Melasma During Pregnancy: How I Fixed It

Profile of woman's face zoomed in on left cheek to show melasma during pregnancy

How to avoid pigmentation during pregnancy

Melasma during pregnancy is a frustrating and embarrassing battle.

I know firsthand.

I had been struggling with melasma for over a decade before I became pregnant.

Then, with my first pregnancy, my melasma got so bad that someone politely told me I had dirt under my eye.

But, it wasn’t dirt. It was just the discoloration of the skin on my face. The hyperpigmentation became so prevalent that even makeup wouldn’t cover it up.

I felt like I had raccoon eyes from the melasma. My chin, jawline, cheeks, and forehead were covered in speckled dark spots.

The infamous pregnancy mask of melasma overpowered my face.

The changes that happen with your body while being pregnant are emotional enough! To be embarrassed of your face on top of it is hard.

And as someone who has had many doctors over the years tell me there isn’t really anything that can be done to remove melasma for good (as it is prone to return), I felt depressed.

I hung onto the hope that the hyperpigmentation would fade postpartum, as research states that can happen for melasma during pregnancy.

I ended up being on the other end of the bell curve, though, as my discolored skin blotches stayed long after I delivered my firstborn.

But then, one day I came across a solution! A solution so great that my melasma stayed at bay during my second pregnancy!

AAAANNND, I am even now to the point (years later…still!!) where I am not embarrassed to be seen without any makeup on.

My skin is nearly all one color now. The melasma is much calmer.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

Before I explain the solutions, I first want to share everything that I had tried.

One doctor suggested I get off the birth control pill.

rows of birth control pills on a pink backdrop

This was of course before I was pregnant. As mentioned earlier, I developed melasma a long time ago and have battled with it for over a decade prior to having it worsen during pregnancy.

It cannot be proven that the melasma was caused by years of being on the pill, but studies show the pill does not help the condition and that it potentially exacerbates the situation.

Stopping birth control did not remove my melasma, but it possibly slowed it down.

Next, I tried hydroquinone cream.

woman holding a white bottle of cream

This was prescribed to me with caution (I was not pregnant when I used this medication).

The doctor stated this cream must be used sparingly and is not for repeat, long-term use.

She shared with me that the cream can create an adverse reaction on your face with long-term usage and actually worsen the melasma over time.

The hydroquinone cream worked AMAZINGLY on my face. I was so pleased with the results that I wanted to read more about the prescription.

That is when I learned the ointment is also linked to causing cancer, so I stopped using it right away.

And, as my doctor had warned, while the prescription was effective, there is no cure for melasma, so it did eventually return.

The doctor said the best thing to do is wear sunscreen all the time.

bottle of sunscreen on a table for melasma during pregnancy

Sun exposure brings out the melasma. Learning the sun triggers melasma crushed me.

I love being outside. I love walking, running, and hiking. So I started wearing a hat and applying sunscreen liberally.

I became practically obsessed with sunscreen. I applied it anytime I stepped outside, whether it was driving to the grocery store, going out to eat with my family, exercising…

No matter how small the outside exposure was, I was applying sunscreen.

I bought super big, full-coverage sun hats, too, and wore them as much as possible.

It didn’t matter. My melasma came back with a vengeance.

While I was devastated it was returning, I was relieved my efforts weren’t working for a few reasons: the amount of sunscreen I was wearing interfered with my makeup; physically, it did not feel good on my face to always be lathering up; and I started feeling gross with the constant application.

Not to mention I felt stressed if I was outside and forgot my sunscreen or my hat.

Then a new dermatologist recommended I use vitamin C.

half of an orange next to a bottle filled with orange slices

She said that, unfortunately, the more expensive the vitamin C is, the more effective it will be.

She recommended I try this brand. Nearly $200 a bottle was expensive for me, especially since I needed a new bottle every couple months.

However, I did start to see some results. It took several weeks before I started seeing any change, but there was a change!

Unfortunately, the serum’s efficacy plateaued and the melasma was still very present without makeup.

I didn’t know what else to do, so I still kept buying and using the product. I used this product for years, and while I was pregnant with my firstborn. That is when the melasma went tenfold.

I started to accept that this was just my new face, until one day I discovered two awesome solutions that truly helped me, and I cannot wait to tell you about them!

IPL Photofacials for Melasma During Pregnancy

woman's face prepped for a facial

While at a volunteer function, I noticed the girl sitting next to me had skin that was FLAWLESS.

We started chatting, and I learned she was also not wearing any makeup!

She shared with me she gets IPL (intense pulsed light) photofacials at Aesthetics Biomedical, a place where her cousin works.

I was eager to learn about IPL photofacials, but I was also reluctant to try because your face is your face…If it gets ruined, it can’t really be hidden.

But then I met the cousin (who was also not wearing any makeup) and her face GLOWED with perfection.

I remember instantly thinking, “I want your skin and am going to copy whatever it is you do.”

The cousin shared that her secret was the IPL photofacials, too.

For me, I am slow to trust and feel like everything is a gimmicky sale, especially when it comes to face products. Having proof from my new friend and her cousin that IPL photofacials work and are safe, I felt much more open-minded to exploring.

After a few treatments, the IPL photofacial drastically changed my skin for the better!

Finally, after years of stressing and feeling embarrassed over my skin, I had a solution that I loved.

The results were immediate.

A couple years later, I was at a bachelorette party where one of the gals in the bridal party just had her first baby. She was talking about how she developed melasma during pregnancy and could not figure out how to get rid of her “melasma mustache”.

I told her about IPL photofacials. She ended up getting one before our friend’s wedding, and it was totally gone! She was so happy and couldn’t believe her dermatologist never suggested it.

Keep in mind that I did the IPL photofacials post pregnancy. I do not think they are safe to do while pregnant, but consult with your OB/GYN.

It is important to know that IPL photofacials can burn the skin if not done correctly, so be sure to do thorough research when selecting the person and the place to give you the treatment.

To read more about IPL photofacials and what they are, go to WebMD or Ideal Image.

The Glow Maker for Melasma During Pregnancy

Bottle of a vitamin c serum that is effective for melasma during pregnancy

So, how do I keep the melasma from returning after the IPL photofacials?

The answer is The Glow Maker by Maelove.

It is another vitamin C serum, like mentioned above, but it the BEST vitamin C serum. Why?!

Because contrary to what my former dermatologist said, you CAN have a high quality vitamin C serum at an affordable price that really works.

Vitamin C, when topically applied, is one of the greatest proven ways to keep your skin healthy. Plus, it is safe to use while pregnant.

This product will help you look great and feel amazing. Need further validation? Read the thousands of five star reviews from Maelove customers!

I apply The Glow Maker twice a day after washing my face. I then wait 90 seconds before applying my face lotion/sunscreen/makeup. I keep it in the fridge to help maintain freshness, as vitamin C is sensitive. The bottle lasts me about 3 months, too!

How I learned about The Glow Maker was through my sister. I went to visit her in San Diego and noticed her skin–without any makeup on–was seriously radiant. She said the reason was The Glow Maker.

I quickly hopped on board and began to see results within days.

Side note: My preferred makeup is a tinted moisturizer followed by a clear powder. The one that helped me the most when my melasma was at its worst was bareMineral’s Complexion Rescue. It comes in various shades to match your skin tone (I used Vanilla 2). What I love about it most is that it contains SPF 30.

The combination of the IPL photofacials, The Glow Maker, and sunscreen have greatly reduced my hyperpigmentation struggles.

I have successfully gotten rid of my melasma during pregnancy. I am back to feeling comfortable in my own skin, doing the things I love outside without constant worry.

I hope my story helps you find the best solution that works for you because melasma during pregnancy does not have to be permanent.

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