This pharmacy brand serum left my skin so glowy that I stopped wearing makeup on my work from home days

Fewer dark spots, a smoother complexion and an all-round glow, this intelligent serum is my new skincare routine staple

(Image credit: Future - Neil Godwin)

As a beauty journalist I get asked countless questions about how to look good without spending too much money or putting too much effort in. How to make lashes appear longer, how to get shiny hair, how to make lips looks plumper. But the one I’m probably asked the most, is how to get a natural-looking glow. And while previously I have recommended a host of tinted serums, concealer tricks and shimmer-infused makeup, there’s a new serum that I’ve started to shout about instead.

French pharmacy brand La Roche-Posay has launched a new serum designed to target dark spots, hyperpigmentation and discoloration. Featuring patented technology that the brand has spent years perfecting, their new Mela B3 Intense Anti-Dark Spot Serum uses multi-patented ingredient Melasyl™ to brighten skin without compromising on natural skin tone.

After just four weeks of use, my skin has been transformed by the mutli-targeted approach of the intelligent serum. Here’s everything you need to know about the new La Roche-Posay hero and its shiny new ingredient that is set to be a skincare staple…

What is Melasyl™?

Melasyl™ is a new multi-patented active that the brand has debuted in their newest serum, after 18 years of research into developing the ingredient. It works to target hyperpigmentation by intercepting excess melanin production before it leaves marks on the surface of the skin, rather than acting solely retroactively in just trying to fade marks.

Production of the ingredient came about following the first worldwide epidemiological study of pigmentary disorders, which looked at 48,000 participants across 34 countries and found that at least one in two people have a pigmentation concern.

“Hyperpigmentation is relatively common and can lead to emotional or psychological distress, which in turn negatively impacts quality of life,” explains Dr Alia Ahmed, Consultant Dermatologist & Psychodermatologist for La Roche-Posay. “Having ‘marks’ on the skin if often perceived as ‘undesirable’. The people I see find hyperpigmentation very difficult to deal with and have often tried multiple avenues to resolve their skin issues. Managing hyperpigmentation is multifactorial and includes sun protection, skincare with targeted actives including pigment interceptors like Melasyl™ and seasonal variation in skincare.”

La Roche Posay

(Image credit: La Roche Posay)

As a result of their research, La Roche-Posay set out to create a solution to this worldwide skincare concern. After assessing 4,000 different molecules, they found that one in particular had a significant impact on hyperpigmentation, with Melasyl™ successfully reducing the appearance of dark spots - be that from age, sun exposure or post-acne marks - without compromising the overall health and look of the skin.

The science behind the serum

With a consideration to the skin’s natural melanin production, La Roche-Posay’s Mela B3 serum targets hyperpigmentation, without affecting the natural tone of the skin.

“The Mela B3 formula targets hyperpigmentation from different angles,” explains Dr Ahmed. “The multipatented Melasyl molecule intercepts excess melanin before it can cause marks on the skin – this can be thought of as an anti-pigmentation component. By targeting the pathways that form pigment (i.e. melanin) Mela B3 can reduce the chances of overproduction of melanin from the outset and has clinically proven efficacy on even persistent dark spots.”

“The formula also contains 10% Niacinamide, which is a known anti-inflammatory, this is important as inflammation triggers can stimulate the process of pigmentation. Additionally the formula has actions like skin renewal, exfoliation and antioxidant protection. The combination of these essential actions gives Mela B3 its unique formula to target hyperpigmentation.”

Also suitable for those who are prone to post-acne marks, the alcohol-free, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic formula, which is suitable for all tones and types, gently works towards skin surface renewal & exfoliation for a more radiant look.

La Roche Posay

(Image credit: Future - Neil Godwin)

What we found after using the serum

I used to have really oily skin but once I regulated my sebum production through a targeted skincare routine, I found that it was missing that spark. So since then I’ve been on a mission to create a glowy finish - be that through makeup, treatments or skincare.

So when La Roche-Posay dropped their new Mela B3 serum featuring their new dark spot-fighting ingredient alongside my favourite glow-getting niacinamide, I couldn’t wait to see what it could do for my skin.

I used the serum for four weeks every evening before bed, alongside a supporting routine of hyaluronic acid and my favourite face moisturisers. And after a month of repeated use, I noticed three things.

La Roche Posay

(Image credit: Future)

The first was the immediate glow I experienced on my skin as soon as I started using the serum. After just a couple of applications, my skin seemed to emanate radiance in a way that actually allowed me to stop wearing makeup on my work-from-home days. Presumably thanks to the LHA and Retinyl Palmitate in the serum, which are known to exfoliate the skin gently to boost skin’s surface cell renewal, I was left with a really smooth and bright complexion that was getting me compliments every time I stepped out of the house makeup-free.

“The Mela B3 formula targets hyperpigmentation from different angles”

Dr Alia Ahmed

The second improvement I noticed was overall healthier and more comfortable skin. With an infusion of hyaluronic acid in the serum alongside 10% niacinamide, it left my skin soothed, moisturised and feeling really fresh.

After a few weeks of using the serum, I then began to notice an evident reduction in the number of post-acne marks I was seeing on my skin. I’m not terribly acne-prone, however monthly cycle symptoms often leave me with a spot or two once every few weeks, followed by a long slog to try and get rid of the marks they leave behind. However, after using the Mela B3 serum every night, I found that, not only did I not experience any new post-spot marks, but any previous ones I already had were actually starting to fade too.

It’s been just a few weeks of using the serum and I’ve already noticed a marked improvement in my skin. Co-workers have been complimenting me on a weekly basis and there have been at least two instances in the last couple of weeks when I have left people jaw-dropped at the mention of my age. Smoother, brighter skin, a more even complexion and tonne of added glow, this serum has definitely made a serious impact.

La Roche Posay

(Image credit: Future - Neil Godwin)

How to use it in your routine

While the Mela B3 serum works either on its own or as part of a healthy skincare routine, there’s also a La Roche-Posay routine that you can use to complement the serum in an effort to further improve its effectiveness.

With a whole system to support its effect on the skin, the Mela B3 serum and its innovative formula is breaking ground on a new way forward for skincare. For healthier, brighter skin that is more equipped to defend against future hyperpigmentation? No question, this is our new go-to...