Melasma vs. Hyperpigmentation: What’s The Difference

Melasma vs. Hyperpigmentation: What’s The Difference

If dark spots or patches of skin on your face stand in the way of looking your best, you are not alone. Skin concerns like hyperpigmentation are a problem for many women who yearn for the radiant, even-toned complexion they once enjoyed. If you see dark spots, you might see melasma, hyperpigmentation, or both.

Understanding and treating skin discoloration can be frustrating and confusing. At Charette Cosmetics, educating patients about their skin is one of the most important aspects of a healthy, life-long skincare regimen. If you are wondering about melasma vs. hyperpigmentation and asking yourself, “what’s the difference,” we are here to help.

Are Melasma And Hyperpigmentation The Same?

When it comes to understanding melasma vs hyperpigmentation, there are key differences. The main one is melasma is a specific type of hyperpigmentation that tends to be caused by hormones. Hyperpigmentation is the blanket term for dark spots or patches of skin due to too much melanin production.

While hyperpigmentation is an excess pigment, melasma is a gradual pigmentation of the skin and is considered a primary pigmentary disorder. Melasma typically looks like uniform tan or flat brown patches on the forehead, cheek, and upper lip. While melasma is more predominant in Asian, Hispanic, and African-American skin tones due to higher levels of melanin, it can occur in all skin tones.

The main difference between melasma vs hyperpigmentation can be simplified by saying melasma is a type of hyperpigmentation, but not all hyperpigmentation is melasma.

What Is Melasma?

While a lot is known about melasma, there are still unanswered questions about the exact causes of melasma in the medical community. The main trigger of melasma vs. hyperpigmentation is believed to be hormonal. 

This is why melasma occurs more in women than men, because women experience more significant fluctuations in hormones, especially during age-bearing years and pregnancy, as well as perimenopause and menopause. Since oral contraceptives like birth control pills can impact hormone levels, they can also be a cause of melasma.

What Is Hyperpigmentation?

As previously explained, when deciphering the difference between melasma vs. hyperpigmentation, the main differentiator being melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation. However, not all types of hyperpigmentation are melasma. 

Hyperpigmentation can be divided into three main categories, each with its own specific cause, symptom, and appearance. While there can be crossover within the three categories, they have distinctive features.


Melasma is also described as a primary pigmentation disorder. This means due to genetics or other factors; some people are predisposed or more likely to suffer from melasma. One way you can tell the difference between melasma vs hyperpigmentation is melasma appears with no other symptoms. For instance, these dark patches would not be itchy or scaly.

Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

For people with more melanin in the skin, like women who tan easily, any form of inflammation can result in hyperpigmentation. Dark spots resulting from acne or eczema would be considered post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. These spots can be small or large, depending on the severity of the skin injury that caused them. However, they tend to fade over time, so they are not permanent.

Hyperpigmentation Due To Sun Exposure

A common and almost unavoidable form of hyperpigmentation is sun exposure. While melasma can be triggered by sun exposure, hyperpigmentation due to the sun’s harsh UV rays tends to accumulate over time. This is why we tend to see age spots, dark spots, liver spots, and background areas of faint hyperpigmentation.

How To Treat Melasma And Hyperpigmentation

At Charette Cosmetics, our patients who suffered from melasma have been so excited to see the transformative results from MelanX, Morpheus8 Face, and our customized Pigmentation Pack.

MelanX Level II Chemical Peel

Our signature Level II MelanX Chemical Peel is a complete skin-lightening, medical-grade system designed to help penetrate deep into the skin. The chemical peel technique speeds up the body’s natural process of sloughing off dead skin cells to reveal fresh, new skin by lifting and lightening unwanted dark spots caused by melasma and hyperpigmentation, chemical peels even out skin tone. 

Results from MelanX are amazing and improve the look of dark spots, acne scars, sun spots, hyperpigmentation, melasma, and fine lines and wrinkles. For optimal results, this at-home-use kit comes with a 25-day post-care skincare regimen that includes our proprietary bleaching (brightening) cream, retinol serum, soothing balm, and facial cleanser.

Morpheus8 Face

This treatment is ideal for correcting the look of hyperpigmentation. Morpheus8 Face is a next-level radiofrequency (RF) microneedling treatment offering precise energy delivery that is safe for treating melasma. Creating controlled micro-injuries within the skin stimulates the body’s collagen production. 

The results from Morpheus8 Face include smoother, better-contoured skin that’s firmer and more youthful-looking with less noticeable hyperpigmentation. Benefits include:

  • A diminished look of hyperpigmentation
  • Tighter, more lifted skin
  • The eased appearance of acne scars
  • Reduced wrinkles, fine lines

Pigmentation Pack
$325 | Pigmentation Pack | 6-piece set

Illuminate + Purify Exfoliating Cleanser

This cleanser aids in unclogging pores, opening clogged pores, and removing surface oils. The ingredients in this gentle, exfoliating cleanser give you smoother skin and help to strengthen your skin’s natural barrier.

Activate + Tone Antioxidant Mist

Active + Tone Antioxidant Mist helps to improve your skin’s complexion, reduces puffiness and swelling, and calms the skin with its anti-inflammatory properties.

Nourish + Soften Moisturizer

Charette Cosmetics created Nourish + Soften Moisturizing Lotion to be used morning and night, giving your face the hydration and protection it needs in a lightweight formula that protects skin against moisture loss.

Perfect + Preserve Sheer SPF 50

Protecting your skin from sun exposure is a must to ease the triggers of melasma. This means the sunscreen in your skincare regimen is essential. Protect + Preserve is a lightweight, gentle sunscreen with SPF 50 for superior protection, and it helps brighten areas of blemishes and discoloration.

Brighten + Enlighten Prescription Pads

The safe and effective ingredients are formulated to correct uneven skin tone and ease visible discoloration due to pigmentation.

Rejuvenate + Reverse Retinol Serum

Retinol has been touted for years because it eases the look of fine lines and wrinkles over time and improves discoloration. It’s ideal for acne-prone skin because of its exfoliating properties, making it effective at preventing melasma triggers.

Why Choose Charette Cosmetics for Melasma and Hyperpigmentation

Charette Cosmetics brings a whole new approach to the world of cosmetic treatments, including products designed to ease the appearance of melasma and hyperpigmentation. Our medical-grade skincare products work to protect and treat your skin, revealing the most beautiful version of yourself. For your convenience, we offer Shop Pay and Google Pay. Shop our lineup of natural products online or connect with us on socials to see amazing skin transformations from real customers.

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