Diminish Dark Spots and Manage Melasma

For those of you who have experience the skin condition called melasma (muh-LAZ-muh), you know how frustrating it can be. There’s thousands of products on the market I could try to sell you to lighten or diminish the signs of aging and discoloration, but most of them contain various toxic chemicals that are bad for our health. The good news is there are some simple ways to manage melasma without exposing yourself to unnecessary toxic products.

The American Academy of Dermatology describes melasma as,

… a common skin problem. It causes brown to gray-brown patches on the face. Most people get it on their cheeks, bridge of their nose, forehead, chin, and above their upper lip.


Melasma is a specific type of discoloration most prominent on the face and is commonly known as the “pregnancy mask” (some women temporarily experience melasma while hormone levels are high in pregnancy). Melasma is also a nice way of talking about age spots, that commonly appear on the face and hands as people get older.

I’m one of the lucky people who has melasma starting in my twenties. Over the years I’ve found concrete and safe ways to manage my melasma. Trust me – I’ve tried everything.

1- Sunblock, hats and visors (oh my!)

Protecting my skin from the sun has been the most important part of managing my melasma. After all, years of skin damage from the sun kick started my love-hate relationship with melasma. While I wish I could go back and undo those years of laying in the tanning both, I can only prevent future sun exposure.

Making large brimmed hats apart of my new style has reduced the amount of sun my skin receives. I always wear a large hat when on hikes, at the lake, or beach. I also wear sunscreen on my face, everyday. Even if it’s cloudy – this has helped manage my melasma the most.

I spent a long time trying to find the right sunscreen that was safe (many have toxic chemicals), wasn’t thick, white or made me break out. Beautycounter has a sunscreen that fits all of my criteria: it can easily be worn under your makeup without feeling thick or sticky. It’s a mineral based safer sunscreen and can be used for long days at the beach.

2- Talk to your health care provider about birth control options

Hormones, like the sun, are a contributing factor to one’s melasma. I encourage you to discuss talking to your doctor about what kind of birth control you’re on, and if there are options for changing your birth control to help manage your melasma.

3- Own it

Let’s be honest, there are bigger problems one could have. The problem is that when you have melasma it’s all you see when you look in the mirror, even when in most cases others may not even notice the spots. At a certain point you have to let go, know you’re beautiful and not let it overwhelm you.Beautycounter Lustro oil

4- Skin care routine

Keeping your skin hydrated and healthy is another simple and important way to manage your melasma.

I use a variety of safe moisturizing skin care products to help keep my skin glowing and supple. To top it all off, some products can help reduce the appearance of dark spots. My personal favorites skin care products are from Beautycounter’s Skin Care line:

5- Reduce exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals in consumer products

In general it’s a good thing to avoid toxic chemicals that are called “hormone disruptors”. And while hormones are part of the melasma problem, it can only help to reduce your exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals found in consumer products where possible. (I’m not talking about synthetic hormones that are used for birth control in this point).

To my knowledge, there has been no science linking synthetic hormone chemicals in our consumer products to melasma, but if it’s already good to avoid these chemicals, why not make this a priority?

We know from data from the CDC that over 90% of the American population is exposed to several types of synthetic estrogens like bisphenol A from canned food and plastic, phthalates from fragrances, perfumes, cosmetics and cleaners. The biomonitoring data from the CDC (where they test one’s blood, urine and hair) shows that by eliminating exposure to these synthetic hormone-disruptors reduces the levels in one’s body. This is good news. If melasma is enhanced by estrogen in your body, removing extra exposures to synthetic estrogens can only be a good thing. Tips to reduce exposure to BPA in food packaging and phthalate in fragrance.

So are dark spots the end of the world? No. But it’s something that can be easily addressed using these techniques (they have worked for me at least!). Give some of these great products a try and let me know what you think!

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Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes and these testimonials are not intended to cure, treat or diagnose a disease. 

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