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Beauty Dictionary: Melasma
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Beauty Dictionary: Melasma

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Beauty doesn't have to be confusing. In our weekly Beauty Dictionary series we keep you in the know by breaking down all that fancy lingo and helping find the products that work for you.

The Word: Melasma

Also known as: That dark "mustache" that appeared out of nowhere after your tropical vacation.

What it means: Melasma is a more intense version of sun damage. As opposed to age spots and freckles, areas of melasma appear in dark brown or gray patches on the skin. Melasma is the result of long term sun damage and other irritants and can be worsened by fluctuations in hormones (this is why pregnant woman often experience it). Ever notice dark patches on your upper lip, cheeks, or the bridge of your nose that just won't fade? Yep, this could be melasma. And, although it's not life-threatening, it can be extremely annoying and tough to treat. Melasma may fade on, its own but if it doesn't, your dermatologist can help

How to fight it: Sunscreen is the best way to prevent melasma, but if you're already noticing dark patches, see your dermatologist. She may prescribe a strong bleaching cream for short-term treatment. For mild cases of melasma, your doctor may suggest a topical like the ones below that can help fade patches of melasma.

Products you'll need:

Save: No7 Lift & Luminate Concentrated Dark Spot Serum ($19.99)

No7 Lift & Luminate Concentrated Dark Spot Serum


Splurge: Ole Henriksen Truth Serum ($72)

ole henriksen truth serum

Indie Pick: T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum ($90)

T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum

Have you ever experienced melasma? What did you use to treat it?

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