The pregnancy mask: what you need to know
Pregnancy mask, medically called “chloasma”, is a skin reaction that affects between 50% and 75% of pregnant women and is characterized by brown or grayish spots on the forehead, around the eyes, cheeks and above the lips. When it is very pronounced, it really takes the form of a mask placed on the face, hence the name “pregnancy mask”.
2. What causes pregnancy mask?
There are different factors that explain the appearance of a pregnancy mask:
- genetic factors
- sun exposure
- and especially hormones, the famous ones.
Indeed, as we recently explained in a previous article dedicated to the stages of the hormonal cycle of women , pregnancy is a major stage, from a hormonal point of view, during which the hormones are completely turned upside down: the body generates more female hormones like progesterone, estrogen and LH, making the skin more sensitive to the sun. This leads to an increase in the synthesis of melanin (pigment naturally present in the body to give color to the skin, hair, body hair and eyes), causing the (possible) appearance of the pregnancy mask .
Moreover, among the effects of pregnancy on the level of skin pigmentation, we also often encounter a darker color in the armpits, the areolas of the breasts, the inner face of the thighs, the vulva, the anus, and the line between the pubis and the sternum, also due to the increased production of melanin.
3. Can you develop a pregnancy mask without being pregnant?
Well yes ! Because it is mainly due to a hormonal imbalance , it happens that a pill with too high a dose of estrogen also causes a mask of pregnancy. We do not hesitate in these cases to make an appointment with his gynecologist or his midwife to adjust his contraception.
4. When and how does the pregnancy mask appear?
The mask will generally appear around the 4th month for the pregnant woman, under the combined effect of:
- increased melanin production due to hormones
- exposure to the sun.
Basically, exposure to the sun activates the production of melanin, already exacerbated by the action of hormones (therefore double stimulation), thus triggering the mask of pregnancy.
5. Are some women predisposed to developing a pregnancy mask?
For all the reasons explained above, dark-skinned women are naturally more inclined to make a pregnancy mask because of their higher natural melanin levels, but all women, even fair-skinned women, can develop a pregnancy mask. of pregnancy.
Bonus if you are pregnant in summer, in a very sunny place of course.
6. What to do to avoid this pregnancy mask?
As you will have already understood, prevention is the very first shield against the pregnancy mask. It is difficult to fight against the action of the hormones at work during pregnancy. On the other hand, you can hydrate yourself a lot and limit your exposure to the sun. And on that, we don't skimp on the paraphernalia:
1/ a special moisturizing cream for pregnant women that prevents depigmentation
Moom Ynestra cream - 44€
2/ avoid exposure as much as possible, even less between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m.
On the other hand, if you still want to continue to enjoy the pleasures of life such as a lunch on the terrace, you obviously aim for a terrace in the shade, but above all above all:
- we spread on 50+ sunscreen (exit the 30 indices, there it is not a question of laughing)
- we draw the glasses , the hat , the sombrero or whatever you want
- don't forget to reapply your cream every 2 hours
In short, you have understood, we enjoy the sun, but in the shade AND spread with sunscreen . And it is not because we are in the shade that we do not put cream!
Our first piece of advice:
- in the morning, apply a 50+ tinted cream (and not the other way around - we saw you coming - no more tinted creams at spf 12) as a day cream (tinted ones are even more effective and have the merit of downright squeezing the Tipp-Ex effect that we dread in normal 50+ creams). Buy the same duplicate to put in your bag and reapply throughout the day. As a bonus, the tinted SPF 50+ sticks ( Biarritz Laboratory for example) which are great for particularly sensitive areas around the eyes)
- hydrate yourself with Moom's moisturizing face cream which fights against hyperpigmentation thanks to lactic acid and orange blossom water.
Our 2nd little tip as a gift : keep this habit for the rest of your life, because it's the best way to prevent the appearance of wrinkles... which we obviously know is better to delay the appearance since still no genius has found a miracle solution to eradicate them once installed.
7. When does the pregnancy mask disappear? What if it doesn't go away?
Despite all these precautions, if you develop a pregnancy mask, rest assured because:
- this usually disappears spontaneously within a few months after delivery . Sometimes, however, this persists for several months after birth, especially in women who take the pill again directly after childbirth.
- if the pregnancy mask does not disappear several months after childbirth: you must turn to a dermatologist who will offer you local depigmenting treatments in the form of creams, peels or even laser treatments such as with the fractional laser.
So don't panic, there are solutions for those whose mask does not disappear spontaneously, but always prefer to go directly to a specialist rather than trying commercial creams, which will often be much more expensive and less effective and/or suitable. .
In short, if you are pregnant in summer, and especially if you have dark skin, avoid exposing yourself to the sun at all costs. And if you still want to step outside - which we can imagine ;) - moisturize your skin as much as possible and always apply sun protection (50+ to be renewed every 2 hours) and take out a hat, glasses, parasols .
Last bit of advice in passing: to avoid keeping the brown line on your little belly (also due to hyperpigmentation linked to hormones), prefer one-piece swimsuits that will protect you from the sun.