Pregnancy can be very overwhelming. This is due to fact that there are lots of changes that happen during this state especially when your general wellbeing is concerned. You are constantly looking out for what you ought to eat, what you should use on your skin, what you shouldn’t do, and much more because you do not want to put the baby in harm’s way.
In regards to the skin, most of the changes that occur are majorly hormonal. These changes might be good or bad depending on how the skin reacts. Your normal skincare product might feel worthless, however, only for a short time. They might become unsafe for you and the baby during your state.
Therefore, there is a need to refresh your closet on the right skincare. Read on to know what to do!
What You Should Look Out For During Pregnancy?
As stated earlier, pregnancy is associated with lots of changes. However, in regards to the skin, these changes might make you feel rather frustrated and overwhelmed especially if you are still battling with some skin problems such as acne, eczema and the likes. Also, due to hormonal changes and imbalances, you might develop certain skin conditions which are normal when pregnancy is concerned. Here are some of the skin changes you should note
This is quite normal for an expectant mother. The dryness is majorly attributed to hormonal changes which cause a reduction in the skin elasticity and loss of moisture on the skin. It could persist to give signs of cracks, flakes, itches and other symptoms of a dry skin.
Your cheeks and face might appear freckled appearing like a dark brown colouration on your skin. That is melasma. It is mostly caused by the overproduction of sex hormones such as estrogen. The affected part will become darkened, however it does lighten up after pregnancy. It is also regarded as a “mask of pregnancy”
During the first trimester of your pregnancy, there is tendency that you might have acne. This is also as a result of hormonal changes. It happens that the overproduction of androgen causes the body to release more sebum – a natural body oil. Overproduction of sebum by the sweet glands might clog the pores which will result to breakouts of acne.
Other skin changes that could occur include stretch mark, loss of hair and so on.
What Are the Pregnancy Skin Care Active Ingredients You Should Avoid? – What You Shouldn’t Use!
Research has shown that there are some products that are not safe to be used during pregnancy especially when used in high dosage. Some of these products are applied topically which are absorbed by the skin. Your newly found sensitive skin might become irritable due to the use of these ingredients and what is not good for you is not good for the baby as well. With this in mind, this section will shed some light into some of the ingredients you should stay away from. Let’s dive in!
Retinoids which are a family of the vitamin A are particularly of great importance to the skin. Retinoid products have been used to combat acne, wrinkles and fine lines. This is because they help the skin to produce more skin cell, thanks to the stimulation of collagen present on the skin. They are specifically the “miracle-workers” for people addressing acne skin problems. However, during pregnancy this ingredient is not safe for use. Studies have shown that retinoids could affect the wellbeing of the baby mostly when used in high concentration. It could result to birth defect.
2. Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is beneficial to the skin in so many ways due to its inflammatory properties. It is found in most skincare products such as cleansers, moisturizer etc majorly used by people in a war with acne. However, it should be used during pregnancy. High dosage of salicylic acid can cause birth defects. However, if you must use it, do well to consult a doctor that will prescribe the right dosage for you.
Hydroquinone is commonly found in skincare products that are meant to lighten up your complexion. Regardless of why you want to lighten up your complexion, hydroquinone should not be used during pregnancy. Hydroquinone has been implicated to cause skin cancer when used in high dosage. And because, it can be applied topically, it gets absorbed into the skin and can be transferred to the unborn child
Most of the hair care products contain this ingredient. It is also present in nail polishes. However, over the past years, the use of formaldehyde in beauty products have declined due to its high tendency to cause cancer. In pregnancy, formaldehyde could cause miscarriage. Therefore, this ingredient should be totally avoided.
Oxybenzone is commonly found in sunscreen most especially chemical sunscreen. Research has shown that oxybenzone protects the skin well from the harmful rays of the sun. However, environmental conditions have made this ingredient unfavourable for use and shouldn’t be used during pregnancy. This is because of the fact that it has a characteristic feature of disrupting the endocrine system. This feature could cause disrupt the hormones during pregnancy leading to mutations that might seem irreversible and hence cause a damage to the mother and child.
Other ingredients you should avoid include benzoyl peroxide, dihydroacetone, phthalates and parabens.
What About Your Skin Issues?
Perhaps you have a skin issue or problem that you will like to address even during pregnancy. There is need for you to choose the right and suitable products for yourself. Here is how you can go about this
1. Dry Skin
For dry skin, there are lots of active ingredients you can choose from. You can make use of moisturizing agent that contains glycolic acid, lactic acid, hyaluronic acid and others. These ingredients are safe to be used during pregnancy
Also, you can as well use natural remedies such as the use of coconut oil, aloe vera, honey and the likes. They will help to balance your hydration level, maintain your skin elasticity, prevent cracks, itches and stretch marks.
To be on the safer side of things, glycolic acid has been proven to be more effective and a gentler alternative to use during pregnancy to treat acne instead of retinols. However, it should be used to smaller dosage to prevent any sudden skin irritations. Another good ingredient you can check out for when choosing your skincare is niacinamide. This product can help fade scars, redness and any other inflammation caused by acne
A best way to treat hyperpigmentation during pregnancy is to exfoliate. You can exfoliate using chemical exfoliant or using a soft scrubs. However, when using chemical exfoliant, avoid products that contain a high concentration of salicylic acid.
Furthermore, you can use products containing ingredients such as azalaic acid and glycolic acid to fade discolouration and even out your skin tone.
Free radicals are the major causes of wrinkles. To treat wrinkles during pregnancy you should use an antioxidant that contains vitamin C. Vitamin C is not harmful to the skin. It helps to boost collagen production. Only use it on the affected side. Other vitamins that can be used include vitamin E, niacinamide. Also, natural remedies like green tea, honey, oatmeal mask can help to ward off wrinkles.
5. Sun Protection
You need to protect your skin from harmful sunrays to prevent yourself from having sunburn, wrinkles and the likes. During pregnancy, it is recommended that you use physical sunscreens instead of chemical sunscreens that could harm your skin. Physical sunscreens are not absorbed by the body, they just sit on the skin while allowing the harmful rays to bounce off. Physical sunscreen containing zinc oxide and titanium oxide are safe for use during pregnancy.
Frequently Asked Questions
This section of this article will answer some of the commonly asked questions.
Can I Use Cleansers during Pregnancy?
During pregnancy is important that you cleanse your face due to lots of reasons such as to remove dirt and dust that might want to clog your pores and cause acne. However, you should avoid cleansers that contains unsafe ingredients. Use cleansers that are safe and non-abrasive on the skin
Should I Use Organic Skincare Products?
You should use what is best for your skin. If you are using synthetic products that are safe for use, you can continue to use them. Also, if you are going to be using organic products, do well to check the ingredient to be certain that do not contain harmful ingredients like retinols.
What Moisturizer Should I Use?
The moisturizer you use depends on the ingredients present in it. Moisturizers containing hyaluronic acid, glycerin are quite safe for use.
Protection of the unborn baby is key during pregnancy. Therefore, in regards to skincare, there is need to choose your skincare products wisely. You should avoid products that are harmful and unsafe for use such as retinoid products and the likes. We recommend you do further research as to which products to stay away from to be on the safest side.