Skip to main content

Top 11 Best Sunscreens for Melasma

UpdatedFebruary 29, 2024

Melasma is a common skin condition that causes dark, discolored patches on the face. While there is no cure for melasma, wearing sunscreen can help prevent further discoloration and protect the skin from harmful UV rays. However, not all sunscreens are created equal, and finding the right one for melasma-prone skin can be a challenge.

When looking for the best sunscreen for melasma, it's important to pay attention to the ingredients. Look for a sunscreen that contains physical blockers like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which sit on top of the skin and reflect UV rays away from the face. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, absorb UV rays and can actually worsen melasma.

Another important factor to consider is the SPF level. While a high SPF may seem like the best choice, it's important to remember that SPF only measures protection against UVB rays, not UVA rays. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to ensure protection against both types of UV rays.

At We, we understand the importance of finding the right sunscreen for melasma-prone skin. That's why we tested and researched multiple sunscreens to identify the best options for those with melasma. In the following sections, we will share our top picks and explain why they are the best choices for protecting and preserving melasma-prone skin.

Top 3 Best Sunscreens for Melasma

  1. CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen Sheer Tint lotion
  2. EltaMD UV Clear Face Sunscreen
  3. Neutrogena Sport Face Sunscreen SPF 70+

As people with melasma know, the condition can be frustrating and difficult to manage. While there is no cure for melasma, wearing sunscreen can help prevent further darkening of the skin. However, not all sunscreens are created equal when it comes to melasma. That's why we've compiled a list of the best sunscreens for melasma to help you make an informed decision. Our list includes sunscreens that are specifically formulated for melasma-prone skin, as well as those that offer broad-spectrum protection and are gentle on sensitive skin.

CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen Sheer Tint lotion

The Editor's Choice

Discover flawless sun protection with CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen Sheer Tint lotion. This game-changer offers sheer tint for all skin tones, erasing the white-cast stigma of mineral sunscreens. Packed with three ceramides, it hydrates and fortifies the skin barrier. Ideal for all skin types, it doubles as a tinted primer with SPF 30, imparting a radiant glow. While lacking a protective seal, its thick formula can be tricky to apply and might be too dark for pale skin. Despite these minor quirks, it's a top choice for a luminous, protective complexion.

See Price on Amazon

If you're looking for a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection of SPF 30 and instantly leaves skin with a healthy glow without any white-cast, CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen Sheer Tint lotion is the perfect solution.

Pros

  • The universal tint for all skin tones offsets the white-cast typically associated with mineral sunscreens.
  • The non-greasy formula provides all-day hydration with three essential ceramides that help restore the skin’s natural barrier and lock in moisture.
  • Suitable for all skin types, including dry skin, sensitive skin, oily skin, and acne-prone.

Cons

  • The tinted moisturizer with SPF 30 doesn't come with a protective seal.
  • The formula is a bit thick, which makes it difficult to apply.
  • The color might be too dark for people with pale skin.

We've tried this sunscreen and we're impressed with the results. The sunscreen provides a sheer tint that is perfect for all skin tones and offsets the white-cast typically associated with mineral sunscreens. The non-greasy formula provides all-day hydration with three essential ceramides that help restore the skin’s natural barrier and lock in moisture. It's fragrance-free, paraben-free, oil-free, and non-comedogenic, making it gentle on the skin.

The sunscreen is suitable for all skin types, including dry skin, sensitive skin, oily skin, and acne-prone. It can be worn alone or under makeup as a tinted primer with SPF 30. We love how it provides a healthy glow and leaves our skin looking fresh and radiant. However, the tinted moisturizer with SPF 30 doesn't come with a protective seal, which is a bit of a downside. The formula is a bit thick, which makes it difficult to apply. Also, the color might be too dark for people with pale skin.

Overall, we highly recommend CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen Sheer Tint lotion for people looking for a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection of SPF 30 and instantly leaves skin with a healthy glow without any white-cast. It's a safe and gentle formula that contains only physical filters Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.

See Price on Amazon

We highly recommend the EltaMD UV Clear Face Sunscreen for those with melasma-prone skin who are looking for a lightweight and effective sunscreen.

Pros

  • This sunscreen is oil-free and contains zinc oxide, making it perfect for sensitive and acne-prone skin.
  • It protects your skin from harmful UV rays and calms your skin at the same time.
  • The lightweight and silky texture of the sunscreen makes it easy to apply and wear all day.

Cons

  • Some users may find the price of this sunscreen to be higher than other options on the market.
  • The pump bottle may not be the most convenient for travel or on-the-go use.
  • While it is advertised as "clear," some users may still experience a slight white cast upon application.

We have personally used the EltaMD UV Clear Face Sunscreen and found it to be a great addition to our skincare routine. The sunscreen is easy to apply and does not leave a greasy or heavy feeling on the skin. It is also effective at protecting the skin from the sun's harmful rays, without causing any irritation or breakouts.

The zinc oxide in the sunscreen provides a physical barrier to protect the skin, while also calming any inflammation or redness. Additionally, the sunscreen is formulated to be lightweight and silky, making it easy to wear under makeup or on its own.

While the price of this sunscreen may be higher than other options, we believe that the quality and effectiveness of the product make it worth the investment. Overall, we highly recommend the EltaMD UV Clear Face Sunscreen for those with melasma-prone skin who are looking for a reliable and effective sunscreen option.

See price on Amazon

We highly recommend Neutrogena Sport Face Sunscreen SPF 70+ for anyone looking for a reliable sunscreen for melasma. This facial sunscreen is perfect for active outdoor activities and provides superior sun protection against aging UVA and burning UVB rays to prevent sunburn.

Pros

  • Resists wear off from water, rubbing, sweating or wiping
  • Nourishes and restores skin balance with electrolyte complex
  • Decreases the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging caused by the sun

Cons

  • May not be suitable for those with sensitive skin
  • Can leave a white cast on darker skin tones
  • May feel slightly greasy on the skin

We found that the Neutrogena Sport Face Sunscreen SPF 70+ was perfect for outdoor sports and activities. It was sweat-resistant, water-resistant, and did not wear off easily. The electrolyte complex helped to nourish and restore our skin balance, leaving our skin feeling soft and smooth.

However, we did notice that it may not be suitable for those with sensitive skin as it may cause irritation. Additionally, it can leave a white cast on darker skin tones, which may not be ideal for some. Lastly, it may feel slightly greasy on the skin, which may be a downside for those who prefer a matte finish.

Overall, we highly recommend the Neutrogena Sport Face Sunscreen SPF 70+ for anyone looking for a reliable sunscreen for melasma. Its superior sun protection and sweat-resistant formula make it perfect for outdoor sports and activities.

See price on Amazon

If you're looking for a sunscreen that is perfect for sensitive and acne-prone skin, then the EltaMD UV Clear Tinted Face Sunscreen is a great choice for you.

Pros

  • The tint matches skin color well and is not too noticeable once rubbed in.
  • Provides great sun protection with SPF 46 and zinc oxide.
  • Lightweight and non-greasy formula that is perfect for everyday use.

Cons

  • May not blend well with all skin tones.
  • Can feel a bit wet when first applied.
  • May require more product than usual to feel fully protected.

We recently tried out the EltaMD UV Clear Tinted Face Sunscreen and were impressed with how well it protected our skin from the sun's harmful rays. The tint is a nice touch and does a good job of blending in with skin color once it's fully rubbed in. The lightweight formula is perfect for everyday use and doesn't feel heavy or greasy on the skin.

One downside is that the tint may not match all skin tones, so it's important to test it out before committing to purchasing it. Additionally, the formula can feel a bit wet when first applied, but it dries quickly and doesn't leave a residue. We also found that we needed to use a bit more of the product than usual to feel fully protected.

Overall, if you're looking for a sunscreen that is gentle on sensitive and acne-prone skin, the EltaMD UV Clear Tinted Face Sunscreen is a great option to consider.

See price on Amazon

If you are looking for a sunscreen that provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection with antioxidants and is oxybenzone-free, then La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-in Milk Body & Face Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 100 is the right product for you.

Pros

  • Provides high SPF protection
  • Formulated with Cell-Ox Shield technology
  • Unscented

Cons

  • May sting if it gets into your eyes
  • Pricey
  • May leave a slight white cast

We have used La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-in Milk Body & Face Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 100 and we are impressed by its high SPF protection and Cell-Ox Shield technology that provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection with antioxidants. We also appreciate that it is unscented, which is a plus for people who are sensitive to fragrances.

However, we did experience some stinging when the sunscreen got into our eyes, so it's important to be careful when applying it around the eye area. Additionally, the price of the product is on the higher side, which may not be suitable for everyone's budget. Lastly, while it claims to be unscented, it does have a slight sunscreen smell and may leave a slight white cast on the skin.

Overall, if you are looking for a high SPF sunscreen that provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection with antioxidants and is unscented, La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-in Milk Body & Face Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 100 is a good option to consider.

See price on Amazon

We highly recommend ISDIN Eryfotona Ageless Sunscreen for people with melasma or hyperpigmentation. This product is a lovely liquid tinted sunscreen that easily applies and dries down matte on unmoisturized combination skin. It contains DNA repair enzymes which purportedly reverse sun damage and prevent premature aging.

Pros

  • The tinted formula blends seamlessly with medium skin tones, leaving no white cast and no need for foundation.
  • The lightweight texture makes it perfect for everyday use, and it doesn't feel greasy or heavy under makeup.
  • The high SPF of 50+ provides excellent protection against UV rays, which is essential for people with melasma or hyperpigmentation.

Cons

  • The scent of the product is not everyone's cup of tea. It has a soapy or baby powder-like fragrance, which can be overwhelming for some.
  • The tinted formula may not suit all skin tones, and it may appear too dark or too light for some people.
  • The price point is higher than some other sunscreens on the market, but the quality justifies the cost.

Overall, we think ISDIN Eryfotona Ageless Sunscreen is an excellent investment for anyone looking for a high-quality sunscreen that also helps with hyperpigmentation. The formula is lightweight, non-greasy, and blends seamlessly with medium skin tones. The high SPF of 50+ provides excellent protection against UV rays, which is essential for people with melasma or hyperpigmentation. The only downside is the fragrance, which may not be suitable for some people.

See price on Amazon

We highly recommend the EltaMD UV Restore Tinted Face Sunscreen for those looking for a sunscreen that helps repair sun damage and improve skin suppleness and moisture retention.

Pros

  • The subtle tint blends well with most skin tones, making it a great option for those who don't want to wear makeup but still want a more even complexion.
  • The mineral sunscreen formula is free from harmful chemicals, making it a safe choice for sensitive skin types.
  • The lightweight formula absorbs quickly and doesn't leave a greasy residue, making it easy to wear under makeup.

Cons

  • Some users with dry skin may find the formula a little too drying, especially after the first hour of wear.
  • The tint may not be suitable for those with very fair or very dark skin tones.
  • The price point is a little higher than some other sunscreens on the market.

Overall, we found the EltaMD UV Restore Tinted Face Sunscreen to be an excellent choice for those with sun-damaged skin who want to protect and repair their skin while also improving its appearance. The subtle tint is a great bonus, and the mineral sunscreen formula is a safe choice for those with sensitive skin. While it may not be the best choice for those with very dry or very fair/dark skin, we believe it's worth the investment for those who want to prioritize their skin's health and appearance.

See price on Amazon

If you're looking for effective sun protection against melasma, we highly recommend Mesoestetic Mesoprotech Melan Cream SPF 130+.

Pros

  • Provides excellent sun protection against UVB, UVA, HEV, and IR rays
  • Helps control and prevent pigmentation issues like melasma
  • Moisturizes and softens skin

Cons

  • Has a neutral scent, which may not be appealing to those who prefer fragranced products
  • Can be a bit pricey compared to other sunscreens on the market
  • Comes in a small tube, so you may need to repurchase more frequently

We've personally used this product and can attest to its effectiveness in protecting against sun damage and controlling pigmentation issues like melasma. The high SPF level provides peace of mind, knowing that your skin is protected against harmful rays. Additionally, the cream is moisturizing and helps keep skin soft and supple.

However, some users may not enjoy the neutral scent of the product, as it lacks any fragrance. Additionally, the price point may be a bit steep for some, especially considering the small size of the tube.

Overall, if you're looking for a reliable sunscreen that also helps control pigmentation issues like melasma, Mesoestetic Mesoprotech Melan Cream SPF 130+ is definitely worth considering.

See price on Amazon

We highly recommend the All Good Tinted Mineral Sport Sunscreen Lotion for Face & Body as the best sunscreen for melasma. This product provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and is made with reef-friendly ingredients that are lightweight, non-greasy, and actually hydrate and repair skin.

Pros

  • The tinted formula provides a natural-looking coverage that evens out skin tone.
  • The sunscreen is made with organic ingredients like green tea, rose hips, and buriti oil that repair damaged skin from sunburn and windburn.
  • The product is great for sensitive skin and water-resistant. It doesn’t leave your skin chalky or greasy and won’t clog your pores.

Cons

  • The tinted formula may leave a stain on light-colored clothing, towels, and furniture.
  • The scent may not be appealing to some users.
  • The product may be a bit pricey compared to other sunscreens.

We love how the All Good Tinted Mineral Sport Sunscreen Lotion for Face & Body provides full spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. The product is easy to apply and doesn’t leave a white cast or greasy residue. We also appreciate that it’s made with natural and organic ingredients that are gentle on the skin.

The tinted formula is perfect for those with melasma as it helps even out skin tone and provides a natural-looking coverage. The product is also water-resistant, making it perfect for outdoor activities.

Overall, the All Good Tinted Mineral Sport Sunscreen Lotion for Face & Body is a great investment for those looking for a high-quality sunscreen that not only protects but also repairs and hydrates the skin.

See price on Amazon

We highly recommend the Musely Cleanser and Day Cream Mineral SPF 50 for anyone looking for a sunscreen that is gentle on sensitive skin and provides immediate protection from UV rays.

Pros

  • The skin-soothing properties of this sunscreen make it an excellent choice for anyone with acne-prone skin or who suffers from melasma.
  • The Musely Cleanser and Day Cream Mineral SPF 50 deeply cleans pores, leaving skin feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
  • This sunscreen is non-irritating and non-comedogenic, making it an ideal choice for anyone with sensitive skin.

Cons

  • Some users may find the clear color of this sunscreen to be less than ideal.
  • The water-resistant formula may be difficult to remove, especially for those with dry skin.
  • The sunscreen may not be suitable for those with extremely oily skin.

The Musely Cleanser and Day Cream Mineral SPF 50 is a great choice for anyone looking for a sunscreen that provides immediate protection from UV rays while also being gentle on sensitive skin. The skin-soothing properties of this sunscreen make it an excellent choice for anyone with acne-prone skin or who suffers from melasma. Additionally, the Musely Cleanser and Day Cream Mineral SPF 50 deeply cleans pores, leaving skin feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

One of the best things about this sunscreen is that it is non-irritating and non-comedogenic, making it an ideal choice for anyone with sensitive skin. However, some users may find the clear color of this sunscreen to be less than ideal. Additionally, the water-resistant formula may be difficult to remove, especially for those with dry skin. Finally, the sunscreen may not be suitable for those with extremely oily skin.

See price on Amazon

If you're looking for a sunscreen that is gentle on sensitive skin, then you should consider Aveeno Protect + Soothe Mineral Sunscreen Stick. It provides powerful sun protection against skin aging UVA & skin burning UVB rays, and is water- and sweat-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

Pros

  • The sunscreen stick is formulated with zinc oxide, a naturally sourced 100% mineral active ingredient, as well as pure oat essence, making it gentle on sensitive skin.
  • It glides on skin for clear protection without the mess and leaves skin feeling soft, non-greasy, and non-sticky.
  • The travel-size stick is suitable for daily use at home and on the go to help prevent sunburn.

Cons

  • The sunscreen may leave a white cast when applied, but it can be blended in to help that.
  • It has a deodorant consistency and can get messy on the top.
  • The sunscreen has a smell that may not be pleasant for some people.

In our experience, Aveeno Protect + Soothe Mineral Sunscreen Stick is an effective and nourishing formula that is gentle on sensitive skin. It can be easily applied with one hand and provides clear protection without the mess. The sunscreen stick is perfect for daily use at home and on the go, and leaves skin feeling soft, non-greasy, and non-sticky. However, it may leave a white cast when applied and has a deodorant consistency that can get messy on the top. Additionally, the sunscreen has a smell that may not be pleasant for some people.

Overall, if you're looking for a sunscreen that is gentle on sensitive skin, Aveeno Protect + Soothe Mineral Sunscreen Stick is a great option to consider.

Buying Guide

When it comes to choosing the best sunscreen for melasma, it's important to consider several factors to ensure that you're getting a product that will effectively protect your skin while also helping to prevent hyperpigmentation. Here are some key features to look for:

Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

The SPF rating is a measure of how well a sunscreen can protect your skin from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. In general, a higher SPF rating means more protection, but it's important to note that no sunscreen can provide 100% protection. We recommend choosing a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 for daily use, and higher for extended periods of sun exposure.

Broad Spectrum Protection

In addition to SPF, it's important to choose a sunscreen that offers broad spectrum protection. This means that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays, which can cause skin damage and contribute to the development of melasma. Look for sunscreens that contain ingredients like titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone, or Mexoryl SX for broad spectrum protection.

Water Resistance

If you plan to be active or spend time in the water, it's important to choose a sunscreen that is water resistant. This will ensure that the sunscreen stays on your skin and provides adequate protection even when you're sweating or swimming. Look for sunscreens that are labeled "water resistant" and have a water resistance rating of at least 40 minutes.

Non-Comedogenic

For those with melasma-prone skin, it's important to choose a sunscreen that is non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog pores or contribute to breakouts. Look for sunscreens that are labeled as non-comedogenic or oil-free.

Other Considerations

Other factors to consider when choosing a sunscreen for melasma include the texture (e.g. lotion, cream, gel), the scent (or lack thereof), and any additional ingredients that may be beneficial for your skin type (e.g. antioxidants, moisturizers). Ultimately, the best sunscreen for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of sunscreen is best for melasma?

The best type of sunscreen for melasma is a physical or mineral sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These ingredients work by reflecting and scattering the UV rays away from the skin, rather than absorbing them like chemical sunscreens. This makes them less likely to cause irritation or trigger melasma.

Can sunscreen help melasma?

Yes, sunscreen can help prevent melasma from getting worse and protect the skin from further damage. It is important to wear sunscreen every day, even on cloudy days, as UV rays can still penetrate through clouds and windows.

Is zinc oxide or titanium dioxide better for melasma?

Both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are effective at protecting the skin from UV rays and are safe for those with melasma. However, zinc oxide is generally considered to be better for melasma as it provides broader spectrum protection and is less likely to cause skin irritation.

What SPF is safe for melasma?

A minimum of SPF 30 is recommended for those with melasma. However, it is important to note that the higher the SPF, the better the protection. It is also important to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, especially if you are sweating or swimming.

Best powder sunscreen for melasma

Powder sunscreens are a great option for those with melasma as they provide a matte finish and can be easily reapplied throughout the day. Some of the best powder sunscreens for melasma include Colorescience Sunforgettable Brush-On Sunscreen, Supergoop! Invincible Setting Powder, and Jane Iredale Powder-Me SPF.

Mineral sunscreen for melasma

Mineral sunscreens are a great option for those with melasma as they contain physical blockers like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that are less likely to trigger melasma. Some of the best mineral sunscreens for melasma include EltaMD UV Physical Tinted Sunscreen, La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Sunscreen, and Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen.

Affiliate Disclosure:
The links provided may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you if you choose to purchase the recommended product. This support allows our research and editorial team to continue providing high-quality recommendations. As a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising initiative, we are able to earn advertising fees through providing links to products on Amazon.com. Please rest assured that we only recommend high-quality products.