Tri-Luma for melasma & brown spots


For those of you who have read the article “Zapping off those brown blotches” in Mind Your Body and am interested to use Tri-Luma to treat your melasma or brown spots, please read my review on the Tri-Luma cream. It may work to some extent but it does have its limitations. In fact, I was concerned that certain important information were omitted in the article.

First, your skin can become thinner using Tri-Luma because this is a skin bleaching cream!

Second, you can only use this cream for a period of eight weeks maximum.

Third, using the product can lead to a skin condition known as ochronosis in which the skin becomes thick and dark.

Finally, Tri-Luma contains hydroquinone which have often been said to be carcinogenic.

I won’t be surprised that the dermatologist didn’t highlight these as mine certainly did not. I learnt of the information by surfing through the Internet myself!

So please, if you’re keen on using Tri-Luma, know the risks!  And always use a sunscreen when using a product like this.


  1. peapot says:

    Hi Sesame! Thanks for highlighting. I have been lemming for this treatment since I have some brown spots on my face. After hearing you out, I m really shocked. If only people are more civi-minded like you, then we can avoid getting ourselves into undesirable situation.
    After my IPL 2 years ago, I found my skin more sensitive and thin. Don’t want to subject my skin to more thinning.

    Peapot: Hey, glad this info is useful for you. Oh the IPL made your skin more sensitive and thin? Hmm…I did IPL for about a year I think and my skin was okay but drier. Then my doc left the clinic and I decided to stop. He did two laser treatments to zap some of my brown spots too. One big one is gone but the smaller ones are still there! In fact, that was the first time I was exposed to Hydroquinone but it was about 2%. The doc also did not say much but at least he told me to use the cream temporarily and that I need to use sunscreen.

    Then sometime last year I went to see another dermatologist who prescribed me Tri-Luma which contains 4% Hydroquinone but not telling me anything about the risks at all. Luckily I already knew something and I did some reading myself too!

  2. pf1123 says:

    My goodness…

    I guess I should just learn to age gracefully and accept all my flaws as I grow old. hehe…

    Btw, thanks Sesame for introducing the Grapeseed oil and Sea buckthorn oil. Its really great! I have become braver to use the smelly one all over my face.

    My pores are really smaller now. And I only finished half of the sample size bottle of Grapeseed oil.

    I think the Sea buckthorn oil works very well with my Istrilene Collagen Cream. My face is still moist and soft when I get up in the morning.

    With regular exfoliation and the oil, my acne pigmentation has lighten considerably. There was very obvious difference when I tried the Kose Black Whitening Mask. I bought a sample size to try out. Whooo!! I’m so getting it when I go to HK this year. Heard its cheaper there.

    pf: Glad the oils are working well for you. I’ve run out of the Sea Buckthorn but there is no stock now. Maybe I’ll get from GOW or something via a spree. Btw, are you still using vit C serum? YL told me that it’s better with the glycerin cos it acts as a preservative.

    Don’t you find it painful to remove the Kose Black Whitening Mask?

  3. pf1123 says:

    I am only using the Vit C serum on and off. Coz I always forget to put on as its in the fridge in the kitchen. Then it stays there for more than 5 days and I had to chuck it.

    Maybe I didn’t put the mask thick enough for it to hurt. I try to put more on and I end up sort of swiping it off instead of on. But my face feels really clean after the mask. Although I don’t see anything on the mask after I peeled it off.

    pf1123: I found it painful to remove those around the cheek area. First time I was in tears!

  4. pf1123 says:

    So bad???

    Is it because you have it on places with acne? The first time I use (Monday), I have a red bump that is dried on the surface at my underchin. The mask rip the top dried bit off. And there was blood!!! My goodness…but I wiped the blood of and good, can squeeze out that darn thing when previously I couldn’t coz it didn’t come to the surface.

    And now its healed. And it barely left a little shadow. ?

    Hmmm….maybe I really didn’t put enough. But my friend who regularly uses it say as long as I put on enough for it to look opaque, can already.

    It left little bits of black on my face after I peel off. So, I use my invigorating cleansing lotion aka my current toner to dissolve whats left on my face. My toner is pretty neat.

    pf: No, it wasn’t my acne. I can’t remember if I applied a lot but maybe I over applied at some areas.

    Hey, I received your email but I cannot open docx version. Can re-send me in doc format?

  5. pf1123 says:

    Re-sent. ?

    pf: Thanks! Got it!

  6. Nurul says:

    Oh wow!
    Thanks for writing this article.
    Incidentally, my mum’s dermatologist just prescribed her a tube of “Fade Cream” to fade away her brown spots, which was actually 5% hydroquinone.
    I was shocked to find out about this, and I asked her if the doctor mentioned she should stop using it after 8 weeks and she said no! Really shocked by
    those “experts” that we have been paying so much money to rely on to solve our skin woes.

    Nurul: 5% is very high! Please ask your mom to use with caution. As for the doc, I guess that’s why we often hear the expression “ask for a 2nd opinion.”

  7. pf1123 says:

    Sesame, I forgot if I put a rating on the toner. Its 4 stars for me. I’m out of town this week, so internet connection is quite limited.

    pf: Yes you put it down. I’m going to publish it tomorrow after I’m done with the visual aspects. Have fun and take care!

  8. Sara says:

    Scary stuff if you ask me. I’d rather live with my melasma instead of the problems that go along with treatments.

    Sara: I guess it’s a matter of threshold…and it’s always good to know so that you decide what’s best for yourself. ?

  9. tiepola says:

    hi i libe in beirut-Lebanon and i would like to know if i can find tri-luma here?

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