The 14 Best Sunscreens For Melasma In 2022

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

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Priya Gill, MBBCH, MRCP
By Shiboli Chakraborti, Certified Skin Care Coach
All products recommended on StyleCraze are independently selected by our editorial team. If you make a purchase through any of these links, we may receive a commission. Learn more about our product selection process here.

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. 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!

Our 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 2022

1. Best Oil-Free: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 niacinamide 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. This video will give you a better insight into the qualities of the product.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Not water-resistant

2. Best No-Residue: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

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

This oil-free sunscreen provides a UVA/UVB broad spectrum of SPF 50. It contains non-comedogenic zinc that creates a barrier to protect the skin from harmful sun damage. It is a hypoallergenic 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
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

  • Some people may find the smell strong

4. Best Water-Resistant: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

5. Best Matte Finish: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. This YouTuber’s review will help you get a better insight on the sunscreen’s qualities and functions.

Pros

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

Cons

  • May sting the eyes

6. Best Dermatologist-Recommended: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

7. Best Non-Comedogenic: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

8. Best Sweat-Resistant: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

9. Best Fragrance-Free: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

10. Best Photostable: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

11. Best For All Skin Types: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

12. Best Silicone-Free: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

13. Best Sheer Coverage: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

14. Best Non-Greasy: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

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.

Melasma is a common skin condition that turns your skin into blue or brown patches. And such conditions might get worse due to exposure to UV rays. So your skin needs specially formulated sunscreens that will not aggravate your skin condition. Besides protecting your skin from sun rays, the best sunscreens for melasma improve your skin tone, reduce pigmentation and discoloration and hydrate your 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.

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.

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.

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Shiboli has a master’s degree in English literature from The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, and is a certified... more

Dr. Priya Gill

(MBBCH, MRCP)
Dr. Priya Gill is a consultant dermatologist in Klang, Malaysia. She specializes in the management of all medical and surgical... more

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