The Best Sunscreens for Melasma According to Top Dermatologists

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The Best Sunscreens for Melasma According to Top Dermatologists featured image

One of the most frustrating skin issues, melasma is a patchy form of discoloration that affects nearly 5 million people in the United States. It is notoriously difficult to treat, but, one thing we do know is that sunscreen is paramount. Here, we unpack what melasma is and why sunscreen use is so important when you have it. Plus, the best sunscreens for melasma according to top dermatologists.

What Is Melasma?

“Melasma is a common pigment issue in the skin that shows up as brown patches,” says Campbell, CA dermatologist Amelia K. Hausauer, MD. “More women get it than men, and usually on the cheeks, chin, forehead, and/or above the lip.” You may have heard of the “melasma mustache.” Melasma is also affected by hormonal shifts. As a result, it can appear during pregnancy or for those taking birth control or other hormone medications.

“This type of pigmentation is very multifactorial. Ultraviolet light, heat and even visible light can contribute to flare-ups,” says Dr. Hausauer. “I saw an uptick when people were working from home during the pandemic because they assumed being inside meant no need for photo-protection. But, it turns out your overhead lights, blue light from computer screens/devices, and UVA rays that come through window glass can really pack a punch.”

I lived in South Florida in my mid-20s, and my melasma was the worst its ever been. It literally looked like I had dirt all over my face. I couldn’t go out without a thick layer of foundation and concealer. I wanted so badly to let my skin breathe, and I admired my friends’ glowing complexions, but that just wasn’t in the cards for me then. This was also when I learned how important sunscreen was for melasma.

Why Sunscreen Is Especially Critical If You Have Melasma

“If you suffer from melasma, it’s so important that you are using mineral sunscreens that contain physical blocking agents, which reflect the sun,” says Pittsburgh dermatologist Lindsey Zubritsky, MD. “This means that the sun never even has a chance to stimulate melanin production or hyperpigmentation. Specifically when choosing a mineral-based sunscreen for melasma, look for ones with iron oxides. Studies have shown that protection against melasma is enhanced when iron oxides are combined with zinc oxide and titanium oxide. This is compared to those sunscreens that do not contain iron oxides.” 

Bloomfield Hills, MI dermatologist Linda C. Honet, MD, says there are so many elegant and effective mineral sunscreens on the market these days. “I’ve also leaned more toward physical sunscreens for myself as I get older and because I also suffer from melasma. Plus, physical sunscreens may be more effective for pigmentary disorders like melasma because they can also block indoor lighting. Although chemical and physical sunscreens are equally effective in protecting against UV damage and the sun, physical sunscreens containing zinc oxide, titanium dioxide and iron oxide tend to be better tolerated by sensitive skin in my experience. They can also protect against indoor lighting, which is a significant trigger for melasma.”

The Best Sunscreens for Melasma

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EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 ($43)

“I love EltaMD SPF 46 Clear because it’s very soothing and natural with a heavy zinc content.” —Chico, CA dermatologist Kafele Hodari, MD

“I love the EltaMD UV Clear. It is a perfect daily-wear sunscreen, as it goes on with a very sheer quality and doesn’t cause acne. In fact, there are benefits of it for acne-prone individuals. As a dermatologist, the thing I would love every person to know is that when it comes to melasma, the most important thing is to be protected all the time. There is no substitute for having a sunscreen on at the right time and no do-overs if you are caught outside in the heavy sun when you aren’t expecting it. That’s why it pays to wear this sunscreen every day, even in winter!” —Omaha, NE dermatologist Joel Schlessinger, MD

Size: 1.7 oz | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, niacinamide | Finish: Transparent, natural

BUY NOW – $43

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skinbetter science sunbetter Advanced Mineral Protection Tone Smart SPF 75 ($75)

“In reality, any sunscreen that someone uses will be one of the most important steps someone can take for their melasma, but my go-to is a physical sunscreen. One of my favorites is skinbetter science Tone Smart.” —Fort Lauderdale, FL dermatologist Dr. Matthew Elias

“This is a 100-percent mineral, non-nano sunscreen with no shaking required. It uses patented technology to provide an extraordinary level of sun protection against UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays, as well as protection beyond UV, including blue light, pollution and infrared radiation. It’s also water-resistant for 80 minutes.” —Monroe, LA dermatologist Janine Hopkins, MD

“Strict sun protection for patients with melasma is an essential component of treatment and for preventing relapses. I recommend mineral-based sunscreens that are tinted to block ultraviolet light and visible light, and newer formulations have been developed for all skin types and complexions. One I like is skinbetter science sunbetter Tone Smart SPF 75 (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide).” —Glenn Dale, MD dermatologist Valerie D. Callender, MD

Size: 1.7 fl. oz. | Key ingredients: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, green tea extract | Finish: tinted, dewy

BUY NOW – $75

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Lion Pose GHOST-BUSTER SPF 42 ($46)

“For my patients with melasma, I typically recommend a mineral sunscreen for sun protection, and hence why I love the Lion Pose, which is 100-percent mineral. Additionally, it is very hydrating on the skin, which is important especially if patients develop dryness from other skin ingredients for their melasma treatment. —Newport Beach, CA dermatologist Suchismita Tia Paul, MD 

“I love this tinted formulation for melasma especially, as iron oxides help to protect from visible light, which is a trigger for melasma in darker skin tones!” —San Diego dermatologist Laura Scott, MD

Size: 1.7 fl. oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, squalane, glutathione | Finish: tinted, dewy

BUY NOW – $46

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TruSkin Mineral SPF 30 Sunscreen with Vitamin C ($20)

“This is a great choice because it checks all the boxes: The sunscreen is a physical blocker, which is great for sensitive skin, and blocks ultraviolet radiation well to protect against melasma. It also has a broad-spectrum SPF 30, applies smoothly and hydrates with squalane. I love squalane for hydration. And, it has a gentle form of vitamin C for free-radical protection, which we know is another way melasma forms. By blocking both direct radiation and free-radical changes, skin is better protected against melasma formation. Not only is it a great choice for under makeup, but it’s also a smart choice for people who want to streamline their morning regimen.” —New York dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, MD

Size: 1.7 oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, vitamin C, aloe vera | Finish: natural

BUY NOW – $20

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ISDIN Photo Eryfotona Ageless Ultralight Emulsion SPF 50 ($75)

“Sun protection is arguably the single most important part of melasma care. I like broad-spectrum mineral-based sunscreens with a tint. The tinted color results from iron oxide, which has been shown to block visible light, another culprit in the worsening of melasma. One of my favorites is ISDIN Ageless.” —Campbell, CA dermatologist Amelia K. Hausauer, MD

“This is one of my all-time favorite sunscreens because the sunscreen is lightweight, blends easily and patented DNA repairsomes help repair past sun damage. In addition, Ageless contains iron oxides, which are an ingredient known to be helpful in protecting skin prone to hyperpigmentation from the effects of visible light.” —Chicago dermatologist Caroline Robinson, MD

Size: 3.4 fl. oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, DNA Repairsomes, peptides | Finish: tinted, dewy

BUY NOW – $75

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Alastin HydraTint Pro Mineral Sunscreen SPF 36 ($64)

“For melasma, I like mineral sunblocks rather than chemical sunscreens: Imagine putting on a raincoat that blocks everything compared to a sponge trying to absorb stuff, to compare the two. My favorite is Alastin HydraTint. I am not a fan of mixing sunscreen into moisturizer as it ‘dumbs down’ both formulas and most people don’t need sun protection to walk the dog or go to their car at 8 a.m.” —West Palm Beach, FL dermatologist Kenneth R. Beer, MD

“My favorite sunscreen for people with melasma is really any one that they will routinely use and feel comfortable using that has at least an SPF 30. I tend to like the chemical-free mineral sunscreens, and my go-to is the Alastin HydraTint. It’s a great one because it has a little bit of makeup-like coverage, but still gets the job done as a sunscreen.” —Delray Beach, FL dermatologist Dr. Janet Allenby

Size: 2.6 oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, phytoene, phytofluene | Finish: tinted, dewy

BUY NOW – $64

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Dr. Loretta Urban Antioxidant Sunscreen SPF 40 ($55)

“This SPF blends easily into various skin tones and types, and feels good on the skin. Additionally, we have antioxidants in our SPFs to minimize the free-radical damage that we get both from UV, as well as pollution. Research shows that melasma is greatly helped by a tinted SPF that contains iron oxide. This sunscreen features iron oxide and is ideal for melasma! It’s a hybrid formula—zinc plus chemical sunscreen actives—and also features lipochroman, the strongest of all the antioxidants available for topical use.” —Aventura, FL dermatologist Loretta Ciraldo, MD

Size: 1.7 fl. oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, homosalate octisalate, octocrylene | Finish: tinted, natural

BUY NOW – $55

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Colorescience SunForgettable Total Protection Face Shield Flex SPF 50 ($54)

“This is a lightweight, broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen that uses 12-percent zinc oxide, iron oxide, antioxidants and a patented EnviroScreen technology to protect against UVA/UVB, blue light, pollution and infrared radiation, making it especially good for those with melasma. It is available in four different shades, making it easy to blend with your skin for natural coverage, and uses iron oxide pigments to adapt to your specific tone. It does this without leaving the skin feeling greasy, making it good for all skin types.” —New York dermatologist Marisa K. Garshick, MD

“This is my favorite sunscreen for melasma. Not only are there several different color options to match almost all skin types, but it also contains a specific type of technology that protects the skin from UVA/UVB, blue light, pollution and infrared radiation. Those who suffer from melasma are particularly prone to flaring from blue light.” —Pittsburgh dermatologist Lindsey Zubritsky, MD

Size: 1.8 fl. oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, phytoene, phytofluene | Finish: tinted, dewy

BUY NOW – $54

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Revision Skincare Intellishade Original ($84)

“Sun protection is the most important component of any treatment for melasma. Because of this, it is important to find sun protection that is not only effective, but also one that you like to use every day, even on cloudy days! I love Revision Intellishade because it is SPF 45, blends in to most skin types, and can replace your makeup—it leaves the skin glowy and even.” —Houston dermatologist Jennifer Segal, MD

Size: 1.8 fl. oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, vitamin C | Finish: tinted, dewy

BUY NOW – $84

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Avène High Protection Tinted Compact SPF 50 ($42)

“I like this one because it is hypoallergenic, has the physical blocks needed—titanium dioxide and zinc oxide—and it covers your skin beautifully! What more can a melasma patient ask for? It protects and covers!” —Miami dermatologist Dr. Deborah Longwill

“The Avène SPF 50 mineral-based compact is absolutely essential and has been a particular favorite of mine for years. It is a cosmetically elegant, non-irritating sunblock with superb coverage and easy to reapply throughout the day.” —Dr. Segal

Size: 0.3 oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, vitamin E | Finish: tinted, natural

BUY NOW – $42

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SkinMedica Essential Defense Mineral Shield SPF 35 ($40)

“Melasma needs zinc, titanium or iron oxide in front of UV, but also evening laptop blue light—studies have shown that iron oxide (very similar to other oxides) helps prevent and improve melasma patients exposed to blue light. My favorite is SkinMedica Essential Defense.” —New York dermatologist Orit Markowitz, MD

Size: 1.85 oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, caffeine | Finish: natural

BUY NOW – $40

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Supergoop! Mineral Sheerscreen SPF 30 ($40)

“Melasma is a very multifactorial, not only UVA and UVC, also UVB, infrared radiation, heat, inflammation and hormones. Therefore you want a sunscreen that protects you from all of these factors. I also prefer sunscreens that contain blue light blockers, because in addition to UV radiation, sitting in front of the computer all day being exposed to blue light can also exacerbate melasma. Supergoop! Mineral Sheer Screen is a zinc oxide sunscreen that delivers broad-spectrum SPF 30 and helps filter blue light.” —New York dermatologist Julie Russak, MD

Size: 1.5 fl. oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, clover extract, squalane | Finish: natural

BUY NOW – $40

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Sun Bum Daily Mineral Moisturizer SPF 30 ($22)

“Because melasma is triggered by heat and UV rays, you’ll want to opt for a mineral SPF that physically blocks UV rays. I love Sun Bum’s Daily Mineral Moisturizer SPF 30 because it provides both SPF and skin-care benefits, and doesn’t leave a white cast on the skin.” —Dr. Zubritsky

Size: 1.7 fl. oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, banana, wild rosella | Finish: tinted, dewy

BUY NOW – $22

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La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 ($37)

“I like physical sunscreens because with melasma, you need to use a sunscreen daily to help treat and prevent it. Also, there is some evidence that visible light—not just UV light—can cause melasma, therefore physical blocking of the skin with mineral-based zinc and titanium sunscreens like this one from La Roche-Posay help block visible light.” —Toronto dermatologist Sandy Skotnicki, MD

Size: 1.7 fl. oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, vitamin E | Finish: matte

BUY NOW – $37

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Tower 28 SunnyDays SPF 30 ($32)

“This is a tinted foundation that is a rich, dewy formula, comes in multiple shades and can provide coverage of uneven skin for those with melasma or other conditions of hyperpigmentation.” —Dr. Robinson

Size: 1.0 fl. oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, jojoba esters, aloe leaf water | Finish: tinted, natural

BUY NOW – $32

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SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 50 ($42)

“I recommend only physical sunscreens for my melasma patients. Chemical sunscreens help stop the effects of the sun by absorbing the UV rays chemically, and some chemical degradation products from sunscreen can be inflammatory, which can trigger melasma. I like SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion, an all-mineral SPF 50 sunscreen that not only contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to block UV rays, but also iron oxide, which is powerful in protecting against blue light. It also has a nice lightweight, universal tint.” —Dr. Russak

“This SPF contains an ingredient derived from plankton that helps protect skin from both UV and heat induced stress, which is important because melasma can be triggered by heat, as well as UV. As a physical sunscreen, Physical Fusion provides broad-spectrum protection and includes iron oxides to protect from blue light.” —Dallas dermatologist Rebecca Marcus, MD

Size: 1.7 fl. oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, plankton extract | Finish: tinted, natural

BUY NOW – $42

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Cetaphil Sheer Mineral SPF 50 Stick ($8.50)

“This is a 100-percent mineral, microbiome-gentle formula with antioxidant vitamin E formulated to be gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin.” —Dr. Robinson 

Size: 0.5 oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, vitamin E | Finish: natural

BUY NOW – $8.50

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Vichy Capital Soleil Tinted Mineral Sunscreen for Face SPF 60 ($35)

“It’s tinted, so it is great if you have melasma to help cover while protecting your skin. It is also a 100-percent mineral sunscreen with titanium dioxide. I like this one because it is nongreasy, fragrance-free, paraben-free, and noncomedogenic, which is important for my patients who are also acne-prone.” —Dallas dermatologist Elizabeth Bahar Houshmand, MD

Size: 1.52 fl. oz. | Key ingredients: titanium dioxide, Vichy Volcanic Water | Finish: tinted, dewy

BUY NOW – $35

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MONAT Sun Veil Daily Mineral Protection SPF 30 ($42)

“I love that this sunscreen is a physical sunscreen, meaning that it physically blocks the rays of the sun—unlike a chemical sunscreen that absorbs the rays of the sun and converts it to heat. For people who suffer from pigmentary disorders like melasma or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, this product is my go-to.” —New York dermatologist Lian Mack, MD

Size: 1.7 fl. oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide | Finish: natural

BUY NOW – $42

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ISDIN Isdinceutics Mineral Brush On the Go Facial Powder 50 ($60)  

“This is meant to be used in addition to, not to replace, your daily facial sunscreen. This is a mineral power containing both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that can be applied throughout the day as needed on top of sunscreen and makeup. It comes in a small, easy-to-use travel-size with a brush-on applicator.” —Charlotte, NC dermatologist Gilly S. Munavalli, MD

Size: 0.5 oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, iron oxide | Finish: matte

BUY NOW – $60

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EltaMD UV Daily SPF 40 ($39)

“All sunscreens should have an SPF of 30 or higher, be broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) and be nonirritating, as irritation and the resulting redness can worsen melasma. EltaMD Daily (tinted or non-tinted) is my go-to as well because it’s effective, nonirritating and nice to use.” —Dr. Segal

Size: 1.7 oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, octinoxate, hyaluronic acid | Finish: dewy

BUY NOW – $39

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SkinMedica Total Defense + Repair SPF 34 ($70)

“This is my favorite sunscreen for melasma because it gives broad-spectrum coverage against UVA, UVB and also infrared. It is also cosmetically elegant, which makes it easier to use on a daily basis.” —Greenwich, CT dermatologist Lynne Haven, MD

Size: 2.3 oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, octinoxate, octisalate | Finish: natural

BUY NOW – $70

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MDSolarSciences Solar Stick SPF 40 ($22)

“This is a lightweight and easy-to-apply sheer, tinted mineral stick that I love for reapplication. It dries matte, so it’s great for oilier skin types, but also other skin types as well. The iron oxides in this formula may be helpful for those prone to dark spots by providing added visible light protection.” —Dr. Robinson

Size: 0.6 oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, vitamin C | Finish: matte

BUY NOW – $22

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ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica SPF 50+ ($70)

“ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica is an SPF 50+ targeted for actinic damage, but I also recommend it for my melasma patients because it contains repair enzymes that help repair damage caused by the sun. We know that melasma is exacerbated by the sun, so this product helps protect and repair at the same time.” —Dr. Russak

“Ideally, those with melasma should use a physical sunscreen with zinc oxide, titanium dioxide and iron oxides for the broadest-spectrum protection from UV light, blue light and visible light. ISDIN Eryforotona Actinica contains DNA repairsomes, which are enzymes that repair past sun damage when exposed to UV radiation. Not only is this sunscreen able to repair damage, but it is also a mineral sunscreen, which provides the broadest-spectrum protection from UV and visible light.” —Dr. Marcus

Size: 3.4 fl. oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, DNA Repairsomes, vitamin E | Finish: natural

BUY NOW – $70

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Colorescience Even Up Clinical Pigment Perfector SPF 50 ($155)

“For patients with melasma, I love this chemical-free Colorescience sunscreen. It treats, hides and prevents melasma simultaneously.” —Fresno, CA dermatologist Kathleen Behr, MD

Size: 1.0 fl. oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, vitamin C | Finish: tinted, natural

BUY NOW – $155

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Neova DNA Damage Control Silc Sheer 2.0 SPF 40 ($63)

“This is a great one for patients with melasma because it has multiple active ingredients. It’s hydrating and helps to cover flaws if you are dealing with pigment. It also has plankton extract in it, which helps repair sun damage, as well as citric acid, which helps with skin cell renewal to reduce the appearance of age spots, wrinkles and an uneven skin tone.” —Dr. Houshmand

Size: 2.5 fl. oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, octinoxate | Finish: tinted, natural

BUY NOW – $63

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Revision Skincare Intellishade TruPhysical SPF 45 ($84)

“This is all-in-one mineral sunscreen and moisturizer is a great option for daily use. It contains antioxidants to help fight free-radical damage and protect the skin from other environmental stressors. It simultaneously brightens and hydrates, and also contains iron oxides, which can help to provide added protection against blue light, making it a great option for those with melasma.” —Dr. Garshick

“This is a mineral-based tinted daily facial sunscreen containing both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. It also contains antioxidants and vitamin C for skin protection from the environment and to help with skin tone. For a mineral sunscreen, it feels lightweight and rubs in well on the skin.” —Dr. Munavalli

Size: 1.7 oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, iron oxide | Finish: tinted, natural

BUY NOW – $84

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Dr. Loretta Universal Glow Daily Defense Mineral Sunscreen Fluid SPF 40 ($60)

“This tinted sunscreen features antioxidant protection plus a super hydrating active called ectoin to give skin an immediate and long-lasting luminosity on application.” —Aventura, FL dermatologist Loretta Ciraldo, MD

Size: 1.7 fl. oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, Lipochroman, ectoin | Finish: tinted, dewy

BUY NOW – $60

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skinbetter science sunbetter SHEER SPF 56 Sunscreen Stick ($55)

“For melasma, I always recommend mineral sunscreen that’s water-resistant. I have patients layer it over liquid sunscreen lotion in the areas of melasma. Patients can easily apply makeup over that.” —Nanuet, NY dermatologist Heidi Waldorf, MD

Size: 0.7 oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, plankton extract | Finish: matte

BUY NOW – $55

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Supergoop! Daily Dose Vitamin C + SPF 40 Serum ($46)

“Though there is still some mystery around melasma, we do know that exposure to UV plays a large role in its formation. That makes sunscreen use critical. This SPF product features vitamin C, one of the best ingredients for improving the appearance of hyperpigmentation, including melasma. Vitamin C and SPF in tandem is clinically proven to heighten your sun protection. Considering that vitamin C is a tyrosinase inhibitor—meaning that it helps reduce your melanocytes’ ability to create the excess pigment that results in melasma—this product could be seen as a one-two punch against discoloration.” —Toronto dermatologist Geeta Yadav, MD

Size: 1.0 fl. oz. | Key ingredients: avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene | Finish: dewy

BUY NOW – $46

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skinbetter science Sunbetter Sheer SPF 70 Sunscreen Lotion ($75)

“This sunscreen is broad-spectrum and has an SPF greater than 45, which is the level I always recommend. An elegant, effective sunscreen will improve compliance and everyday use, which are essential to any skin-care regimen. Who wants a sunscreen that balls up, feels like a layer of plastic on the skin, or makes you look like a ghost? It will for sure end up sitting idly unused on the bathroom countertop! And, let’s not forget that protective eyewear, hats and UPF clothing are fantastic and should be a priority for anyone wanting more sun protection, but are especially important for those suffering from melasma.” —Bloomfield Hills, MI dermatologist Linda C. Honet, MD

Size: 1.7 fl. oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, green tea extract | Finish: natural

BUY NOW – $75

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SkinCeuticals Daily Brightening UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 30 ($60)

“This is a great option for those who are experiencing melasma. It contains tranexamic acid to brighten, as well as 7-percent glycerin to hydrate. Additionally, it has mica for reflection properties. And, of course, it offers broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection!” —Dr. Schlessinger

Size: 1.0 fl. oz. | Key ingredients: avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene | Finish: dewy

BUY NOW – $60

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Doris Day MD Vitamin E-Ssential Sunscreen ($48)

“For my patients with melasma, I recommend using a mineral, physical sunscreen like these four of my favorites rather than one that is absorbed into the skin. My goal is for the UV rays to be reflected off the skin before they can reach the pigment forming cells, aka melanocytes. It is also best to have broad-spectrum protection, even against blue light and some wavelengths of infrared light, which can also exacerbate melasma. I have my patients use a vitamin C serum under their sunscreen, too, for added antioxidant protection, and I make sure they know to reapply the sunscreen several times a day.” —New York dermatologist Doris Day, MD

Size: 2.1 oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, hyaluronic acid | Finish: tinted, natural

BUY NOW – $48

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Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50 ($69) 

“Sunscreen is only effective if you reapply every two hours — and how many people can say with a straight face that they reapply? A powder sunscreen like this one makes SPF touch-ups really easy, even if you’re already wearing makeup. Beyond having a tinted formula that can help blur the look of melasma, Colorescience’s powder sunscreen protects against blue light, UVA/UVB, and infrared—knowing there’s a heat component in melasma formation, that infrared defense is a serious bonus.” —Dr. Yadav

“It contains iron oxides, which are effective for preventing the worsening of melasma. Also, reapplication throughout the day is easy with this formulation, which is even more critical if you have melasma or hyperpigmentation. It comes in four shades and can even be applied on top of makeup.” —Dr. Houshmand

Size: 0.21 oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, hyaluronic acid | Finish: tinted, natural

BUY NOW – $69

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Z Hydrating Tint SPF 44 ($47)

“A physical sunscreen formula is what I recommend for combatting melasma, over chemical sunscreens. Physical sunscreens consist of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are active ingredients that sit on top of the skin and deflect ultraviolet light, infrared radiation and visible light that cause melasma. My Hydrating Tint SPF 44 is a tinted sunscreen and moisturizer all in one. Most importantly, you have to find a sunscreen you love so you will wear it every day, even if you aren’t going outside. The rays that cause pigmentation and melasma even come through our home windows.” —Baton Rouge, LA dermatologist Ann C. Zedlitz, MD

Size: 2.1 oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, hyaluronic acid | Finish: tinted, natural

BUY NOW – $47

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MMSkincare Sheer Clear SPF 50 ($39) 

“This is mineral-based, lightweight and perfect for everyday use. The ingredients are gentle and safe for sensitive skin. Ingredients such as niacinamide help to visibly brighten and reduce the appearance of discoloration, such as melasma, as well as blemishes and uneven skin tone. Lactic and hyaluronic acids are gentle and keep skin hydrated and calm and promote a more even tone. And of course, your skin is protected with SPF 50.” —New York dermatologist Ellen Marmur, MD

Size: 2.22 oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, octinozate, niacinamide | Finish: dewy

BUY NOW – $39

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EltaMD UV Restore Broad Spectrum SPF 40 Facial Sunscreen ($42)

“This comes in both a tinted and non-tinted forms. This is a mineral sunscreen that contains both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to protect skin from UV rays. This also has antioxidants to further protect skin from environmental free radicals. It is oil-free, fragrance-free and noncomedogenic, which is great for any skin type, even those with sensitive and acne-prone skin.” —Dr. Munavalli

Size: 2.0 oz. | Key ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, squalane | Finish: natural

BUY NOW – $45

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