During pregnancy, it is not uncommon for brown spots to appear on the skin. Also known as "pregnancy mask", they are among the most common skin problems encountered by pregnant women. Fortunately, there are simple measures that can prevent this.
Melasma: How to prevent it?
How to recognise a pregnancy mask?
The mask of pregnancy, also known as melasma, is a type of hyperpigmentation caused by an overproduction of melanin. Melanin is the pigment synthesised by the skin to combat the sun's UV rays and defines the skin's colour.
During pregnancy, due to the increase in the body's levels ofoestrogen and progesterone, melanocytes produce this pigment excessively, which results in the appearance of brown spots on certain parts of the body (such as the forearms, stomach...) and the face (particularly on the cheeks, the bridge of the nose, the forehead and the upper lip).
type I melanocortin receptors (MC1R) , playing a role in the melanin synthesis pathway.
Melasma, commonly known as pregnancy mask, primarily affects women with darker skin tones, from phototypes III to VI in the FITZPATRICK classification. Darker skin contains more melanin than lighter skin, specifically eumelanin, a darker form, which provides better protection against UV rays.
This pigmentation disorder often appears around the 4th or 6th month of pregnancy. It usually manifests as large dark areas, more or less regular and quite delineated, giving a very irregular appearance to the complexion.
What can be done to prevent the formation of melasma?
To prevent the appearance of brown spots on the skin, the first step to take is to protect yourself from the sun. Limit the time spent in the sun, avoid exposure between 12pm and 4pm when UV rays are at their most intense, and opt for clothing that covers your skin. Wearing a hat and sunglasses is also recommended.
Finally, to protect your skin, we advise you to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily to exposed areas. This is not only relevant for sunbathing: UV rays can also have an effect even on cloudy days and can exacerbate melasma. At Typology, we offer a whole range of sun care products (SPF 30 and SPF 50) for the face and body. These formulas are suitable for pregnant women, contain no allergens or fragrances, and have a light texture that leaves no white marks.
In order to prevent the onset of melasma, you can also apply specific creams as a preventative measure. Opt for treatments rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin C, lemon extract or resveratrol. These molecules are capable of eliminating free radicals, which are generated by UV rays and stimulate the activity of melanocytes.
At Typology, we have developed a formulation suitable for pregnant women, designed to prevent pregnancy mask. The radiance serum enriched with vitamin C (at 11%), this serum restores radiance to dull skin and prevents photoaging. Its high antioxidant content allows it to neutralise free radicals and protect the skin.
MIOT H. & al. Melasma: a clinical and epidemiological review. Anais brasileiros de dermatologia (2014).
TYLER K. H. Physiological skin changes during pregnancy. Journal of Clinical Gynecology and Obstetrics (2015).