What Is The “Mask of Pregnancy?”

Posted by on Nov 17, 2015

Have you heard the news? We’re expecting! In celebration of Baby Black (due in April!), we’ll be running a #InnerBeautyBaby series here on the blog equipping you with all the information you need to keep your skin vibrant and healthy during pregnancy. Got any tips of your own? Tweet us!




Often referred to as the “mask of pregnancy,” melasma is a medical condition that causes hyperpigmentation in the face, most commonly in the cheeks, upper lip, chin and forehead. If you’re noticing dark, patchy skin while pregnant, you’re not alone: according to this study, anywhere from 50-70% of women suffer from melasma. Because of those numbers, we’re breaking down everything you need to know to keep your skin healthy and bright.


What Causes It?

The jury is out on exactly what the source of melasma is — some doctors say rising estrogen levels, others say progesterone — but everyone agrees that it is definitely stimulated by sun exposure. It’s not just confined to your face, either: you may notice changes in the color of your freckles, moles and nipples as your pregnancy progresses.

Melasma is significantly more common in women with darker skin, particularly those of Asian or African descent, due to already having more pigment in their skin.

How Do I Avoid It?

The surest way to avoid the “mask” is by vigilantly protecting your skin from the sun. You should be applying SPF 45 or higher daily, even if you’re staying indoors! If you are spending a day in the sun, opt for a wide-brimmed hat and some fashionable sunglasses to keep harmful UV rays off your face. It may seem excessive, but it’s a small price to pay for clear skin.

How Do I Treat It?

If you’re already noticing signs of melasma, don’t worry — most pregnant women do! There’s not a ton you can do to “erase” symptoms once they’ve appeared, but know that they will most likely fade once pregnancy (or, in some cases, breastfeeding) is over. Focus on feeling confident in your skin and excited about the life you’re bringing into the world! For some women this may be just a mental decision, but if you’re still feeling insecure your best bet is a foundation/concealer duo that is non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic and designed to cover hyperpigmentation.

As always, with any new product, make sure to consult with your doctor. One of the most important things to keep in mind during this journey is there are so many unknowns, so what worked for your skin before may not work for you now. Even if you don’t physically see or feel change, your skin will fluctuate constantly during pregnancy. Err on the side of caution — this isn’t a time to be experimenting with new products. Keep up with a routine. Less is best, from ingredients to steps. Focus on hydration (including serums!) and tons of SPF. You’ve got a lot to look forward to. Motherhood comes with concerns, but your skin shouldn’t be one of them. I’m on this journey with you — you’re not alone. If you have any questions, help is a phone call away.


Enjoy this article? Check out the rest of our #InnerBeautyBaby series!

Dealing With Pimples While You’re Pregnant

4 Beauty Ingredients To Avoid During Pregnancy

3 Ways To Minimize Stretch Marks


Mindy Black

Mindy Black is a licensed esthetician and owner of her results-driven skin care clinic, Inner Beauty Skin Care Inc., located in Lake Mary, Florida. Mindy provides weekly beauty expertise on Orlando's FOX 35 Good Day morning show and has been quoted in Success magazine, the Moms Magazine, Orlando Mom’s Blog, Spark & Hustle, and is an eHow contributor. Mindy's accolades include: Vice Chair Woman of the Greater Sanford Regional Chamber of Commerce, member of the Lake Mary Rotary, Royal Court of Krewe 2012-2013, recipient of the Entrepreneur of the Year award, and nominee of Orlando Business Journal’s “Women to Watch.”