Beauty Clinic: Help for pregnancy pigmentation
Q. I had some hyperpigmentation on my face with my first baby, which took months to clear. I am now pregnant again and wondering if there is anything I can do to prevent it?
A. Medically called melasma, or mask of pregnancy, these brown patches are caused by the change of hormones during pregnancy, which can cause an overproduction of melanin resulting in dark patches on the skin.
This was just the problem that Georgie Cleeve (pictured above), founder of OSKIA Skincare, experienced after her second pregnancy. ‘I became quite self-conscious about the distinctive splash marks across my face, which were more obvious on the left – probably because of sitting in the passenger seat of the car a lot over summer so that side of my face was in the sun’.
Although melasma does, as you have found, usually clear up after the birth, Georgie decided to research the topic and see if there were topical ingredients that could help fade the patches, even out skin tone and control the overproduction of melanin. Working with her inhouse doctors and nutritionists, Georgie found a powerful combination that could be encapsulated in a liposome to enable to penetrate into the skin. It was christened Nanobright (although it doesn't contain nano-particles) and contains glutathione (a key antioxidant in the body), vitamins C and E and arbutin, a plant extract that acts to lighten skin by preventing the formation of melanin.
Georgie put this together with nine other natural melanin-reducing active ingredients plus OSKIA’s signature nutrients. The result is OSKIA Renaissance BrightLight Serum, not cheap at £85 for 30 ml (www.oskiaskincare.com) but as with most serums, you only need a little so it goes a long way. In an ideal world, Georgie suggests using it through pregnancy and for a month at least afterwards so the pregnancy hormones calm down.
A ten-week clinical trial with 28 subjects (not pregnant) has just reported on the first four weeks with an average decrease of 14 per cent. OSKIA hopes for a 3o-4o% reduction over 10 weeks.