Navigating the skincare department can be stressful enough when you’re not pregnant, but when you’re pregnant and dealing with hormones, which cause skin to undergo changes (and not usually for the better!), and concerns over baby safety, it can be even more disconcerting. It’s important to continue to treat and protect skin, but the safety of ingredients to mom and baby is the number one priority. Beth Bialko, Global Curriculum Developer at the International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica, breaks down the most common skin conditions experienced during pregnancy and how to address ever-changing skin during this special time.
Here are some pregnancy skincare tips.
- Melasma (also known as the “Mask of Pregnancy”) is the most common change in skin and characterized by hyperpigmentation usually found on the chin, upper lip, cheeks, nose, and forehead.
o DO exfoliate and apply SPF daily when trying to minimize melasma. Pregnancy-safe ingredients for hyperpigmentation include Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Vitamin C and Oligopeptides.
o DO use a physical sunscreen like Super Sensitive Shield SPF30 that will keep heat off the skin by reflecting the sun’s rays.
o DON’T use Hydroquinone, a common ingredient in lightening products, as 35%-45% of it is systemically absorbed following topical use and its safety during pregnancy has not been confirmed.
- Breakouts and excess oil production can be caused by overactive sebaceous glands during pregnancy.
o DON’T use Retinoids, as studies have shown that high doses of Vitamin A during pregnancy can be harmful to an unborn child. Salicylic Acid should also be avoided, as it is part of the aspirin family and it is unsure how much is absorbed into the bloodstream when applied topically.
o DO look for products with Niacinamide to combat congested pores. Reach for a mask like the Charcoal Rescue Masque with Activated Binchotan Charcoal to draw out impurities and accelerate skin renewal.
o CONSIDER Benzoyl Peroxide, which in concentrations under 5% is safe for pregnant women and also works well as a spot treatment.
- Stretch marks occur in almost 90% of pregnancies (usually in the third trimester) and cannot be prevented or cured.
o DO moisturize with Hyaluronic Acid found in UltraRich Body Cream to keep skin hydrated and lessen their appearance.
o DO exercise and eat healthy during pregnancy. While genetics and weight gain play heavier roles in the development of stretch marks, an active and nourishing lifestyle will keep mom and baby happy.
- Eczema, Atopic Dermatitis, and Rosacea, whether a new or pre-existing skin condition, can be triggered by pregnancy.
o DON’T use products with artificial colors and fragrances, as they are common irritants and can exacerbate these skin conditions.
o DO choose ingredients like Oatmeal and Lavender to safely calm and soothe sensitive skin. A restorative moisturizer like Barrier Repair will hydrate and shield skin from environmental and internal triggers.