The Best Makeup Concealer for Melasma

by Michelle Powell-Smith

Melasma is a common skin condition that causes patches of brown or gray-brown skin on the cheeks, chin, nose, forehead and upper lip. Melasma is especially common during pregnancy, or can be caused by medications, sun exposure or other factors. Treatments are available, but you may need to conceal or cover up melasma with makeup before or during treatment.


You can choose between several options when concealing melasma. Complete coverage concealers and foundations, like those designed for scar coverage, work to cover the discolorations of melasma. Or use color corrective concealers with a lighter coverage foundation for a more natural and less made-up look. Color corrective products neutralize the brown, gray or reddish tone associated with melasma, allowing your traditional foundation to even your skin tone. Some companies make specialized concealers for melasma that include skin lighteners to treat the condition.

Complete Coverage Products

Complete coverage concealers work by hiding natural skin tone. Choose a color that matches your natural skin well. Apply moisturizer and sunscreen, then pat the concealer into place with a fingertip or cosmetic sponge blending the edges well. Use a full or complete coverage foundation over the concealer. A complete coverage option may look slightly less natural, but will create an even and unblemished skin tone.

Color Correctives

Color corrective concealers should be applied after sunscreen and moisturizer, but before foundation. Apply liquids and creams with your fingertip or a sponge. Use a small brush to apply mineral powders. recommends a blue-violet shade for tan or light brown patches, a lavender color for gray patches or a yellow or green shade for reddish areas. Blend colors to achieve the shade you need. Follow with a full-coverage foundation, using a mineral powder foundation if you opted for mineral concealer.

Time Frame

In some cases, melasma fades on its own. Typically, chloasma, or the mask of pregnancy, lightens and disappears within a few months of delivery. If melasma coincided with hormonal contraceptives, stopping the hormones can be effective. Treatments, including lightening creams, take several months to work. You can use makeup to conceal melasma until it resolves or during treatment.


Sun exposure is one of the most common causes of melasma. Wear a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 to keep dark patches on your skin from worsening. Continue wearing sunscreen regularly during and after treatment, as well as after your melasma has faded. Sun exposure may cause melasma to return, reports the American Academy of Dermatology.

About the Author

Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing on a variety of subjects from finance to crafts since 2004. Her work appears on various websites. She holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, which has provided strong research skills and a varied range of interests.

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