14 Best Sunscreens For Melasma That Provide Ultimate Protection – 2024

Expert-reviewed sunscreens to effectively fight the most severe signs of sun damage.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Priya Gill, MBBCH, MRCP Dr. Priya Gill Dr. Priya GillMBBCH, MRCP facebook_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Shiboli Chakraborti MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature), Diploma In Health & Wellness Aditi Naskar MA (English Literature), Diploma In Health & Wellness linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
Fact-checked by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
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When you have melasma, you get brownish patches and spots on your face. Dr. Priya Gill, a Malaysian dermatologist, says, “Melasma is a skin condition characterized by brown /blue-gray patches or freckle-like spots. It’s often called the “mask of pregnancy.” Melasma happens because of overproduction of the cells that make the color of your skin. It is harmless. However, many people find it cosmetically and aesthetically disturbing.”

This common skin condition can intensify due to UV exposure. So, you need to use the best sunscreen for melasma with excellent protection. Wondering which is the best available sunscreen for this condition? Here, we have compiled a list of sunscreens you can use to manage melasma. Scroll down to find the best recommendations!

Top PicksCheck Price
Best Oil-Free:EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
Price on Amazon
Best No-Residue:Think baby Sunscreen SPF 50+Price on Amazon
Best Hypoallergenic:Sun Bum Clear Zinc Oxide SPF 50 Suncscreen
Price on Amazon
Best Water-Resistant:Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection
Price on Amazon
Best Matte Finish:La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60
Price on Amazon
Best Dermatologist-Recommended:Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Mineral Sunscreen
Price on Amazon
Best Non-Comedogenic:CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen
Price on Amazon
Best Sweat-Resistant:Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen
Price on Amazon
Best Fragrance-Free:MD Solar Sciences Mineral Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 50
Price on Amazon
Best Photostable:TIZO Ultra Zinc Mineral Sunscreen For Body & Face
Price on Amazon

The 14 Top-Rated Sunscreens For Melasma In 2024

1. Best Oil-Free:EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

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4.6
EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Image: Eltamd

This lightweight sunscreen is specially formulated for sensitive skin and rosacea and acne-prone skin. The EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum sunscreen contains niacinamide that calms irritated skin, keeps it nourished, and gives a translucent finish. It also improves the skin tone by reducing pigmentation and discoloration. The sunscreen contains an active ingredient, hyaluronic acid, that keeps the skin hydrated and lactic acid that has a mild exfoliating effect on your skin. This facial sunscreen is approved by board-certified dermatologists and recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. This video will give you a better insight into the qualities of the product and excellent product reviews.

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Safe for skin
  • Suits all skin types
  • Paraben-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologist-approved

Cons

  • Not water-resistant

protip_icon Remember
Do not overapply sunscreen – the impact is the same whether you use more or less. Instead, reapply it every 2 hours to continue protecting your skin from sun damage.

worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

It has gained over 6,387 positive reviews on Amazon, making it an all-time best-seller.

2. Best No-Residue:Think baby Sunscreen SPF 50+

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4.6
Thinkbaby SPF 50+ Sunscreen Image: Thinkbaby

This sunscreen is meant for children. However, adults can also use it. This is the first-ever sunscreen to pass the Whole Foods Premium Care requirements and is rated on the top by Environmental Working Group. It has SPF 50+ and no biologically harmful chemicals, such as oxybenzone, oils, or parabens.
The pediatrician dermatologist-tested sunscreen is easy to apply and does not leave any shiny or greasy residues on the skin. It imparts a hydrated and fresh feeling and is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes and improves skin tone. This is a biodegradable and no-aerosol formula and effectively protects one from the harmful effects of UV radiation.

Pros

  • No white residue
  • Water-resistant
  • Fragrance-free
  • Dye-free
  • Oxybenzone-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Reef-friendly
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • May not suit sensitive skin
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The extensive 8,634 rave reviews on Amazon prove why we are vouching for this product.

3. Best Hypoallergenic:Sun Bum Clear Zinc Oxide SPF 50 Suncscreen

This oil-free sunscreen provides a UVA/UVB broad spectrum of SPF 50 and also protects from the blue light. It contains non-comedogenic zinc that creates a barrier to protect the skin from harmful sun damage. It is a hypoallergenic, gentle formula that doesn’t irritate the skin. The moisturizing formula contains Vitamin E that fights free radicals, prevents premature aging, keeps the skin feeling fresh and soft. It is also reef-friendly and stays water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. Need more information on this sunscreen? Watch this video.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Oil-free
  • Reef-friendly
  • Suitable for all skin tones
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

  • Some people may find the smell strong

protip_icon Caution
Do not store the sunscreen at high temperatures; otherwise, its effectiveness will decrease. Store it at cool or room temperature.

4. Best Water-Resistant:Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection

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4.2
Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Image: Colorescience

This is a powder sunscreen with SPF 50 and an attached applicator brush. It contains refined minerals to calm your skin and has a sheer tint to conceal acne scarring, hyperpigmentation, and redness. The built-in antimicrobial brush makes it easy to apply and blend the mineral-rich sunscreen into your skin. The Sunforgettable Total Protection sunscreen powder gives a finishing touch to makeup. The tinted formula is non-irritating, water-resistant, and available in four shades. This powder gives a finishing touch to your makeup. It is formulated with Enviroscreen Technology that forms a barrier over the skin to prevent oxidation stress. It is suitable for all skin types including dry, oily, and combination skin types.

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • Dermatologist-recommended
  • Ideal for all skin types
  • Non-messy
  • No white cast
  • Non-greasy
  • Fragrance-free
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • Faulty packaging

5. Best Matte Finish:La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60

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4.5
La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Image: La Roche-posay

The La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 is a fast-absorbing formula that effectively protects skin from UV damage. This lightweight sunscreen can be used on the face and the body. It gives a velvety finish and is non-greasy and the best thing about it is that it improves the skin’s natural resistance to UV rays and heat-induced stress. The sunscreen is developed with Cell-OX Shield to provide broad-spectrum sun protection and antioxidant protection to your skin. This product is fragrance-free, dermatologist-tested, and suitable for sensitive skin. It is water-resistant up to 80 minutes. This YouTuber’s review will help you get a better insight on the sunscreen’s qualities and functions.

Pros

  • Mattifying
  • Non-greasy
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Paraben-free
  • Allergy-tested
  • Oxybenzone-free

Cons

  • May sting the eyes
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has received 9,286 positive Amazon reviews from its users, stating its numerous benefits.

6. Best Dermatologist-Recommended:Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Mineral Sunscreen

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4.4
Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Mineral Sunscreen Image: Neutrogena

The Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Mineral Sunscreen is an oil-free mineral sunscreen. This ultra-light sunscreen provides broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection. It is developed with PureScreen Technology that protects the skin from UV rays and prevents sunburn and offers protection against melasma. This sunscreen is gentle and perfect for sensitive skin. It spreads easily, feels non-greasy, and does not leave a white cast on the face. This mineral sunscreen is water-resistant up to 80 minutes and hypoallergenic.

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic formula
  • Fragrance-free
  • Oil-free
  • Dermatologist recommended
  • Non-greasy
  • PABA-free

Cons

  • Contains methylisothiazolinone
  • Contains PEG
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

More than 4,567 Amazon users have vouched for this amazing product.

7. Best Non-Comedogenic:CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen

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4

This sunscreen is formulated by dermatologists and is a 100% mineral-based product. The lightweight formula is enriched with ceramides that keep the skin hydrated and restore the natural skin barrier. It contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide filters and is free of oxybenzone. This sunscreen is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation and the National Eczema Association.

Pros

  • Oxybenzone-free
  • Oil-free
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Allergy-tested
  • Fragrance-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Non-comedogenic

Cons

  • May leave a white cast

8. Best Sweat-Resistant:Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen

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4.5
Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen Image: Supergoop

This daily-use sunscreen by Supergoop! is lightweight and protects your skin minus the white cast and the stickiness. Its broad-spectrum formula (SPF 50 and PA++++) shields your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. It is water-resistant and has a sting-free formula, perfect for those who spend extended hours in the sun. This sunscreen contains sunflower extract and is rich in beta-carotene that provides antioxidant-shield and protects your skin from environmental aggressors. The rosemary leaf and rice bran extracts in this sunscreen have a calming effect on your skin and keep it moisturized.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • No white cast
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Water-resistant
  • Sweat-resistant

Cons

  • Greasy
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The overwhelming 551 positive reviews on Amazon show how popular this product is with happy users.

9. Best Fragrance-Free:MD Solar Sciences Mineral Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 50

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4.3
MDSolarSciences SPF 50 Mineral Creme-1.75 Oz (Package May Vary) Image: Mdsolarsciences

This is a lightweight mineral sunscreen with a matte finish. It blends fast, giving a “barely there” feeling, unlike other sunscreens. That is why it goes well under makeup, while protecting from skin damage. This broad-spectrum sunscreen has a water-resistant formula and contains 2% titanium dioxide and 17% zinc oxide. It also contains vitamin C, green tea, pomegranate, and cranberry extracts. These ingredients are rich in antioxidants to protect your skin from environmental aggressors. This tried-and-tested sunscreen is formulated by dermatologists and is compliant with EWG standards for safe ingredients. It is mild and suitable for all skin types.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Matte finish
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Clinically-proven
  • Ecocert compliant
  • Fragrance-free
  • Oil-free
  • Formulated and recommended by dermatologists

Cons

  • May leave a white cast
  • May sting the eyes
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

A whopping 451 reviews on Amazon make it obvious that users genuinely love this product.

10. Best Photostable:TIZO Ultra Zinc Mineral Sunscreen For Body & Face

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4.5

This sunscreen is formulated with 20% zinc oxide for maximum sun protection and shield against infrared radiation. It also contains vitamins C and E. These antioxidants protect the skin from damage like environmental stressors and keep it hydrated. This lightly tinted sunscreen lotion covers up dark spots and pigmentation. It is formulated without any fragrances and is gentle enough to suit sensitive skin. This is a photostable product, meaning it will not degrade when exposed to the sun.

Pros

  • Photostable
  • 100% mineral filters
  • Suitable for mature skin
  • Oil-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Dye-free
  • Preservative-free

Cons

  • May cause breakouts

11. Best For All Skin Types:Anti-Aging SPF 30 Sunscreen Moisturizer

The Anti-Aging SPF 30 Sunscreen is a two-in-one product that hydrates and protects your skin from radical damage. It is enriched with clinically-proven ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamins C and E, and licorice root extracts to soothe your skin and treat melasma. It has broad spectrum protection, blocks both UVA and UVB rays, and comes in a TSA-friendly travel size. In addition, this fantastic sunscreen is fast absorbing and clear in the finish, so there’s no white cast or greasiness.

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Oil-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Travel-friendly
  • No white cast
  • Hydrating

Cons

  • None

12. Best Silicone-Free:Ava Isa Sun-e-Serum Drops SPF 35

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4.1
Ava Isa Sun-e-Serum Drops SPF 35 Image: Cyberderm

The Ava Isa is a mineral sunscreen with a serum-like consistency. It feels lightweight and silky on the skin and is powered by 25% zinc oxide. This sunscreen blends well, has a transparent finish, and does not leave a white cast. It contains micah, an antioxidant and clinically-proven ingredient that prevents signs of premature aging and is clinically proven to reduce the damage caused by harmful free radicals.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Vegan
  • Silicone-free
  • Matte-finish
  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Sulfate-free

Cons

  • None

13. Best Sheer Coverage:Obagi Sun Shield Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen

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4.6
Obagi Sun Shield Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen Image: Obagi

This dermatologist-tested, tinted sunscreen protects your skin from UVA, UVB, and infrared rays. It contains zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and chemical sunscreen. It also helps to prevent heat-induced oxidative stress. This sunscreen is available in two shades – warm and cool. If you have a darker skin tone, this one is a must try! It is fragrance-free and suitable for all skin types.

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Best for sensitized skin
  • Sheer coverage
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • May cause breakouts

14. Best Non-Greasy:Cotz Sheer Matte Mineral Sunscreen

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4.5

This mineral sunscreen has SPF 40 and PA+++ rating, meaning it provides broad-spectrum protection to your skin. It has a sheer matte formula that covers up hyperpigmented skin and dark patches without making the skin feel greasy. The sunscreen prevents dermal heat build-up, thus protecting the skin from collagen depletion. It has an oil and fragrance-free formula that blends easily and works like a primer under your makeup.

Pros

  • Non-greasy
  • Oil-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Available in 3 shades

Cons

  • Orange tint
*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

As established, sunscreen is one of the most essential parts of our skincare routine even if you have melasma. Your choice of sunscreen product can make your melasma better or worse. Choosing the right sunscreen can fade the patches of melasma, discolored patches or hyperpigmentation. Therefore, we are providing a buying guide so that you can select the ideal sunscreen for melasma.

Things To Be Considered Before Purchasing Sunscreens For Melasma

  •  Ingredients

If you have melasma, purchase mineral-based sunscreens that contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These ingredients offer high-protection against the harmful UVA and UVB rays. You can also go for hypoallergenic formulas containing vitamin E to avoid skin irritation and make your skin appear softer and fresh.

The other important ingredient is SPF. Go with sunscreens that have SPF 30+ or more. Your sunscreen’s SPF will tell you how long it would take for the sun’s UV rays to cause skin redness. It is better to pick the ones made with ingredients that are clinically-proven and expert-recommended for effective results.

For melasma, it is highly recommended to go for oil-free and non-greasy formulas in sunscreens. Always use sunscreens that are fragrance-free, dye-free, oxybenzone-free, paraben-free, cruelty-free, gluten-free, oil-free, and allergy-tested.

  •  Formula

It is better to use a sunscreen cream or lotion rather than a sunscreen spray or powder to keep your melasma from getting triggered. Sunscreen spray or powder can be used as a top-up but should not be used as your primary sunscreen or base layer of protection.

  •  Skin Type

Avoid sunscreens with alcohol in the top five ingredients if you have dry skin. If you have sensitive skin, avoid using sunscreen with synthetic fragrances. Avoid sunscreens with oils mentioned as one of the first three ingredients if you have oily skin.

For oily skin types, a sunscreen containing aloe is typically a preferable option. If you have oily and acne-prone skin, go for water-based sunscreen, not oil-based formulas. If you have sensitive and acne-prone skin, opt for formulas that are gentle and non irritating.

  •  Reviews

To find the best sunscreen for melasma, you can also compare the reviews of various sunscreens in several e-commerce websites and make your buying decision accordingly. Scroll through reviews to understand whether the product that you are choosing has been useful to people with similar skin conditions. In addition, look for the ones with a good number of reviews and positive tester’s experiences for good results.

These are the best sunscreens for melasma. The list includes chemical, physical, tinted, and transparent sunscreens. If you are confused about which one to go for, here are some tips.

How To Find The Best Sunscreen For Melasma

Look for the following factors before you buy a sunscreen:

  • Easy To Use: Sunscreens must be easy to apply and blend. Choose one that is suitable for your skin type and blends well without a white cast. Go for water-resistant sunscreens if you sweat a lot. Stay away from sunscreens that sting the eyes.
  • Affordable: High price doesn’t indicate quality. You will get good sunscreens at an affordable rate too. Before buying one, check the price and quantity.
  • Broad-Spectrum: Choose a sunscreen that has “broad-spectrum” written on the package. It is best if you go for one that has both SPF and PA rating. This ensures your skin is safe from UVA, UVB, and infrared rays. Go for a sunscreen that has at least SPF 30 and PA ++ rating.
  • Physical Or Chemical Filters: Physical or mineral sunscreens block the sun rays, whereas chemical sunscreens absorb the sun rays and release it in the form of heat. If you have melasma, choose a physical sunscreen over the chemical ones. Mineral sunscreens have titanium dioxide andor zinc oxide as the filters, while chemical sunscreens have oxybenzone.

If you have melasma, you need to be aware of certain ingredients in your sunscreen.

What Sunscreen Ingredients To Avoid When Treating Melasma?

Avoid sunscreens that contain:

  • Oxybenzone
  • Avobenzone
  • Octisalate
  • Octinoxate

All these ingredients carry a risk of allergy and skin irritation.

Infographic: How To Apply Sunscreen Correctly For Melasma

Skipping sunscreen is a no for everyone, especially those with melasma. A good sunscreen protects your skin from developing new hyperpigmentation and reduces the appearance of existing dark spots. Check out the infographic below to know how you can apply sunscreen correctly to provide your skin with extra protection.

How To Apply Sunscreen Correctly For Melasma (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The Bottom Line

Melasma is a common skin condition that turns your skin into blue or brown patches. And exposure to UV rays may aggravate skin conditions. So your skin needs specially formulated sunscreens that will not aggravate your skin condition. For example, the EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 is a dermatologist-recommended sunscreen with skin-calming properties and the La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 is suitable for sensitive skin, while the Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen is a good option if you are looking for something lightweight and water-resistant. Sunscreen not only protects skin from sun rays, but it improves skin conditions like melasma, and uneven skin tone, reduces pigmentation and discoloration, and hydrates the skin. Consider sunscreens formulated with no nasty chemicals as they are safe for your skin and suitable for your skin type. And stay away from the sunscreens that sting the eyes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does sunscreen help melasma?

Yes. Sun exposure triggers melasma and aggravates it. Use sunscreen to protect the areas.

Can sunscreen make melasma worse?

Yes. The chemicals in the chemical sunscreen may trigger an allergic reaction and worsen melasma.

How can I remove melasma from my face naturally?

Consult a doctor. They may prescribe medication or ask you to undergo procedures like microdermabrasion and dermabrasion. You can take care of your skin at home by keeping it moisturized and using sunscreen.

Can melasma be cured permanently?

No, it can’t be cured. However, with proper care and treatment, you can improve its appearance.

What is the difference between hyperpigmentation and melasma?

Melasma is a type of hyperpigmentation and is often caused by hormonal changes. On the other hand, hyperpigmentation is an umbrella term. It refers to a condition in which the skin may darken due to factors like acne, sun damage, eczema, or any other skin condition.

Is zinc oxide sunscreen good for melasma?

Yes. If you are experiencing melasma, physical sunscreens that contain zinc oxide are the best suited to protect from UVA and UVB rays.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Shiboli Chakraborti, the author of this article, is a certified skin care coach. She is enthusiastic about skin care and has a deep understanding of the skin’s cellular demands. She believes if you have melasma, sun protection is a must. Thus, she has selected the best sunscreens for melasma after thorough research to keep your skin hydrated and protect it from harmful sun damage by forming a barrier.

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Dr. Priya Gill

Dr. Priya GillMBBCH, MRCP

Dr. Priya Gill is a consultant dermatologist in Klang, Malaysia, with over 16 years of experience. She specializes in the management of all medical and surgical dermatology issues and has a special interest in laser therapy and phototherapy. She has more than 25 publications in local and international journals to her name. She is passionate about public and patient education...read full bio

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