Mask of Pregnancy

Whether you know it as chloasma, melasma or "the mask of pregnancy," hyperpigmentation of the skin shows up as patches of cosmetic discoloration on areas of your face such as cheeks, nose, upper lip and forehead. It's also common to see on the neck, chest, shoulders and arms. Hyperpigmentation and "sun spots" are generally treated with skin bleaches such as hydroquinone, chemical peels or laser therapies. Unfortunately, none of these options is suitable for pregnant women.

Hydroquinone is known to cause birth defects, chemical peels are suspect and laser therapies can do damage to your skin while it's extra-sensitive. The good news is that there are three ways to deal with the mask of pregnancy safely. They are:

  1. Preventive
  2. Corrective
  3. Concealing

Prevent the Mask of Pregnancy

The single best way to deal with the mask of pregnancy is to avoid it completely. Once you have it, it's hard to get rid of without those aforementioned therapies at your disposal.

Avoiding the mask of pregnancy is easy with the regular, frequent application of sunblock protection. During pregnancy, it's best to choose a sunblock with zinc dioxide and/or titanium dioxide such as Organic Anti-Aging Sunscreen, Anti-Chloasma Facial Sunscreen, or Protect & Reflect Daily SPF 30.

If you prefer to go au natural or want extra protection, wear a hat and avoid sitting in direct sunlight — even when indoors.

Correct the Mask of Pregnancy

If the mask of pregnancy has begun to make its mark on your face, you can take action with safe products designed just for pregnant women. Fade hyperpigmentation with a one-two punch: serum + moisturizer.

Four intensive skin brightening serums exist to help fade hyperpigmentation. Use any of the following products after cleansing and before moisturizing twice daily. Apply only to the affected areas to see best results.

Following spot treatment application of one of the above serums, apply moisturizer twice daily. The following moisturizers all contain fruit extracts or oils to lighten dark spots naturally. Choose from the moisturizer that best fits your skin type:

Give the above regimen 10-14 days to begin noticing lightening of the dark spots and a more even skin tone.

Conceal the Mask of Pregnancy

Last but not least, until you can beat the mask of pregnancy, hide it. Choose a concealer that's a little lighter than your normal skin tone and apply it over the dark spots.

Follow the layer of concealer with a foundation and/or light bronzer. A touch of shimmer from a mineral veil or bronzer will help steer the eye from imperfections and instead emphasize your glow.

The good news about the mask of pregnancy is that if you do nothing, it fades on its own…eventually. When your skin calms down after pregnancy (the length of time varies from woman to woman, up to 18 months postpartum), you can try peels or laser treatment to lighten the dark spots that linger.


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