They say a pregnant woman needs no makeup. Why? Because she emanates a natural glow from within. But with so many changes taking place in the body, you cannot abandon your skin just because you have a ‘pregnancy glow.’ In fact, you need to take better care of it. But skincare during pregnancy is tricky. Because there are so many things that you can’t do, so many products that you can’t use, so many treatments that you can’t undergo. So how to take care of your skin during pregnancy? What is pregnancy-safe skincare? How to combat skin issues during this delicate time? Here we have a few answers:
Common Skin Problems During Pregnancy
Stretch marks are a nightmare for any expecting mother. Obviously, not all pregnant women face this problem, but it is still very common.What are stretch marks? They are purple/red/white lines that pop up on the skin when the skin stretches beyond its elastic capacity. Usually, stretch marks are visible on the stomach, thighs, arms, and breasts of a pregnant woman. They are permanent, but their color fades to pale once the skin returns to its original shape after the delivery.
TREATMENT & PREVENTION:
There are many oils and lotions now to help you prevent stretch marks from appearing in the first place.
- Begin moisturizing the high-risk areas as soon as you find you are pregnant
- Cocoa butter and Bio-Oil are said to prevent stretch marks, so make it a nightly routine
- Drink plenty of water as it keeps the skin elastic
- Gain weight at a pace of doctor’s approval
While pregnant, many women suffer from pigmentation. Usually, it is common on the face but may appear in other regions like the genitalia, nipples, and the area around the belly button. On the face, dark blemishes on the forehead, cheeks, chin, and nose are common. This is called melasma, as it is caused due to melanin deposits. The bad news is — this takes away your pregnancy glow. The good news is — it usually resolves once you deliver.
TREATMENT & PREVENTION:
Due to the delicate state of pregnancy, most pigmentation treatments like retinoids and hydroquinone are not used. So this leaves you with very few options to treat melasma:
- Use natural, plant-based products that can cure pigmentation, with ingredients like Vitamin C, glycolic acid, licorice extract, soybean extract, etc.
- Pregnancy-safe sunscreen can be used to prevent more pigmentation
- Use home masks like Aloe Vera Gel, Almond and Honey Paste, Turmeric and Lemon etc to lighten pigmentation in the affected areas
Another nightmare for pregnant women is pregnancy acne. It robs you of any ‘glow’ you might have imagined through your 3 trimesters. During pregnancy, sweat glands become more active, this makes women sweat more than usual. It intensifies in the 3rd trimester when the oil glands also become more active. So acne and breakouts become a problem.
TREATMENT & PREVENTION:
- Use a cleanser to wash your face regularly
- Don’t squeeze or burst pimples
- Avoid greasy cosmetics
- Pregnant women are safe to use spot gels or creams with salicylic acid topically, but it should not be stronger than 2%, or as as per doctors’ recommendation
- Don’t take any oral acne medication without consulting your doctor
Itchy skin and rashes develop quite frequently during pregnancy. And it is very annoying and distressing. The impaired transport of bile in the liver causes these problems. If you already suffer from diseases like psoriasis, eczema, fungal, or acne then they may become worse during this time.
TREATMENT & PREVENTION:
- Over-the-counter pregnancy-safe anti-histamines after consulting your doctor
- Oatmeal bath: suffuse a tub of warm water with rolled oats tied in a cheesecloth, and take a bath with this water to moisturize and soothe your skin
- Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water
- Wear loose, airy clothes
- Moisturize well with fragrance-free moisturizers
Tips for Skin Care during Pregnancy
- DO NOT SKIP YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE COMPLETELY
Don’t stop using all your skincare products, rather, consult your doctor about which ones are safe. In case a product isn’t safe, try to find a replacement. It is a good practice to still carry on with a regular cleansing-toning-moisturizing routine in pregnancy to keep your skin clean and hydrated. Organic and natural products are good replacements for regular ones.
- SUNSCREEN IS IMPORTANT
Your skin is very sensitive during pregnancy, so it is prone to sun damage easily. Therefore it is always advised to wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or more. Pigmentation and sunspots can easily catch you unguarded, so also wear protective gear like sunglasses, hats, and long clothing.
- MOISTURIZE WELL
Not only your face but other vulnerable parts of your body need moisturization too. The tummy, for example, needs a load of moisture to keep the skin hydrated and elastic. This also prevents stretch marks, soothes itchy dry skin, reduces irritation, and keeps your ever-growing stomach looking cute and glossy. Do also moisturize your nipples, elbows, and knees as they tend to become dry.
- PREFER SHAVING OVER WAXING
As mentioned, skin sensitivity is heightened during pregnancy. Waxing is hence not recommended (it is not unsafe). Instead, you can opt for shaving your arms and legs. This way you also avoid the heat of the wax and those chemicals that come with hair removal kits.
- ADD VITAMIN C TO YOUR SKINCARE
Vitamin C is a wonder ingredient in nature. It is an antioxidant, good for the immune system, helps in healing, tissue repair, and keeps the skin glowing. So choose skincare products like serums, moisturizers, toners, etc with Vitamin C.
- DITCH RETINOIDS
Retinoids are extensively used in anti-aging products. They are Vitamin A derivatives. But studies have revealed that the use of retinoids during pregnancy can affect the child, and may also cause birth defects. Therefore abstain from retinoids, retinol, and any product that contains even a trace of it. An alternative to retinoids for pregnant women is Bakuchiol. Consult your doctor and switch your skincare routine accordingly.
- AVOID REGULAR/CHEMICAL SKINCARE PRODUCTS
There is a list of skincare ingredients and products that are a strict no-no during pregnancy. They include retinoids (used for anti-aging), hydroquinone (skin lightening agent in creams), phthalates, chemical sunscreens, formaldehyde etc. Most regular skincare products have one or the other. Therefore you should switch your routine to natural skincare products after consultation with your doctor.
If you are looking for a good natural skincare brand then you always have Savarnas Mantra. We make our skincare range free of harmful chemicals like phthalates and synthetic fragrances, with active ingredients coming right from plant-based sources and botanical extracts. Explore our extensive collection of moisturizers, cleansers, toners, serums, eye care, and lip care for more.
P.S. Check with your doctor before using.
Pregnancy-safe Skin Care Products:
- Hyaluronic acid moisturizers
- Small amounts of Benzoyl Peroxide after checking with the doctor
- Low does of salicylic acid
- Vitamin C
- Fragrance-free skincare products
- Artificially scented products and cosmetics
- Cosmetic Treatments (lasers, botox, fillers)
- Exfoliating treatments
- Chemical peels and microdermabrasion
- Oral skincare pills or supplements
Pregnancy is the time to kick back, put your feet up, and cherish the growth of your little one. It is the time to let your skin glow and radiate the vitality that you are passing on to this new life. It is the time to love yourself and your skin a little more. We hope this short piece helped you simplify and understand skincare during pregnancy. So take care, go gentle, and keep glowing through these nine beautiful months!