Top Skincare Ingredients for treating MELASMA

Melasma is a pigmentation disorder of the skin that can lead to dark spots on the bridge of nose, cheeks and forehead.

There are several triggering factors of melasma such as sun exposure, female hormones, oral contraceptive pills, hormone replacement therapy, pregnancy, stress and thyroid disorder which can worsen it. 

Melasma is a skin condition which takes several weeks to months of treatment and protection for seeing any significant improvement. As it is a chronic skin disorder it takes a longer period of treatment to show some effective results.

There are various over the counter skin care products available that can help to reduce the pigmentation on the skin.

In today’s post I am mentioning the ingredients as well as product recommendations for reducing the hyperpigmentation caused by melasma.

1. Alpha arbutin is a derivative of hydroquinone which helps in reducing the hyperpigmentation without the potential side effects that hydroquinone poses. 2% alpha arbutin works best in the form of serums to give an effective result. Alpha arbutin takes weeks-months to show any significant improvement on the skin therefore a lot of patience and continuous usage is required for seeing any beneficial results. 


  • The ordinary alpha arbutin serum
  • Minimalist alpha arbutin 2% and hyaluronic acid 1% serum

2.Kojic acid is also a good tyrosinase inhibitor which helps in reducing the hyperpigmentation on the skin. It can be used alone or in combination with alpha arbutin to see effective results. 


  • Minimalist kojic acid 2% and alpha arbutin 1% serum
  • Kozimax cream.

3.Niacinamide is another great skincare ingredient for reducing hyperpigmentation. A concentration of 5%-10% of niacinamide is most effective in the treatment.


The ordinary Niacinamide 10% and Zinc 1% serum

  • Minimalist 10% niacinamide and 1% zinc serum
  • Minimalist 5% Niacinamide and 1% hyaluronic acid serum
  • Suganda 10% niacinamide serum
  • Niamax-D gel
  • Vya naturals Niacinamide serum

4.Azelaic acid 10-20% is also an amazing skincare ingredient that works really well in treating post inflammatory stubborn hyperpigmentation. A good azelaic acid cream/ suspension works wonders in a matter of weeks to reduce the dark spots on the face. 


  • The ordinary azelaic acid 10% suspension
  • Aziderm 20% cream

5.Vitamin C serums also helps in adding a glow to the skin and helps in fading away the dark spots. Nowadays many good and stable formulations of vitamin C are available as over the counter products which work effectively. 


  • Klairs vitamin drops
  • Minimalist 10% vitamin C serum
  • Suganda Antioxidant serum
  • Purito Vitamin C serum

6.Licorice root extract also works really well in reducing the pigmentation on the skin. With continuous usage an effective result is seen on the skin. 


  • It’s skin Li effector serum
  • DIY licorice root mask.

Sun protection is extremely important if you are dealing with melasma. Always invest in a good broad spectrum mineral sunscreen which has very good UVA coverage. Reapply the sunscreen after every two hours. Try to use scarves, sunglasses and hats for some added protection from the sun. 

Melasma can come back if the triggering factors are present. So take care of your skin accordingly. 

Hope you found this article helpful. 

Take care.

2 thoughts

  1. You’re post has come at a great time for, thank you for this 😀 I have very light Melasma on my cheekbone area that isn’t noticeable to anyone but me but I know it’s there and don’t want it to worsen over time so have started incorporating some of these that you’ve also mentioned such as alpha arbutin and niacinamide but I’ve yet to try a vitamin c serum that I enjoy using and haven’t tried azelaic acid yet ~ I’ll look into your recommendations soon, fingers crossed for good results over time ☺️

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