Effective lightening of facial melasma during the summer with a dual regimen: A prospective, open-label, evaluator-blinded study

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2020 Dec;19(12):3251-3257. doi: 10.1111/jocd.13787. Epub 2020 Oct 29.


Background: Melasma is a chronic pigmentary condition that can have significant negative effects on quality of life. Vitamin C can be effective in the treatment melasma, but its delivery often proves to be challenging due to instability of the drug and subsequent cutaneous irritation at higher concentrations.

Aim: In this prospective, open-label, evaluator-blinded study, we aimed to assess the efficacy and tolerability of twice-daily application of a novel, highly potent, non-irritating 30% tetrahexyldecyl (THD) ascorbate serum in combination with 100% mineral-based sunscreen in the treatment of melasma during the summer months.

Patients/methods: Ten female subjects of ages ranging from 18 to 60 years underwent twice-daily application of 30% THD ascorbate serum in combination with an anti-aging 100% mineral tinted broad-spectrum protection SPF 45 sunscreen moisturizer for 12 weeks during the summer months (July to September). Two blinded evaluators scored baseline and post-treatment photographs using the Griffiths' 10-point scale and global aesthetic improvement scale.

Results: All subjects showed an improvement in hyperpigmentation with an average improvement of 33.7%. Seventy percent of subjects showed an improvement in skin tone evenness (redness), and among those subjects, the average improvement was 33.3%. The median global aesthetic improvement score was 2.0 (very much improved).

Conclusion: Our study demonstrated efficacy and safety in treating the pigmentary as well as vascular components of melasma with a novel 30% THD ascorbate serum and a purely mineral-based tinted moisturizing sunscreen.

Keywords: melasma; pigmentation; sunscreen; tetrahexyldecyl THD ascorbate; vitamin C.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Face
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperpigmentation*
  • Melanosis* / drug therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult

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