The Mask of Pregnancy
‘The Mask of Pregnancy’
Dealing with the aches and pains that come with pregnancy, the sleepless nights, the lack of energy, the heartburn… the list could go on… you think ‘surely this is enough to be coping with’, right? And just like that - you start noticing dark patches on your face!! WTF??!! Don’t we have enough on our plate??
Here we explain what these dark patches are, what causes them, and how you can best manage them.
What is it?
Otherwise known as Melasma, this condition can appear as dark, blotchy, brown patches on your skin. It most commonly affects the cheek and nose area and also the forehead and upper lip. If you have freckles and moles, these may also look darker. It can occur on any skin type, and any colour.
It appears when a steep rise in hormones, estrogen & progesterone, stimulate excess melanin production, which is also known as hyperpigmentation. As if we don’t have enough to deal with during pregnancy, eh!
How to best manage Melasma
The good news is, pregnancy mask is generally temporary and will fade after your baby’s birth, or sometimes after you stop breastfeeding. However, there is a few ways to try and minimise it;
- Protect Yourself – This is a must!! (even if you’re not pregnant!) It is important to wear SPF daily as exposure to the sun will make any hyperpigmentation more pronounced. Aim for a broad-spectrum sunscreen, that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. A minimum of SPF30, but ideally SPF50. If you can, re-apply every two hours. SPF sprays are ideal for this, especially if you are wearing make-up.
- Make It Up – If your pregnancy mask is really bothering you, there is always a friend in some decent make-up! Choose a corrective foundation and concealer that are non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic and designed to cover hyperpigmentation. If you are unsure, most make-up counters will offer advice on products.
- Anti-Oxidants – If you don’t have one in your skincare routine already, try adding an antioxidant to your morning routine. For example, Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which can help brighten your skin and helps fade hyperpigmentation, while providing so many other benefits such as promoting collagen production and helping to defend against pollutants and free radicals. Every skin is different, so if Vitamin C doesn’t work for you, there are more antioxidants you can try.
- Skincare – Look for products that contain azelaic acid (which is also a powerful anti-oxidant!) and niacinamide. Applied topically to the skin, both are considered safe for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. With good research showing they can improve hyperpigmentation, they are also great ingredients to help with breakouts and rosacea-prone skin.
- Go Easy on Yourself – Most of all, go easy on yourself and your skin!! You are doing an amazing job Mama! Growing and nourishing a human is an amazing feeling, enjoy and cherish it – try not to worry about the side effects of pregnancy too much. I know it can be hard, but when that little baby is in your arms, you will forget about it all!
Please do reach out if you need skincare and / or product advice. I would love to hear from you! Contact us here or you can find us on Instagram or Facebook. Although, please know, it is always best to check with your healthcare provider if you are unsure of using anything throughout your pregnancy.