Looking After Your Skin During Pregnancy
CONGRATULATIONSSSS!!!!! It’s not always easy knowing what to expect when you’re expecting, especially in regards to your skin. When you’ve got a mini hooman growing within, you’re in the middle of drastic lifestyle changes, rising hormone levels and you’re probably feeling a little bit stressed - happy stressed, but cortisol-raising all the same.
Everyone tells you that you've got "the glow" but the reality is that pigment may be an issue and you are annoyed that you can't use some of your actives. We’re here to help you identify what is going on with your skin and provide you with pregnancy-safe solutions.
Problems that can occur with your skin during pregnancy
You may notice that your skin is reacting differently to your usual washing powder, your signature fragrance or your usual skincare routine. During pregnancy, your skin can become very sensitive to things that didn’t cause you problems pre-pregnancy.
To combat this, be gentle on your skin. Avoid using products that include known irritants, like fragrances. Instead, use products that are hydrating and free from acids and retinol, such as Neostrata's Restore range.
On the left, Neostrata's Restore Bio-Hydrating Cream (€40.90) and on the right, their Restore Facial Cleanser (€28.30).
Maybe you’ve had it in your teen years, your twenties, or maybe you’ve never even had a blackhead. Acne can crop up in your pregnancy due to your heightened hormonal levels, but you have to be careful to only treat acne with products that are proven safe to use during pregnancy.
Salicylic acid is a no-go due to it being derivatively related to aspirin. Acne Out Oxy Wash (€24.00) uses pregnancy-safe lactic acid in lieu of salicylic acid.
The changes in your body could make your skin feel itchy, dry and tight. Minimise this by drinking plenty of water, investing in a humidifier and making sure to use a gentle moisturiser daily, nightly and ever-so-rightly. Up your omega intake to lock in moisture - omega fatty acids also have multiple benefits for you and your baby!
Of course, always remember Spritz O'Clock. Spritzing refreshes and re-hydrates the skin, so make sure to keep a bottle of a refreshing mist handy.
Yon-ka's Lotion Yon-ka PS (€32)
Melasma is when your pigmentation levels rise due to the influx of hormones, causing brownish spots on your face and body. To combat this, cover up well in the sun, make sure to use pregnancy-safe sun cream but remember that they should fade after pregnancy.
If your melasma marks don’t fade away by themselves post-pregnancy, seek a consult with a clinic to understand how best to treat them. IMAGE Skincare, Skinceuticals and Heliocare all have great high SPF suncreams.
From left to right: Skinceuticals Sheer Mineral UV Defense SPF 50 (€31.45), Heliocare Advanced Gel SPF 50 (€30.00), IMAGE Skincare Prevention Daily Ultimate Protection Moisturiser SPF 50 (€47.50)
When you think of pregnancy and your skin, you probably think of stretch marks. During the natural enlarging of your bump, the collagen of your skin is stretched past its limit. This causes fissures which appear on the skin as brown, purple or red stretch marks.
Genetics play a role in the likelihood of you getting stretch marks: it’s probable that if your mum had stretch marks, and her mum before her, you will have them too.
There is no way to truly stop stretch marks, but including vitamin E, vitamin C and zinc in your diet can help to minimise them. Stretch marks will naturally fade to a silvery-white colour with time but treatments using microneedling, radio-frequency and lasers are making ground-breaking changes at the moment. Environ AVST Vitamin A, C and E Face and Body Oil is great for helping to fade stretch marks post-pregnancy.
Environ AVST Body Oil (€50.00, available with Nerd Network membership)
It’s also advised to switch out your regular foundation and concealer to mineral makeup due to the new sensitivities that may arise from your pregnancy. But here at The Skin Nerd, we never need an excuse to advocate for mineral makeup - we love it always!
Our final tip on skincare and your skin during pregnancy: most pregnancy-related skin conditions clear up on their own after you’ve given birth. We hope you enjoy a worry-free pregnancy, and when baby is born, we'll write an article on that! To recap on what we've learned:
- Vitamin C
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Salicylic Acid: due to its relationship with aspirin
- Glycolic Acid: photosensitises the skin
- Retinol: active brands won't sell the products to pregnant women for insurance reasons