HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR SKIN WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING


Pregnancy can be a very exciting time for many women, but can sometimes come with some challenges to your skincare. During pregnancy, many women experience a variety of skin issues, due to the intense changes taking place in the body. Common concerns include excess breakouts or oil production, cystic acne, melasma and other skin discoloration. Existing skin condition such as rosacea, dermatitis and psoriasis can also flare up during pregnancy.


The good news is that the majority of these changes to the skin are temporary and very treatable. Here are our top tips to care for your skin when you are expecting:


TIPS FOR TREATING YOUR SKIN WHILE PREGNANT

1.) Understand how hormonal changes effect the skin

During pregnancy, the body undergoes many changes including hormonal fluctuations. These hormonal changes can present in a variety of different ways in the skin. Shifts in estrogen and progesterone can increase oil production and sun sensitivity. Vascular changes can make the skin more sensitive or quick to flush (hello, pregnancy glow!). Glandular changes can produce more sweat or clogged follicles. While changes to the connective tissue contribute to stretch marks.


With so much going on, it's important to note that everyone's skin reacts a bit differently to these hormonal changes. Additionally, you may see significant shifts during each trimester, as the body is constantly having to adjust to different hormone levels.


2.) Know which ingredients to avoid

During pregnancy, there are a handful of skincare ingredients we want to avoid or discontinue using. You can then resume using these products once you are no longer pregnant or breastfeeding. Oral retinoids like isotretinoin or topical ones such as retinol should not be used during pregnancy, as well as bleaching agents such as hydroquinone, which can be absorbed systemically by the skin.


Some other common skincare ingredients to avoid in large doses include salicylic acid and essential oils. These ingredients are okay in a small doses or in a product that will not be absorbed by the skin, such as a cleanser. However, some doctors may prefer you to avoid these ingredients altogether. For this reason, we recommend always consulting with your doctor before adding new products or treatments to your routine during pregnancy.

3.) Check out pregnancy safe alternatives

Although some ingredients are off limits while pregnant, the majority of your skincare is still perfectly safe. You can still use many active ingredients that will be plenty effective. For example, look for lactic or glycolic acid in place of salicylic acid.


Vitamin C makes for a wonderful alternative to bleaching agents and spot treatments, as it can help naturally address breakouts and discoloration that occur during pregnancy. Niacinamide, which is a Vitamin B derivative works great for calming irritated or inflamed skin and peptides can act as an anti-aging power ingredient in place of you retinol.

4.) Avoid excess stimulation or exfoliation

Because the skin is more sensitive during pregnancy, skincare experts recommend avoiding overly aggressive treatments and exfoliation. During pregnancy, professional exfoliation such as a chemical peel, microdermabrasion or dermaplaning can be too stimulating for the skin and increase inflammation.


Excess heat in the skin can lead to hyperpigmentation, so instead it is a good idea to focus on more gentle modalities that calm the skin. Enzyme exfoliation and light scrubs are more appropriate at this time, in addition to calming ingredients like chamomile, lavender, ginger, oats and red hogweed.

5.) Emphasize hydration to prevent stretch marks

A common question when expecting, is what to use to prevent stretch marks. During pregnancy, it is just as important to treat the skin on your body (and belly area) with as much care as the skin on your face.


Hydration plays an important role in bolstering the skin and helping it weather the changes brought on by pregnancy. As the skin stretches to accommodate a growing baby, elastin fibers are weakened and collagen production is not as prevalent. By topically applying nourishing ingredients like vitamin E cocoa butter and hyaluronic acid, you can help support the skin and minimize damage to the tissue.

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