My Fight With Dark Spots and the Mask of Pregnancy
I am a mother of three beautiful children. I am also of mixed race, which I have been told is a common denominator for the mask of pregnancy. Dark spots show up more often in those with a darkish skin tone.
That doesn't mean you fair-skin ladies will not have an issue. During my first two pregnancies, I had no issues with the mask of pregnancy. Both of those pregnancies were boys. My third pregnancy, however, was a little girl.
I will admit it; I am a sunoholic! I crave being outdoors—I love the lake, and I lay out frequently. This is part of my problem.
See, when I was pregnant, we went to the lake a lot. I always wore sunscreen and applied extra to my belly. I made sure my stomach stayed in the sun for only a short amount of time. However, I did not do the same for my face.
About midway through my pregnancy, as fall approached, I started noticing some mild discoloring above my lips, on the tip of my nose, and on my cheeks. At this time, it was nothing too noticeable, and I assumed it would go away once I gave birth. Boy was I wrong.
By the time I had my baby girl, I had an unwelcome blemish above my lips. It was horrible! I didn't want to pose in pictures if I thought they would take it to social media. I didn't want to look so horrible in such memorable pictures. So I stayed behind the camera as much as possible.
I was a breastfeeding mom, so I had to stay away from all things chemical for the first year after I gave birth. This doesn't mean I couldn't fight the mask.
Here are just a few ways you can fight the mask of pregnancy or dark spots, also!
What You Can Use to Get Rid of Dark Spots
Apple Cider Vinegar
Avon Renew Reversalist
Example of Severe Dark Spots/ Mask of Pregnancy
What Can You Use to Get Rid of the Mask of Pregnancy?
I started my search when my daughter was about three months old. I needed to find something that was safe for breastfeeding. I found a few, but I also found some for after breastfeeding was done.
- Lemon juice: I started out with a lemon. I cut it into eight sections, and each morning and night I would rub it all over my face. After about a month I saw some minor improvement. I'm sure if I would have stayed at it longer I would have gotten better results. I am an impatient person though. I went back to the internet and started my search over again.
- Mixture of onion and apple cider vinegar: Yeah I know that sounds horrible, but what was I to do, look like I had a mustache or use something that was very stinky in hopes of a solution? I found this worked a little better than the lemon did. I soaked onion wedges in a jar of all-natural apple cider vinegar overnight. I then used a wedge in the morning and at night to wipe my face down. I saw improvement in eight days and was very excited. I stayed at it for a couple of months with great improvement. Even though I still had a bit of a mustache, I stopped doing this after a couple of months. I will admit I am horrible at sticking to doing the same thing over and over. I also had hopes of it fading out as winter was approaching.
- Glycolic peel - A friend of mine who does this type thing for a living made this suggestion. So I did my research and went on eBay and made my purchase. I bought a starting percent of 20. Some say you can go as high as 30% the first time, but I wasn't taking any chances since I was doing this at home. I did a test spot first right below my jawline. I waited 4 days and showed no bad signs. So on day five I rolled my glycolic acid on my entire face and let it sit for one minute. I then washed it off with cold water. There was some tingling or a very mild burn but not enough to discourage me. During week one, I used nothing on my face in between except water. I was too scared to put anything else on my face. During week two, I read about using vinegar as a toner before the chemical peel. So I washed my face with vinegar, waited for my face to dry, then applied the 20% chemical peel for two minutes.
I am at week five of this process now and think I will soon get to stop. The dark spots above my mouth are almost completely gone!
The dark spots that were on my cheeks and nose are gone completely!
I use vinegar nightly to wash my face. I use Avon Anew Reversalist Daytime Cream in the mornings except the day of, and after, a chemical peel.
Should You See a Doctor for Dark Spots?
While getting rid of dark spots is not easy, it can be done.
I prefer going natural first. I am anti-chemical, so I try everything I can before using man-made products. Sometimes, however, the easy and fast solution is not natural.
I really don't think the peels would have worked so well prior to using the lemon, onion, and vinegar. The natural remedies lightened the color, I believe, making it easier for the peel to work.
Good luck getting rid of your dark spots. If anyone knows any other remedies please comment and let us know. There are far too many women going through this with no idea how to fix it.
If your dark spots start when you are not pregnant or they show up very quickly, you may want to see a doctor. A dermatologist and a general practitioner.
A dermatologist can prescribe creams to apply to it if you want to skip the natural options.
A general practitioner (such as your family doctor) can help you rule out other causes.
Two years after originally writing this article (which has been completely changed and edited since then) I was diagnosed with Lupus, which my doctor said was a very possible cause.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Karen on January 24, 2018:
What glycolic peel did you use? Link?
Desi on August 25, 2017:
Hello, I got mask of pregnancy from my 3rd pregnancy as well. But there was a 11 year difference. I ended up having a miscarriage at 10 weeks. I went to a dermatologist and he recommended a prescription bleaching cream. Been using it for 6 months now and no changes. My self esteem, and insecurities have really lowered. I'm desperate to try anything but the chemical sounds a little scary. Just nervous to make it worse. Do you recommend me using the natural remedies first? The bleaching cream has not lightened the spots at all. We are still trying to have a baby but if I get rid of them, I would know for next time.
Thank you! Any recommendations would help..
Suzie from Carson City on February 29, 2016:
Hey peeples.....haven't seen you in so long. Good to see you today. I recall being informed of the "mask of pregnancy" and reading about it in the various books I read a hundred yrs. ago when I was pregnant.
I especially remember seeing a photo of a Mom to be with this mask. I certainly can't remember much about the why & what to do part!
I've not ever seen anyone face to face with it. It does go away once the pregnancy is over, correct? even if it fades slowly, little by little.
I know women aren't ever happy with SLOW progress. We also want every single OUNCE we gained to be gone like magic.....BUT!
Peeples (author) from South Carolina on February 29, 2016:
You should always talk to your doctor when in doubt, however I did use avon on my face throughout my last pregnancy.
jirah on February 29, 2016:
is it safe to use Avon anew reversalist product during pregnancy?
Jen on July 20, 2015:
Add Your Coimment...
I can't wait to try this peel! I've been trying to decide whether or not to try a peel with my doctor. This seems easy and safe enough to do at home. I've been using lemon and cider vinegar so far. Hoping to see a real difference. Thanks!!!
Peeples (author) from South Carolina on December 09, 2014:
Yes it is. I have learned to sle sunscreen on my face starting early spring. I also start the lemon juice on my face now in the spring every night. As soon as summer starts leading into fall I start my peels and do them through late spring (not good to do them if you will be in the sun). I have noticed each summer my issues are less and less though it is a lot of work!
Telvi on December 09, 2014:
It is great that you could lighten your spots. Mine faded in the winter on their own but they keep coming back in the summer. It seems as though my sun tanning days are over. Is this consistent with your experience?
Peeples (author) from South Carolina on June 10, 2014:
Every day they have to be made again. One day I got lazy and I was able to use the second day but the onion was very mushy. So I would advise reusing the same vinegar but putting fresh onion in about 12 hours before use.
Abby on June 08, 2014:
Were you able to store the vinegar and onions or did you have to make it from scratch each day?
Nancy Yager from Hamburg, New York on May 29, 2012:
Hope that you can help a lot of people with your natural solutions.