We get a lot of calls regarding the treatment of Melasma/Skin discolouration/Pregnancy mask, whatever you want to call it. Quite often our clients are pregnant and looking for safe and suitable treatments to minimise the appearance of the dark shadows that have seemingly appeared over night.
Unfortunately, Laser/IPL systems, peels and strong serums are not typically recommended during pregnancy. Testing for lasers/IPL are not generally performed on pregnant women and hormonal changes within the body can cause skin sensitivity rendering higher strength skin care, too aggressive.
So you may be wondering, what on earth can you do to help prevent the onset of hyperpigmentation?
It is important to understand that pigmentation is not an overnight occurrence, it is likely that the damage has occurred years ago but hormonal changes through pregnancy (and medication eg birth control) and UV exposure have given the body opportunity to stimulate our pigment cells – Melanocyctes to create MORE pigment.
While there are many approaches to dealing with hyperpigmentation after pregnancy, during pregnancy, a precautionary approach is taken. We recommend the use of gentle cleansing and hydrating skin care products.
Anything high in concentrated ingredients can often lead to over stimulation of the skin causing irritation and further marking. In particular, Retinol/Vitamin A is not recommended for use during pregnancy.
To encourage a healthy skin cell turnover, use a gentle exfoliant weekly and most importantly, reach for a high SPF factor sunscreen (I prefer a zinc or titanium dioxide sunblock) and use it daily! In fact, twice a day, morning and afternoon. Also wear a hat where possible.
For most of us, the pregnancy “glow” is there, I know I have it somewhere, hidden under the bags that sit under my sleep deprived eyes 🙂 However, in time, that glow can often graduate to a mottled and uneven skin tone- see the image. So do yourself a favour and take these common sense steps to help minimise the affects of the dreaded pregnancy mask.