Tips for Skin Care during Pregnancy
Pregnancy hormones aren’t the same for all women. Some start glowing like a lit Christmas tree with rich silky hair and others get caught in unexpected bizarre pigmentation, acne breaking out like a 13-year-old with stretch marks. Don’t worry if you are deeply looking like the second category – it’s all part of the game! Most changes are just temporary; you’ll revert to your old version pretty soon. Here are some ways to care for your ever-changing skin during pregnancy.
The most common skin changes during pregnancy
- Melasma: Melasma is the change in pigmentation of the facial skin, appearing as dark patches or sometimes light patches.
- Linea Nigra: Linea Nigra is a dark line that you can see running vertically through your belly from your belly button to your pelvis. This line usually disappears after the baby is born.
- Darkening around nipples: Most women notice darkening of their areolas when pregnant.
- Vascular Spiders: Vascular spiders are red blotches that may appear in your face and upper body when pregnant. They go away on their own after you give birth.
- Spider Veins: Some of you may feature clusters of broken capillaries that look like a mesh of webs under your skin. They’re caused by increased blood circulation and the softening of blood vessels.
- Stretch Marks: Stretch marks are pink or purple lines that look like scars. They’re caused by the rapid stretching of the skin. Long after the delivery, they usually fade away and become silvery.
Most skin care products what we generally use tend to be safe when pregnant. However, experts recommend that you stay away from products containing Retinoid and Hydroxy acids like salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is common in many toners, peels, exfoliators, cleansers, whereas retinoid are usually a vital part of many acne creams. Both these are a strict no-no if taken orally. They’ve been found to cause birth defects. However, you may use them in limited quantities just once a day.
Face or body peels use larger doses of salicylic acid. If you’ve been planning a peel session, go ahead only with a certified dermatologist who specialises in treating pregnant women.
You can wear any makeup as long as they don’t contain the above mentioned two ingredients. If you are feeling extra sensitive, go for products marked ‘nonacnegenic’ or ‘noncomedogenic’. This skincare stuff are free of oil and are light on your pores without clogging them. If you wish to be extra careful, go mineral make up only! Mineral make up line ups are designed to sit on top of our skin rather than absorbed, so they are usually irritation-free.
Sunscreens, even the kind that gets fully absorbed into your skin, is considered safe during pregnancy. If you wish to be extra careful, buy products that contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide; these sunscreens don’t penetrate the skin. Always carry additional protection like hats or umbrellas for a hot day out.
Soy has estrogenic effects when applied topically. It can worsen skin breaking out into dark patches. Most soy based lotions/ creams may be safe because they usually would have been modified to eliminate the estrogenic components. However, if you have been experiencing melisma, it is wise to either steer clear of soy products, soya chunks or choose products labelled ‘active soy’.
Many women go 100% organic when they are pregnant. This is a great option as long as the products are of good quality. Even in organic products, we have a black sheep – the bergamot oil. The oil of bergamot is a sweet citrusy smelling oil extracted from the rind of bergamot oranges. It is very commonly found in many organic products and fragrances. This oil has been found to worsen dark spots and dark patches on your skin. So pick all your products with care and stow away doubtful products for later.
Your belly, the main character of your pregnancy, loves being pampered. They are the hotspot for stretch marks too! Unfortunately, there’s no ‘guaranteed cure’ for stretch marks. Pick any cream with a texture that you love to slather on your belly every day to keep itching away. If you don’t have any preferences and want to just be done with the itchiness, use virgin coconut oil or Shea butter.
Chapped, dry skin is a common sight among pregnant women. Use a good moisturiser religiously to keep your skin supple. You can also use milk cream or coconut oil if you like them.
Some women break out heavily when pregnant. The bad news is, most acne products may not be safe to use in large doses. Thoroughly cleanse your skin with mild soap and moisturize it every day. If your condition is unbearable, consult a good dermatologist for treatment prescriptions. Do not pick on your pimples or squeeze them – you’ll risk leaving scars forever.
Almost all of the above said skin conditions disappear on their own after you give birth, except stretch marks maybe. So don’t worry too much about them. If you really want to do something, use high coverage foundation and concealer to even out the pigmentation and red spots. Use a minimum of SPF 15 sunscreen in all weathers, even indoors.
We hope you find this post useful! Have a happy pregnancy!