Do you suffer with melasma that gets worse every time there is a sun on sky? Does it bother you? If your answer is yes, that keep reading, because this is my true, honest review of my journey fighting melasma. I had melasma for so many years I don’t even remember when exactly it appeared first time.
At some point my melasma was so bad people told me, that when I am tanned, I look like I have a bit of a moustache. For last 7-8 year I completely stopped sunbathing. I go on the sun, of course, but with a hat, sunglasses and SPF applied every two hours. And when I lie on the sun lounge, it is late afternoons, or under the umbrella.
I learned that you can actually win and get rid of melasma for good. Or at least most of it, anyway. So few months ago I decided I want to try it. I had loads of doubts and wasn’t sure what should I expect so I went to my favourite clinic EF MEDISPA in Bristol and let me tell you what exactly happened.
Two days before the peel I had a micro peel and LED treatment, which felt a bit like a really nice facial with extremely hydrating mask in the end. I scheduled the peel for Friday morning.
Cosmelan peel day by day
Day 1. We got the mask on (looks a bit like a mud) and I went home. The mask needs to stay on your face between 8 and 12 hours which depends on your phototype and melasma degree. We agreed 9 hours. I was at home the whole day, so it didn’t bother me that much (expect my toddler daughter was scared of me, poor little thing). After 9 hours I applied hydrating mask for another 40 min and then went to sleep with slightly red face (like when you had a long run in the gym). From the second day onward I will need to clean my face 3 times a day with special products and apply 3 different creams.
Day 2. In the morning I was completely red. Tomato red and shiny. The skin was so tight I could hardly make a smile. I started to use all prescripted products.
Day 3. The skin is extremely red and by evening it also starts to itch. I didn’t sleep much as the itchiness was so horrible it kept me awake.
Day 4. I picked up another cream, that I will need to add to my new routine and will need to use for a year. That is the cream that actually helps to suppress the production of the melanin and it takes about a year to manage full effect. I also started to peel. Quite horribly.
Day 5 – 7 – The peeling is excruciatingly itchy, my skin is still terribly red and I really don’t want to leave the house.
Day 8- 15 The redness went down, but only by a fraction. The worst peeling is finally over, but I am still peeling quite a lot. Even though I can use make up, there is absolutely not a chance I would be comfortable to do so. The thing is, make up actually make your skin look much worse, because all the peeling is suddenly much more visible.
Day 16 till end of first month. I am still peeling but much less. The skin is still itchy and very red and I still don’t wear makeup on regular basis. I had few dinners when I did put on make up and really didn’t feel comfortable at all. I start to be really frustrated and think this was a huge mistake. Maybe my melasma wasn’t as bad and maybe I was just being too vain. I swear I will never ever do it again. It is not improving as fast I as I hoped it would. The redness is still very noticeable. It looks like a proper sun burn now and it is still itchy. Also the cleansing routine is just pain. I work from home, so don’t have much problem, but when I had a day trip to London, it was very challenging to keep it up.
Week 5 – 6 – Redness is still going down and I can start to see some of the results much better. The peeling appears once every few days, but it looks more like a extremely dry skin, flaking. When I apply the creams, my skin starts to look really nice, healthy and with a glow that looks almost like heavily retouched photograph. I start to have a bit more faith again. It is Christmas time and I put on some make up. I am still red but it is not anymore as scary as before. My post about full time blogging I posted during Christmas has pictures where you can see the skin really well and I am not wearing a lot of make up.
Week 7 – week 13. My skin has a great glow, looks really healthy and even though the redness is still there, I feel more comfortable to use the make up now. To avoid any possible extra flaking, I am not applying much of a powder or powder blush and rather use this Bobbi Brown cream blush (which btw is absolutely amazing). I finally see the light in the end of the tunnel. From now on, I can see just beautiful looking skin with no melasma at all. I still have to use all the products, but only two times a day and from month 3 only one time a day. The Cosmelan 2 cream I will need to use for year to make sure the melasma will not come back.
Now the question is. Would I recommend this treatment to you? Yes, definitely. The journey was just dreadful and frustrating, but it did gave me the results I was hoping for. Would I ever do it again? Maybe, if I would feel like I really need it (but secretly hope I will NEVER EVER do it again) In any case here are some facts you need to know.
What you should know
- The process is long with a rigorous after care, you have to commit to otherwise you can jeopardise the results. You have to use all the products you get and in the way they tell you to.
- There is quite a significant downtime (min a week). During that time you feel like you don’t want anyone to see you.
- You might get very red, itchy and uncomfortable. However, everyone reacts differently and maybe your experience will be much better and easier than mine.
- There is absolutely no guarantee you will get rid of all melasma or that you will never have melasma again.
- Cosmelan is a safe treatment to do. Hoever always make sure you choose a renowned clinic and they give you all the information you want and need. For me, EF MEDISPA was a great choice, as they explained me everything in great detail. They were monitoring my skin very regularly and addressed every concerned I raised during the recovery period.
- Don’t make any social plans for at least 2 weeks. (at least not the big ones anyway). For me, I am happy I didn’t have any major event for 2 months after.
- Do it in the winter, never in the summer as the chances of sun exposure is much higher. Avoid sun for min two weeks completely, but if you absolutely must be on the sun, apply very high SPF every two hours and wear a hat (ALWAYS).
Since then I had in total almost 3 weeks that I spent in a hot destination and a bit of melasma came back, even though I was using very high SPF. But it still isn’t nearly as bad as it was before. I even feel much more confident without wearing a foundation at all. I still have an occasional day when I peel a tiny bit, but nothing major.
This last picture was taken few days ago and I am wearing minimum makeup. Before having Cosmelan peel I always had a loads of foundation and never wanted to do close up pictures. Now I feel more confident.
lots of love
I have terrible melasma for 3 years now. Tried lot of different treatments but it always comes back. A bit of spring’s sun is enough to make it appear again (although I continuously use high SPF, sunglasses and hat). I haven’t tried Cosmelan yet and have doubts if I should.. Could you please tell me how does it look today – are you still happy with the result with no return of melasma even after summertime? Would appreciate you answer 🙂
Thank you very much for your question! To be absolutely honest, the melasma is now back, but it is nowhere where it was before. I also wear SPF on daily basis, sunglasses and hat. However, my skin looks much better and it took almost 2 years for the melasma to return (and not as much). So, to answer your question, yes, I am happy with the results! Good luck and let me know how you have decided!
Hi Petra, did your pigmentation getting darker under treatment? I have used cosmelan in 2 months now, but I see that its darker than before….What is your experience?
sorry to hear that it doesn’t work for you as you probably hoped. I was very happy with the results and even though the melasma did come back, it is very light and nowhere close to what it was before.