When it comes to treating melasma, there are lots of creams and treatments options that you can use to cure or reduce melasma hyperpigmentation on your face. Unfortunately, what works for one woman will not work for all, which is why in this blog post, we’ll discuss 5 different types of melasma creams that you might want to give a try.
Hydroquinone is one of the most popular forms of melasma creams and comes highly recommended by many skin care professionals. It is however, also controversial as some countries consider HQ a carcinogen, therefore it is banned in some countries.
Hydroquinone is composed of ingredients which inhibit the tyrosine in your skin from producing melanin. Overproduction of melanin is what causes the dark spots of melasma to show on one’s face.
Hydroquinone can only be used for short periods of time, as it has been known to have a negative side effect called ochronosis. This side effect causes further permanent darkening of the skin.
Hydroquinone comes in various doses from 0.1 %-6%. In the United States, you currently need a prescription from a doctor in order to get HQ in doses of more than 2%. You can find lower dose creams containing hydroquinone on Amazon. Porcelain is one of the more common (and highly regarded) creams containing HQ available over the counter.
Porcelain (contains 2% HQ) Reviews:
Triluma is another form of Hydroquinone, however, it is compounded with Tretinoin (Retin-A) & Fluocinolone (which is a topical steroid). Together these three ingredients work together to reduce melasma. The HQ again works by inhibiting the tyrosine in the skin cells. The Tretinoin works as an exfoliant which increases cellular turnover in the skin. The fluocinolone reduces the redness and inflammation that can be caused by the HQ & Tretinoin.
Triluma can only be prescribed by a health professional and is not currently available over the counter. Just like when using HQ, you must do your best to stay out of the sun while using Triluma, as it can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, resulting in new dark spots on your face.
Here’s a Triluma Testimonial: (Source)
“Tri-luma got rid of my melasma in days! I had it pretty bad on the sides of my face from birth control. It is expensive and also really abrasive. I broke out a few times and my neck looked bad for a while. It brings out every imperfection as it works and also my neck was very tight and dry. It is now better but I only use it every few days and then I mix it with hydrocortisone 1% eventhough it has a steroid in it. It is very irritating and on the days after I use it my face is red and irritated. I recommend it as an immediate aid but then I would see if you can find other maintenance treatments. I will not be using another tube after this one is used up!”
Kligman’s Formula is what I previously used to treat my melasma and unfortunately was unsuccessful. You can see my Hydroquinone before & after pictures here. However, Kligman’s formula is a combination of 5% Hydroquinone, 0.1% Retin-A & dexamethasone in hydrophilic ointment. This combination works much in the same way that Triluma does. The HQ lightens the skin by inhibiting the melanin production, the Tretinoin works to turnover the skin cells while the dexamethasone works to reduce inflammation.
Like Hydroquinone & Triluma, you must have a prescription to obtain Kligman’s formula.
Arbutin is found naturally in the Bearberry and has been proven to be effective in skin lightening. It works much in the same way that HQ works, by inhibiting the tyrosine in the skin which prevents melanin products. Arbutin can be found in many over the counter creams, including Lumiessence which I purchased. This is a great alternative for those of you who live in countries where hydroquinone is banned or for those looking for a more natural alternative to HQ.
Reviews for arbutin for Melasma:
Have you used any of these creams to treat Melasma? I’d love to hear about your experience?