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The One K-beauty Product That Helped Reverse My Melasma

Looking for the best melasma treatment? Karley Kiker, a lifestyle blogger, used to think there was no cure for her melasma. Then she discovered one K-beauty product and realized that she needed to be wearing another essential product every single day. Read on to learn more!

This story is taken from a blog post on Karley’s bridal blog, A Short Engagement, in which she talks about her experience with developing melasma, trying multiple things to try to reverse it, and how it was a Korean serum that finally got her to see results. To read the full post, head over to her blog.
Below, we offer a summary and reached out to Karley to ask her some specific questions about her treatment and her best tips for those who also suffer from melasma.
First, what is melasma?
Melasma is a condition that is more common in women and results in skin that looks discolored (often a dark brown). It typically appears in areas that receive sun exposure (cheeks, forehead, etc) and often occurs in women who are pregnant or on birth control (due to hormones) and women who are of Eastern and Southeast Asian descent.
How did Karley get it? She was backpacking with her husband in southeast Asia back in the summer of 2016 and she didn’t prioritize sunscreen. After hiking in the sun for a month, she then embarked on another sun-filled trip to Australia and New Zealand where she often forgot to wear SPF.
A couple months later, she was in a makeup store with those bright, beaming lights and intense mirrors when her reflection caught her eye, and not in a good way. “BAM. There it was. A massive, blotchy brown spot that my makeup wasn’t even close to concealing,” writes Karley. “While I hoped that it would fade on its own once we returned home, like a tan or a sunburn would, the reality is that it stuck around and took every opportunity it could to grow and darken.”
She searched and searched for remedies and decided to give vitamin C a try. Why? Because the antioxidant is known for brightening skin and helping lift dark and brown spots. Her product of choice? The Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Serum. It features 5 percent vitamin C to get to work on brown spots fast without irritating sensitive skin. Karley’s results are impressive. Here’s how the serum lifted her melasma over the course of a year:

Karley also writes that she loves pairing the Klairs vitamin C serum with the Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask since vitamin E helps stabilize vitamin C and help it work faster and better. We’ve discussed how these two products are a match made in heaven, and you can see how it helps Karley see results in the photos above.
Aside from becoming a Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Serum devotee, Karley also learned an important lesson: wear sunscreen no matter what, no matter the weather! She also made wearing sunscreen a daily rule since she started using vitamin C on the regular and vitamin C can make your skin more susceptible to sun damage (exactly what you don’t want if you’re trying to get rid of your melasma). She literally became obsessed with the Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun Milk because it leaves zero white cast and doesn’t break her out.
Here, we ask Karley some questions about her experience with melasma:
Will you walk us through your product history trying to fade your melasma?

“Melasma is actually what caused me to turn to vitamin C and brightening products in the first place! Before melasma my primary skin concern was acne; this is actually one of the reasons I used to skip out on applying sunscreen on my face. Sunscreen always seemed to break me out, and in my mind that was worse than a little sunburn (ugh…never again!).

I never felt that I had a need for brightening products before, but when that massive brown spot appeared on my forehead, I went into Google overdrive and decided to give vitamin C a shot. On top of being acne-prone, I have extremely sensitive skin, so the Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C serum was a perfect fit for me. In addition to fading my melasma significantly, I give vitamin C credit for helping reduce active acne and fade dark spots from prior acne, and I actually feel that it has helped shrink my pores as well. Despite the melasma, this is the best overall that my skin has ever looked or felt.”

What did you learn about the importance of sunscreen after going through this experience?

“I can’t stress enough how important it is to wear sunscreen at all times—yes, even in the winter, and YES, even when you’re not planning to go outside! UV rays can penetrate your car windows, so even if you’ll be in your car for most of the day, it’s important to limit your exposure. Reversing melasma takes a long time, but spreading or darkening of melasma can happen after just a few hours (maybe even less!) of unprotected sun exposure.

I’m rigorous about sunscreen application now because I don’t want to reverse any of the progress I’ve made thanks to vitamin C products. I don’t take chances when it comes to sun exposure anymore. I wear my Missha SPF 50 daily and always wear a hat when I know I’ll be outdoors for an extended period of time. Practice safe sun, people!”

What’s so special about the Missha Essence Sun Milk?

“As I mentioned, my skin has always been acne-prone and is very sensitive. Missha is the only sunscreen I have ever used that does not break me out…like, not at all! I also love the smell and the consistency of this sunscreen. It feels lightweight but provides amazing coverage and protection, with zero white cast. I rock it bare-faced at the beach and it also works well under makeup. I have recommended it to several friends and don’t plan on switching it out for another product anytime soon!”

What are your best tips for treating and preventing melasma?

“Commit to being diligent about sunscreen application and wearing hats before melasma ever strikes. It’s easy to get discoloration, but it takes a long time to reverse it. If you do have melasma, be CONSISTENT with your skin care! Don’t expect to see insanely dramatic results right away; it takes time, but you will see results if you stay consistent with your usage of brightening products and remain diligent about protecting your skin from the sun.”

Learn more great tips from Karley on her blog, A Short Engagement!

+ Do you have great tips for melasma treatment? Share them in the comments below!

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