Melasma is a common skin condition that causes patches on the skin. Although it’s primarily caused by hormonal imbalance, sunlight exposure can worsen or trigger melasma symptoms. Sunscreen can help you prevent your condition from worsening, but this doesn’t mean you can use any sunscreen. Not all sunscreens will provide adequate protection from the sun’s harmful rays, so you need to use the right sunscreen for melasma. Read on to compare the best sunscreen products available and what you need to look for in a sunscreen.
Best Sunscreen for Melasma
Looking for the best sunscreen for melasma? Here are 5 of the most recommended, and a buying guide to help you make an educated decision.
La Roche Posay Mineral Sunscreen is widely loved by users and is recommended by dermatologists for users with melasma. This product is a physical sunscreen with an SPF rating of 50 which is pretty much the highest amount of protection you can get. It offers broad-spectrum coverage and uses titanium oxide as its active ingredient. It doesn’t contain hormone disruptors like oxybenzone which is great for users with melasma.
This sunscreen doesn’t just protect you from the sun’s harmful rays; it also contains antioxidants which help to protect your face from damage, wrinkles and cancer. It is also free of fragrance and paraben, has a silky texture, and doesn’t leave a greasy or sticky feeling when applied. Designed to be flawlessly compatible with makeup, La Roche Posay Mineral Sunscreen has a matte finish that makes it suitable for daily makeup use. It is tinted to allow it to blend more naturally with your skin tone, making it less noticeable while giving you a healthy glow.
La Roche Posay Mineral Sunscreen is water-resistant for up to 40 minutes. So you can go for a dip on a hot summer afternoon or work out and sweat all you want without constantly stressing about whether the sunscreen has faded.
- High SPF of 50
- Great texture and matte finish
- Light tint to blend effectively
- Contains anti-oxidants
- Doesn’t have zinc oxide
- It’s very pricey
Heliocare Ultra is a physical sunscreen that has all the ingredients you would want in a sunscreen for melasma. Although it is highly priced, its amazing features make it worth it. It has a high SPF and uses both titanium oxide and zinc oxide as active ingredients to provide broad-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB sun rays. It doesn’t contain hormone disruptors that can worsen your melasma condition.
This sunscreen is specifically designed for use when the skin is extremely sensitive and needs maximum protection. This makes it ideal for use after melasma clinical treatments as you will need to use sunscreen that will not irritate or affect your particularly sensitive skin. Heliocare Ultra is also perfect for you if your skin mixed or greasy, and is prone to breakouts. It lacks comedogenic lipids that cause blackheads.
You can use this sunscreen with makeup daily thanks to its moisturizer-like texture. Unlike other sunscreens, it’s light and absorbs well. It also blends well, and the transparent finish ensures it won’t leave any white streaks on your face. This makes it perfect for makeup application.
- Offers broad spectrum protection
- High SPF
- Specifically designed for vulnerable skin
- Lacks comedogenic lipids
- Great texture
- Blends really well
- It’s very expensive
When you have melasma, you need to protect yourself from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. That’s why BurnOut comes in handy. With an SPF rating of 30, this sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection and uses zinc oxide as an active ingredient. It has no fragrance and doesn’t contain ingredients that may disrupt hormones.
It features a matte finish that ensures the sunscreen blends well with your skin tone and doesn’t leave a white shadow. It absorbs well and doesn’t lighten your skin tone making it compatible with makeup. It has an amazing texture that isn’t sticky or oily and has an invisible look. BurnOut Sunscreen is free of parabens and fragrance making it suitable for users with melasma or any sun sensitivity conditions.
- High concentration of zinc oxide
- Matte finish
- SPF 30
- Absorbs and blends well
- Broad spectrum sunscreen
- It is a bit thick, so you might want to apply it lightly
As the name suggests, EltaMD sunscreen is a broad spectrum, physical sunscreen that offers great protection against UV radiation. This sunscreen has an SPF 41 and combines titanium oxide and zinc oxide to provide maximum protection.
It doesn’t use hormone disruptors, has no oil, paraben, or fragrance which makes it perfect for extra-sensitive skin. It is also gentle enough to be applied on post-procedure skin, so if you are undergoing treatment for your melasma, you can use this sunscreen to protect your skin.
EltaMD sunscreen has a light tint and a transparent finish that is perfect for makeup application. When applied properly, it blends flawlessly and naturally giving your skin a smooth and brighter look. This sunscreen alleviates your worries when you’re out in the sun as it has a 40-minute water resistance.
- SPF 41
- Uses zinc oxide and titanium oxide as active ingredients
- Designed for extra-sensitive skin
- Lightly tinted
- Leaves an ashy look when applied on darker skin
This sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB radiation. It has an SPF 30+ which is suitable for someone with melasma and contains a high concentration of zinc oxide which provides a protective layer on your skin and prevents your skin from absorbing any harmful sun rays.
Invisible Zinc Sunscreen contains no paraben, hormone disruptors and is fragrance-free to protect sensitive skin. It has a great texture and absorbs well and since it’s tinted your skin will have a healthy glow. It also has a transparent finish that allows it to blend well with your skin tone and makes it a great base for makeup application. This also makes it great for anyone with a darker skin tone as it won’t leave white, greasy streaks.
- High zinc concentration
- It’s a broad spectrum sunscreen
- Blends well
- SPF 30+
· It is a bit thick
What Should You Consider Before Buying Sunscreen For Melasma?
The type of ingredients used to make sunscreen determine how effective it will be. You don’t want to get that won’t effectively protect you from the sun and prevent your melasma from worsening. Here are a few things you should look for in sunscreen for melasma.
Broad spectrum protection
Exposure to the sun can exacerbate your melasma condition. The sun produces two types of radiation, UVA and UVB. Apart from causing sunburn, which is attributed to UVB radiation, these sun rays stimulate pigment production in the skin which worsens melasma.
Most sunscreens offer protection from just one type of solar radiation, but there are some which offer protection from both. Because you need all the protection you can get, we recommend getting a sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection which will protect you against UVA and UVB radiation.
SPF refers to the sun protection factor which is a common system of rating sunscreen effectiveness. It indicates how long it would take you to burn depending on long it takes your skin to burn without sunscreen.
For example, if you naturally burn after 10 minutes of sun exposure without sunscreen, that period is extended 15 times longer if you use sunscreen with a high SPF rating. Most sunscreens for melasma have an SPF rating of 30 or 50 which offers 97% and 98% respectively. Dermatologists recommend using sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 or more to protect you.
Physical vs chemical sunscreen
Physical sunscreens use active ingredients to reflect sunlight while chemical sunscreens work by using active ingredients in absorbing damaging UV rays before getting into your skin. As mentioned before, sunlight stimulates pigment production, and as such, physical sunscreens are perfect for melasma.
They stop more UV radiation and visible light from reaching your skin compared to chemical sunscreens. Most physical sunscreens are labeled as such but if you can’t find a label, check the active ingredients and look for high levels of titanium oxide and zinc oxide.
Zinc oxide and titanium oxide are the most common ingredients in physical sunscreens. Although they both offer protection from solar radiation, zinc oxide is more effective in protecting the skin from UV rays. So we recommend going for a physical sunscreen with a zinc oxide concentration of over 5%.
Oxybenzone is also another common sunscreen ingredient. Avoid sunscreens that contain oxybenzone as this chemical causes hormonal imbalance, which contributes to the development of melasma.
Melasma mostly affects the face and other visible parts of the body like legs and hands. And since you will be wearing sunscreen all day, every day, getting a sunscreen that isn’t so obvious is important.
Sunscreens that are labeled invisible means they won’t whiten the skin when properly applied and completely absorbed. Invisible sunscreens are also compatible with makeup, so you can use the sunscreen as the base and apply makeup after it has been completely absorbed.
Sunscreen is an effective way of preventing melasma from worsening. But for it to be effective, you need to religiously apply it. You also need to make sure you are using the right sunscreen for melasma. So please follow the guide above when choosing a sunscreen for your melasma, and we hope the reviews have helped you narrow down your choices.