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Melasma: How to Prevent It?

During pregnancy, it is not uncommon for brown spots to appear on the skin. Also referred to as "pregnancy mask", they are among the most common skin issues encountered by pregnant women. Fortunately, there are simple measures that can be taken to prevent them.

Published April 20, 2023, updated on February 8, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 4 min read

How to recognize 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 synthesized by the skin to combat the sun's UV rays and defines the color of the skin.

During pregnancy, due to the increase in the body's levels ofestrogen 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, often referred to as the "mask of pregnancy," 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 pigment disorder often appears around the 4th or 6th month of pregnancy. It usually manifests as large dark areas, more or less regular and are quite defined, 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 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 for sunbathing: UV rays can also act on cloudy days and have a worsening effect on 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 traces.

To prevent the onset of melasma, also known as the mask of pregnancy, you can also apply specific preventative creams. 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.

Any recommendations?

At Typology, we have developed a formulation tailored for pregnant women, designed to prevent melasma, also known as the mask of pregnancy. 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 neutralize 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).


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