As if the sleepless nights weren’t already playing havoc with your complexion, the skin darkening that is common in pregnancy can result in hormone-related blotchiness on your face, which can make it harder to get a naturally clear complexion without make-up. “During pregnancy up to 90% of women experience some degree of darkening, including the appearance of linea nigra (midline of the tummy), the darkening of areola, and melasma, often dubbed the ‘mask of pregnancy’ because the splotches typically show up around your upper lip, nose, cheekbones, and forehead in the shape of a mask,” says Rebecca Treston, founder and manager of Rebecca Treston Aesthetics, Euromed Clinic Dubai. “What’s more, skin that’s already more pigmented – such as freckles and scars – may become even darker.”

 “Up to 90% of women experience skin darkening during pregnancy, including melasma – aka ‘the mask of pregnancy’ – because it appears on the face in the shape of a mask” 

The exact cause is not known but it is thought to occur due to increased levels of hormones. In general, the darkened spots fade within a year after delivery, although sometimes they never completely disappear.

“If your skin is still blotchy after giving birth and it’s bothering you, there are several treatment options,” Rebecca continues, although it’s worth noting that if you are breastfeeding you should wait until you have stopped before seeking treatment, as your hormones will still be in flux.

“When it comes to peeling treatments, few can rival Cosmelan and Dermalan at removing hyperpigmentation. Cosmelan is the milder treatment and is used for less severe pigmentation or general rejuvenating.

“There are also laser treatments that can prove effective and one of the most innovative non-ablative skin perfecting lasers is the Evo, which fractures the melanin that causes uneven pigmentation.

“But don’t expect instant results – it may take more than one treatment to lighten the darkened areas and whatever treatment you decide upon, continue to protect your skin from the sun by using sunscreen every day, wearing protective clothing, and staying out of the sun during peak hours.”

Cosmelan

This peel consists of various acids, which encourage new skin cell turnover and prevent melanin production. First the peel is applied by a trained aesthetician, which you keep on for a number of hours. The mask is then washed off and a cream applied, which aids in protecting the growth of new skin cells. Expect skin reddening for 3-5 days after a treatment. It’s available for Dh4,120 +VAT at Aesthetics International in Dubai, Aesthetics.ae

Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution

Voted a top buy from the UK’s Independent, this clear solution is most effective for people who want to target specific spots of pigmentation. One drop rubbed into the affected area for as little time as a week can dramatically reduce sun spots on both the top of hands and cheekbones. Dh252, Ounass.com

Evo laser

The Evo promises to shrink pores, stimulate collagen and fracture the melanin that causes uneven pigmentation. The subsequent new collagen and elastin fibre translates into healthier, firmer, and tighter skin; while the new even skin tone should help you to look more youthful. Dh840 a session from Rebecca Treston at Euromed Clinic in Dubai, Rebeccatreston.com

Read more: 

How to avoid getting stretch marks during pregnancy 

Bleeding Gums in Pregnancy: How to Fix It 

Why your pregnancy mood swings may be something more sinister