peels? Salicylic acid 10-20% home peel as it requires no neutralization. The same goes for TCA at around 8%. Retinoic acid, if you can find a good formulation, is also safe.

Dangerous peels? Glycolic & lactic acid. Screw up the neutralization process & its post inflammatory hyperpigmentation for months to years.

Why are AHA serums safer than peels?

Glycolic acid serums are far safer than peels because they are pH controlled. This controls the availability of free acids. Serums have a high pH & are buffered compared to glycolic acid peels.

Introduce a AHA 10-15% serum every 7 to 14 days at week 6 to 8 of your melasma at home treatment. It works by exfoliation of surface pigment & increased absorption (priming) of skin.

safe skincare for melasma

What about DIY Cosmelan peels or Dermamelan peels?

Safer than glycolic, but ideally you should be guided as to how to modulate the post peel inflammation. These peels are effective in about 50-60% of melasma cases.

A safe & practical home solution is; Cosmelan mask in office, followed by Cosmelan 2 at home (for 3 to 4 months).

What about microneedling for melasma?

Microneedling is an awesome treatment, but not for melasma. If you want to try this at home, the biggest advice I can give you is to –

  • Use a stamping device. This is far safer than a roller, & easier to use than an imitation Dermapen or SkinPen.
  • Stick with 0.2 mm stamping needles. Do NOT go deeper.

The aim of microneedling is to increase the permeation of skin care actives & pigment correctors. You can add azelaic acid, vitamin C or a mix of botanicals such as licorice root, soy, bearberries & arbutin directly after microneedling.

can i have microneedling if i have melasma

The Melasma Clinic difference

Our specialist clinic can effectively treat pigmentation in all skin types, should you fail to respond to conventional at home remedies for melasma. We employ the very latest lasers & chemical peel techniques. Combined with our extensive dermatological training we manage all forms of pigmentation, ranging from melasma through to post inflammatory pigmentation. Book a consultation with our clinical team.

Dr Davin Lim

650K subscribers

How to treat PIGMENTATION

If I can identify the cause of pigmentation, chances are I can treat it. This can only be achieved with careful real time examination…

More of our mostFrequently asked questions

What supplements can help with melasma, pigmentation & skin lightening / brightening?

Ca diet help clear up melasma pigmentation?

What are some natural ingredients for melasma worth using?

Does heat flare melasma up?

What is the best way to clear up melasma?

What are some natural ways to cure melasma?

How does Picosure Pro clear up pigment?

Will Picosure be effective for all cases of melasma?

A SummaryMelasma home remedies

Dr Davin Lim | Dermatologist
The Melasma Clinic, Brisbane | Sydney

If time or money is tight, try at home treatments. Just do not screw it up as it makes melasma worse & potentially more difficult to treat. Classic examples that I see every week include microneedling performed too deep or too often (pushes pigment deeper) & post inflammatory pigmentation for DIY peels, retinol burns, high strength skin care acids & lemon juice (the absolute silliest thing you can do to your skin).

The biggest traction you will receive is to understand sunscreens & photoprotection. Melasma is the only condition that is activated by radiation from UVB through to UVA, , HEV blue, longer wavelength visible light & even IR or infrared heat. You can spend thousands on pico lasers, skin care, Cosmelan or Dermamelan peels & you will achieve very little traction if radiation protection is not adequate.

So sensitive are your pigment cells that even the tiniest amount of radiation can undo 3 months of good work. This is how sensitive your pigment cells are to radiation. Before you spend big (or small) on products, invest in sunscreen & a good mineral make up that is high in iron oxide & matches your skin tone.

Trust me, you will not wear mismatched sunscreen, so forget the brand names like Melan 130 & invest in good formulations with appropriate skin match. For more on how to match your makeup, goto matchmymakeup.com. It’s a FREE tool that can color match your current products.

From there, use non-prescriptive skin care such as vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 10-20%. This is where formulation matters, cheap isn’t good, but expensive is not better. Select L-ascorbic acid over other isomers. Good brands include SkinCeuticals (expensive but worth it) as well as Synergie & Rationale. Ideally combine this with antioxidants as part of your morning routine.

Night time? If I had to pick one non-prescriptive skin care ingredient to treat pigment (with the lowest common denominator taken into consideration) it would be azelaic acid. For advanced users, you can consider Cysteamine or Cypera. This ingredient is also found in nature – namely breast milk. It is harder to use than azelaic acid, as it requires short contact therapy.

Clutching at straws? You have 3 other ‘home remedies’ (that are sensible). Firstly, diet. Low evidence but even if it does not work, it markedly reduces heart disease & stroke rate in addition it will reduce your BMI, and potentially reduce skin age. Eat foods that are high in antioxidants. The other two include supplements, namely polypodium extract & glutathione. 480 mg twice a day for the former, & 500 mg once to twice daily for the later.