"Melasma is a common skin problem. The condition causes dark, discolored patches on your skin.
It’s also called chloasma, or the “mask of pregnancy,” when it occurs in pregnant women. The condition is much more common in women than men, though men can get it too. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 90 percent of people who develop melasma are women." *heathline.com
I believe the most important thing to know about melasma is that it is caused by hormones, and made worse by sun and heat.
I was naive about the condition when I started looking for help. The first place I tried was the internet, but there was so much information that I quickly gave up.
I called a "cosmetic skin spa" type place in NYC and they assured me they could rid my face of all the discoloration.
At my consultation they said they could cure my melasma with several treatments of IPL (Intense Pulse Light) therapy.
I must warn you that this treatment (IPL) is TERRIBLE for melasma. If a doctor tells you it will help your melasma I would run for the hills.
Let me describe the procedure... It is like having a HOT rubber band smacked against your face over and over for about 20 mins. I had this done TWELVE times over the course of a year and my melasma was worse than ever. Yes, I was wearing SPF everyday, BUT I was still on birth control. (aka hormones) This is a picture of my face after the procedure. OUCH!
After Cora was born, and I was no longer breastfeeding, I began down the road of trying to cure my melasma again.
I have seen a lot of improvement, but I would like to continue to heal the damage that has been done.
Here is what I have done to improve my condition:
1. Switched to a non-hormonal birth control.
2. Started eating cleaner. (More fresh fruit and veggies and less processed foods)
3. I wear SPF 50 EVERYDAY without exception.
4. I wear a hat if I am spending an entire day in the sun.
5. I am very careful not to use hot water on my face.
6. When I workout I keep a cool cloth nearby to keep my face cool when I can.
I will share my routine for skincare. It is VERY simple. I believe healing melasma has a lot of aspects to it. It takes an internal and an external approach. So, for the external approach...
1. I wash my face with Dove soap. I know this is probably TERRIBLE for my skin, but Ive done it my ENTIRE life and it works for me.
2. I exfoliate twice a week with this. It feels amazing and I am completely obsessed. You can click on the picture for a link, but I am NOT sponsored by these products in any way.
3. I use this all over my face at night. It has hyaluronic serum in it, which I would highly recommend. You can get tons of products with hyaluronic acid in them. Just pick which one works best for you.
4. I use this on my spots in the am and pm
5. I use this SPF
6. I use"It cosmetics" CC cream. This is what my face looks like with only the CC cream on.
I will likely have to battle melasma for the rest of my life, but there are many things much worse.
I hope this post, and my experiences with melasma, will help you in some way.