Hundreds of millions of people suffer from some sort of skin damage or uneven skin color. Acne, age, sun exposure, hyperpigmentation and melasma (or chloasma) are just some of the culprits which can leave you with marks, scars or discoloration on the face or body.
Some people just accept the fact that they don’t look as good as they’d like; some visit dermatologists – usually to be told there’s little that can be done. Others just cover the problem spots with makeup, or try “miracle” products that honestly don’t do much of anything.
And then there’s Meladerm.
This skin-lightening product has been on the market for more than ten years. Its manufacturers claim that it’s the most advanced treatment for complexion issues available, and provide a number of clinical studies and testimonials which they say back up their claims. They even say that most users will start to see results within two weeks.
We took time to closely examine this product, to determine just how accurate these glowing, company-provided Meladerm reviews really are.
We were convinced. Here are our findings.
What Is It?
Meladerm cream is a product which the manufacturer says will fade the darker areas of your skin, giving you an even, more attractive complexion over time. It is applied directly to the skin twice a day. It is said to work on all complexions and skin colors.
What’s In It?
We were impressed by the four major active ingredients in the formulation:
- Alpha Arbutin – dark spots on your skin are often caused by the over-production of the brown pigment melanin. This process can be controlled by a substance known as a “tyrosinase inhibitor.” Alpha Arbutin (or A-Arbutin) is one of the most powerful tyrosinase inhibitors ever discovered; it’s made up of several compounds which lighten skin by controlling melanin production. It works on all skin types and is up to ten times more effective than its individual ingredients are separately.
- Tego Cosmo C – this is a natural amino acid, and another tyrosinase inhibitor which helps skin stay clear and even. It also works to maintain a natural pH balance.
- Gigawhite – Gigawhite is the combination of extracts from seven organically-grown plants, and has been shown to brighten skin, while reducing and lightening “age spots.”
- Kojic Acid – discovered in Japan in 1989 as a byproduct of sake fermentation, kojic acid is now often used in Asian diets. It also has been found to inhibit melanin production.
All of these ingredients have a strong track record when it comes to lightening skin. Some (such as A-Arbutin) are expensive to produce or obtain, so we thought it was a very good sign that the manufacturer doesn’t skimp when it comes to the quality of their product.
A number of other natural ingredients with skin lightening properties, such as mulberry extract, bearberry extract, vitamin B3 and licorice extract are also blended into Meladerm. Additionally, there are natural substances intended to help the cream’s effectiveness, such as glycolic and lactic acid (which help the tyrosinase inhibitors penetrate the skin more deeply) and vitamin K (which works to fade small skin lesions and circles under the eyes). A complete list of ingredients can be found on the company’s website.
What’s NOT In It?
We found this to be a crucial factor in our review. Many products sold for the purpose of skin lightening include dangerous, harmful or irritating ingredients such as mercury, steroids, parabens, or the most common skin-bleaching agent of all, the industrial-produced phenol known as hydroquinone. We’ve experienced the common side effects of hydroquinone – stinging and burning, red and dry skin – and they’re not fun. Thankfully, we’ve never experienced the skin blistering and cracking that some hydroquinone users with sensitive skin have reported, but we were very pleased to see that Meladerm cream does not include any of these unnecessary agents.
Why Is It Different From Similar Products?
After the initial success of this product, a number of other companies began using similar active ingredients – or even the same ones – in their skin-lightening creams. That often happens, of course, when something sells and works well. That leads to the question: can you get the same results, at a lower price, from the competition?
From our research, you can’t. Civant (the manufacturer) has been constantly refining and improving the formula ever since they first released it in 2003, to stay one step ahead. When you check the ingredients in competitive products, they’re always a little different than the ones in Meladerm cream – because the research scientists at Civant keep making their product more effective by discovering and adding new vitamins, antioxidants or other ingredients to enhance its function.
Civant also seems to take more care with their manufacturing process than cheaper competitors, probably because so much of their company’s success is linked to the success of this flagship product.
How Is It Used?
There’s no muss, no fuss in applying this product. The best practice is to completely wash and dry your skin, and then apply the cream over the areas of your face or skin you want to lighten; do this in the morning and at night. Meladerm works best if you exfoliate before using it, wait ten minutes before putting on makeup or sunblock (SPF 30 or higher is strongly suggested), and avoid prolonged sun exposure. It comes in a 1.7 ounce bottle ($49.95), which should last about seven weeks if used on an entire face, or a lot longer if used in smaller areas.
The first results usually are visible within two weeks, but it can take two to three months for the full effect of the product to be seen. It’s recommended you talk to your dermatologist if you have any medical conditions which you think might pose an issue.
Is It Safe?
Meladerm is made from mostly natural ingredients, and no serious side effects have been reported by users. Some people do experience a very mild skin irritation which usually passes quickly. It should not be used by children under 12 or pregnant/nursing women.
Does It Work?
In a word: yes.
Several of our testers used the product as directed, on what they’ve jokingly called “multi-colored” skin. One user has skin that’s been discolored by the sun and age, and another has some brown spots, acne scars and a birthmark. After several weeks both saw a marked difference in their appearance, and after several months both were delighted by the way they looked. Each had a distinctly lighter and more uniform complexion, with smoother skin that really did seem to “glow” a bit.
To be completely honest: not all of our scars and spots disappeared completely, although you might expect that to happen after reading some of the overly-complimentary Meladerm reviews published online. However, the marks did fade noticeably after several months’ use of the product, so that they could barely be seen unless you looked closely for them.
We didn’t expect this product to make our skin look like a supermodel’s. We simply tried it with the hope that Meladerm cream would clear up the obvious blemishes and discolorations we see in the mirror every day.
And it did.
We recommend it highly.