Melasma creams have several names which include: bleaching creams, skin lightening creams, fading creams, and skin brighteners. Despite the difference in names they all have the same common goal which is to lighten your skin.
There are some creams for melasma that require a prescription from a doctor, and then there are some that can be bought over the counter without a prescription. In this article we’ll discuss some of the best creams for melasma and how to use them to get the best results.
How Melasma Creams Work
It’s important to know how these creams work to fade away melasma discoloration. Generally, all these topical creams for melasma work the same way and that’s by either destroying the cells in the skin that produce melanin, or by inhibiting the process that produces new melanin in the skin.
Skin Lightening Agents
How effective a certain cream is at removing melasma will depend on the type of skin whitening agents or ingredients it contains. Some skin whitening agents only work for epidermal (outer layer of the skin) melasma, while others work more effectively for dermal (deeper layers of the skin) melasma. Each ingredient in a skin whitening cream has a specific action that helps fade away pigmentation.
Some of the most commonly used skin whitening agents include:
By far the most popular type of skin lightening agent used in melasma treatment creams is hydroquinone. This skin lightening ingredient is so popular because it’s very effective at reducing the melanin pigment in your skin and fading away discoloration. It does this by inhibiting the activity of the enzyme used to create melanin.
However, it’s also a very controversial medication because it can cause carcinogenic side effects (cause skin cells to become cancerous) if used for too long.
Other risks associated with using creams that contain hydroquinone include:
- Damaged skin pigment cells.
- Lighten areas on the skin that are not affected by melasma.
- Bumpy or thick skin.
- Increased risk of developing more hyper-pigmentation in the future.
- Can cause ochronosis (blue tint on the skin).
Keep in mind these side effects usually only occur if the hydroquinone cream has been used for longer than what was prescribed.
For these reasons hydroquinone has actually been banned in several countries in Asia as well as Europe. Hydroquinone is still legal in the United States and can be bought over the counter in 2% strength. Anything that contains 4% or higher concentration of hydroquinone will require a prescription from a doctor.
Dermatologists usually prescribe 4% concentration of this skin bleaching ingredient, but you can get it as high as 8%. Normally just the hydroquinone is enough by itself to fade away dark spots, but sometimes it’s combined with other skin lightening agents such as tretinoin and cortisone to make it more effective.
You should start noticing hydroquinone’s skin lightening effects in about four weeks of consistently applying it. In some cases it may take a little longer than a month to see improvements.
If for some reason you don’t see any skin lightening effect within 3 months you should discontinue using the hydroquinone cream and go back to your dermatologist.
Another popular skin lightening ingredient commonly found in melasma creams is kojic acid. This pigment inhibitor is naturally derived from a variety of different species of mushrooms. The fermentation of rice during the brewing process of the Japenese wine known as Sake can also produce kojic acid.
Since it’s a naturally derived skin lightener it’s considered a much safer skin lightening agent compared to hydroquinone. The reason most people’s skin can handle kojic acid better than hydroquinone is because it penetrates skin layers and inhibits the production of melanin in that one specific spot you’re applying.
Another popular skin lightening ingredient is licorice root extract. This skin lightening agent is believed by many to be a much better alternative to the chemical hydroquinone because it helps lighten your skin without all the side effects.
Glabridin is the main component in licorice that inhibits the tyrosinase enzyme responsible for the production of the melanin pigment in the skin. Other names licorice extract might have when listed as an ingredient are glycyrrhizin extract, dipostassium glycyrrhizate, and glycyrrhiza glabra.
Just like any other skin lightening agent, don’t expect licorice root extract to bless you with lighter skin overnight. Consistently applying the extract to the affected areas on your face each day is the best way to achieve the results you want. It may take up to 2 months to begin seeing noticeable results in your skin.
Mulberry leaf extract comes from the mulberry tree which is primarily found in China. This natural skin lightening ingredient has been used for years to help even out skin tone and improve other skin conditions.
This natural skin lightening ingredient helps reduce the appearance of melasma by inhibiting the tyrosinase enzyme. The active compounds in the mulberry extract that gives it skin lightening abilities are bis-phenylderivatives, polyhydroxylated mono, and prenylated.
Along with its skin lightening benefits it contains a lot of antioxidants that can help slow down the aging process by reducing the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and promoting smooth skin.
White mulberry and paper mulberry are two types of mulberry extract that are used as skin lightening ingredients in some melasma creams.
Retinoid is a type of chemical compound that’s derived from vitamin A. It helps fade away brown spots due to melasma by increasing cell turnover rate until the clear skin beneath it is revealed.
The reason retinoid is used as a skin lightening agent in a lot of creams is because it fades away the discolored cells while keeping your skin hydrated so you don’t experience much irritation if any. Other benefits retinoid has on the skin include:
- Improve texture
- Tightens up pores
- Stimulates blood circulation
- Increases collagen production
Also known as retinol, retinoid creams for face are a great alternative if you can’t get a prescription for a hydroquinone cream. It may take as much as 6 months to begin noticing results with using a retinoid based cream.
Extracted from the bearberry tree, arbutrin helps lighten dark spots by inhibiting the enzymes that stimulate the melanocyte cells which produce the melanin pigment. Alpha-Arbutin and Beta-Arbutin are the 2 forms this skin lightening ingredient is used in skin brightening creams.
Other benefits arbutin might have on your skin include moisturizing dry skin, fading freckles, and reducing acne scars. It can take a while to see noticeable results with using creams with arbutin by itself. It’s always more effective when combined with other skin lightening agents.
Niacinamide is another popular ingredient you’ll find on the label of a lot of creams for melasma. It’s a form of vitamin B3 (niacin) and was originally created for the treatment of pellagra. It helps the skin in a number of ways besides just lightening dark patches on the face.
Some of the benefits niacinamide have on the skin include improving fine lines, strengthening weak skin surfaces, and improving the appearance of pores that are enlarged. As a skin lightening ingredient, niacinamide is very effective at reducing hyperpigentation and age spots.
Unlike the other skin lightening agents listed here niacinamide doesn’t treat melasma by inhibiting the activity of the tyrosinase enzyme. It works by inhibiting the melanosome transfer from melanocytes to keratinocytes.
Check out this study on the effect of niacinamide on hyperpigmentation.
Derived from sugar cane, this natural skin lightening agent is part of a group of molecules called Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA).
There are actually five different forms of glycolic acids out there, but the glycolic acid that comes from cane sugar is the most effective when it comes to revealing brighter and lighter skin. It works by exfoliating and removing the dead cells on the outer layer of the skin.
This natural skin lightening agent also helps stimulate more collagen production, increase skin healing, reducing fine lines, reducing wrinkles, and fades away scars on the skin.
Gigawhite is a very popular ingredient used in a variety of different skin lightening creams for melasma on face. It’s often listed as an active ingredient on certain creams because it safely and effectively lightens and evens out skin tone.
It is made by extracting the tyrosinase inhibiting ability from several plants in the Alpine region of Switzerland such as Yarrow, Common Speedwell, Lemon Balm, Mallow, Lady’s Mantle, and more.
This combination of plant extracts makes gigawhite a very effective skin lightening agent you should look for in any melasma cream you’re interested in using.
Vitamin C has long been used in various skin care products. Also called ascorbic acid, this vitamin helps keep your skin healthy by repairing and preventing dry skin, protecting your skin from pollutin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, and keeping your skin looking young.
This vitamin helps llghten your skin by inhibiting the activity of the tyrosinase enzyme. It also helps get rid of melasma by fighting off free radicals because it’s a powerful anti-oxidant. Another way vitamin C attacks melasma is by exfoliating and removing dead skin cells that contain melanin.
Removing these dead skin cells results in a smoother, lighter, and brighter skin. As you can see, it is these skin lightening benefits that makes vitamin C a commonly found skin lightening agent in various creams.
Most of the time you’ll see some of these skin lightening agents combined with one another to create a much more effective cream.
Harmful Skin Lightening Ingredients
Sometimes the ingredients used in these skin whitening creams will do more harm than good. Some of these ingredients include:
Mercury – This chemical is actually banned by some countries including the United States, but some manufacturers still use it in their cream. It’s used as a skin lightening agent because it blocks the production of melanin, but it also is very toxic.
Applying creams that contain mercury regularly allows this harmful chemical to get absorbed into the skin and cause side effects like blurry vision, difficulty walking, and can even cause your vital organs to shut down.
Check the active ingredients in any cream you’re interested in using and look for the following aliases:
- Mercuric salts
- Mercuris chloride
Another thing to look out for that might let you know there’s mercury present is the color of the cream. If the cream has a grey color to it then it might be contaminated with a good amount of mercury in it.
If the instructions on the cream tell you not to bring into contact with gold or silver it might be another red flag that it contains a lot of mercury.
Steroids – Steroids can be very dangerous if used incorrectly. They lighten the skin by slowing down the skin cell turnover rate thus reducing the amount of melanocytes in your skin.
It also works by constricting your blood vessels so that blood circulation to your skin is reduced, thus leaving you with whiter skin. Lightening your skin is a side effect of steroids, which is why they can cause a lot of harmful side effects when used incorrectly.
Moreover, the skin lightening effect they have is usually very brief and in order to maintain the whitened skin you’ll need to use it for a long time period.
Long term use of steroids as a skin whitener can cause various side effects such as thinning of the skin, face swelling, excessive weight gain, stretch marks, wrinkles, high blood pressure, depression, and more.
For these reasons use caution and consult with your dermatologist thoroughly before you use any cream that contains steroids as an active ingredient.
Parabens – Parabens are chemicals used as preservatives in various skin care products. The reason they’re used is because they help prevent bacteria, fungus, and other unwanted substances from developing in your favorite cream.
The reason you want to avoid hyperpigmentation creams that contain parabens is because they can cause breast cancer, excessive estrogenic activity, speed up aging of the skin, and cause other serious problems.
Some paraben names you should look out for include methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. If you see any of these listed as an ingredient in any cream you want to use for melasma run away from it.
11 of The Best Creams for Melasma
Now it’s time to share with you our picks of the best creams for melasma. All of these creams are effective at fading melasma and other hyperpigmentation spots. How effective and quickly they work will depend on your skin type.
Triluma is a very popular cream used to fade melasma. It contains both hydroquinone and steroids but it’s one of our best picks because it works so well at lightening skin if used correctly.
How it works – One of its main skin lightening ingredients is hydroquinone so it works by reducing the production of melanocytes by inhibiting the activity of the melanin creating enzyme known as tyrosinase.
Skin lightening agents – This one of the best skin bleaching creams because it contains 3 powerful ingredients that gives it the ability to fade away melasma spots. These 3 active ingredients are hydroquinone, fluocinolone acetonide (steroid), and tretinoin.
How to use it – This melasma fading cream wasn’t intended for long term use. Apply it on the affected areas for no more than 8 weeks. After 8 weeks give your skin a break for about 2 to 3 months and then talk with your doctor about getting a new prescription.
How long to see results – You should start seeing results within 4 weeks of consistent use.
Side effects – Since this product contains potentially harmful ingredients such as steroids and hydroquinone it’s important to use it as prescribed to reduce the chances of adverse effects. Some side effects to be wary of include increased skin sensitivity, can make your melasma return worse than before when you stop using it, can cause peeling of the skin, can cause cancer if used more than what was prescribed, and can cause skin atrophy.
Other benefits – If used properly can give your skin a wonderful glow. Can also help remove wrinkles from your skin.
Reviews – https://www.drugs.com/comments/fluocinolone-hydroquinone-tretinoin-topical/tri-luma-for-melasma.html
Cost – $190+ (ask your doctor for any coupons to get it cheaper).
Lustra is a hydroquinone based skin lightening cream. They have 3 differen kinds which include Lustra, Lustra-Ultra, and Lustra-AF which have all been formulated a little differently. Since it contains at least 4% concentration of hydroquinone you’ll need a prescription from your dermatologists to begin using it.
How it works – Like any other cream that contains a high concentration of hydroquinone Lustra works by inhibiting the production of melanin in your skin.
Skin lightening agents – Other than hydroquine lustra contains various other effective skin lightening agents such as: glyceryl, dimethiconol, phenyl trimethicone, glycerin, retinol, and more.
How to use it – Before you use this product wash your hands first and then apply it on the affected area 2 times each day.
How long to see results – You may begin noticing results within 2 weeks.
Side effects – Some potential side effects associated with Lustra include: allergic skin reactions, burning, itching, and swelling of the skin. Also, it has an unpleasant odor to it you may not like.
Other benefits – This skin lightening cream also contains a lot of different antioxidants that can help your skin in various ways.
Reviews – https://well.ca/products/lustra-cream-4_1947.html
Cost – $50+
Kligman’s Formula Face Cream
A popular dermatologist that goes by the name Albert Kligman is responsible for the development of Kligman’s Formula face brightener cream. It’s designed to fade away pigmentation and acne marks by using 3 very potent skin lightening agents.
It’s only available to be purchased on the manufacturers official site. A few of our subscribers have told us that this cream has helped them control their melasma amazingly so we decided to list it here.
How it works – It helps clear up discoloration by inhibiting they tyrosinase enzyme so that melanin production is slowed down.
Skin lightening agents – The three skin lightening agents this cream contains are carticosteriod, hydroquinone, and retina A.
How to use it – Clean your face and dry it off thoroughly. Now apply the cream to your face while massaging it into the affected areas on your face. Give the cream a little time to penetrate your skin and go to work.
How long to see results – About one month with consistent and daily application.
Side effects – With the ingredients listed in this cream common side effects may include skin irritation, redness, and swelling. Make sure you only apply the cream as directed on the bottle and it should reduce the chances of you experiencing problems.
Other benefits – Along with reducing the dark discoloration on your face Kligman’s face cream will also help reducing signs of aging, repair damaged skin, clear up acne, and reduce the appearances of scars.
Reviews – No reviews.
Cost – $25+
Avon’s Anew Vitamin C Serum
If you’ve been trying to get rid of your melasma with traditional creams with no success it might be a good idea to try using a serum like Avon’s Anew Vitamin C Brightening Serum. It contains a high concentration of Vitamin C that helps lighten dark spots and protect your skin from the sun.
How it works – The high concentration of vitamin C in this serum lightens discoloration by inhibiting the function the tyrosinase enzyme responsible for producting excessive amounts of pigment in your skin.
Skin lightening agents – Vitamin C
How to use it – Apply 2 pumps of this serum on your fingers and apply it directly into the affected areas on your cheek, chin, nose, upper lip or any other area you have discoloration you want to remove. Repeat this application at least once in the morning before you start your day and once at night before you go to bed.
How long to see results – Usually 2 weeks of consistently applying this serum will start producing lighter dark spots, as well as brighter and more even skin tone.
Side effects – One of the downsides to using this vitamin C serum is that it has a strong rubbing alcohol smell to it. Other side effects to using this product is skin dryness, redness, and can feel a little heavy if you use too much.
Other benefits – Other than lightening your skin this serum will help soften your skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and
Reviews – https://www.avon.com/product/anew-vitamin-c-brightening-serum-55683
Cost – $30+
Superfade Face cream is a popular skin lightening product because of how effectively it helps break up and remove brown spots due to melasma.
How it works – Along with the hydroquinone concentration in Superfade that help by inhibiting the activity of tyrisanne, it contains exfoliants that remove the dark patches on the skin through exfoliation and promoting new skin growth.
Skin lightening agents – This fading cream contains hydroquinone, salicylic acid, and padimate to fight off your melasma.
How to use it – The best way to use this melasma cream is to rub it thoroughly into the affected areas 2 times during the day and once at night before you go to sleep.
How long to see results – It can take anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks to begin seeing noticeable results.
Side effects – Can cause mild allergic reactions in the skin, and can also cause a little irritation when applied. If skin irritation or allergic reactions become severe discontinue use immediately.
Other benefits – Can also help remove freckles, treat sun damaged skin, and remove hormone marks.
Reviews – https://www.beautyheaven.com.au/skin-care/anti-ageing/21147-john-plunkett-skincare-superfade-face-cream
Cost – $30+
This is a popular hyyperpigmentation cream among our subscribers.
How it works – The active ingredients in this skin lightening formula help reduce discoloration and improve appearance by inhibiting the enzymes that stimulate pigment-producing cells.
Skin lightening agents – A few of the main skin lightening agents in SkinCeuticals Phyto+ helps fade away the appearance of hyperpigmentation
are arbutin, kojic acid and glycerin.
How to use it – Apply it 3 to 4 drops to the affected areas on your face twice each day to improve the appearance of melasma.
How long to see results – Can take anywhere between 1 to 3 months of consistent application to begin fading hyperpigmentation spots.
Side effects – May cause skin irritation.
Other benefits – It also provides a moisturizing and hydrating effect on your skin.
Reviews – https://www.amazon.com/Skinceuticals-Botanical-Hyperpigmentation-1-Ounce-Bottle/dp/B001CJCFE2
Cost – $70+
This is one of the best creams for fading hyperpigmentation such as melasma and most people like using it because it doesn’t contain any potentially harmful skin lightening agents such as steroids or hydroquinone.
How it works – This all natural skin lightening cream works to get rid of melasma by using a combination of natural plant extracts that are known to have potent skin lightening abilities. This combination of natural skin lightening ingredients go to work reducing the overproduction of melanin in your skin by suppressing the formation of melanosomes.
Skin lightening agents – Some of the natural skin lightening agents in Meladerm include: alpha arbutin, niacinamide, emblica, gagawhite, mulberry extract, bearberry extract, lemon juice extract, and liquorice extract.
How to use it – Apply Meladerm a couple times each day. Once during the day (preferrably when you first wake up), and once at night before you go to bed. Right after you apply the meladerm to the melasma spots go ahead and apply your favorite sunscreen over it.
How long to see results – You may start seeing results from using meladerm within a couple weeks.
Side effects – If your skin type is allergic to any of the ingredients listed in Meladerm there’s a chance you may experience some irritation. Apply to a small area of your skin first and wait to see if you have any allergic reactions.
Other benefits – The natural ingredients in Meladerm will also help improve the overall quality of your skin.
Reviews – https://www.productreview.com.au/p/civant-meladerm.html
Cost – $50+
Another cream we’ve seen positive results with is Vivite Vibrance Therapy. It doesn’t contain any hydroquinone or steroids and works pretty fast to lighten dark spots.
How it works – It works by exfoliating the top layer of your skin so the brown spots fall off and the lighter skin underneath takes its place.
Skin lightening agents – The 2 main skin lightening ingredients in Vivite Vibrance Therapy that help diminish the appearance of melasma are alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and glycolic acid. Other ingredients that help improve the appearance of melasma include: licorice root extract, mulberry extract, retinol, and vitamin C.
How to use it – The best way to use Vivite Vibrance is
How long to see results – Give it 2 to 4 weeks to begin seeing results.
Side effects – Can cause you to break out if your skin is too sensitive.
Other benefits – Along with helping to remove hyperpigmentation such as melasma this cream can also help treat dry skin, fine lines, wrinkles, as well as stimulate the production of collagen.
Reviews – https://www.amazon.com/Vivite-Vibrance-Therapy-1-Ounce-Pump/dp/B002LAS26Q
Cost – $100+
Lumixyl Topical Brightening Crème
There are various studies out there that show how effective Lumixyl can be at treating melasma. Researchers at Stanford University are responsible for the creation of this product.
How it works – This hydroquinone free cream uses peptides to inhibit the tyrosinase enzyme that causes over-production of melanin, which leads to appearance of melasma.
Skin lightening agents – Synthetic peptide, licorice root extract, phenylethyl resorcinol, and more.
How to use it – Use it twice a day by applying a small amount on affected areas on your face.
How long to see results – Usually takes up to 8 weeks of consistent use to see positive results.
Side effects – May cause some redness.
Other benefits – Some of the other benefits of Lumixyl include: non-toxic, safe to use for extended periods of time, safe to use for all skin types, doesn’t cause irritation on the skin, and doesn’t leave any greasy feeling when you apply it.
Reviews – https://www.amazon.com/Lumixyl-MD-Topical-Brightening-Creme/dp/B007Z2PL00
Cost – $80+
Another hydroquinone free cream that can be used safely for extended periods of time on the skin.
How it works – It works by inhibiting the activity of the melanin producing enzyme known as tyrosinase, and also helps reduce hyperactivity of melanocyte. It’s skin lightening agents are encapsulated in nano liposomes so their effectiveness isn’t diluted before it reaches the target in your skin.
Skin lightening agents – Some of the skin lightening ingredients in this Azelac RU include 4-n-butylresorcinol, undecylenoyl phenylalanine, azelac acid, and retinol.
How to use it – Add four drops of the serum on your hand and thoroughly apply it to the affected areas once during the day and once at night before you go to bed.
How long to see results – It usually takes a good 2 to 3 weeks to begin noticing results.
Side effects – May cause mild itchiness, dryness, and redness. Might feel a little heavy when you put it on depending on your skin type.
Other benefits – It also helps fade away freckles, contains anti-aging ingredients, doesn’t cause irritation, helps remove acne marks, and improves signs of sun damage.
Reviews – https://www.amazon.com/Sesderma-Azelac-Ru-Serum-1-0/dp/B00987RKWW
Cost – $60+
This is a product a lot of our readers have had success with. What we like about it is its delivery system it uses to allow its skin lightening agents to penetrate deep into the skin and remove discoloration.
How it works – The skin lightening ingredients in Illuminatural 6i stops the melanocyte skin cells from producing too much melanin.
Skin lightening agents – All the skin lightening agents in Illuminatural 6i are all natural. A few of these skin lightening ingredients include niacinamide, whitonyl, and alpha arbutin.
How to use it – First wash your face and then apply a generous amount of the cream once each day on the affected areas on your face.
How long to see results – Around 8 weeks to see good results.
Side effects – We haven’t heard of any side effects associated with using this product.
Other benefits – Also helps get rid of dead skin, age spots, moles, and freckles.
Reviews – https://www.amazon.com/Skinception-Illuminatural-6I-1-7-Fl/dp/B0084OJD7U
Cost – $50+
Using Your Melasma Cream
How you use the creams will vary depending on the product, but for the most part there is a general way to use them. Below you’ll find some tips for using these creams to get rid of your melasma:
- Use a Q-tip to apply the cream on the affected spots on your face. If you use your finger you run the risk of smearing the cream outside the actual hyperpigmentation spots on your skin.
- Only apply the cream on the affected areas to avoid bleaching the surrounding skin. Try not to get the cream into your eyes or mouth.
- Always wash your hands and face properly before applying the cream on your face.
- Always use sunscreen along with whatever cream you decide to use. The skin lightening agents in some of these creams can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Along with wearing a good sunscreen make sure you’re wearing clothes that help protect you better from the sun.
- Always make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions before you begin using any cream.
The most common question we get about creams for melasma is how do you know if it’s working? This is an important question because you want to know the product you’ve chosen is really making a difference.
In some cases the cream can begin working in as little as a week or two. However, most of the time it will take at least 4 weeks of consistently applying the cream to see any noticeable difference. If you’ve been using a cream for about a month and you still don’t see any improvement then discontinue using it and give something else a try.
When you first begin using a cream to get rid of your melasma it’s a good idea to do a test run or patch test first. You want to make sure that your skin isn’t allergic to any of the ingredients.
So apply a small amount of the cream on the affected area and wait a day or two for any signs of irritation, inflammation, or other side effects. If you do notice any irritation in your skin discontinue using the product.
Make sure whatever melasma cream you use works for your type of skin. Don’t abuse the cream you’re using or it can cause blisters and other skin problems to develop.
Always make sure the cream you’re thinking about using doesn’t contain any mercury. The FDA has already warned users to stay away from any skin care products that contain mercury as an active ingredient and for good reason.
Mercury is a very toxic agent that can cause various skin problems such as irritation, cancer, and more. If you’re pregnant that’s more than enough reason not to apply any cream with mercury in it, as it can pass through your skin and affect your unborn baby.
Even though the FDA has already banned mercury as an active ingredient in skin lightening creams, some creams made outside the United States might have mercury as an active ingredient. So if you live in the U.S. and decide to order your cream over seas then make sure it doesn’t contain mercury.
If you’re not sure what cream is good for your skin type go and see a dermatologist who will be able to prescribe you with the best cream for your skin type.
Ladies, please make sure you’re you’re protecting your new skin with at least an SPF 30 sunscreen each day. With any skin lightening cream you decide to try your skin is going to be extra sensitive to sunlight.
If you wish to keep your skin free of melasma forever you’re going to have to make sunscreen a part of your daily routine.
It’s also important to mention that with any of these creams you use your melasma will usually come back once you stop using them. This is why it’s important to treat this problem in various ways such as eating the right foods for melasma to correct the problem from the inside out, and trying different natural remedies for melasma that have been proven to work.