The Mask of Pregnancy
Commonly called “The Mask of Pregnancy”- Melasma is a hyperpigmentation, in other words: discolouration’s on the skin which, usually occur on the face. It is very common among pregnant women and looks like dark patches usually on the cheeks, upper lip or forehead.
During pregnancy hormone levels are sent soaring and can sometimes result in discolouration of the skin.
My Melasma developed in the late stages of pregnancy, and worsened throughout my breast feeding journey. We finished breastfeeding at 12 months, so I gave myself six months for it to disappear on its own, this didn’t happen. My Melasma on my upper lip really made me self-conscious; it was time to do something about it.
Do I need to get tested for Melasma?
No, if you do notice any skin changes though you should speak with your obstetrician so they can rule out any other skin conditions. Melasma shouldn’t affect your baby in anyway; although it isn’t pretty it’s harmless.
Will the Melasma go away?
Melasma usually fades away a couple of months after delivery, however sometimes it can hang around, especially for women who breastfeed. Speak with your doctor or dermatologist who will be able to recommend a brightening serum, below I will give you my natural and store bought recommendations.
Is there anything I can do to prevent Melasma?
Protect your skin by minimising sun exposure, especially to your face. Always wear a high-protection sunblock with a minimum SPF of 30. Hats and sunglasses will also help protect your face from the sun. Reapply sunscreen to the upper lip, as this area is common for Melasma as lips are always being licked, noses wiped etc., taking all that protective sunscreen off. Use natural facial cleansers and soaps as they are likely to contain fewer chemicals that react negatively with the sun.
A natural fix
1. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is a natural skin lightener with superb astringent properties. The acidic nature of lemon juice also helps remove the outer layer of the skin, thereby eliminating a layer of the hyper pigmented skin.
- Extract the juice from one fresh lemon.
- Apply it on the affected areas and gently rub it around for one or two minutes.
- Leave it on for 20 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.
- Follow this remedy twice daily and you should see improvement within three weeks.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
The acetic acid present in apple cider vinegar makes it a powerful bleaching agent, which helps remove spots and make the skin much smoother and more radiant. If you don’t have ACV in your cupboard get it in there now, it is amazing for so many things (future blog post on ACV coming soon!)
- Mix together equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and water.
- Apply this solution on the Melasma spots and allow it to air dry.
- Rinse it off with lukewarm water and pat dry the skin gently.
- Follow this remedy once daily.
From the store
I have now been using a wonderful product by the American company FRESH. It is available in Australia through Strawberry Net, as well as directly through their website. If you have access to SEPHORA they stock it as well. It is not cheap, most brightening serums are pricey, but for me it is worth every cent. I have seen a tremendous change and am now moving on to using just the lemon and ACV treatments. The serum retails for around $67 USD.
• An exclusive brightening complex derived from peony and licorice root extracts and vitamin C glucoside is proven to reduce and prevent the appearance of dark spots and even skin tone*
• Hyaluronic acid works to attract and seal in moisture for supple skin
My preferred sunscreen is Australian based A.S.A.P, it also comes in a tinted version which gives great coverage, protection as well as being a wonderful moisturiser.
After eight weeks of treatment, my Melasma is virtually gone and I am feeling confident again. I have two weeks left of my Fresh serum cycle, and I couldn't be happier with the results.
If you have a great product recommendation leave it in the comments below!
Don't let a little thing like Melasma hold you back when there is so many great natural and store products available to help you. I'm so happy to be smiling again with confidence!