Q: Help! Since becoming pregnant, I’ve noticed dark patches on my face, especially above my lip and on my cheekbones. What’s going on?
A: The mask of pregnancy, also known as melasma, is fairly common among expectant women. The fluctuation in hormones during pregnancy causes an overproduction of melanin, which can contribute to irregular pigmentation. While you’re expecting, use products that contain natural brighteners, such as vitamin C, licorice or mulberry extract, or lactic acid. Post-pregnancy and while breastfeeding, you can use stronger topicals, such as vitamin A or hydroquinone.