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The Difference Between Melasma & Hyperpigmentation: How to Even Out Discoloration


Is there a difference between melasma and hyperpigmentation? Truth is, many of us lump the two together. After all, they look similar and disrupt our beauty routines with equal frustration. What’s a girl to do? 

Both melasma and hyperpigmentation are skin discoloration issues, but they each have unique triggers and symptoms. To better distinguish between hyperpigmentation vs. melasma, we’ll break down the two, their similarities, and their differences.

Armed with this info, you can better pinpoint which one might be disrupting your confidence, and learn how to ditch the issue stat.

First of all…

What is Hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is a term used to describe any skin condition that darkens skin pigmentation. It occurs anywhere on the body in small or large patches and is usually harmless (albeit very annoying). 

Causes of Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is as simple as the overproduction of melanin, the substance that gives your skin, hair, and eyes their pigment.

Does hyperpigmentation cause melasma? Sort of. The biggest difference between melasma and hyperpigmentation is that melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation, whereas hyperpigmentation is the umbrella that melasma falls under. 

There are two main types of hyperpigmentation:

  1. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation triggered by:
  • Skin trauma occurs when your skin cells react to injury or irritation.
  • Inflammation that causes your body to overproduce melanin. Sugar and skin may also be correlated, as even inflammatory foods can trigger post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. 

       2. Sunspots: of hyperpigmentation usually caused by too much UV exposure

How does melasma stack up?

What is Melasma?

While anyone can experience melasma, it tends to be more common in women. It appears as darker patches of skin on the face or anywhere exposed to the sun. 

Interestingly, melasma often appears symmetrically. For instance, if you have it on one cheek, you’ll probably get a matching mark on the other. 

So what’s causing it?

Causes of Melasma

The production of the melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) is the main cause of melasma. This hormone activates melanocytes (pigment-producing cells), resulting in skin discoloration. 

What causes MSH to spike?

Does melasma go away? Fortunately, yes. Despite being different conditions, most melasma and hyperpigmentation treatments are the same. 

The difference between melasma and hyperpigmentation is that melasma triggers tend to be trickier to address. 

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Finding the best treatment for melasma on your face and body isn’t going to be mission impossible. 

On that note, how do you get rid of hyperpigmentation and melasma?

Proven Solutions for Hyperpigmentation and Melasma

Despite the differences between melasma and hyperpigmentation, the root causes spawn from excess skin pigments. Here’s what you can do to even skin out asap.

Priority #1: Protect Your Skin from the Sun

MD Glam’s Sunshout Sunscreen SPF 50 provides gentle protection from the sun and environmental stressors. It doubles as a lux, hydrating moisturizer that evens your complexion, reverses damage, and preserves your forever-young glow. 

That dreaded SPF white-cast? We don’t know her. Our faithful customer, Nikoleta A., swears by MD Glam. As someone who’s always struggled with rosacea, she attests that Sunshout is the only SPF that protects and soothes her sensitive complexion.


Even Skin with Anti-Aging Products

Hand-in-hand with your SPF is scientifically-proven skincare that targets uneven skin, like the Ultimate Anti-Aging Kit by MD Glam. 

Ingredients like glycolic acid, lactic acid, and vitamins A, B, and C can all help regulate skin pigment production and even your skin tone. Plus, it has everything you need to combat the signs of aging AND uneven skin tone, all in one package. #WinWin

One customer says her hyperpigmentation and maskne were so bad post-2020, that her confidence was at an all-time low. MD Glam’s Ultimate Anti-Aging Kit was her skin’s saving grace and changed the game — giving her that “envy-worthy glow” everyone dreams of. 

“I am in LOVE with the new and improved me.”

(Shout out to you, Sommer F.)


Say Hello to Even, Gorgeous Skin with MD Glam!

Don’t let yourself get hung up on the differences between melasma and hyperpigmentation. Instead, indulge in a holy grail skincare solution that works for both, so you can return to being fabulously confident and unstoppable. 

As a plastic surgeon in sunny 90210, our founder, Dr. Cat started MD Glam to deliver women science-backed skincare that targets their concerns — without sacrificing luxurious quality. We know skin, and we’re devoted to providing solutions to help you love yours!

Don’t take our word for it, though — read what our happy customers have to say

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Sunshout Sunscreen SPF 50

2-in-1 formula powered to hydrate and shield against sun damage and aging. Proactive defense reduces the risk of skin cancer.
1.75 fl oz
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