La Roche-Posay Mela-D Serum

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11 reviews

54% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.3

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.3

Price: $$$


Water, Alcohol Denat., Glycolic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Potassium Hydroxide, Kojic Acid, Ammonium Polyacryldimethyltauramide/Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, C12-13 Alkyl Lactate, Disodium EDTA, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Vitreoscilla Ferment

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Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Okay, let's get the unpleasantries out of the way. Does this stuff have a weird smell? Yes. Does it have a weird color? Yes, a yellow-brown color. Does this stuff sometimes sting a bit when you first apply it? Yes.

Does it work? YES.

I purchased this on a whim when I saw it clearanced out at Target. I have been running a lot outdoors all summer and because of that, my hyperpigmentation and darker spots have been out of control. I bought this without a ton of faith that it would actually work (who hasn't been let down by exaggerated marketing promises, right?) but to my great surprise and delight, it actually DOES.

I usually wear this once a day at night or sometimes twice a day (under sunscreen during the day if I do). You will notice results in a short time (within 2-3 weeks my spots were greatly reduced). It's amazing, truly. Yes, the serum sort of has a weird smell and it is kind of a gross color and stings for a brief second when you apply but the smell dissipates and the stinging isn't lasting.

I really do think this product is worth it.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

on 10/30/2013 9:22:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Medium, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Green

This is for the Mela-D Pigment Control Serum with kojic acid. I've used a lot of lightening products, and this one is my favorite. I haven't found anything that gets rid of discoloration 100%, but I've been using this every night for 6 weeks and my lighter spots are barely noticeable. I have a darker spot on my cheek that is still there, but probably reduced by 30% or so. This does not irritate me at all, or cause any breakouts, or create bleached-out looking spots. It comes in an opaque white glass bottle with a dropper, so it will stay fresh longer.

It's important to use a good Vit. C serum and sunscreen in the a.m. to prevent new spots or to prevent your old spots from getting darker. The combination of these three products has really made a difference. My hyperpigmentation was much more noticeable before. It's not 100% gone, but it's greatly improved.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

on 8/26/2013 11:24:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

This burns like hell when applied. Should have checked the ingredients first, alcohol is second on the list. Who still adds alcohol in face products in the 21st century?

on 6/8/2013 5:24:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Green

Let me preface this review by saying that I only received a sample of this product, but I've seen all I need to see. I cannot speak as to the effectiveness of long-term use, as I am never going to use this product for that quantity of time. I received a sample of this product and opened it to be able to use it. The packaging was incredibly poor and probably forty percent of the sample exploded out of the tube when I was trying to open it, rendering half the product wasted. I salvaged what I could from the sample and tried to apply it at night under my moisturizer. Bad idea! This product REEKS of alcohol, which is the second ingredient on the ingredient list and it BURNS when applied. My skin is kind of sensitive, but generally just itches or turns pink when when there is something that does not agree with it. This cream burned on my face and I could see my cheeks turning pink almost immediately. I find this product impossible to tolerate and will not continue to use it. I expected better from this brand.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Oily, Dark, Neutral

Hair: Black, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I use this product because I have moderate hyper-pigmentation on my cheeks from old acne scarring. This is a great product for fading dark marks over time. It also has additional benefits of refining the overall texture of skin, by making pores appear smaller, and by exfoliating. I do not think this is a miracle product, but it does what it claims, and it worked well for my oily skin, and did not cause any breakouts. Because of the ingredients of this, it does tend to burn the skin, I imagine it may be uncomfortable for some, but I was not bothered by this too much.

My Use: I only use this in the evening, and usually only a few times a week (I give my skin a break on the weekends). I wash my face with Dr. Woods Organic Black soap, tone with Apple Cider Vinegar (cut with H20), apply La Roche Posay Mela-D...let it sink into the skin for about 5 minutes, then I follow up with organic shea butter, this calms down the tingling sensation and any dryness that may occur from using this product. In the morning after washing and toning, I use a SPF 30 moisturizer. I would not use this in the summer because it does make the skin sensitive to sunlight.

Another product that I use to fade dark marks is lemon juice, and I do honestly have say, the lemon juice works just as well as this product...however I use organic lemon juice which must be refrigerated after opening so its not really travel friendly. After I finish my current bottle of this I will probably only purchase it for use during travel...its pretty expensive, and there is a natural alternative that gets the job done just as well.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

on 3/20/2012 4:48:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I am very happy to report and pleasantly surprised that this dark spot treatment not only worked, but my sensitive skin did not react to it! I also did see results, so would recommend for people who have spots here and there.

Keep in mind, this is a serum you are buying after all at a drug store. I don't think it's supposed to be the miracle serum that takes away all spots, but it did enough for me to give it a "5".


- It works! My job requires me to drive a lot, and therefore my skin is exposed to the sun more than I'd like. I've developed freckles on my nose, around my nose and lips, and this serum has taken that almost all away
- Though the bottle is small, it lasted quite a while, and it requires just 2 - 3 drops per night for me
- My sensitive skin did not react or burn
- For what it does for me and the length of period of use, I would say the price is quite reasonable


- As mentioned above, it's not the miracle serum, and I didn't expect it to be. I have sun spots on the left cheek bone (my driving cheek) which have been there for as long as I remember, and it may have lightened it slightly, but it was not strong enough to make a difference on those

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

on 12/4/2011 12:02:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Hi All,

So I just bought the Mela-D serum yesterday, after being at Shoppers Drug Mart and convinced by the girl in the beauty boutique. It was $50 + tax, but I received a generous amount of samples from making this purchase. I received samples of the Mela-D daily skincare lotion and a 50ml of the La Roch-Posay 60 SPF high protection UVA-UVB cream. So, when you purchase this product make sure you receive a ton of free samples.

I used it last night for the first time and once my eyes were closed and I was lying in bed, I could feel the acid burning my skin and it didn't feel like tingling. It hurt. Fortunately, I'm only doing spot treatment, so it wasn't all over. I hope that this burning sensation goes away after I build a resistance to it.

I'm sad to hear that this product wasn't very effective for anyone who tried it. I woke up this morning hoping to see immediate results, but unfortunately it doesn't work like that. However, I used the product on my lips, because they are dark, and today my lips are slighter more pink than they were last night. So I'm hopeful for the product to work.

If I don't see results soon I'm going to return it within the allotted 30 days and buy a product with more Glycolic acid in it.

on 9/9/2011 9:07:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

After having my LO, I had dark spots and darker sunspots from it. After a month of looking at my skin like this, I wanted to do something about it and used Mela-D serum for 6 months with great results. The darker spots lightened up and the really light spots was nearly gone. My skin clarity was improved and it was noticeable. Unfortunately I develop some sort of reaction to the serum after the 6th month and I cannot use it anymore. It now causes a scaly rash on my chin, cheeks, and hairline.

My Skin:
I'm combination-oily with a bit of acne. I did have a few years of being acne free but that's long gone. I can be sensitive to SPF products and I will have a strong reaction.

Product Characteristics (Colour or Textures):
This serum is a watery consistency with minimal scents. It comes in a very convenient eye dropper dispenser in a glass vial. It's great as I can control the amount easily. It is easy to spread on the skin and it absorbs quickly without leaving a trace. It does not affect any make up application as well.

The product contains Kojic acid (1% concentration), LHA (2%), and glycolic acid (I was told it was higher than 5% but I can't find a source to verify).

I didn't see any major results for the first month of use and I was a bit disappointed at first. I continued to use up the first bottle and after the 2nd month I saw a noticeable improvement in the pictures. My skin clarity was improved and my skin texture was smoother. This product did not drastically improve my oldest sun spots but it did seem to lighten them a bit. Considering this was an over the counter product, I was very happy with the results. I continued to use this for 4 more months and I did see my skin improve constantly with each month. At the end of the 6th month, my skin was back to being a nice more even tone with some light sun spots. Unfortunately after 6 months of use, I developed a serious reaction which caused a scaly rash on the cheeks, chin, and hairline. I stopped all products and slowly reintroduced them one by one. This serum was one of the 3 items that caused a reaction when reintroduced. It's unfortunate because it really helped.

In Canada, it does go on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart and makes it more reasonable for purchase. Regular price is $50 so it isn't cheap but considering it works, it's much cheaper than any dermatologist!

Why I Like it:
It definitely made a difference on my skin. After 6 months of use, my skin clarity was improved and sun spots were significantly lighter!

Why I don't like it:
Unfortunately after 6 months of use, my skin developed a serious reaction to it and I cannot use it anymore.

Would I buy it again?
No because my skin hates it for some reason :(

9 of 9 people found this helpful.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Blue

This is a great product to help fight age/sun spots on the skin. I would only use it once a day as a serum, and with the Mela-D Anti-Spot cream as well to see best results. It contains glycolic acid, and kojic acid. I disagree with the previous review, none of La Roche Posay's products are photo sensitive or cause any such reaction. It is important to use a sun protection with this product to ensure that you are not inducing further brown spots on the skin. I like to use this as a boost when I need to fight age/sun spots. I found after using it for two months (two different bottles of the serum) that it visibly reduced age spots on my skin Also it has LHA, which is an exclusive patented ingredient to L'Oreal (who owns La Roche Posay).

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I was offering this to clients for a product that would lighten their age spots and sun spots (which are virtually synonymous) then I sat down to research Kojic Acid online and saw something interesting to note.
The form of Kojic Acid that this product utilizes is unstable, photo-sensitive and ineffective at inhibiting melanin production. They should be using Kojic Acid Dipalmitate which is the real deal effective ingredient. Research the difference and you'll see studies to show Kojic Acid Dipalmitate is very good at brightening/lightening skin and photostable.
I can't speculate as to why L'Oreal didn't use it in this La Roche Posay product, but when they list an ingredient be completely sure you're getting what you want as $50 is a lot of money for me to spend, maybe for you as well.

3 of 5 people found this helpful.

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