Lip-Closeup

Your Guide to Treating
Upper Lip Melasma

Clean beauty industry maven Mary Futher founded kaia naturals® after spending 20 years working for global beauty companies. Mary now shares her weekly content series, delivering a quick fix, home remedy, or clean beauty product suggestion for a variety of human discomforts that some may find too embarrassing to discuss.

As someone who is no stranger to melasma, I know how frustrating it can be to get rid of those dark patches. I recall dreading each summer as the melasma patches would appear soon after being in the sun for too long.  

Many women get melasma on the upper lip, creating a dark and noticeable patch. I’ve learned a lot over the years and want to share what I’ve discovered both as a product developer and from my personal experience on how to prevent and fade melasma. 

What is Melasma?

Melasma-Closeup

Melasma is a skin condition that causes brown or grey/brown patches to occur, mainly on the face including the forehead, chin, cheeks, nose, upper lip, and jawline. It is oftentimes called the mask of pregnancy as it can be triggered by hormonal changes pregnant women experience.  

Melasma Mustache

When melasma occurs on the upper lip, this condition is referred to as a melasma mustache. Although it isn’t painful, it can significantly impact appearance, making women feel self-conscious and, in some cases, causing psychosocial and emotional stress. 

What is the Difference Between Melasma and Hyperpigmentation?

Both hyperpigmentation and melasma are skin conditions that affect melanin production. Hyperpigmentation can occur from external factors such as skin irritations and inflammation, whereas melasma is considered a form of hyperpigmentation triggered by UV exposure and hormonal changes. The hormonal factors are what classifies it as melasma and can oftentimes make it more difficult to treat than traditional hyperpigmentation.

Causes of Melasma Mustache

The exact cause of a melasma mustache is unknown, although factors that cause melasma can also affect a melasma mustache including:

Genetic Factors

Melasma is nine times more common in females than males and is more common in reproductive years. Genetic predisposition is a major factor in the development of melasma with approximately 50% report a family history of the condition. 

Darker skin types are more likely to have melasma compared to lighter skin, and light brown skin types with high sun exposure are most prone to this condition. 

Pregnancy Hormones

Melasma Upper Lip: Pregnancy Closeup

Reproductive-aged women are most likely to experience it, with it being more common during pregnancy – 15% to 50% of pregnant women experience melasma. Increases in estrogen and progesterone in the third trimester can also trigger the condition. 

Hormonal contraceptives that affect estrogen and progesterone levels can also trigger melasma. 

Sun Exposure

UV radiation from sun exposure is one of the biggest triggers for melasma making UV protection key in prevention.

How to Treat Melasma Mustache

Melasma is one of the most difficult hyperpigmentation conditions to treat due to hormonal and UV factors. These are the most practical and effective ways to prevent and treat these darker patches on the upper lip.

Eliminate Triggers

The first step to treating melasma is to remove the triggers. This means avoiding sun exposure and using high SPF sunscreens on the area with frequent reapplication. The upper lip area is more prone to sweating, so frequently reapply SPF on the area will help prevent a melasma mustache. 

Pregnancy or hormonal contraceptive-related melasma may disappear when a pregnancy ends or when medication is stopped. Using SPF diligently while melasma is apparent during pregnancy will prevent the discoloration from becoming severe and can help fade it more easily post-partum.

Applying-SPF-closeup
Chest Acne: Kojic Acid Body Bar from kaia naturals

Use Kojic Acid Soap to Help Accelerate Results

Kojic acid is a tyrosine inhibitor that results in less melanin production. When kojic acid is used to help treat melasma, it will improve complexion and reduce the dark patches. Studies have also shown improved results when kojic acid is combined with dermatologists prescribed glycolic acid or hydroquinone. 

I formulated an all-natural kojic acid soap that can be used as a wash-off treatment on upper lip melasma. Simply lather it daily onto the area, let it sit for 20-30 seconds and wash off. Consistent use will significantly improve the appearance of those dark patches. Be sure to follow up with regular SPF applications. 

Seek Professional Treatments

If SPF and topical treatments don’t work, your doctor or dermatologist may recommend more advanced skin peels, laser treatments and other facial treatments. I recommend consulting with your medical professional to seek advanced solutions for your melasma.

Melasma is one of those things that affects so many of us and due to the hormonal link, it can be a frustrating condition to treat. Keeping these preventative tips in mind and adding kojic acid soap into your routine will be a great start to your journey. If you have any other recommendations or questions, leave them in the comment section below as I’ve love to read and respond to them. 

Each week on my blog The Little Book of Human Discomforts I share clever solutions for seemingly embarrassing skin, body, and hair issues. Consider subscribing below to be the first to know when new content is live! I also share lots of body and skincare tips on Instagram @kaianaturals and on my TikTok page @madamesweat.

All content found on this website is created for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website. 

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