It's only once you are expecting that you realise how much hormones affect the body. There are many changes to the skin, from increased pigmentation, also known as the mask of pregnancy, drier skin, more sensitivity to certain ingredients or products and increased redness. All of these aren’t avoidable, but thankfully will pass once the baby is here, but for now, we are going to share some skincare advice to use during pregnancy.
What skincare should I use during pregnancy?
Thankfully there are a lot of skincare products you are safe to use during pregnancy that will help treat the previously mentioned changes to the skin. Here is a list of ingredients you should trying keeping or adding to your routine whilst expecting:
Glycolic Acid- Though large quantities are not recommended during pregnancy, glycolic acid is one of the AHAs that are powerful enough to slough away dead skin cell build-up, bacteria, dirt and excess oil whilst remaining gentle on the skin. Try using a chemical exfoliant once a day, preferably in the evenings to prevent the skin from looking dull and lacklustre.
Vitamin C- Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and can protect the skin from any free radicals that cause damage. Your complexion will appear brighter with a youthful plumped look with the help of collagen production also receiving a boost.
Hyaluronic Acid- With the skin become notably drier during pregnancy slathering the skin with a potent hyaluronic acid will lock in moisture and keep the skin looking dewy, healthy and youthful.
Vitamin E- You may find that you have some stretch marks when the size of your bump begins to grow, this is when vitamin E will help. By applying a vitamin E enriched moisturiser daily you will keep the skin nourished especially when it can become drier.
Sun Protection- Skin sensitivity can also lead to the skin becoming more reactive to any overexposure to the sun. Always ensure you are using a high factor of SPF and apply it daily to prevent any sun damage or increased pigmentation to the skin.
If you are completely happy with how your skin is looking and feeling than keep your routine you are currently using as it is clearly working for you, it is advisable, however, to take into consideration any ingredients that are not safe to use and for the time being throughout your pregnancy should be left out of your routine.
What skincare products should be avoided during pregnancy?
The following are ingredients that should be avoided during pregnancy, and some even after the baby is born. If you have any doubts about using skincare products and their ingredients it is best to contact a GP or dermatologist for further advice.
Considered the Holy Grail of all skincare ingredients, retinol is known to reverse the signs of ageing, reduce any breakouts, such as blackheads and can exfoliate the skin a lot faster than an AHA for example. As amazing as this may all sound, during retinol during pregnancy can increase the risk of birth and child defects with a number of studies linking them to the exposure to high levels of vitamin A (retinol). It is best to avoid using retinol all together due to the risk to the baby and the increased signs of developing pigmentation and sun damage.
These chemicals can be found in perfumes and nail varnish and research has shown possible links to birth defects, luckily there is a variety of brands that are formulated without any of these chemicals and are clearly marked on their labels as being safe to use whilst expecting.
Commonly found in hair dye ammonia has carcinogenic properties that need to be avoided, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy. After that seek the help of your colourist to guide you on which ammonia-free products that are safe to use.
Some essential oils
Many essential oils, although being natural, need to be used with caution during pregnancy. Some essentials oils are known for increasing the sensitivity of the skin to exposure to UV rays, teaming that with the fact your skin is more prone to pigmentation is not an ideal situation. Rosemary, mint, jasmine, basil and cypress are some of the essential oils that need to be avoided at all cost due to the increased risks of miscarriage when using them on the skin.
There you have some of the main ingredients to avoid in your skincare routine to ensure you are remaining safe whilst expecting. Other treatments and procedures to steer clear are injectables, fillers or “tweakments” as well as spray tanning, due to dihydroxyacetone being inhaled during the treatment.
What helps dull skin during pregnancy?
To help the skin from becoming too dull during pregnancy here are some tips to keep your skin glowing:
Exfoliating your skin will keep it looking fresh and glowing, but do so with caution as increased redness can be one of the changes to the skin and should not be irritated. Use a scrub or a glycolic acid toner 1-2 times a week.
Serums containing vitamin C and hyaluronic acid will become your skin’s best friend by nourishing the skin, locking in the moisture and combating any free radicals and other skin-damaging factors.
Ensuring you drink enough water throughout the day will not only keep your baby and body healthy, but your complexion will look youthful with fine lines and wrinkles reduced with the glow restored to the skin.
By using a daily SPF you will protect the skin from any sun damage that can make the face become drier with fine lines and wrinkles becoming empathised by the lack of hydration to the skin.
There are some skincare advice and tips to use during pregnancy, we strongly advise to avoid introducing a new ingredient or product to your skincare routine and seek the advice of a dermatologist before applying it. For now, it is best to look after your baby and of course, yourself during this special time, there’s also nothing stopping you from preparing for a post-baby pamper day once it is safe to use these ingredients again. You'll deserve it after all!