So you’re a Mommy-to-bee? How exciting -- and you’re here to learn more about skincare during pregnancy and how to treat melasma? Perfect! Let us give you all the information you’ll need to treat, manage and pamper your skin while combating any signs of melasma.
At Pretty Please, we believe beauty doesn’t have an age limit, and it doesn’t stop during the wonderful stage of creating life. Our Founder Jennifer Rasa has decades of experience treating a wide range of skin concerns, so treating signs of “pregnancy mask” is a treatment that you can discuss with Jennifer or one of our lovely skin experts. We understand that with pregnancy comes change, especially in the look and feel of your skin. The idea of your “pregnancy glow” being overshadowed by hyperpigmentation, is more common than you think. About 70% of women experience darkening around the upper lip, cheeks, and forehead during pregnancy, so you are not alone.
Figuring out your skincare routine any time can be overwhelming, but skincare during pregnancy? This introduces a whole new set of concerns. During pregnancy, your skin can change in several ways and can behave completely differently than it normally would. Here’s a breakdown of what you could potentially experience during your pregnancy.
During And After Pregnancy: Clear, Smooth Skin
Hormonal acne can be extremely frustrating to deal with since it fluctuates throughout pregnancy as well as after giving birth and breastfeeding. During pregnancy, the “pregnancy hormones” increase the number of oil glands in your face and while this leads to that beautiful “pregnancy glow”, the excess oil can clog the pores, leading to a surge of hormonal breakouts. Also after giving birth, estrogen levels drop and testosterone levels increase, which can also lead to excessive pimples as the body tries to regulate itself.
Pretty Please Founder Jennifer Rasa says, it’s important to treat those hormonal breakouts with products and treatments like personalized facials to assist with stabilizing the excessive oil production that can occur during pregnancy. It’s not only beneficial for improving the look of hormonal blemishes but also improves your skin overall.
What Is Melasma?
Patches of discoloration that appear during pregnancy are known as melasma or the `mask of pregnancy’. In some women, these patches of pigment will be light and barely visible, however, in others, they will be darker and more prominent. For most, melasma will emerge early on in pregnancy and fade after delivery.
Common signs of melasma are brown or gray-colored splotches that are darker than your usual skin color. Unlike age spots and freckles, patches of melasma tend to be large and symmetrical. This type of discoloration typically appears in these areas
Bridge of the nose
What Causes It?
Melasma (also known as chloasma) is a direct result of hormonal changes during pregnancy. When pregnancy hormones spike, they stimulate melanogenesis - the production of melanin. Melanin is the substance that gives our hair, eyes, and skin their color, and as its production increases, existing freckles and moles become more pronounced and new dark spots and patches emerge.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 90% of people who develop melasma are female. It tends to run in families, and darker skin tones are more prone to developing symptoms due to having natural melanocytes. Since it is triggered by hormonal fluctuations, melasma can also occur when you start or stop using hormonal contraception or undergo hormone replacement therapy.
How To Minimize Melasma
A proper diet can curb melasma. Eating foods high in folate (Vitamin B9) can replace the deficiency in folic acid, which is common in women who are pregnant or on birth control. Add citrus fruits, legumes, leafy greens, and whole-grain bread and cereals to your diet as well. You can also talk to your physician about taking a folic acid supplement.
Avoid Sun Exposure
Sun exposure can increase melasma symptoms. Limit your time spent in the sun and take the necessary precautions by applying an SPF with UVA and UVB protection. Instead of a chemical sunscreen, choose a mineral sunscreen that blocks, rather than absorbs, light and heat.
Topical Skin Care
Many dermatologists will prescribe bleaching agents, such as hydroquinone, to lighten the dark spots caused by melasma. This chemical compound inhibits the function of tyrosinase, the enzyme that signals the production of melanin in the skin’s melanocytes. By doing so, it reduces melanin production and fades hyperpigmentation. However, the safety and side effects of hydroquinone remain questionable; the chemical has been linked to several skin irritations as well as cases of over-lightening, resulting in white “halo” spots. For a safer option, swap out hydroquinone for natural alternatives like Vitamin E and C oil.
Skin Care For Melasma
Melasma is stubborn, but targeted skincare products and facials can minimize its appearance. At Pretty Please NY, our Skin Experts work with both products and high-end facial equipment to repair and rejuvenate skin.
Again a safe way to minimize melasma is to do so with natural skin brighteners, so using the Bright Skin Collection from Eminence Organics, is a great start. It’s a full routine that includes a blend of natural ingredients that provide similar results to hydroquinone without the potentially negative effects. Here’s how each ingredient diminishes the look of dark spots:
Bearberry Extract: Contains a natural form of hydroquinone and arbutin as melanin-inhibitors
Licorice Root: Contains liquiritin and glabridin which disrupt melanin creation
Tara Tree & African Potato: Reduce tyrosinase activity and hinder its development
Gigawhite: Contains seven organically grown Swiss alpine plants that inhibit tyrosinase
Also, using the Eight Greens Collection from Eminence Organics has been a great addition to our treatments to assist with melasma. This collection is plant-based making it safer to use on pigmentation issues. The Eight Greens Collection contains extracts of yucca, flaxseed, hops and red clover to help with a more even-looking complexion and it includes:
Eight Greens Phyto Masque
Eight Greens Whip Moisturizer
Eight Greens Youth Serum
If you would like to treat yourself or a Mommy-to-be to a facial or skin consultation, please book a one-on-one session with our talented team members at Pretty Please NY.