What happens to your skin during pregnancy – and which products to use on it
If you were ever in doubt of the power hormones can have on your skin, you won’t be when you’re pregnant. We all want the gorgeous glow that’s supposed to come with carrying a baby, but you might also be dealt adult acne, heightened sensitivity and a ‘pregnancy mask’ of pigmentation. And to think, here you were worrying about morning sickness (which doesn’t discriminate to mere mornings, unfortunately).
To help you navigate the beauty minefield that pregnancy presents you with, here’s an overview of what happens to your skin – & how best to treat it.
The problem: The mask of pregnancy
Coupled with increased photo sensitivity, you can experience a surge in pigment-stimulating hormones while pregnant and these can contribute to melasma – large patches of discoloration appearing on the face. It is usually genetic & often fades post-pregnancy.
The products to use: It’s extra important to be sun-safe during pregnancy, and wear a sunscreen with both high factor (SPF50) UVB protection and UVA protection. Studies show that alpha hydroxy acids such as kojic acid can be beneficial in treating hyper-pigmentation, and they are safe to use in pregnancy. Try, Bee Maternal Organics Pigment Repair Serum (https://beematernalorganics.com/product/pigment-repair-serum/) $54 but know that hormonal changes can make your skin more sensitive than normal, so test products on a small area of skin first.
The problem: Hormonal acne
With racing hormones, an increase in oil secretion and anxiety added into the mix, many woman breakout during pregnancy, especially around the chin, jawline & cheeks.
The products to use: While you may want to stay away from traditional acne remedies containing benzoyl peroxide, retinol & salicylic acid, look for a a gentle, fragrance-free daily cleanser like the Bee Maternal Organics Fruit Enzyme Cleanser (https://beematernalorganics.com/product/fruit-enzyme-foaming-facial-cleanser/) $25, which dermatologists recommend in pregnancy. Avoid products containing alcohol and fragrance which can worsen inflammation.
The problem: Dry Skin
While some women’s skin becomes oilier, for others dryness can occur. All of the hydration you take in goes to the baby first, so many women experience dry skin.
The products to use: Make sure you’re “eating your water” – something dermatologist Dr Murad advises, by way of foods with high water content such as vegetables, fruits and nuts. Also, adding in a we-can’t-live-without serum, containing hyaluronic acid such as Bee Maternal Organics Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum (https://beematernalorganics.com/product/fruit-enzyme-foaming-facial-cleanser/, $25), & an omega-rich oil at night such as Bee Maternal Organics Anti-Aging Facial Oil, (https://beematernalorganics.com/product/anti-aging-facial-oil/) $39, will help your skin retain moisture. Get one for your mom too – you’ll be her favorite.
Ingredients to avoid
There are various ingredients – both natural and synthetic – that are advised against in pregnancy:
- Vitamin A/retinol. Some studies have linked retinol-based products to birth and child defects and therefore they are best avoided in pregnancy and during breastfeeding.
- Phthalates/formaldehyde/toluene. Look out for these chemicals in perfume and nail polishes.
- Certain essential oils. basil, rosemary, juniper berry, jasmine, cypress and chamomile blue as essential oils to avoid given their potential to over-stimulate and encourage menstruation.
Keep it clean ladies! 60% of everything you put on your skin ends up in your blood stream.