Hyperpigmentation is a condition where the skin darkens because of an increase in melanin, the substance in the body that is responsible for color (pigment). As you undergo hormonal changes, the body temporarily increases its production of melanin. As a result, you’ll notice areas of your body darkening such as your neck, armpits, and nipples. Melasma, meanwhile, is a form of hyperpigmentation. It’s characterized by tan or brown patches that can usually be found on the face, a condition so common among pregnant women that it's called "the mask of pregnancy."
Top Tip: Not a lot can be done during pregnancy to prevent hyperpigmentation or melasma, but being vigilant about UV protection can make a difference. Hats and a zinc-based sunblock, therefore, are must-haves. Additionally, try to limit your exposure to the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The most important thing to remember about skin care during pregnancy is to nourish your skin as much as possible. Take care with the type of products you choose as well (no harmful ingredients that your growing baby will end up absorbing). Always opt for organic products when possible. Finally, keep in mind that these skin changes you experience during pregnancy are only temporary for the most part. Once you deliver your healthy baby in nine months, these common but short-lived issues tend to subside, freeing you up to enjoy motherhood and your new special little one!