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What is Melasma?

Have you heard of melasma, but never knew how it differed from sunspots? The chronic condition, often referred to as the pregnancy mask, primarily affects women and those with darker skin tones. Melasma appears as patchy dark spots across areas such as the forehead, upper lip, bridge of the nose, and cheeks. Treating the pigmentation can require patience paired with consistent home care and diligent sun protection. Melasma is different from other forms of skin discoloration because it is often hormonally driven, making it tricky to treat. There is still much to discover about this condition, but understanding what triggers melasma can help you manage it!


Melasma and hormones:

Commonly, the dark patches are a response to a hormonal change that can occur during pregnancy; due to increased estrogen levels. Other factors could be oral contraceptive pills, thyroid disease, or undergoing hormone therapy. Chronic stress can also stimulate melasma; all the more reason to schedule your monthly facials and unwind!



Heat & sun exposure:

Warmth triggers inflammation in the skin, causing an overproduction of melanin, the polymer responsible for color in our hair and skin. This reaction can cause a melasma flare-up. Secondly, avoiding too much sun exposure is a great way to combat pigmentation! If you are skincare obsessed, SPF is likely part of your morning routine; but is your SPF heat resistant? The Sorella Apothecary Tropical Topical Matte SPF 30 contains Elix-IR, an ingredient designed to protect the skin against infrared heat such as sun and even a warm bonfire.


We are exposed to many different heat sources that are not as obvious as the sun! Those listed below you might not have considered, but should be aware of!

  • Blow dryer
  • metal-rimmed sunglasses
  • opening the oven
  • saunas and hot yoga

Indirect heat sources:

  • Computer screens
  • phones
  • visible light sources (lightbulbs)


Treating melasma:

Results begin at home, be sure to stock your routine with brightening ingredients! Our Lemon Lightening Serum is designed to reduce existing pigmentation, prevent future pigmentation from rising to the surface, and is safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding. Your service provider might suggest micro-needling, chemical peeling, or micro-dermabrasion for pigment concerns. Always consult your esthetician on how to treat melasma, and find a treatment plan that works for you!



Are you looking for a place to start a professional home care routine? The Sorella Mini’s Brightening Kit is the perfect way to begin your journey to glowing skin!