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How to remove melasma spots?

Melasma is characterized by brown spots typically present on the face. It is primarily due to hormonal fluctuations, and often appears during pregnancy. Discover the treatments to use to diminish the appearance of these brown spots that affect the uniformity of the complexion.

What is melasma?

Also referred to as "chloasma," the melasma is due to a disruption in the pigmentation process (melanogenesis). The melanin, the pigment responsible for the natural coloration of the skin, is overproduced in certain areas, leading to the appearance of brown spots. These spots most often appear on the face.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, only 10% of melasma cases affect men.

Women with darker skin types and/or who are pregnant are more likely to develop melasma. Indeed, this type of skin disorder is due to hormonal fluctuations.The increase in estrogen levels, particularly during pregnancy or with the use of certain medications (e.g. : birth control pills), can lead to brown spots. These spots are exacerbated by exposure to the sun's UV rays, hence the importance of proper protection with a sun care product suitable for one's skin tone.

pregnancy mask". It often disappears spontaneously after childbirth.

There are different types of melasma depending on the layer of the skin presenting the brown spots:

  • The epidermal melasma: Brown spots only affect the superficial surface of the epidermis;

  • The dermal melasma: The spots form at the deep layer of the skin called the dermis;

  • The mixed melasma: Hyperpigmentation spots appear on both the superficial and deep layers of the skin.

Depending on the location of the brown spots, there are also 3 other types of melasma:

  • The centrofacial melasma: The spots are clustered in the T-zone, upper lip, and chin area;

  • The Malar Melasma: The spots are located only on the nose and cheeks;

  • The Mandibular Melasma: Aggregation of spots on the lower jaw.

How to reduce melasma through dermocosmetic care?

To lighten brown spots in a less invasive and gentler manner than aesthetic medicine, certain treatments contain lightening active ingredients. At Typology, we have developed various formulations to reduce the appearance of melasma:

  • Enriched with active ingredients to balance the skin's pH, brighten the complexion, and reduce the appearance of pigmentation spots, the radiance toner with vitamin C also contains lemon verbena water for a light fruity scent. After the makeup removal steps, this toning lotion is applied with a cotton pad over the entire face, avoiding the eye contour, and does not need to be rinsed off.

  • The pigmentation spot serum with arbutin acid and lemon extract helps to fade brown spots and delay their appearance. Often referred to as natural hydroquinone due to its pigment-regulating nature, the remarkable effectiveness of alpha-arbutin against brown spots is due to its perfect affinity with the active site of tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in the formation of melanin. Thus, this competitive inhibition of the enzyme's active site blocks its activity and consequently the synthesis of melanin. Moreover, derived from the pressed fruit, the lemon extract (INCI: "Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Water") is recognized for its toning and unifying properties. We recommend using this serum daily, morning and evening, for a minimum duration of 6 weeks in order to observe its effects.

  • The radiance facial serum is highly concentrated in Vitamin C (11%) and provides a real boost to dull and tired complexions. This treatment also contains 3% of Albizia Julibrissin extract (INCI: "Albizia Julibrissin Bark Extract"). This combination helps to reduce pigmentation spots and slow down the photo-aging of the skin. We recommend using this serum daily, morning and evening, for a minimum duration of 4 weeks in order to observe its effects.

  • The hyperpigmentation and firmness loss serum contains a high concentration of tranexamic acid (5%). A synthetic derivative of lysine, it limits the synthesis of melanin by blocking the interaction between skin cells and melanocytes. However, when applied topically, the tranexamic acid acts on epidermal type melasmas. It thus presents itself today as a new safe alternative to hydroquinone. This care also contains tetrapeptide-2, a peptide composed of four amino acids that stimulates the synthesis of key molecules involved in skin support and firmness: elastin, collagen, and fibrillin.

What other alternatives exist for eliminating melasma spots?

Here are four other techniques to effectively eliminate melasma:

  • Chemical Peeling: The principle of peeling is somewhat similar to that of exfoliation. It involves applying a chemical substance (glycolic acid, salicylic acid, trichloroacetic acid, etc.) in various concentrations to the skin to trigger a controlled peeling of the epidermis, and with it the melanocytes and the marks left by pimples. Indeed, blisters form and eventually peel off, leaving behind smooth skin without hyperpigmentation. This procedure should be performed by a dermatologist, preferably in the fall or winter.

  • Low-energy Pigment Laser Therapy: The goal is to destroy hyperpigmented skin cells using high-energy light so that new, flawless skin can emerge. However, this treatment can cause minor damage (burning sensation, irritation...) and lead to the onset of PIH (Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation).

  • Kligman's Trio: Dr. Kligman developed a formula based on the unique synergy of three components: hydroquinone (a tyrosinase inhibitor), hydrocortisone (anti-inflammatory action), and retinoic acid (accelerates cell renewal). Together, they have demonstrated a depigmenting power at different stages of the melanin cycle. The effects of depigmentation appear after 3 to 5 weeks of treatment. However, this solution can cause irritations and sensitivity. Moreover, it does not rule out a recurrence of brown spots.

  • Injection of Depigmenting Peptides : this is a new treatment for melasma, which allows to block the production of melanin.


Sources

  • CHANG T. S. An updated review of tyrosinase inhibitors. International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2009).

  • SARKAR R. & al. Cosmeceuticals for hyperpigmentation: what is available ? Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery (2013).

  • H. MOHAMMADAMINI & al. A comprehensive review of the therapeutic potential of alpha-arbutin. Phytotherapy Research (2021).

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