You can see that your skin is darker in some spots than in others. Maybe it happened after a breakout or an eczema flare. Or perhaps it’s damage caused by the sun rays. No matter what the cause, it’s smart to use the best sunscreen for melasma and hyperpigmentation. Protecting yourself from UV radiation keeps the problem from getting worse.
Also, some melasma sunscreens feature key active ingredients that lighten and brighten skin tone. You might feel more confident with a tinted mineral sunscreen (physical sunscreen) that disguises the discoloration, too.
The difference between hyperpigmentation and melasma
Melasma is a type of hyperpigmentation, but it can be harder to treat as it’s linked to hormones and other factors. Brightening ingredients like Vitamin C, niacinamide, kojic acid, and hydroquinone may not be as effective for fading melasma as they are for clearing up acne scars. Check with your doctor regarding the best treatment.
In the meantime, dermatologists recommend using sunscreen with an SPF factor of 30 or higher to keep the melasma from getting worse. Remember to reapply at two-hour intervals or after sweating or swimming.
Best Sunscreens for Melasma & Hyperpigmentation (2023 Reviews)
On the page below, you’ll find our reviews of the top sunscreens for hyperpigmentation and melasma. We’ll begin with tinted selections then move on to transparent sunscreens. We hope our picks help you find the perfect product for your needs.
1. Skinceuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50
The Physical Fusion UV Defense Skinceuticals sunscreen has a high protection factor plus a light tent that adapts to different skin tones. It depends on transparent zinc oxide, not chemical filters. The ingredients in the formula don’t leave a residue and won’t clog your pores. But this physical sunscreen does have active ingredients like plankton to strengthen your skin against high heat and sun rays.
2. Skinceuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense Broad Spectrum SPF50 Sunscreen
Skinceuticals offers a sheer tint in either warm or cool shades. It’s free of artificial fragrances but depends on both mineral (physical) and chemical sunscreens. You can wear this physical sunscreen anywhere on your body to protect against UV radiation and even heat-related stress that causes premature aging.
3. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Sunscreen SPF 50
La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios is an award-winning sunscreen available in different versions depending on skin type and use. The one we selected here will protect both your face and body for up to 80 minutes in the water. Furthermore, you can wear it like a primer underneath makeup.
4. DRMTLGY Tinted Face Moisturizer SPF 46
DRMTLGY’s tinted face moisturizer is both makeup and sunscreen. It’s perfect for days when you don’t feel like putting on foundation. Just as important, it reduces fine lines to make your skin look younger and radiant. The SPF 45 comes from chemical filters like oxybenzone, octocrylene, and octinoxate.
5. TIZO Ultra Zinc Body & Face Sunscreen Tinted SPF 40
TIZO’s tinted sunscreen is ideal for sensitive skin as it relies on only 20% zinc oxide, not chemicals. It also has no artificial fragrances, dyes, preservatives, or oils. It resists water up to 40 minutes and blends well into light or dark tones.
6. Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Tinted Face Lotion
The tinted sunscreen from Australian Gold features botanical extracts from Down Under. It has eucalyptus, red algae, and Kakadu plum to reverse signs of aging and melasma. Moreover, it’s free of artificial fragrances and parabens plus it’s safe for acne-prone skin (see more). Once you apply the sunscreen, it’s good for up to 80 minutes in the water.
7. Revision Skincare Intellishade SPF 45 Original
Revision Skincare’s Intellishade sunscreen is a tinted moisturizer for all skin types. It combines the power of both physical and chemical sunscreen to prevent sunburn and damage. Additionally, it wears well underneath foundation because it blends with your own skin color for flawless coverage.
The formula contains three ingredients to boost skin cell regeneration. There’s also Vitamin C to brighten skin tone and lighten discoloration. Finally, it erases fine lines with plankton, white birch, and yeast.
8. EltaMD UV Daily Tinted Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 40
EltaMD’s tinted sunscreen is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. Not only does it protect against UV radiation but it also prevents damage inflicted by infrared rays. It has no fragrance or parabens to make it safe for eczema-prone faces. And it offers long-lasting hydration with hyaluronic acid.
9. TIZO 3 Tinted Face SPF40 Sunscreen
The TIZO 3 tinted sunscreen uses zinc oxide, iron oxide, and titanium dioxide as an effective barrier against UV rays. You won’t have to wonder about the safety of the other active ingredients either as there are no parabens, no synthetic fragrances, and none of the other nasties often found in skincare products. It resists water for up to 80 minutes.
10. Cotz Face Natural Skin Tone SPF 40
Cotz’s tinted sunscreen protects your skin’s collagen from damage by guarding against heat build-up. It uses only mineral sunblocks like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. It’s not greasy and sets to a matte finish. You can wear it like a primer underneath foundation. Also important, it won’t make your eyes burn.
11. Coola Suncare Face SPF 30 Sunscreen Matte Tint
Coola’s non-nano sunscreen won awards two years in a row from New Beauty Magazine. It’s ideal for problem skin, but other skin types can enjoy it, too. Part of its magic lies in its formulation of skin-calming, anti-aging ingredients.
It smoothes your face with shea butter, but won’t leave it greasy. Next, it makes your skin supple and elastic with flaxseed and evening primrose oil. But what’s of most interest to those with hyperpigmentation is the rosehip oil that’s rich in Vitamin C.
12. MDSolarSciences Tinted Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 30
MDSolarSciences created their tinted fragrance-free sunscreen to fight both photo-aging and skin cancer. It’s full of antioxidants from cranberry, pomegranate, green tea, and zinc. In addition, the sheer tint sets to a matte finish so you can apply it underneath makeup. Also, note that the zinc oxide is eco-certified.
13. ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica Zinc Oxide and 100% Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50+
ISDIN sunscreen is gentle enough for both your body and face. In fact, it’s so mild that the Environmental Working Group rates it a one for safety. It contains powerful ingredients for skin including zinc oxide, Vitamin E, and DNA Repairsomes. It lasts up to 40 minutes in the water, too.
14. Neutrogena Age Shield Face Lotion Sunscreen with Broad Spectrum SPF 110
Neutrogena’s Age Shield face sunscreen has an outstanding SPF 110 rating. It’s likely more than you’ll ever need even at high noon on the equator. It has the proprietary Helioplex technology that creates six layers of protection from the sun rays. In other words, it absorbs into the top six layers of skin to prevent UV damage. It’s non-comedogenic and skin-conditioning.
15. Sun Bum Original Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion
Now let’s move on to non-tinted sunscreens. Sun Bum’s original lotion is mild enough for children but potent enough for adult bodies and faces. Choose your preferred protection level from SPF 15, 30, 50, and 70.
Once you apply it, lasts up to 80 minutes in the water, but remember to reapply when you towel off. And it’s safe to use every day even if you have problem skin. It’s free of common allergens like gluten and parabens. Furthermore, it was never tested on animals. The Skin Cancer Foundation has tested and approved this sunscreen.
16. Neutrogena Beach Defense Body Spray Sunscreen with Broad Spectrum SPF 70
Neutrogena’s Beach Defense spray sunscreen doesn’t make a mess when you apply it. The Helioplex technology offers SPF 70 protection that’s resistant to water for up to 80 minutes. If you don’t want to use a spray, the same formula is available in lotion or stick formats.
17. Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+
Thinkbaby’s gentle sunscreen uses only non-nano minerals to block sun rays and protect your skin. They remind you that the SPF50 rating is only good for two hours even if you’re not in the water. Plan on reapplying to maintain the same high level of defense.
18. Coppertone SPORT Continuous Sunscreen Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 50
Coppertone’s Sport spray won’t run into your eyes when you sweat. It also doesn’t feel heavy or greasy. But it will soften your skin and fight the free radicals from the environment that make your skin age.
19. Banana Boat Simply Protect Sport Sunscreen Spray, SPF 50+
Banana Boat’s sport spray meets Hawaii’s new regulation about safe sunscreen. It won’t harm coral reefs because it’s made without oxybenzone or octinoxate. There’s also no extra fragrance or parabens. Plus, it lasts through water, weather, sand, and high heat.
20. MDSolarSciences Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen
MDSolarSciences also makes a creamy sunscreen without tint. It’s free of oils and artificial fragrances and won’t clog pores. Additionally, it keeps your skin younger and brighter with key ingredients like green tea, cranberry, and pomegranate.
21. Supergoop! Everyday SPF 50 Sunscreen For Face and Body
Supergoop’s Sunscreen is made to keep you safe from sunburn every day of the week, not just during vacations and outdoor sporting events. As a result, it’s not sticky or greasy. It sinks in quickly and makes your skin softer and more resistant to what they call “environmental aggressors.” Some of the primary ingredients are rosemary leaf, rice bran, and sunflower extract.
22. Shiseido Urban Environment UV Protection Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40
Shisheido’s cream is designed to keep your skin healthy and hydrated in urban environments that are full of pollution and ultraviolet radiation. It has both physical and chemical filters like zinc oxide, octocrylene, and octinoxate. But it may give your skin a slight white cast whether you use it on your face or body.
23. Badger SPF 30 Lavender Sunscreen Cream
Badger’s lavender aroma relaxes your mind while it soothes your skin with seabuckthorn and sunflower oil. It only uses zinc oxide to block ultraviolet radiation, and it resists water up to 40 minutes. The biodegradable formula is safe to wear in the ocean.
24. CeraVe 100% Mineral Sunscreen
CeraVe sunscreen is lightweight with SPF 50 which provides hydration for the whole day. It contains three necessary ceramides that help to repair the skin’s natural blockade. This sunscreen guards the skin against UVA/UVB rays. It is appropriate for most types of skin. It can also be used for small children as it is allergy tested.
CeraVe is free from oil, oxybenzone, paraben, chemical, and is fragrance-free. The product consists of very important ceramides to restore your skin requirements. This sunscreen is mild on your skin and appropriate for all sorts of skin. It easily spreads leaving the skin lightweight and with a non-greasy look.
25. CeraVe Sunscreen Stick SPF 50 with Zinc Oxide, Hyaluronic Acid, and Ceramides
CeraVe’s sunscreen stick is a no-mess version of their safe and gentle product. Like their face washes and body lotion, it contains three essential ceramides. The ceramides help the skin retain moisture and resist damage from the environment. Instead of chemical filters, it has microfine zinc oxide that reflects the sun but doesn’t look white on your skin.
When your skin already has discoloration, protect it from further damage by using the best sunscreen for melasma and hyperpigmentation. It’s an inexpensive way to prevent problems in the future. Do yourself a favor and heed the words of Baz Luhrmann, “Wear sunscreen.”
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