Best Makeup for Melasma: Foundation, Concealer, Skincare

Searching for the best makeup for melasma and tips for how to cover those pesky dark spots? From foundation, concealer, makeup, and skincare, we cover everything you need to know to help your melasma.

Hormonal changes, especially during pregnancy, leave many women coping with melasma. It is a type of hyperpigmentation that produces dark spots on the face and sometimes the body too. It leaves many of us searching for the best foundation, concealer, and makeup to help cover up the dark spots. Here’s a look at the types of makeup that may work best for your skin type. Plus, some strategies and skincare suggestions to help diminish the dark spots to begin with.

What is Melasma

Melasma is a very common skin condition characterized by brown spots, or blue-gray patches on your skin. Its nickname is the mask of pregnancy because it often shows up for the first time during the hormonal changes that occur in pregnant women.

One of the most common locations for the dark spots is on the cheeks, which gives the appearance of a mask so the nickname is appropriate based on the timing and appearance of the spots. Other common locations for melasma are the upper lip and forehead. Some people may notice the spots on the body, such as the upper arms. But, it is more common to have them on your face.

Melasma is not specific to any particular skin type. Whether you have oily skin, dry skin, or sensitive skin, you may experience melasma. However, since melasma is the overproduction of the cells that make the color of your skin, different skin tones may experience this condition more frequently. People with fair complexions usually don’t suffer from this condition as much as those with darker skin, or for those whose skin tends to tan easily.

Best Makeup for Melasma

While suffering from melasma is not harmful, it certainly can be discouraging. And I definitely speak from experience on this. With each of my pregnancies the dark spots along my cheekbones became darker and more pronounced. With my first pregnancy the spots diminished over time, but with each pregnancy they came back.

This left me searching for a good foundation, with a natural finish, to cover my dark spots. I wanted a foundation that would cover them up well, but I also wanted to have a natural look. I used to be able to even out my skin tone with a lighter coverage foundation like a tinted moisturizer. But, I now needed to step it up with a medium coverage to full-coverage foundation.

Different Types of Foundation Options for Melasma

There are three different types of foundation that you can use, either a cream foundation, liquid foundation, or a powder foundation. I used to prefer a powder foundation, or liquid foundation, when I didn’t have much to cover up. But, with dark spots I found that a cream foundation was a better option. One benefit of a cream foundation like LimeLife’s Perfect Foundation is that you can apply a light layer of foundation. This means that you can start with thin layers and then gradually add more foundation (aka layers) in the areas where you need it. This full-coverage formula lets you get the best coverage.

Once you’ve applied your foundation you can go back over the darkest spots with regular concealer to cover the most affected areas. This way you don’t have to cake on the makeup, but rather you get beautiful natural coverage where you need it. One exception to this approach is if you have blue-gray spots that need a color correcting concealer. In this case you may want to apply your concealer to those spots first and then apply your foundation.

Best Foundation for Melasma
Before and After Using LimeLife Foundation to Cover Melasma

Best Foundation for Melasma

Another reason why I prefer cream foundation is because I find it to be the best choice for any skin tone, or sky type. It is especially good for women who want to minimize fine lines and wrinkles. Cream foundation won’t settle into your creases the way other foundations can.

A cream foundation like LimeLife’s gives you the ability to use it as a light coverage foundation. Or, build it up to be a medium coverage or full-coverage foundation. This versatility is so helpful because melasma can lighten over time which means that you may not always need as much coverage from your makeup. With a cream foundation formula you get the flexibility for your foundation to work perfectly no matter the season. I also find it easier to work with whether my skin happens to be oily, or dry. Another example of how it really is an all-season solution since skin tends to be more dry in the winter months.

I also prefer a cream foundation vs a liquid foundation because I don't have to wear the same amount on my entire face. I can layer, blend, and layer more where needed. It looks more natural when you do it this way, verses a liquid foundation where you can't really get buildable coverage. Need help figuring out which foundation shade is right for you? This article discusses foundation shades and how to find the right foundation color match.

Tips for Choosing a Powder Foundation

If you prefer a powder foundation, choose one like the Perfect Color Powder. This pressed powder is so fine that you can’t even feel it on your skin. Yet, it has so much pigment in it you get tons of coverage without having to use much. This is the same with LimeLife’s Concealer and Foundation. All of their products are highly pigmented, so it doesn’t take much. This is so helpful when you want full coverage without the look and feel of it. The best makeup products are those that get the job done for you, but look natural. And I personally prefer a matte finish.

Choosing the Right Concealer Shade

When you need a little extra coverage to cover up dark spots, concealer is the perfect complement to foundation. And choosing the right shade really isn’t that difficult either. Unless you need a color corrector concealer, you simply need to go with a good concealer that closely matches your skin tone and your foundation shade.

Don’t try to use a color that is too light as this will end-up highlighting the area you’re trying to conceal. Stick with a neutral tone that blends with your skin perfectly. Save the lighter concealer shade for using under your eyes where it’s OK to have a slightly lighter color to make your eyes pop, and to hide dark eye circles.

Choosing the best concealer means going with the one that lets you build layers, looks natural, and can be used to cover dark patches. And, is also good for dark circles under your eyes, or to cover blemishes. A liquid concealer, or a cream concealer like LimeLife's Perfect Concealer are good choices. If you go with LimeLife's Perfect Complexion palette you can choose two different shades of concealer and 1 foundation shade.

Using Concealer to Cover Melasma
Using LimeLife Concealer to Cover Melasma (no foundation used)

Best Way to Help Your Foundation Last All Day

Whether you decide to go with a cream foundation, or powder foundation, help your makeup last all day by properly setting it. Starting with a good makeup primer is a good first step too. However, the real key is setting it. You can start with a setting powder, either translucent or a colored powder. But the best way is to use a setting spray. This will lock your makeup in place for 16 hours, so you never have to worry about your makeup wearing off. Or, needing to apply touchups throughout the day. Set it and forget it is how I like to think of it.

Tips to Improve Melasma Dark Spots

Now that we’ve discussed the best makeup for melasma, let’s talk about ways to improve your melasma. As I mentioned, these dark spots often diminish over time. So, let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can help prevent and treat melasma.

Protect Your Skin With Sunscreen

The first step is to try and prevent dark spots from forming in the first place. While we can’t always control melasma, we can try to minimize its impact. You will probably find that your melasma is worse in the summer when your skin is exposed to the sun, and it lightens again in the winter when your body is producing less melanin. So the first step in protecting your skin is to always use sunscreen. No matter the season, be sure to start your makeup routine by applying sunscreen. This will prevent your dark spots from getting even darker. And, it will help prevent age spots caused by sun exposure.

Best Skin Care for Melasma
Results Using LimeLife's Dream Clean, Midnight Oil, One Drop Wonder and Sotoks

Best Skincare for Melasma

In addition to sunscreen, there are skin care options that can help too. Of course, there are prescription options like Hydroquinone and Retin-A that help lighten skin. There are also certain medications like birth control pills that can contribute to melasma, so consult your doctor about medications that won’t make it worse.

If you want to stay away from harsh chemicals like hydroquinone, there are all-natural skin care options as well. I discuss this in more detail in this article about How to Fade Dark Spots. LimeLife’s Sotoks is the product that sold me on the company. I tried out the company because of their notorious foundation, but it was the results I got with their skin care that got me hooked. Sotoks lightened my skin, reduced the fine lines I was starting to get. And, improved the overall appearance of my skin.

Natural Ingredients in Skin Care to Help Melasma

When it comes to all-natural skin care to help lighten skin and minimize the dark spots caused by melasma, or sun exposure, there are certain ingredients that can help. You want to stay away from skin-irritating products. Some key ingredients to consider include:

  • Soapberry: This fruit extract can be used in cleansers, or other skin care products as it inhibits the production of melanin. LimeLife Dream Clean is a good option if you’re looking for soapberry.
  • Songyi Mushroom, which is used in Sotoks by LimeLife, is a natural skin brightener.
  • Vitamin C-lightens and brightens skin. It is also a great antioxidant that protects your skin from environmental damage
  • Kojic Acid: lightens and brightens skin by reducing the production of melanin
  • Alpha-Arbutin: Found in bearberry plant lightens skin and inhibits melanin production
  • Niacinamide: This antioxidant not only lightens skin, but as an anti-oxidant it also protects your skin
  • Azelaic Acid: This is commonly used to help with rosacea, but it also is a good skin lightener.

Results from Skin Care Routine for Melasma
Dream Clean, Sotoks and One Drop Wonder Skin Care Routine Results (11 months)

The Best Skin Care Routine for Melasma

In addition to choosing the right skin care products, following a good skin care routine is also important when it comes to minimizing and improving melasma. Exfoliating your skin at least once a week is a great place to start. I think this is the most important step, and is often overlooked. This is a good idea for everyone, but exfoliating is especially important when trying to even out skin tone. Exfoliating removes dead cells and promotes new cell growth. This is a healthy process for your skin to go through and when you use the right product it helps reduce your pores, even skin tone, and gives you radiant skin.

Since melasma and dark spots are not caused by dry skin I personally don’t think that moisturizing is as big a step to worry about when it comes to melasma. With that being said though, I think that if you need a moisturizer you should keep in mind some of the ingredients I mentioned above that are helpful for lightening and brightening skin. And this is true with the daily cleanser you use too. Choose products that work for you! That means don’t just choose a cleanser to clean your face, but choose one that has the ingredients to naturally improve and help your skin at the same time.

Summary of Best Makeup For Melasma

I hope that you found some helpful tips for the best ways to use makeup and foundation to cover melasma; while also leaning how the right skin care products can protect your skin from developing dark spots and lighten the spots you already have. The best makeup for melasma is made even better when your skin care routine is complementing your makeup routine.

To get the best complexion it really takes a 3-pronged approach. Follow a good skin care routine, use the right skincare products to help your skin, and choose the best makeup to cover up and even out your skin tone. By using the right products for each of these steps, you’ll get the best results and be rewarded with a radiant and youthful complexion. 

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