It’s natural for your body to undergo many changes due to the fluctuating hormone levels and alteration of normal body functions of pregnancy to support you and your baby’s needs. Like every other organ, your skin undergoes changes as well. These can be troublesome, but are fortunately only temporary. Meanwhile, you can practice pregnancy safe skincare to keep your skin healthy and glowing.
Causes For Changes In The Skin During Pregnancy
You have increased levels of some hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) in your body during pregnancy. This causes the melanocytes (the pigment-producing cells in our skin) to make an increased amount of melanin (the pigment that gives our skin its brown color).
This can cause hyperpigmentation or discoloration of skin in some areas of the body, mostly sun-exposed areas like the face (Melasma), lips, and hands.
All of the extra hormones flowing through the body can also increase the oil production, which can lead to unwanted and annoying acne. It might be weird to have acne again, especially if you thought you were over those teen years, but focusing on safe skincare can help you get through it!
Ingredients to avoid
While not all of these ingredients have proven adverse effects during pregnancy, there hasn’t been enough research to know exactly how they affect your growing little one, so it’s best to avoid them to be safe.
- Vitamin A Derivatives
Vitamin A is a common acne-fighting and anti-aging ingredient, it comes in the form of retinol, tretinoin, retinoids, and adapalene. These may have a harmful effect on the baby and are best avoided completely.
- Highly Potent Acids
Potent acids like Salicylic Acid are used to fight acne. While some doctors say you can continue using them, they must be used in small concentrations in limited quantities to avoid any side effects.
- Benzoyl Peroxide
It’s an acne-fighting ingredient commonly used as a topical cream. Use it in small doses and limited quantities.
Hydroquinone is a skin whitening ingredient and a large amount of it gets absorbed into the body even when applied topically. It is best avoided during pregnancy.
- Chemical Sunscreens
There are two types of sunscreens: chemical and physical filters. It’s best to stick to physical sunscreens like a mineral sunscreen during pregnancy, because it works by blocking UV radiation, rather than absorbing it into the skin.
Tetracycline is an antibiotic used to treat acne. Its oral form has shown to be harmful to the baby and thus is best avoided during pregnancy.
Ingredients to look for
With exception of the above-mentioned ingredients, most ingredients are safe to use during pregnancy, but refer to your healthcare provider before using anything!
You’ll want to look for nourishing ingredients like glycerine, hyaluronic acid and ceramides to incorporate into your skincare. These will improve the look of dull, dehydrated skin and will make it look healthy and glowing.
You can also use Vitamin C for the appearance of hyperpigmentation, but remember to use a formula that’s effective and be consistent with it.