Melasma is a very common skin problem. If you see dark spots on your face, you might be the victim of this harmless condition. These spots can be a result of sun damage, acne breakouts, or hormonal changes. No matter what triggered them, it’s about time you invested in the best sunscreen for melasma and hyperpigmentation.
Why? Because sunscreens protect your skin from harmful UV rays of the sun and keep the condition from exacerbating. Moreover, there are sunscreens designed to lighten dark spots and help you with melasma. We will talk about them in detail in a bit. But first, let’s learn about the basics.
What is Hyperpigmentation? How is it Different from Melasma?
Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition in which some parts of the skin are discolored or darkened than your natural complexion. It is a broad term used to describe dark spots on your skin.
Melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation. It affects nearly six million American women. It’s quite common for women to get melasma during pregnancy as there are hormonal fluctuations during that time. Sun exposure also exacerbates the problem. That’s why experts recommend wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen to keep yourself protected from the sun.
Melasma can be quite hard to resolve on its own. Therefore, it’s best to use sunscreen that helps with the problem.
Best Sunscreens for Melasma and Hyperpigmentation Reviewed
Choosing the right product is the biggest challenge. To make the selection process easier for you, we have reviewed the best sunscreens for hyperpigmentation and melasma.
1. EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
When it comes to sunscreens, EltaMD reigns supreme. The sunscreen in question is one of the top-selling facial sunscreens on Amazon, and for good reason!
It contains zinc oxide that creates a protective layer and stops UV rays from penetrating your skin. And it also functions as a mild astringent, so it would be very helpful for those with oily skin.
Thanks to the mineral-based zinc oxide formula, EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen protects you from acne, eczema, rosacea, etc. You can say it’s one of the best sunscreens for acne-prone skin.
The sunscreen is loaded with niacinamide that not only helps with melasma, but also improves dull skin, shrinks large pores, and whatnot.
Lactic acid keeps your skin moisturized and fights premature aging. Additionally, the formula will fade away fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. The product is dermatologist-recommended. Even the Skin Cancer Foundation considers this an effective sunscreen.
Even better? It’s fast-absorbing and doesn’t feel tacky or greasy!
2. DRMTLGY Anti Aging Clear Face Sunscreen and Facial Moisturizer
DRMTLGY anti-aging face sunscreen comes with SPF 45 that protects your skin from harmful UV rays of the sun. Fortified with Vitamin B3, it not only helps you with dark spots but it also increases moisture retention.
Thanks to hyaluronic acid, the formula also combats premature aging and dehydration. It features a lightweight texture that goes on like a lotion.
The best part? It blends in like a dream and doesn’t irritate the skin. And it’s non-comedogenic.
What’s more, this miraculous product will also slough off dead skin cells. You can expect an oil-free look with a vibrant glow. Above all, the sunscreen is voted for its gentle formula and it doesn’t leave a white cast.
You can go out in the sun without having to worry about sunburns, dark spots, etc. Plus, it doesn’t have that overpowering sunscreen smell.
3. Obagi Sun Shield Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen
Here’s another great product to the list. With an SPF level of 50, the Obagi Sun Shield Matte Broad Spectrum provides sheer protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays of the sun. It has a PABA-free and fragrance-free formula. The product is dermatologically tested and contains 10% homosalate that absorbs UV rays and dissipates it in the form of heat.
It is specially formulated to prevent the sun rays from penetrating into the different layers of your skin. The sunscreen blends perfectly in the skin and doesn’t feel oily at all. Unlike most sunscreens, it doesn’t leave a white residue. The ingredients work together to even your skin tone and help you get rid of hyperpigmentation.
Despite its high SPF rating, the product has a thin texture which makes application very easy. It is perfect for all skin types. You will absolutely fall in love with this product. The only problem is that it’s a bit expensive. But if you only care about the results, you should go with this product.
4. Supergoop! Daily Correct CC Cream SPF 35
This sunscreen from Supergoop! relies on zinc oxides and other mineral actives to provide long-lasting protection against the sun. It is color-correcting cream to help you get rid of melasma and other scars on your skin.
Additionally, it will also help shrink the size of your pores. The sunscreen is loved for its pleasant smell and gentle formula.
The anti-aging properties help fade away fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. Enriched with essential vitamins, it also brightens your skin and improves texture.
Then there’s apple extract with antioxidant properties that fight free radicals and smooth your skin. Red seaweed present in the product boosts collagen and maintains moisture levels in the skin.
It also contains omega-3 fatty acids that regulate oil production and slows down the aging process. Thankfully, this cream SPF doesn’t contain harmful ingredients. Thus, you can expect soft skin without any skin irritations, itchiness, redness, etc.
5. MyChelle Dermaceuticals Sun Shield Liquid Tint SPF 50 Nude
When it comes to protecting your face, you can’t go wrong with MyChelle Deramceuticals. The sunscreen in question has a tinted formula with SPF 50 and is 100% vegan.
The sun shield liquid contains bentonite clay as one of its key ingredients. Now, bentonite clay helps in removing toxins from the body. It also absorbs excess oil and gives you a non-sticky youthful appearance.
The product also repairs the skin from the damage caused by the sun. It has water-like consistency and absorbs into the skin quite easily & quickly. As it also has anti-inflammatory properties, you don’t need to worry about acne breakouts.
Its skin brightening formula ensures that you get an even and natural skin tone. Regular application will help fade away dark spots.
Wear it at least 15 minutes before going out in the sun. And it’s advised that you apply the product every two hours when you’re in the sun. It’s suitable for both the genders and all skin types.
6. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Sunscreen SPF 60
With active ingredients such as homosalate, avobenzone, and octocrylene, La Roche-Posay sunscreen is very effective when it comes to sun protection. Avobenzone protects from UVA rays that cause premature aging and sunburn.
Homosalate and other active ingredients protect you from short-wave UVB rays which are known for causing DNA damage and increasing the risk of cancer.
It is an oxybenzone-free SPF 60 sunscreen and helps remove excess oil, dirt, etc. The antioxidants present in the product fight free radicals. It is tested on sensitive skin and is recommended by dermatologists. Also, it has a unique oil-absorbing complex with perlite & silica to give you an oil-free matte finish.
And the sunscreen is great for oily skin. It’s a dry lotion meaning you don’t have to worry about oily skin. It’s not at all harsh on your skin and designed keeping optimal skin tolerance in mind.
Some users say that it goes on like a moisturizer. In addition to sun protection, it also helps with acne.
7. Cotz Face Natural Skin Tone SPF 40
Cotz’s Face Natural Skin Tone is a powerful sunblock with SPF 40. It boosts collagen production and prevents heat build-up which can damage your skin. You can wear it under your makeup as a primer for improved coverage. It contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide that act as a barrier between the sun rays and your skin.
It is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. The lotion also has alumina that cannot be dismissed. It sits on top of your skin and helps other ingredients deflect off harmful UV rays to provide you maximum sun protection.
Also, it doesn’t burn your eyes which is often the problem with most sunblocks. It’s a lightly tinted sunscreen and you’ll happen to love it. As it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals, you won’t get skin irritations.
With a perfect mix of ingredients, you will notice freckles, sun spots, and other marks fade away after a couple of applications.
8. Replenix UltiMATTE Perfection Tinted Sunscreen SPF 50+
This is a tinted physical sunscreen with SPF 50 and zinc oxide as its active ingredient. It contains 90% green tea polyphenols such as catechins. Catechins are anti-inflammatory and anticancer agents that protect your skin from the damage caused by the sun.
Aside from that, it has resveratrol that calms your skin and reverses skin damage. It also helps minimize the redness on your skin caused by irritants. Ingredients such as Vitamin C help brighten your skin and get rid of hyperpigmented skin. Emblica also lightens dark spots and stops collagen breakdown.
The sunscreen hydrates and leaves your skin with a matte finish. You can wear it alone or beneath your makeup for maximum coverage. Not only will it help you with melasma, but it also helps reverse the signs of premature aging. Upon regular application, it will increase skin cell regeneration and reveal younger-looking skin.
9. Nia 24 Sun Damage Prevention Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen
It is an SPF 30 lotion with 5% pro-niacin formula. Niacin is a key ingredient in keeping skin hydrated and healthy. It also has skin-lightening properties to help you with hyperpigmentation. On top of that, niacin promotes the production of fibroblasts that help diminish fine lines, wrinkles, etc.
The lotion will repair the skin from damage caused by the sun. It also strengthens the skin barrier to stop the bacteria and germs from entering. Other than that, it will increase skin elasticity and the texture as well. Also, you will get a healthy glow upon regular use. You won’t be left with a white residue which is another plus. The product is perfect for all skin types regardless of gender and age.
Once you buy this product, you wouldn’t want to try anything else – it is that effective. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide offer excellent sun protection. Moreover, the sunblock is paraben-free and animal cruelty-free.
10. Beauty By Earth Facial Sunscreen SPF 20
Beauty By Earth’s facial sunscreen is an organic and natural product. It contains aloe vera leaf extracts that moisturize your skin and prevents certain skin conditions like acne, dry skin, etc. Zinc oxide forms a protective layer on your skin and prevents harmful UV rays from penetrating into your skin.
Since there are no toxic and harmful substances, it’s suitable for everyone and you won’t develop any irritations. There’s Vitamin E, green tea extracts that help reduce the appearance of dark spots. Your skin will feel soft and nourished. The product also has coconut oil, jojoba seed which makes your skin smooth.
On top of that, coconut oil is antibacterial as it contains lauric acid. Therefore, it’s very effective in fighting acne and other bacterial infections. There are other amazing ingredients like castor oil, radish root ferment, argan oil, etc. All these ingredients work together and give you the skin you always desire.
11. Heliocare Ultra SPF 90 Cream
This sunscreen comes with SPF 90 and blocks 99% of harmful UV rays. It contains fernblock which is basically an antioxidant that prevents DNA damage. If you’ve had a skin treatment like laser treatment or microdermabrasion, the product is suitable for you. It will keep you protected from the sun.
This is a great product for melasma. Customers have reported reduced dark spots only after a couple of uses. The product is very light-weight and absorbs quickly into the skin. It doesn’t leave a white cast. This cream works perfectly for dry skin as it is highly moisturizing.
Also, it has retinol that stimulates the growth of new skin cells and keeps it from getting dry. On top of that, it reduces inflammation and prevents collagen breakdown.
12. Purito Centella Green Level Safe Sun SPF50+
This sunblock by Purito contains EWG safe green and natural ingredients. The product has the goodness of lavender oil and chamomile flower oil. Lavender oil calms your skin and kills acne-causing bacteria. Chamomile helps in fading away blemishes and redness. In fact, it may help with conditions like rosacea, eczema, etc.
Then there’s glycerin, adenosine, butylene glycol, etc. that moisturize your skin by pulling moisture from the air and has an anti-aging effect. Due to its advanced formula, you don’t get that white residue. Instead, you will get healthy skin that boasts even tone.
The product features advanced sun protection. It also has a high protection grade of UVA. It is perfect for normal to dry skin. Also, it doesn’t clog the pores and you can expect enhanced skin clarity.
13. Biotherm Creme Solaire Dry Touch Matte Effect Face Cream SPF 50
It is an excellent sunscreen for oily skin. The product contains an organic compound called Mexoryl SX that has been approved by the FDA. It offers protection from harmful UV rays. Biotherm is a part of the L’Oreal Group. This magical sunscreen contains plankton which is rich in zinc and has antibacterial properties.
Thus, the product will also help you remove pimples and keep your skin hydrated. It is a mineral sunscreen. It will calm and soothe your skin. Once applied, it will keep your skin moisturized for a long time. Overall, it’s a fine product. But customers have reported that it leaves the skin chalky white.
It contains titanium dioxide so it is perfect for sensitive skin. Also, it will help repair damaged skin. The consistency is tad thick but it has got nice coverage. If you have dry skin, look no further.
14. BurnOut SPF 30 Sunscreen for Face & Body
It is yet another effective sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum sun protection. Using zinc oxide as one of its key ingredients, the sunblock yield results beyond expectations. First of all, it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals. Secondly, it is extremely light-weight and goes quickly into the skin. Most importantly, it contains non-nano particles and can be worn under makeup.
It is formulated in such a way that it doesn’t leave a white cast. On top of that, the product looks invisible on your skin. You are sure to have a positive experience with this one. There are other ingredients like aloe vera, plankton extracts, camu camu berry, etc. that all add up. And the best thing is that it’s priced quite reasonably given the quality of the product.
Also, it is paraben-free, fragrance-free and oil-free.
15. Zealios Sun Barrier SPF 45 Water-Resistant Zinc Sunscreen
This is a reliable SPF 45 sunscreen with 8% zinc oxide. It is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. You can go swimming and indulge in other physical activities without having to worry about its effect wearing off. It is a 100% vegan and cruelty-free product.
The ingredients in the product remove dead skin cells to give your clearer and smooth skin. The lotion will work well with water. It dries up quickly on the skin so you can rest assured that you won’t get that greasy look.
It is, without any doubt, one of the best sunscreens for combination and dry skin. Plus, it has a nice light-weight texture that spreads really well on your skin. And unlike most sunscreens, it won’t give you that whitish look. On top of that, it will also recover the skin from the environmental damage caused over the years. In short, the product is worth every penny.
Mineral Sunscreen or Chemical Sunscreen: Which One is Better?
Both mineral and chemical sunscreens offer protection against the sun. So, which one should you choose? Before answering that for you, let’s try to understand what they are and how they work.
Mineral sunscreens: They use minerals such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun. These sunscreens basically sit on top of your skin and create a layer. This layer then deflects off the harmful UV rays. They are also known as physical sunscreens as they create a barrier between your skin and the sun radiations.
Chemical sunscreens: Chemical sunscreens work in a totally different way. They contain ingredients like homosalate, oxybenzone, octinoxate, etc. These chemicals penetrate your skin and dissipate UV rays in the form of heat. In short, those UV rays never actually enter your body.
Which One is Better?
You see, both types of sunscreens protect you from the sun. However, mineral sunscreens are safer as they don’t contain any harmful ingredients. That is not to say chemical sunscreens are not safe. You should look for ingredients. Most chemical sunscreens use FDA-approved ingredients.
However, some sunscreens contain chemicals like oxybenzone (also FDA-approved) that can cause skin irritations, acne, redness, etc. Also, oxybenzone can increase the risk of endometriosis. Therefore, physical sunscreens seem like an obvious choice.
Moreover, physical sunscreens are suitable for babies as well. Sure, there is chemical sunscreen that advertises themselves as safe for children but why take the risk? Besides, using chemicals on babies’ skin is not a wise decision.
Please note that some mineral sunscreens can leave you with a chalky white appearance. Always look for sunscreens that don’t leave a white residue. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, mix really well.
Tips on choosing the Best Sunscreen for Melasma
There are a few things to consider when buying sunscreen for hyperpigmentation and melasma. Here are some important tips that you should remember:
Broad Spectrum Protection
The first thing to keep in mind while buying a sunscreen for melasma is to make sure that it offers broad-spectrum protection. It means that the sunscreen should provide sound protection against both UVA and UVB rays. You see, some people believe that only UVB rays increase the risk of skin cancer. But it’s an established fact that both types of rays can contribute to skin cancer. So, it’s important to choose sunblock that provides broad-spectrum protection.
Choose Sunscreen with SPF 15 or Higher
FDA recommends that the sunscreens should have SPF of at least 15. Anything below that won’t be effective in protecting you against the sun. If possible, you should aim for the SPF number of 30. SPF 30 blocks 97% of UV rays.
Prefer Mineral Sunscreens
As ingredients in a chemical sunscreen can damage your skin, you should prefer mineral sunscreens over chemical sunscreens. They are safer and are equally effective. Physical sunblocks don’t cause any damage to the skin.
Look for the sunscreens that are extremely lightweight and feel invisible on your skin. You see, you’re going to wear them in the most visible areas on your body. Therefore, it’s best to choose the ones that can be hidden under your makeup and look almost invisible to the observer.
Sure, oxybenzone absorbs harmful UV rays but research shows that oxybenzone can be absorbed into the skin and can cause cell damage. Also, it is known to bring hormonal changes in the body. Therefore, avoid using sunscreens with oxybenzone.
When you’re trying to get rid of melasma and hyperpigmentation, it becomes very important to wear sunscreen. Or the symptoms of melasma will worsen. No matter what skin color and type you are, protecting your skin from the sun should be your top priority.
The sunscreens mentioned in the article above will definitely help you with your problem. If there’s some other product that has worked for you, let us know in the comments below. And if you have any questions, feel free to ask them away.