Educating Your Clients: Melasma

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As we age, our skin faces different challenges. Teenage skin is stereotypically plagued by different types of acne. More mature skin may start to develop wrinkles.

As a beauty professional, you are probably aware of many of the most common issues your clients face. What if someone comes to you with dark spots that just started popping up on their skin. It’s not acne, and it’s not scarring.

So… what is it?

They might be developing melasma.

What Is Melasma?

Melasma is a pigmentation disorder that causes dark spots and patches to appear throughout the skin. Different types of melasma show up on different areas of the face, including the area near the chin or the cheeks.

Scientists and skincare professionals are not completely sure what causes different types of melasma, but changes in hormones tend to precede melasma in patients. Additionally, research has revealed that people with higher levels of melanin in their skin have a higher risk for developing melasma.

How to Treat Melasma

What advice should you give to clients you believe may be suffering from melasma?

Start with prevention. Suggest that they apply a strong sunscreen to their face and skin – even on days when they’re not heading to the beach or enjoying the summer sun. Just a few minutes of exposure to the sun can cause sunburn, which worsens symptoms of melasma.

Next, get some topical products to help even out their skin tone and brighten dark areas. We recommend using products that contain Vitamin B3 and Vitamin C. Vitamin C prevents skin cells from converting to melanin and making dark spots darker. Regular application of topical products with Vitamin C can also help to thicken the outer layers of the skin and protect it from sun exposure. Tinted moisturizers can help to protect the skin and cover up dark spots caused by melasma.

Peels and treatments can also help clients remove layers of skin affected by melasma. Experts recommend peels that contain alphahydroxy acids (AHAs), a group of ingredients that remove unwanted skin cells and promote a thicker, brighter skin tone. Try these peels before recommending a laser treatment or another more invasive option.