Sep 7, 2016

Fighting Melasma (Brown Patches)

HI ladies! I’ve been on a mission to find the answer to Melasma. Melasma is a chronic skin condition that causes discoloration on your face. It shows up in brown patches and is extremely hard to treat. Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 8.52.34 AMWhy do we have to deal with this as women. It’s as if having babies, losing weight, and dealing with hormones isn’t enough, right?!

I first got Melasma with my first pregnancy. It completely went away after a year. Then, it started coming back on and off. This past summer it flared up really bad. I wear hats with spf, I slather mounds of sunscreen on my face, and I even have sun guards with spf for all my car windows. I mean, I take this pretty serious.

I have done everything I can to protect my skin from the sun so I started doing more research and realized I must have a hormonal imbalance going on. Melasma is an internal problem, usually connected with hormone imbalance. When your estrogen levels are high,  your melasma will flare up.

A couple things I’ve been doing to treat Melasma in myself and with clients –

1.Acupuncture, tell your therapist that you want to work on treating melasma. The liver is connected to this issue and they use certain pressure points for hormone imbalance. It’s pretty incredible. The next time I go, I’ll put it on snapchat. I saw results within 2 weeks.

2. Find a hormone Bio-identical doctor. He will check your blood levels,hormone levels, and vitamin deficiencies. I was pretty shocked to find out that my main problem with my Melasma is coming from having too much of a certain hormone. It’s so easy to correct! Everyone should have your levels checked.

3. Whatever you do, DO NOT get an IPL. This laser is the worst laser you can do on your face if you have Melasma. IPL treats hyperpigmentation but not Melasma. They are different. This laser will make your Melasma worse. Trust me.

4. Sleep, anxiety, stress, and diet are all factors. Take care of your body.

5. Look for skincare products that contains these five ingredients. 

  • Kojic Acid
  • Alpha Arbutin
  • Niacinamide
  • Vitamin C
  • Glycolic Acid

6.Stay away from heat and direct sunlight.

This one is the hardest to do but here’s why you need to do it:

  • Dermatologists agree that melasma usually occurs in areas of the skin that are exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Staying under the sun makes melasma worse and would be harder to remove it the longer you stay under the sun.
  • If you’re pregnant, your estrogen levels rise and this puts you at an increased risk of getting melasma from the sun.
  • Melasma can occur quite suddenly if you spend to much time in a hot area.
  • A single day’s exposure to sunlight and heat could be all it takes for melasma to start developing again or make it worse.
  • Hot Yoga or getting overheated can cause Melasma to flare up

7.This doctor is well known for treating melasma. He is located in Beverly Hills and has a patent on his laser that treats Melasma. You can look him up here. I really want to try it this winter. I’ll share my results!

Hope this helps. Just remember it’s not just about sun exposure and the lightening creams for your face. This issue is very internal and not topical.



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  1. Hi Jenna, This is such a great article and really good advice. Do you have a recommendation of a skincare line that contains those 5 ingredients? I can’t seem to find anything that has all 5 in one product.

  2. Thank you so much for posting about this! I got an IPL after each baby and now after having my 5th baby the first of this year & feeling I need a photo facial again…it did NOT work like is has in the past! And now it makes sense! Please share what type of chemical peel to get & what type of laser works for Melasma?? Thanks!!

  3. Thanks SO much for this post, Jenna! I developed some melasma after my first baby and now, after 3, it’s soooo much worse! I’m done having kids and breastfeeding, etc and am looking to get rid of it this Fall/Winter. Wondering if my hormones are unbalanced (another friend mentioned this also) and if my birth control pill is contributing. Would love to hear anything more you learn!! Xoxo. Amy

    • Amy, I thought I would share my experience with you, because it might help. I first noticed patchy brown spots on my face years ago after I switched to a new birth control pill. I had no idea what it was until I read that melasma was a side effect of that specific pill. My poor face had to feature some horrible brown melasma blotches for my wedding. Frustrating! I dealt with it for a year, not really knowing that there was anything I could do except avoid the sun. My doctor said it was worth trying a progesterone only birth control pill. She prescribed one called Jolivette. Lo and behold! My melasma cleared up shortly afterward! The melasma actually came back, now that I’m came off the Jolivette pill to get pregnant, but I while I was on it, I had a lot of success! It might be worth asking your doctor if there is another no- or low-estrogen pill option that you could try.

  4. How did you know it was Melasma and not Hyperpigmentation? I to have dark spots that won’t fade no matter what product I try. It also seems to be somewhat genetic as my Mom and sister both have them to lesser degrees. I don’t have kids but have taken birth control pills for many years.

  5. Thank you for sharing this!! I suffer from melasma around my lip 🙁 and I am an sunscreen/hat freak!! (Note living in SoCal i spend a lot of $ on sunscreen and time in the shade)…I’ve tried several lasar treatments including picoway and fraxel…but no real results..I hope your lasar treatment is successful!

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