closed eyed woman
Makeup

Best Makeup for Melasma – My Top 34 Makeup Picks for a Flawless Face

Let’s face it. Most makeup users rely on foundation and/or concealers at some stages of their lives. We all seem to find imperfections in our skin. The things that we like to cover and camouflage on our faces. One of those things we fear the most may be the dreaded melasma. Those freckly, pesky and patchy markings that appear out of nowhere. If you’re like me, you want it gone! But what is melasma? And how can you treat it? And most importantly, what are the best makeup products to use to cover your melasma?

Read on and find out the answers to all of these questions, and more! We have you covered. Literally!

What Is Melasma?

Melasma is a common skin condition. It reveals itself in the form of grey/brownish markings and patches. And it tends to appear on the face.

In particular on the forehead, nose, and cheeks.

Melasma tends to appear in the areas that get the most exposure to the sun. In following this principle, it can also occur on the upper arms, chest, and neck.

Women are far more likely to experience melasma than men.

Hormones can be a trigger for melasma. And it often occurs during pregnancy.

Hyper-pigmentation vs. Melasma

Hyper-pigmentation and melasma show themselves in a very similar fashion. And it’s easy to get the two terms confused.

While melasma is related to hormonal fluctuations and events in the body, hyper-pigmentation is a broader term.

It categorizes any skin condition in which the targeted surface of the skin appears darker in patches than the surrounding skin area.

Therefore, melasma can be considered as a form of hyper-pigmentation.

Different types of hyperpigmentation can be triggered by various things such as medications, acne and acne scarring, skin inflammations and irritations, and of course, sun damage.

My Best Kept Secret Checklist for Choosing the Best Makeup to Cover Melasma

  • SPF – your melasma covering makeup must contain SPF. Otherwise, it defeats the purpose, right?
  • Color-range – be sure the makeup you find is available in a color that matches your skin tone.
  • Long-lasting – it is beneficial to find long-lasting makep. That way you can apply it in the morning, and then feel confident in knowing it will keep your skin flawless and melasma-free all day!
  • Paraben-free – this is a big one. Parabens are known to mimic the female hormone estrogen in the body. And they can also disrupt the regular production of this hormone. As we know, melasma is related to hormone behavior. This is vital. Plus, parabens are all-around skincare baddies.
  • Consistency – this is more of a case of personal preference. Go with what you know. And go with what you like. If you’re a foundation balm worshipper, stick with it. Or if you prefer to wear a liquid foundation, then that’s great too.
  • Your own skin tone – it’s important to know your skin tone so you can choose the correct color/s to cover your melasma.
  • Where is the product going to be used – is it strictly for your face or face and neck? Perhaps your shoulders and arms showcase your melasma? Where it occurs on your body will dictate which products you should be looking at
  • Brand preferences – do you like a drugstore foundation or a high-end makeup? Whatever floats your boat, this will help you choose your preferred melasma covering makeup.
  • Acne as well as melasma? – if you experience both, this is an important factor. You may want to entertain oil-free foundations to help in treating acne and melasma all in one.
  • Ingredients – we’ve already mentioned that the absence of parabens is a must. But there are certain ingredients that you should look for in melasma covering makeup. That way, you can help treat it at the same time as covering it. More on that later in the post.

Tried and True Methods for Covering Melasma with Makeup (and how to prep your face to perfection)

  1. Cleanse your face. It’s important to gently cleanse your face prior to applying makeup. This will rid your skin of dirt, grime, old makeup, or sunscreen, and have it fresh and ready for your moisturizer.
  2. Rinse off your cleanser, thoroughly.
  3. Apply your favorite moisturizer. This will hydrate your skin and give your face and the skin’s barrier all the protection it will need for the day.
  4. Allow your moisturizer time to absorb and evaporate. Your makeup will go on much more easily if you allow your moisturizer the time to take effect. And there’s no rushing beauty, right?
  5. Apply your best-chosen makeup for melasma. Whether you’re using a concealer or a foundation (or both). It’s important to try and follow the rolling motion. This is best done with your sponge, beauty blender, finger, or brush.
  6. Lightly powder. Once you have your makeup applied and are happy with the coverage, a light powdering will ensure your makeup stays in place.

Types of Foundations

Foundations are available in various different types and consistencies. And it’s all down to a matter of personal preference. And what may work for you, may not work for the next person. So try, try again, and eventually you will find your happy place.

Foundations can be creams, liquid, powder, powder to cream, balms, mousse. You name it. Take a look at our list of foundations that we have picked to be the best makeup for melasma.

When looking for a makeup to cover melasma, you should keep your eyes peeled for at least a medium to high coverage product.

And you should also have a good understanding of the condition of your own skin. If this is something you feel totally lost on, a skincare professional will be able to identify your skin type.

For example, if you have dry skin, it might be best to avoid foundation balms. If you have oily skin, they may be a good starting point to cover your melasma.

Best Foundations for Melasma

Glo Skin Beauty Liquid Foundation

  • SPF 18
  • contains Vitamins A, C, E
  • available in 10 shades
  • sheer to medium coverage
  • dewy finish
  • talc-free
  • paraben-free
  • cruelty-free
  • perfect for all skin types except oily
  • mineral foundation

Colorescience Even Up Clinical Pigment Protector

I am a big fan of Colorescience. They seem to fall under the radar of the mass consumer market. But this doesn’t mean their products are sub-par. Quite the contrary, actually.

Colorescience have a number of skincare products specifially targetted at hyperpigmentation and melasma. Products that do double duty as makeup as well. Colorescience makeup and skincare products are definitely worth exploring if you’re interested.

  • SPF 50
  • diminishes the appearance of dark spots and discoloration
  • protects against blue light and sun damage
  • non-comedogenic
  • water-resistant for up to 40 minutes
  • vegan
  • paraben-free
  • gluten-free
  • synthetic fragrance-free

Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover Foundation

  • SPF 15
  • for face and body
  • long-lasting 24hr staying power
  • paraben-free
  • matte finish
  • full coverage
  • waterproof
  • will cover spider veins, tattoos,
  • available in 16 different colors and tones

Revlon Colorstay Liquid Foundation for Combination/Oily Skin

  • SPF 15
  • waterproof
  • matte finish
  • oil-free
  • medium-full buildable coverage
  • available in 43 colors

Makeup Forever Ultra HD Foundation

I’m a big MUFE fan. There’s no denying it. From their lip pencils, to lipsticks, and powders. Their gorgeous makeup brushline. And their Ultra HD Foundation line is here to stay. With an impressive 50 shades in the range, this has a large appeal and honestly, in time I would love to see that number expand furthermore.

These foundations are buildable and have fantastic coverage.

  • medium coverage
  • long-lasting for up to 24hrs
  • contains Hyaluronic acid
  • available in 50 shades

Dermablend Leg and Body Makeup

Here is another fantastic, buildable foundation that isn’t talked about enough. Dermablend’s Leg and Body Makeup is a brilliant makeup. It works with great effect as a face makeup as well. Just try it!

  • buildable and blendable formulation
  • SPF 25
  • body makeup product can be used on the face as well
  • dermatologist tested
  • allergy tested
  • non-comedogenic
  • designed to cover body scars, markings pigmentations

Black Opal Total Coverage Concealing Foundation

Black Opal (BLK/OPL) is another solid makeup brand that I can assure you every professional has at least one of their products floating around in their kit from. I love these creams. Affordable and effective.

  • maximum coverage
  • described as part concealer, part foundation
  • oil-free
  • fragrance-free
  • available in 8 shades

Maybelline Dream Urban Cover Foundation

  • SPF 50
  • protects skin against environmental aggressors
  • available in 18 shades
  • full coverage

NYX Professional Stay Matte But Not Flat Foundation

  • oil-free
  • water-based formulation
  • Paraben-free

Dermacol Makeup Cover Waterproof Hypo-allergenic Foundation

  • available in 19 shades
  • waterproof
  • hypoallergenic
  • SPF 30
  • preservative-free (Paraben-free)
  • 50% pigment
  • full coverage

Dermablend Smooth Liquid Camo Foundation Makeup with SPF 25

Dermablends Smooth Liquid Camo Foundations checks all the boxes when it comes to the best makeup for melasma. What a dream!

  • SPF 25
  • sensitive-skin tested
  • hypoallergenic
  • paraben-free
  • tricolsan-free
  • pthalate-free
  • sodium lauryl sulfate-free
  • non-comedogenic
  • vegan
  • conceals redness, rosacea, hyper-pigmentation, acne, scars, and birthmarks
  • available in 15 colors

Covergirl Outlast All Day Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation

  • SPF 20
  • cruelty free
  • matte finish
  • available in 13 shades (lighter skin tones favored)

L’oreal Paris True Match Super Blendable Foundation Makeup

I remember when True Match launched just over 15 years ago. It was such a big deal in the consumer beauty world. Well, it’s still going strong. And the competition is that much stronger. But L’Oreal still holds firm with this classic.

I think it was the first foundation I bought for myself!

  • available in 45 shades
  • available in SPF and non-SPF
  • hydrating
  • blendable and buildable coverage
  • oil-free
  • contains Vitamin E, Pro-Vitamin B5
  • non-clogging

L’Oreal Paris Infallible Total Cover Foundation

  • 24hrs of coverage
  • lightweight
  • formulated for high coverage of scars, blemishes, hyperpgimentation, and dark spots
  • hypoallergenic
  • paraben-free

Revlon Photo Ready Airbrush Effect Makeup

  • medium to full cream coverage
  • SPF 20
  • available in 6 shades
  • paraben-free

Revlon Photo Ready Insta-Filter Foundation

  • medium, buildable coverage
  • available in 12 shades
  • built-in sponge-top applicator

Mirabella Skin Tint Creme Full Coverage Liquid Mineral Foundation

  • paraben-free
  • gluten-free
  • cruelty-free
  • oil-free
  • medium coverage
  • available in 8 shades

Laura Mercier Silk Cream Oil-Free Photo Edition Foundation

  • high pigment
  • matte finish
  • oil-free
  • long lasting
  • non comedogenic
  • available in 16 shades

Kryolan Dermacolour Camouflage Creme Mini Palette

The solid and reliable as always palette from Kryolan. Another staple of many a professional makeup artist’s kit.

In 2013, I supervised the background makeup and hair artists on the movie Unbroken. I would cover all of the tattooed background performers tattoos with one of these. And those beauties would all stay covered all day in the Australian summer sun.

Highly recommended, if I do say so myself!

  • highly pigmented
  • for skin discoloration and tattoo cover
  • 16 color palette range
  • water and sweat resistant
  • ECARF tested

Types of Concealers

Again, personal preference comes into play when choosing your concealer.

And although SPF is important, it is going to be a little trickier to find concealers with SPF.

And you have to think about if you require a lighter, more dewy finish to tackle your delicate under eye area, or whether you want to go straight to the heavy duty stuff that will cover all of your melasma in one go, no questions asked.

Here’s my pick of the best concealers for melasma. And there’s all types here.

La Mer The Concealer

  • paraben-free
  • available in 4 shades – for lighter skin tones
  • lightweight
  • medium to full coverage

ELF Maximum Coverage Concealer

  • blendable
  • full coverage
  • oil-free
  • available in 8 shades

Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer

Another of my favorite go-tos. I have used these as foundations more than once or twice on the right candidate. A little goes such a long way. And this gorgeous concealer really does cover everything! It can also be worked and buffed into a lovely sheer finish as well.

  • available in 16 shades
  • waterproof
  • formulated for all skin types
  • high pigment concentration formula
  • non-cakey

NYX HD Studio Photogenic Concealer Wand

  • available in 22 shades
  • medium to heavy coverage
  • non-comedogenic
  • lightweight formula
  • cruelty-free

Dermablend Quick-Fix Color Corrector Powder

  • available in green, yellow, red, and orange
  • cream to powder formulation
  • designed to instantly cover discoloration and hyperigmentation
  • 16 hr working time
  • quick drying
  • paraben-free
  • pthalate, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate-free
  • vegan formulation

Revlon Photo Ready Concealer

  • available in 6 shades, for lighter skin tones
  • paraben free
  • lipstick-like tip for precision
  • reflects and blurs, while covering dark spots and discoloration
assorted cosmetic products
Tarte Shape Tape and Friends Photo by Annie Spratt via Unsplash

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

What are the statistics with Shape Tape? One is sold every 15 seconds?

I must clarify, but in the mean time, these are fantastic heavy duty concealers. I have the entire color range in my kit at work. Trusty, reliable Tarte Shape Tape. And, it rhymes!

  • available in 35 shades
  • works for 16 hours
  • non-comedogenic
  • paraben, pthalate, mineral oil, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, gluten free
  • waterproof
  • vegan
  • dermatologist tested

The Ordinary Concealer

If you’ve been following along, you’ll already know about my recent blog post on The Ordinary Concealer. I was literally counting down the days to try their new color product. And honestly, it fits right in for my list of best make up for melasma.

Another hard-working makeup product that has more coverage than the Academy Award live from the red carpet!

But seriously, I do think there is a long path ahead for this concealer. It’s very powerful. And much like Kevyn Aucoin’s SS Enhancer, a little really does go an awfully long way.

  • available in 36 shades
  • very high coverage
  • oil-free
  • vegan
  • gluten-free
  • cruelty-free
  • alcohol-free
  • nut-free
nude Nars cream bottle
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer Photo by Karly Jones via Unsplash

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

  • medium, buildable coverage
  • non comedogenic
  • works for 16 hours
  • humidity proof
  • transfer and water resistant
  • all skin types
  • alcohol, fragrance, and paraben-free
  • dermatologist tested
  • opthalmologist tested
  • radiant finish
  • crease-resistant

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer

  • available in 18 shades
  • specially designed for dark circles
  • sponge applicator
  • softens fine lines and brightens

Pixi Correction Concentrate by Petra

  • not tested on animals
  • paraben-free
  • available in peach and apricot to neutralize dark spot discoloration
  • high pigment

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Concealer

  • available in 22 colors
  • 24 hr wear
  • oil-free
  • fragrance-free
  • non-acnegenic
  • opthalmologist-tested
  • dermatologist-tested
  • paraben-free
  • transfer-free
  • water resistant
  • medium buildable coverage

Bobbi Brown New Concealer Kit

Love these. Want them all. Don’t have them all….yet!

  • available in 15 shades
  • cream and powder kit for all concealing needs in one
  • paraben-free
  • pthalate-free
  • sulfate-free
  • no animal derived ingredients

MAC Studio Finish SPF Concealer

You have to commend MAC for putting the SPF into their concealer. It may well be one of the only concealers I have chosen that does independently contain SPF. And that’s worth celebrating all on it’s own. Aside from recognizing the strength of the product as well.

I think this is a really high quality range, a broadand concise range of colors that are hig pigment and hard-working. This is a great roduct for covering dark spots and pigmentation on the face.

Sometimes we overlook MAC but here’s an instance where we should just remind ourselves that MAC is still here and these products are still going strong for a reason.

  • SPF 35
  • available in 20 colors
  • highly concentrated pigment
  • opaque coverage and natural finish
  • 12 hour work time
  • water resistant
  • fragrance-free
  • paraben free

Benefit Boi ing Brightening Concealer

I do enjoy that these concealers from Benefit really hone in and target that organe/tan tone generally required to correct under eye circles. It doubles prefectly to correct melasma and provide the perfect amount of natural coverage prior to applying your foundation.

  • full coverage
  • creamy, buildable formula
  • available in 3 shades
  • radiant finish

Maqpro Fard Concealer

And last, but definitely not least, another of my absolutely favorite makeup products ever. The much coveted by me, Maqpro Fard Concealers.

For those not in the know, Maqpro is a French cosmetic company. They present so many versions of these palettes that I promise you, you will find something that matches your own skin tone. You can buy palettes with 6 colors, or palettes with 36 colors.

And you can mix and match to your heart’s content!

And what I love is that these palettes will keep you covered year round, as your skin changes with the seasons.

I love mixing these creams in with my foundations sometimes. I use them to correct beard stubble on men ALL the time. And to cover melasma and hyperpgimentation ALL the time. Age spots and any other discolorations on the skin have nothing on these very good concealers.

These creams are the makeup product you didn’t know you needed until you did.

  • over 300 shades!
  • waterproof after powdering
  • beeswax based

Best Makeup For Melasma FAQ’s

What’s the best foundation to cover hyper-pigmentation?

The best foundation to cover your melasma is the one that works for you.

To recap, it should contain an SPF, be paraben-free, oil-free, and brightening. The consistency, choice of shade, and brand are up to you.

Who is More Likely to Experience Melasma?

Women a far more likely to experience melasma. As are pregnant women. Hence melasma being coined the “pregnancy mask”. If you take hormones or are on contraceptives there will be a higher likelihood of you experiencing melasma.

How to Manage Melasma?

Always use SPF. Wear a wide-brimmed hat if outdoors and cover-up. If your melasma persists, your dermatologist should always be your first port of call.

What happens in my skin to cause melasma?

The outermost layer of your skin (the epidermis) contains a dark skin pigment called melanin. When light, heat, radiation or hormonal changes occur, your melanocytes (the cells that contain melanin) up their production of melanin, and the result appears as melasma on the surface of your skin.

How is Melasma diagnosed?

Of course, your dermatologist will be able to diagnose your suspicions. Firstly from observation but also through the Woods Lamp. This will allow the professional to view your skin in what looks like a black to identify the skin condition.

Further exploratory diagnozing may be required through a small biopsy of an area of your skin suffering form the pigmentation.

How is Melasma treated?

Hydroquinone is generally the first and most common type of treatment. It’s available as a gel, cream, liquid or lotion. And it can be applied to the affected area. Hydroquinine is often available over the counter and without prescription.

Corticosteroids and Trentinoin can be prescribed by your dermatologist. Sometime they may be prescribed to work hand in hand with a hydroquinone product as well.

Azelaic and kojic acids can be used to help lighten the melasma on your skin.

Beauty products available specifically to target melasma include The Ordinary Vitamin C Spot Treater and Biossance Vitamin C and Dark Spot Serum.

More extensive treatments can be in the forms of: microdermabrasion, light treatments, laser treaments, and chemical peel treatments on the targetted area.

As is the case with this medical condition, please consult your dermatologist before exploring any more drastic options. Most of all to be properly diagnosed. This post is to help you choose a makeup to help work with your melasma, not to provide medical advice or opinion.

Thanks for reading, and don;t forget to put on your sunscreen!!

Resources:

American Academy of Dermatology Association

EWG

Columbia Skin Clinic

Skinsafe

Featured Image by Chermiti Mohamed (is a beautiful photo of a young lady with gorgeous freckles, to clarify) I just thought the image was fitting.

2 Comments

  1. Caryn says:

    Hello, thank you for these suggestions. I suffer from melasma and have tried numerous amounts of product to try and lighten and hide the pigmentation. Nothing helps ๐Ÿ™ But I will try some of your suggestions.
    Also if you know of a local makeup artist in nassau County that I can possibly speak with as well, I’d appreciate the help.
    Thankyou,
    Caryn

    1. Youโ€™re most welcome! I hope you find some beneficial info here. Iโ€™d love to hear how you go and what you find that works in the future! Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.