Pregnancy, Hormones, and Skincare

A pregnancy brings about huge changes in your life. One of the most obvious changes is how your body changes. With a change in your body also comes a change in your hormones. Hormones, as we have mentioned in a previous post, can have a big effect on your skin. Check out our article on birth control to learn more about how hormones mess with your skin.

Because of the rapid changes in your body and how often they occur, hormonal changes can be different every month. To complicate things further, all pregnancies are different, so there is no “one-size-fits-all” treatment for skincare concerns when pregnant. However, the good news is that many of the concerns revolve around the same general idea, just to varying degrees. For example, acne is a problem in women who are pregnant. While it is very common among pregnant women, some may break out more than others.

Skincare Problems in Pregnant Women

As mentioned earlier, hormone levels vary from woman to woman. There are some common skin concerns, however.

  1. Dry Skin: Hydration is the most important part of your skin routine. You need to make sure you are drinking enough water to keep your moisture barrier healthy. What happens when you are pregnant is that your body needs large amounts of water to create the placenta and maintain amniotic fluid. That means there is less water for your skin. 

The Solution: Dermatologists recommend using moisturizing creams instead of lotions. It may be a good idea to also invest in a water-based moisturizer. They also recommend doing a lymphatic drainage facial. Check out our founder Salima’s guide to an at-home lymphatic drainage facial.

  1. Melasma: Melasma is the term for a skin condition that causes dark patches on your skin. When occurring in pregnant women, it is referred to as chloasma. These occur mostly on your face. You may also experience this after prolonged sun exposure. 

The Solution: Always wear SPF when going outside for long periods of time. Your skin becomes more sensitive when pregnant, so you may want to use a higher number than the recommended 30.There are medications to treat it, but doctors are not sure if they are safe to use for pregnant women. Instead, stick to skincare products rich in Vitamin C and glycolic acid.

  1. Hormonal Acne: Just like with your period, pregnancy causes fluctuation in progesterone and estrogen levels. This leads to more oil production and a higher chance of breakouts.

The Solution: Avoid typical acne treatments at all costs! They are full of salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, which is not good to use in excess when pregnant. Wash your face twice a day with a gentle face wash. Stick to cleansers with natural ingredients and avoid harsh exfoliators. Erythromycin and clindamycin are ingredients in acne treatments that are considered safe to use when pregnant.

Ingredients to Avoid:

As you can see, you need to be very careful with what ingredients are in your skincare when pregnant. Toxic ingredients can be absorbed in your bloodstream and affect your baby. Here are some ingredients to keep an eye out for:

  1. Retinoids
  2. Benzoyl Peroxide
  3. Salicylic Acid
  4. Hydroquinone
  5. Parabens
  6. Thioglycolic Acid
  7. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  8. Diazolidinyl Urea
  9. Stearic Acid
  10. Phthalates

You should always keep an eye out for harmful ingredients in your skincare, but should take extra caution when you are pregnant. Your decisions not only affect you, but another person as well. You should also make sure to consult a dermatologist if you have questions about certain products or brands.

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