Melasma is a fairly common condition. I have melasma, and can vouch that foundation is an easy way to cover it up. If you’re looking for the best foundation for melasma, be sure to consider a few important factors first before making a purchase: your skin type, the available shade range, the finish, and SPF factor.
The best foundation for melasma (for most skin types) is Neutrogena Healthy Skin Compact Makeup Foundation. It’s a lightweight cream with SPF to prevent further sun damage.
Though makeup isn’t exactly fixing the issue, it can really give the impression that one has flawless skin by covering up and camouflaging a good number of skin concerns – enlarged pores, hyperpigmentation, sun and aging spots, and melasma among others.
Of course, there are different formulas for different skin types and coverage, so see our team’s favorites below. Be sure to check out the guide at the bottom of the page for what to look for in a foundation.
What is Melasma?
Melasma is a skin condition wherein dark or brown spots appear on the skin. This condition mostly occurs on the face but can also show up on other parts of the body like your hands, arms, and neck. It’s often referred to as the ‘pregnancy mask’ when it develops and occurs on pregnant women. Though melasma is not of a health concern, this can often cause insecurities for many who develop them on their skin.
What causes melasma?
Sun exposure is a common cause of melasma. Too much exposure from the sun can affect the cells in charge of pigment, resulting in spots darker than your actual skin. Hormonal factors and changes as well as birth control and pregnancy are thought to cause melasma to appear on skin. The products we use on our skin, whether skincare or cosmetics, can also be a contributing factor in developing these dark spots.
Treatment and prevention
Getting rid of any signs of melasma on skin can be tricky. Though many would agree that it can fade away naturally, especially when it’s caused by pregnancy and contraceptive pills, one can always opt to brightening and whitening creams to get rid of the issue. To ensure that you get the right treatment for your melasma, it is best to pay your dermatologist a visit to get proper guidance and diagnosis regarding your skin concern.
SInce one of the more common reasons for melasma to appear on skin is sun exposure, it is important that you stick with an SPF in your skincare routine. This will make sure your skin is well-protected and that they are less likely to reappear on your skin.
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The Best Foundation for Melasma
1.Neutrogena Healthy Skin Compact Makeup Foundation – Our Pick!
Our number one pick for the best foundation for melasma is the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Compact Makeup Foundation! This lightweight cream foundation assures to cover melasma well along with other skin imperfections like scars, enlarged pores, and other issues of hyperpigmentation. This has a buildable coverage without ever leaving you looking cakey or feeling heavy at all. This goes on skin smoothly and easily and is sure to give you superb performance for the price you pay.
Having been infused with broad spectrum SPF 55 aka the highest and most powerful level of UVA/UVB sun protection currently available in a compact foundation, you are sure to feel protected from the sun’s rays every time you step out of the house. The high level of SPF and sun protection this compact foundation offers is a great benefit for those with melasma as this can help prevent them from reappearing on top of completely covering and camouflaging them.
Staying true to its name, every time you use this Neutrogena foundation as part of your makeup routine, you are one step closer to achieving optimum skin health. Formulated with vitamins A, B5, C, ane E, this is sure to provide antioxidant activity, natural moisturizer, and enhanced skin healing and repairing. Its pool of wonderful and healthy ingredients also include natural soy and the plant feverfew. Both these ingredients provide protection against free radicals and protect the skin from its effects while also providing calming skin benefits.
This cream foundation is currently available in 8 shades, which some might be too few for a variety of skin tones. The foundation comes in a convenient compact for ease of use and application. The lightweight and silky formula offers its users a flawless and natural finish that looks like your skin but better. You can trust this one to leave your skin neither too dry nor too oily. It’s also been formulated to be non-greasy so it doesn’t ever have to feel heavy or greasy on your skin for a comfortable all-day wear.
This one is sure to work great for both full face makeup and quick touch ups throughout the day as well. This has been dermatologist-tested and is certified non-comedogenic so you can throw your worries away. This promises to be safe on sensitive skin and wouldn’t cause any clogging of your pores.
The only downside users have shared regarding this cream foundation is that it doesn’t come with a sponge or applicator along with the purchase. If you decide to go with this one, just make sure you have your own foundation sponge or applicator to use. Many have also mistaken this to be a powder foundation when it’s actually a cream foundation, so we’re just here to remind you that it is a cream foundation and covers skin as a cream foundation as well. Overall, this is not only effective in covering melasma but also works to improve your sin’s health.
- Lightweight cream foundation that covers melasma well
- Broad spectrum SPF 55 for maximum sun protection
- Dermatologist-tested and non-comedogenic
- Buildable coverage never leaves skin cakey
- Helps prevent melasma from reappearing and darkening
- Antioxidant, moisturizer, and enhanced skin healing in one
- Convenient compact pack for easy use
- Healthier skin overtime
- Lightweight, silky, and non-greasy formula
- Natural finish for skin that looks and feels like skin
- Protects skin from damaging free radicals
- Available in only 8 shades
- Applicator not included in package
2. Dermablend Cover Creme Foundation – Best for Full Coverage!
Our next favorite foundation for melasma and our top pick for the best full coverage is the Cover Creme Foundation from beauty brand Dermablend! If what you’re looking for is a full coverage foundation to camouflage the appearance of melasma on your skin, make sure to check this one out. The brand’s highest coverage foundation yet, you are sure to achieve a flawless natural and velvety finish without too much struggle. The creamy texture of this foundation never leaves skin cakey or masky no matter how many layers you apply to reach your desired coverage.
Also infused with mineral sunscreen broad spectrum SPF 30, you can rest assured that you are able to provide your skin with the ultimate sun protection every time you step out of the house. The high level of sun protection can also assure you that the possibility of your melasma coming back and darkening again is limited and controlled. This Dermablend foundation is so full coverage it can serve multiple purposes at once. With just this in your hands, you have a cream concealer and a cream contour as well.
Formulated with the professional expertise of both a dermatologist and a makeup artist, this is sure to cover a variety of skin conditions like birthmarks, scars, hyperpigmentation, and melasma, to name a few. Infused with a high concentration of high-performance pigments, you can provide your skin with full coverage that can cover and camouflage anything from a to z. This very highly-pigmented foundation is easy to apply, even for absolute beginners thanks to its consistency that goes on smoothly on skin.
This Dermablend cream foundation is currently available in 21 shades to fit a variety of skin tones from light to deep. This also provides skin with a velvety finish and an all-day hydrating formula so your skin feels fresh, soft, and smooth no matter how long you choose to wear this. This has also been proven to help strengthen your skin’s skin surface barrier on top of covering and camouflaging. Keep in mind though that because this can be thick, it does need to be set properly, otherwise, it could look too obvious on skin so keep that in mind.
A dermatologist, sensitive skin, and allergy-tested foundation, this is safe to use on all skin types including sensitive skin. This has also been formulated without fragrance, sulfates, phthalates, and other toxins for your peace every time you whip this one out for use. This is also non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic, so you wouldn’t have to worry about clogged pores and breakouts caused by using this. The brand and its products are proudly PETA certified cruelty-free and does not include any animal-derived ingredients as well.
- Ideal for full coverage
- Broad spectrum SPF 30 for sun protection
- Natural velvety finish is never cakey or masky
- Can be used as concealer and for contouring as well
- Available in 21 shades
- Applies smoothly and easily on skin
- High performance pigments for covering a variety of skin issues
- All-day hydrating formula that keeps skin fresh, soft, and smooth
- Strengthens skin’s surface barrier
- Dermatologist, sensitive skin, and allergy-tested
- Non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic, and without toxins
- Cruelty-free and no animal derived ingredients
- Can appear too obvious if not set properly
3. BareMinerals BarePro Performance Wear Liquid Foundation – Best for Long Wear!
The next item on our list of the best foundations for melasma and our choice for the best long wear is the BareMinerals BarePro Performance Wear Liquid Foundation! If what you’re looking for is a foundation that not only covers melasma but one that can also withstand long hours of wear, this might be what you’re looking for. A sweat, water, humidity, transfer, and crease-resistant liquid foundation, you can trust this one to withstand any activities you have for the day and still stay intact on your skin to cover up any and all of your skin concerns.
This long-wearing liquid foundation boasts of a 24 hour coverage all the while blurring out skin imperfections including but not limited to melasma. This also works to even out your skin textures for a seamless makeup application. Many users would agree that this stays on really well even as you move around and about throughout the day. Because of its formula that stays on skin well, some have found that it can be difficult to remove at the end of the day with just water. A stronger makeup remover though should do the trick.
Infused with broad spectrum SPF 20 as well, this will protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays on top of covering for a flawless and smooth finish all over. Available in a variety of 35 shades, you are sure to find one that fits your skin tone. This also offers a natural matte finish and is ideal for use by those with normal, combination, and oily skin. Though it finishes to a matte texture, you can rest assured that there will be no clumping or caking throughout the hours you choose to wear this.
Formulated with bamboo extracts, this gives your skin a blurred and soft-focused effect to better cover up and camouflage any skin imperfections you want hidden. The papaya enzyme in its pool of ingredients helps improve the skin’s texture and appearance over time. With this BareMinerals foundation in your makeup routine, you don’t only achieve instant flawless finish but also improves the health of your own. This also gives your skin a healthy and beautiful glow and great coverage without feeling too heavy and still remains breathable.
Having been formulated without parabens, synthetic fragrances, and other toxic chemicals, this is sure to keep your peace of mind with every drop. This has also been dermatologist-tested and is certified hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and non-acnegenic. This is also certified vegan, clean, and cruelty-free. If these are important things for you in your makeup, be sure to give this one a chance.
- Ideal long wear foundation
- Sweat, water, humidity, transfer, and crease-resistant
- 24 hour full coverage but breathable
- Blurs out skin imperfections and evens out skin tone
- Broad spectrum SPF 20
- Available in 35 shades and a natural matte finish
- Ideal for normal, combination, or oily skin
- No clumping or caking for hours of wear
- Blurred and soft-focus effect
- Improves skin texture overtime
- Gives skin a healthy and beautiful glow
- No toxic chemicals used
- Dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and non-acnegenic
- Vegan, clean, and cruelty-free
- Can be hard to take off
The Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation is our next favorite foundation for melasma! Formulated as an ultra HD invisible cover foundation and a lightweight texture, this one promises a second-skin sensation. This also promises a comfortable wear that doesn’t appear too obvious or fake against your skin. Thanks to its uniquely-coated pigments in the formula, this assures you to conceal imperfections including melasma and even out your skin’s textures for a smooth canvas for the rest of your makeup routine.
This Make Up For Ever foundation has a medium buildable coverage that mimics the look of your skin so that it looks like your skin but better. The formula is also uniquely weightless while still providing a flawless great coverage to camouflage all of your skin imperfections. This also promises to stay on skin all day with a natural finish. This has been formulated with hyaluronic acid to provide effortless hydration to keep your skin feeling fresh and well-moisturized under layers of makeup throughout the day.
The silica powder in its pool of ingredients helps to blur out any skin imperfections for a more flawless finish. And the sericite helps you achieve a smoother skin texture for seamless makeup application. This is currently available in 50 skin-like shades and you are sure to find one that perfectly fits your skin tone. This offers a natural finish to better mimic the appearance of your skin so it doesn’t appear too obvious.
Overall, this is a great option for anyone looking for a foundation that can provide amazing coverage but still look and feel like your skin.
- Lightweight full coverage foundation
- Conceals skin imperfections and evens out texture
- Medium buildable coverage
- Available in 50 shades
- Provides a natural finish to look like your own skin
- Great coverage but uniquely weightless
- Keeps skin fresh and moisturized
- Provides hydration for skin under makeup
The last item that made it into our list of the best foundations for melasma is the Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover Foundation! With this liquid foundation in your makeup routine, you can rest assured to camouflage and cover the appearance of any of your skin imperfections. This boasts of a 24 hour staying power while providing you with amazing coverage. This one is so powerful it can camouflage scars, tattoos, sun spots, hyperpigmentation, and melasma.
This offers a matte finish and is a great option for those with a combination to oily skin. Fear not though as anyone with any dry skin can opt to use this without any issues, just keep in mind to prep your skin the right way. Though this provides skin with great full coverage, this isn’t ever heavy on skin. Many users would agree that this is a heavy duty foundation that camouflages imperfections well to a point that you are able to achieve a photo finish face. This promises to stay on skin all day without ever feeling dry.
Though this dries to a matte finish, you won’t feel and look cakey or fake-looking at all. This feels light and smooth on your face once it has set and you will feel like there’s nothing on your skin no matter how long you would have to wear it. This is currently available in 14 shades for a variety of options to find one that fits your skin. Though this is on the expensive side, this is a great option for someone who’s ready to splurge on a new go-to foundation.
This Estee Lauder foundation has also been infused with SPF 15 for maximum sun protection every time you step out of the house. For someone with melasma, this is something you should always keep in mind.This has been dermatologist-tested to ensure you are getting the best of the best. This is also formulated to be non-acnegenic, assuring you that there are no ingredients that can cause pore clogging.
- 24 hour staying power
- Camouflages and covers skin imperfections
- Offers a matte finish
- Available in 14 shades
- Lightweight and doesn’t feel heavy on skin
- Stays on skin all day without feeling dry or heavy
- Not cakey or fake-looking
- Infused with SPF 15 for sun protection
- Dermatologist-tested and non-acnegenic
- A bit pricey
How to Correctly Apply Foundation to Cover Melasma
Though foundation application is a straightforward process, a few tips and tricks can help you achieve the perfect finish and coverage.
Prep with skincare
Before starting applying your makeup, you would want to go through your skincare routine first. Wash your face with your favorite facial cleanser and go through your skincare routine as you normally would. This will get your skin ready for the rest of your makeup and will keep you hydrated and moisturized.
Prime you skin
To achieve a very flawless finish, you would want to invest in a primer that can help you achieve that. A primer will get yourself ready for the rest of your makeup routine and will give you a smooth canvas for a seamless makeup application.
Start thin and build up
When it comes to foundation, you don’t want cakey or for it to be heavy. To avoid this, you’d want to start with a thin layer and build up from there if you need more coverage on some trouble areas.
To ensure that your foundation lasts as long as you need it to last, don’t forget to set it with a setting powder. This will also ensure that it doesn’t smudge or transfer no matter what you have ahead of your day.
How to Choose the Best Foundation for Melasma
With so many options to choose from with just a single Google search, it can be confusing to determine which ones will be the best for our skin. It definitely doesn’t have to be though – all you need are things to keep in mind when looking for your new favorite foundation.
One of the first important things you should take into consideration when it comes to your new foundation is your skin type. You have to keep in mind that not all foundations put out in the market will work the same for every skin type. Remember to take a look at what specific skin type the foundation has been formulated for. Is it ideal for dry skin, oily skin, or sensitive skin type? Make sure you get one according to your skin type.
When it comes to foundation, the shade range availability also plays a crucial role in your choosing process. Make sure that the foundation you’re looking at offers a shade that fits your skin tone. You don’t want to be getting one that is either too light or too dark for you.
Foundations also come in different finishes. When it’s choosing the finish of your foundation, your skin type should also be considered. Those with dry skin type would fare well with a foundation that has a dewy finish for extra moisture and hydration. A foundation with a matte finish would provide benefits for those with oily skin. Make sure to read about the finish type of a foundation before going on ahead with your choice.
Another important thing you should keep in mind in your new foundation is the SPF factor. When you’re dealing with melasma, you wouldn’t want to be exposing them to too much sun as it can darken and worsen the situation. Not all foundations have SPF and that’s okay – just don’t forget to apply one before your makeup. Your foundation having been formulated with SPF is definitely a plus, so take that into consideration as well.
A foundation can help anyone cover up and camouflage any skin imperfections they would want hidden during makeup application for a flawless finish.
Our number one pick for the best foundation for melasma is the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Compact Makeup Foundation thanks to its lightweight cream foundation formula that covers up melasma well! It’s been infused with SPF 55 for sun protection and helps improve your skin’s health over time.
Our choice for the best full coverage foundation for melasma is the Dermablend Cover Creme Foundation! You can trust this to cover up and camouflage any and all your skin imperfections while giving you enough sun protection.
And the BareMinerals BarePro Performance Wear Liquid Foundation is our pick for the best long wear foundation for melasma! With a 24 hour wear formula that is sweat, crease, humidity, and transfer-resistant, you are sure to end the day with the same foundation quality you started it with.
There you have it, we hope our guide and review above have led you to your new favorite go-to foundation!