Shh! Anti-agers no one but you need to know about: dark patches

Shh! Anti-agers no one but you need to know about: Can any creams cure the dark patches on my face?

  • Anonymous reader says she developed melasma during lockdown
  • She asked if she can use any face creams to minimise discolouration
  • Beauty expert Inge Van Lotringen mentions three products they can use 

Q: I’ve developed melasma in lockdown, can any face creams minimise discolouration or should I see a professional?

A: Melasma, a pigmentation disorder where dark patches appear on the skin, needs intense but never aggressive treatment.

Dermatologist Dr Emma Craythorne has seen discolouration fade significantly with oral tranexamic acid tablets, so you may want to see a GP soon.

An anonymous reader told British beauty expert Inge Van Lotringen they developed melasma during lockdown and asked if there are any creams they can use to minimise disclouration (file photo)

But topical tranexamic acid (which slows the formation of pigment and redness) can work too: ‘A 2-3 per cent concent-ration seems best,’ says Craythorne, who says it must be combined with a daily SPF50. 

‘Skinceuticals Discolouration Defense Serum, £85, teamed with its Advanced Brightening SPF50 Sunscreen, £45 (both, delivers the goods.

Some other cosmetically available pigment-blocking ingredients get an even bigger thumbs-up: ‘Niacinamide (minimum 4 per cent) and azelaic acid [go for 10 per cent, the highest level in cosmetics] are my preferences,’ says Craythorne.

Find both in dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting’s Flawless Brightly Serum, £44 (

Top with daily SPF50 so as not to stimulate more melanin. 

A gentle formula with iron oxide pigments offers better protection, say Craythorne and Bunting: try Exuviance Sheer Daily Protection SPF50, £42 (

Beauty expert Inge (pictured) gives advice to those people worried about dark patches on their face

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