Not everyone will experience beautiful glowing skin through their pregnancy journey. It’s estimated that 50-75% of expectant Mums will experience Melasma.
Melasma or Mask of pregnancy is a dark skin blotchy, brown marks symmetrical in shape that will appear mainly on the cheeks, nose but also can appear on the upper lip and the forehead. Some women also have experienced it on different parts of the body as your whole body can become darker. It happens when there’s a steep rise in oestrogen and progesterone levels stimulates excess melanin production which is also known as hyperpigmentation.
Melasma is more common in darker skin women or those of African and Asian heritage who have more pigment in their skin than Caucasian women. Exposure to sunlight will make it a lot more noticeable. If you develop this condition, your freckles and moles may also look darker and you also may develop a dark line down the centre of your abdomen called the Linea Nigra (which means black line) and your areoles could become a deeper shade.
What can you do about Melasma?
Exposure to the sun will make your pregnancy mask worse and a lot more noticeable so opt to wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or 50 and wear it all day, every day even if you don’t go out for the day as harmful rays still can penetrate through the windows. Stay out of the sun between 11.00 am to 4.00 pm in the afternoon when the sun’s rays are the strongest. Another option is to invest in a big brimmed hat and a pair glam sunglasses and step in style. When outside, reapply your sunscreen once every two hours.
You can opt for a corrective foundation and concealer that is hypoallergenic and that won’t block your pores and cause blackheads and that is designed to cover hyperpigmentation. Match the foundation to your skin tone but choose a concealer that’s a shade lighter. Apply the concealer to the patchy spots, and then apply the foundation to the rest of your face avoiding the patches. If you find your concealer causes other problems e.g. oily skin or very sensitive skin, just use pressed powder instead to lighten spots.
Topical Vitamin C
Topical Vitamin C is a very powerful antioxidant and can help brighten Melasma while providing other anti-aging benefits like increased collagen production. It’s very safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. If you decide to opt for a facial at a spa, ensure you tell them you are expecting so they can avoid using retinoids, chemical peels in facial treatments as these are a big no no when you are expecting or nursing. Always opt for natural organic products.
Does Pregnancy Mask Go Away?
Yes it does. It’s usually temporary and fades after giving birth or in some cases, after you finish breast feeding but if your melasma persists even after you’ve weaned, consult a dermatologist regarding your options.