"I'm A Dermatologist With Melasma—Here's Exactly What I Use To Keep My Skin Tone Even"

Dermatologists prescribe products to their patients all day long, but have you ever wondered which ones they personally use? Welcome to Derm Diaries, a new series where dermatologists share their skin woes—and solutions—so you can steal secrets from their skincare routines.

Janelle Vega, MD, a board certified dermatologist at Mayoral Dermatology in Miami, has struggled with skin discoloration from melasma for over 10 years. “Melasma is usually brought on by a combination of internal factors (such as hormones) as well as exposure to heat and sun,” she explains. Luckily, she has figured out the exact concoction of products and ingredients to keep it at bay so you don’t have to. On top of her daily skincare routine (keep scrolling), she uses sun protective clothing as well as sun hats and visors. Another key: “I wear sunscreen daily, no matter what I’m doing.” Keep reading for more of her tips.

Dr. Vega’s product lineup:

Dr. Vega’s Skincare Lineup
Janelle Vega

She uses a brightening face wash.

“It contains slow-releasing alpha hydroxy acids that brighten skin over time so your face is fresh after washing without feeling dry or stripped.”

SkinBetter Science Oxygen Infusion Washskinbetter.com$38.00SHOP NOW

She boosts her sun protection with an antioxidant serum.

“This is one of the most potent blends of antioxidants on the market.Antioxidants are important for getting rid of free radical damage which can potentially hurt skin cells and lead to wrinkles and sagging, but they also boost your sunscreen potential to protect against infrared rays, as well as brightening the skin.”

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulicdermstore.com$166.00SHOP NOW

She plumps skin with a hyaluronic acid serum.

“This product helps to fight the daily damage induced by the sun and other pollutants as well as give the skin a nice drink of hyaluronic acid for hydration and immediate plumping.”

Vichy Mineral 89 Daily Skin Booster Serumdermstore.com$29.50SHOP NOW

She also uses a brightening serum to counteract sun damage.

“This is a hydroquinone-free blend of skin brighteners and botanical ingredients that work together to reduce the look of pigment, sun damage, redness and that yellowish discoloration that can occur in sun damaged skin. It’s a great alternative to hydroquinone, or it can be used in combination with hydroquinone since it targets other steps in the pathway of pigment creation.”

SkinBetter Science Even Tone Correcting Serumskinbetter.com$140.00SHOP NOW https://www.instagram.com/p/BoNCu5JlLJD/

She applies eye cream morning and night.

“Neuro calming peptides relax the wrinkles, Vitamin C brightens, caffeine reduces puffiness, and emollients keep skin hydrated which will in turn also reduce wrinkles.”

Skinbetter Science InterFuse Treatment Creamskinbetter.com$105.00SHOP NOW

She always chooses a tinted sunscreen.

“This sunscreen is my go to because it contains a physical blocker but also blocks infrared light which can be a trigger for melasma. Tinted moisturizers usually contain iron oxide (to help create color), which, in addition to helping protect against UV rays, also help to protect against the visible light spectrum (especially blue light) which can also trigger issues with melasma.”

Alastin HydraTint Pro Mineral Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 36alastin.com$55.00SHOP NOW

She uses hydroquinone pads on and off.

“This contains hydroquinone to help battle the melasma as well as other non-hydroquinone ingredients to help with pigment such as emblica and arbutin. I go a few months on and a few months off of using hydroquinone because there is a concern about using hydroquinone every day long term that you can have paradoxical pigment darkening, so it’s best to alternate its use so that you’re not on it continuously (since melasma tends to be chronic and relapsing).”

BONAPELLE Clearessence (2% Hydroquinone)mayoralderm.com$66.00SHOP NOW

She chooses a moisturizer with antioxidants.

“This moisturizes the skin, but it also contains antioxidants to protect your skin from damage and boost your skin’s natural collagen and elastin.”

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