How to Find the Best Sunscreen for Melasma: A Complete Guide You Need
Whether you have melasma or not, there is one thing you should never forget to include in your daily beauty routine and that is to wear sunscreen.
Applying sunscreen to your skin does more than just keeping you from getting a sunburn. It also has tons of benefits. These benefits include anything from simply providing extra moisture and added protection from UV rays to more important things like delaying premature skin aging, lowering your risk of developing skin cancer, and protecting you from developing any sun-related skin issues and diseases.
When it comes to options and varieties, there are thousands out there that you can choose from. Some sunscreens are formulated especially for babies and kids while others are targeted for adults.
There are those that come in cream or lotion form while other sunscreens come in spray bottles or as oils (or even dry oils). From one brand you’ll read the words “broad spectrum sunscreen” and from the other you’ll see “waterproof.” There are also different sunscreens for different skin conditions, including melasma.
What is Melasma?
Another term that you can use for those brown spots/age spots is melasma. It’s basically a skin condition that causes brown and grayish brown spots to form on the face and other parts of the body that is regularly exposed to the sun. There are other things that can cause melasma like pregnancy, genetics, stress, and so on, but the most common is constant prolonged sun exposure.
When you are exposed to the UV rays from the sun for long periods of time, the UV rays mess with your melanocytes or the cells that are responsible for controlling pigmentation on your skin. While it is not totally dangerous for your overall health, melasma is rather unsightly and may affect your level of self confidence.
Thankfully, melasma is not something that you have to live with forever. It’s not even something that you have to live with at all! If you already have melasma, you can consult your dermatologist and ask for a prescription for creams that can help even out and remove the pigmentation on your skin.
There are also various treatments that you can undergo to remove your marks. You have to remember, though, that treatment and cure for melasma is just as slow as its progress and development so patience is a must.
Why is Sunscreen Important For People with Melasma?
There are tons of different kinds of sunscreen to fit different people’s needs. Some sunscreens come in cream or lotion form while others come in spray bottles or in the form of oil or dry oil.
There are also sunscreens that are especially formulated for babies and infants, kids, toddlers, and adults. There are even different brands that offer sunscreens that are great for people with sensitive skin and those that suffer from various skin conditions like melasma.
Even with melasma already onset, you still need to wear sunscreen. Doing this will prevent your skin from developing more spots and damaging your skin further or making things even worse.
Because of your skin condition, though, you may have to look for sunscreens that are melasma-friendly or those that can be safely and effectively used to block out UV rays and slow down the abnormal development of pigments on your skin.
Things to Look For in a Sunscreen
Sure, you can still opt for regular sunscreen if you want to save yourself the trouble of trying out many different tubes, bottles, or cans of sunscreen, but going for something that is melasma-friendly is still the best way to go. So, what should you look for in a sunscreen when you have melasma?
Most sunscreens can be divided into two major categories: physical and chemical. If you have melasma, you’ll want to go for the physical kind since it is more proactive in protecting your skin from the UV rays. Physical sunscreens contain active ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide that are great for preventing your skin from soaking up too much sun.
High levels of zinc oxide
Zinc oxide is one of the most important minerals in treating melasma. It can also be used to prevent it. If you have melasma or are afraid of developing it, wearing sunscreen with higher levels of ZInc Oxide isn’t one of the best ways to go since this ingredient blocks the sun’s rays from penetrating your skin.
SPF 30 or higher only
Ever noticed how every single type of sunscreen comes with different amounts of SPF protection? Those numbers aren’t just there to make the product seem more legit; it can actually help you find the perfect sunscreen for people with melasma. For people with such skin conditions, a sunscreen with an SPF no lower than 30 is a great choice to look for.
You may have noticed some sunscreens that are marketed to be “broad-spectrum” sunscreens. If you have melasma, get yourself one of those instead of just any regular sunscreen. As mentioned previously, there are two kinds of UV rays we need to worry about and protect ourselves from: UVA and UVB. While most regular sunscreens can only protect you from one of these, a broad-spectrum sunscreen will protect you from both so it’s better for keeping melasma at bay.
Top 3 Best Sunscreen for Melasma On The Market 2017
La Roche-Posay is one of the leading French skincare brands. Their sunscreens are amazing, but the Anthelios 50 Mineral Tinted Ultra-Light Tinted Sunscreen, in particular, is a great choice for people with melasma because of its formulation.
The EltaMD UV Physical Broad Spectrum SPF41 sunscreen is one of the most raved about sunscreens from people who are dealing with melasma.
If you have sensitive skin, you might want to check out Blue Lizard Sensitive Sunscreen. Made by people who need it the most from the Land Down Under, this sunscreen is definitely something that will keep sunburn at bay.
Features and Options
- La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Tinted Ultra-Light Tinted Sunscreen: The Antihelios 50 Mineral Tinted Ultra-Light Tinted Sunscreen by La Roche-Posay has the highest level of SPF among the three. It has SPF 50 which is almost twice as high as the recommended level of SPF for people with melisma to protect them against the sun. This is ideal for people who stay out in the sun for long periods of time.
- EltaMD UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41: 41 is an odd level of SPF given that most sunscreens offer SPF15, 30, and 50 but it’s still a few levels higher than the recommended SPF30 for people with melisma which means youre still getting added protection from the sun for your skin.
- Blue Lizard Sensitive Sunscreen SPF 30+: Blue Lizard Sensitive Sunscreen offers the lowest level of SPF among the three sunscreens being compared here but it still meets the minimum requirement which is SPF30 for people with melisma. If you don’t spend that much time outdoors, this would still make a good sunscreen for you.
Texture and Consistency
- La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Tinted Ultra-Light Tinted Sunscreen: this sunscreen has a thin and runny consistency which can be compared to that of water or even milk. It spreads easily and leaves a smooth and silky finish on the skin.
- EltaMD UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41: This sunscreen has a thicker consistency compared to the first product mentioned. Its consistency is comparable to that of cream or lotion. It is still easily spreadable and it blends well with makeup products like primer and foundation, too.
- Blue Lizard Sensitive Sunscreen SPF 30+: out of the three, Blue Lizard Sensitive Sunscreen has the thickest consistency. It is very heavy on the skin and it is rather challenging to apply evenly and blend out, so applying it little by little to one area at a time is advised. As far as texture goes, it’s smooth and a little goopy.
UV Protection and water resistance
- La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Tinted Ultra-Light Tinted Sunscreen: this is a broad-spectrum sunscreen which means that it can protect you from both UVA and UVB rays, making it a great option for people with melisma. It is also waterproof.
- EltaMD UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41: It is a broad-spectrum sunscreen, as the name suggests and it is waterproof as well.
- Blue Lizard Sensitive Sunscreen SPF30+: Just like the two other sunscreens mentioned above, this one is also a broad-spectrum sunscreen. However, it is not waterproof which means that it’s not something that you can wear when swimming and that you constantly have to reapply it if you’re someone who sweats a lot.
All of these three sunscreens had features that were unique to each and every one of them, but they also had flaws that the others didn’t have. If you’re looking for a good everyday sunscreen to help you combat melasma, I would recommend going for La Roche-Posay.
It's great for sensitive skin, has a broad-spectrum formula that blocks both UVA and UVB from ruining your skin and making melasma worse. It’s tinted which means it can replace your makeup on days when you just want something light and fresh.
What’s more is that it has the highest level of SPF out of the three products mentioned and it lasts longer on the skin compared to other brands and it is waterproof as well. It’s also fragrance-free which is especially great for men who are turned off by anything with heavy fragrances and paraben-free which means it won’t irritate your skin.