The 14 Best Sunscreens For Melasma In 2020

by Harini Natarajan
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Melasma is a condition where you develop brownish spots and patches on your face. It is common during pregnancy and is triggered by the hormones. UV exposure can further intensify the spots. That is why you need a good sunscreen. If you are struggling with melasma and do not know which sunscreen is best for you, we have got you covered. Scroll down to find our recommendations for the best sunscreens for melasma.

Products
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EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
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Think baby Sunscreen SPF 50+Check Price
Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen
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Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection
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La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60
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Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Mineral Sunscreen
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CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen
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Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen
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MD Solar Sciences Mineral Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 50
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TIZO Ultra Zinc Mineral Sunscreen For Body & Face
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The 14 Top-Rated Sunscreens For Melasma In 2020

1. EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

This lightweight sunscreen is specially formulated for sensitive skin and rosacea and acne-prone skin. The EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum sunscreen contains niacin amide that calms irritated skin and keeps it nourished. It also improves the skin tone by reducing pigmentation and discoloration. The sunscreen contains hyaluronic acid that keeps the skin hydrated and lactic acid that has a mild exfoliating effect on your skin. This facial sunscreen is
recommended by dermatologists and the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Suits all skin types
  • Paraben-free
  • Non-comedogenic

Cons

  • Not water-resistant

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2. Think baby Sunscreen SPF 50+

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 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 up to 80 minutes. This is a biodegradable and no-aerosol formula.

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

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3. Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen

This is a 100% mineral sunscreen. It contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide that block the harmful UV rays from damaging your skin. The formula also contains kakadu plum, eucalyptus, and red algae extracts that provide additional nourishment to your skin and keep it hydrated. This sunscreen has a sheer tint that helps cover the dark spots to make your skin appear flawless. It is available in three shades for fair, medium, dark skin tones. This non-greasy sunscreen is water-resistant up to 80 minutes, reef-friendly, and hypoallergenic.

Pros

  • Biodegradable
  • Water-resistant
  • Oil-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • PABA-free
  • Petrolatum-free
  • SLS-free
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Pediatrician-tested
  • Not tested on animals
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • May cause breakouts

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4. Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection

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, 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 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.

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • Non-messy
  • No white cast
  • Non-greasy
  • Fragrance-free
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • Faulty packaging

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5. La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60

The La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 is a fast-absorbing formula. This lightweight sunscreen can be used on the face and the body. It gives a velvety finish and is non-greasy. 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.

Pros

  • Matte finish
  • Non-greasy
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Paraben-free
  • Allergy-tested
  • Oxybenzone-free

Cons

  • May sting the eyes

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6. Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Mineral Sunscreen

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. 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

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7. CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen

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 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
  • Allergy-tested
  • Fragrance-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Non-comedogenic

Cons

  • May leave a white cast

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8. Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen

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

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9. MD Solar Sciences Mineral Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 50

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. 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 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
  • Ecocert compliant
  • Fragrance-free
  • Oil-free

Cons

  • May leave a white cast
  • May sting the eyes

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10. TIZO Ultra Zinc Mineral Sunscreen For Body & Face

This sunscreen is formulated with 20% zinc oxide for maximum sun protection. It also contains vitamins C and E. These antioxidants protect the skin from environmental damage and keep it hydrated. This lightly tinted sunscreen 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
  • Oil-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Dye-free
  • Preservative-free

Cons

  • May cause breakouts

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11. Skin Ceuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50

This is a tinted sunscreen lotion with 100% mineral filters that provide broad-spectrum protection. It is suitable for all skin types and specially formulated for mature, sensitized skin and those who have discoloration. It is lightweight and has a translucent finish. It contains Artemia salina, a plankton extract that helps improve the skin’s natural resistance to UV rays and heat-induced stress. The sheer tint goes well with all skin tones and does not leave a white cast. This sunscreen is ideal for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

Pros

  • Water-resistant up to 40 minutes
  • Paraben-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • Expensive

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12. Ava Isa Sun-e-Serum Drops SPF 35

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 that prevents signs of 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

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13. Obagi Sun Shield Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen

This 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. It is fragrance-free and suitable for all skin types.

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Sheer coverage
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • May cause breakouts

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14. Cotz Sheer Matte Mineral Sunscreen

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 pigments and discolorations 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

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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 blends well without a white cast. Go for water-resistant sunscreens if you sweat a lot.
  • 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 physical sunscreens 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.

Sun exposure worsens melasma as the UV rays increase melanocyte activity, intensifying the issue. Hence, if you have melasma, sun protection is a must. Use any of the sunscreens from the list and ensure that you cover up your skin while going out. Consult a doctor in case of any skin irritation or changes in patches.

Expert’s Answers for Readers 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.

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Harini Natarajan

As Chief Editor, Harini sets the tone and editorial direction for StyleCraze to deliver engaging, interesting, and authentic content revolving around women's health, wellness, and beauty. She has over 14 years of experience in content writing and editing for online media. She specializes in the areas of Beauty, Lifestyle, and Health & Wellness and is proficient in Medical Sciences (Biology, Human Anatomy and Physiology, and Biochemistry). Her background in Biomedical Engineering helps her decode and interpret the finer nuances of scientific research for her team. Harini is a certified bibliophile and a closet poet. She also loves dancing and traveling to offbeat destinations.
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