Whether you’re a mama-to-be, current mama or have hopes to be a mama, there are a few things you should know regarding your skincare during pregnancy.
Ahh, pregnancy…everything about your body is just a little bit different. At least, it is for me. Even your skin starts acting funny. Thanks to raging hormones, digestive changes, and plenty of other things happening in our bodies, our skin can change quite a bit during pregnancy. For example:
- Pregnancy hormones can increase oil production which can lead to heat rash and discoloration
- Your suppressed immune system (working hard to protect baby!) and stretched blood vessels are a total recipe for surface inflammation (hello, acne.)
With all these crazy changes, what’s a gal to do to keep up with it all? Here’s the thing, some of those go-to ingredients that you would reach for to battle these things are on the no-no list (even some of these things are can still be found in “clean beauty” products!). Ugh, pregnancy is already confusing enough!
DISCLAIMER: By no means am I a replacement for a medical professional when it comes to making decisions on what’s best for you and your baby. If you have concerns or questions, please always verify with a medical professional.
Skincare During Pregnancy: Ingredients & Treatments to Avoid
While we could go on-and-on with the questionable ingredients to avoid, there are some key ingredients you should be absolutely sure to steer clear of while pregnant. Otherwise, the rest of the ingredients to avoid are just ingredients you would avoid if you are following a clean beauty routine.
- Salicylic Acid
- Benzoyl Peroxide
- Fragrances (do your best, this one is tough)
- Thioglycolic Acid (found in hair removal creams)
- Tetracycline Antibiotics
- BPA (in packaging)
- Chemical sunscreens (this is contraversial…see my note below)
Here’s the thing, guys. I’m ALL about clean beauty. Duh. But in my opinion, sometimes the no-no pregnancy lists can take it a wee bit too far. By all means, be cautious of what you are using, but do not stress over every little thing. In the end, the stress is worse for the baby than anything.
For example, you’ll often see chemical sunscreens as what to avoid while pregnant. While yes, chemical sunscreens have been under reasearched and there are speculations of negative effects, there is no real evidence out there. Personally, I use a safe chemical sunscreen on my face every now and then (Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen) and a mineral sunscreen (Coola Mineral Body Sunscreen) for my body!
Skincare During Pregnancy: Trimester-by-Trimester
The first trimester is rough! Suddenly your body is in overdrive working to create life (no big deal) and it can cause some crazy symptoms. I won’t get into all that here, but what I will say is this is where your skin starts crying for help for a few reasons. First, you may be vomiting left and right meaning you’re dehydrated and your nutrients are depleted. Second, due to nausea you may only be able to eat foods that are just okay, not letting you really get the balanced meals you’re used to. The result? Struggling on the inside leads to struggle on the outside.
So what should you do? Keep your skincare SIMPLE! When your skin is suffering, the last thing you should do is add a bunch of crazy ingredients just to see what works. You may need to shelve some of your go-to products if you notice they aren’t working anymore. When looking for simplicity, I always turn to Cocokind. This brand has totally saved my skin, yet has the most simplistic ingredients of any brand I’ve tried!
Ahh, relief. For most women, this is when things start to brighten up! Less nausea, less fatigue, overall just feeling better! There’s a good chance your skin may begin to feel better too, just because your insides are getting more balanced. After skin depletion in the first trimester, this is the time to bring out some nourishing ingredients to get your skin back into shape. My recommendations? Look for vitamin c, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide.
Other things to look out for during this time? Melasma and moles. You may be more likely to get melasma if you have a history of tanning easily. Oh, and those moles may change more rapidly than ever before so be sure to keep an eye on them. Don’t be afraid to make a dermatology appointment! For both of these things, sun exposure can make them much worse so be sure to use your SPF everyday. It’s more important now, than ever!
I’m not here yet, but this is where things just get uncomfortable! Chances are, you’re going to be a little more swollen than normal so I would highly recommend investing in a facial roller and gua sha set! Both of these facial massage techniques will help significantly with facial swelling. Do it first thing in the morning as part of your skincare routine. Pro tip: it works even better if you keep the tools in the fridge beforehand!
As a general rule of advice, throughout your entire pregnancy (and preferably just always!) it’s important to keep the skin on your body exfoliated and hydrated! For exfoliation, I always recommend using a dry brush and/or a physical body scrub like Frank Body. For hydration, I’m working on rounding up and experimenting with some pregnancy belly oils and such, but in the meantime, you can check out my general body care post here.
Enjoy it, mama!
Soak up every bit of being pregnant, weird symptoms and all! It’s a beautiful, magical thing. And do your best to not stress over every little thing. Women have been having babies for a long time, in all different environments, using all types of cultural norms, and generally things go pretty well!
Do your best to be informed on the big things, but don’t overdo it on every little detail. Unless looking at every detail makes you feel better, go for it! But for me, it just causes more unnecessary stress.
Any other skincare during pregnancy questions I can look into for you? Comment below!