Firstly, congratulations! While growing a little human brings a surge of joy and excitement, it can also be a challenging time for many of us. You will experience a lot of changes within your body, and your skin will not be spared! Due to the unavoidable hormone surges you may find that your skin becomes quite sensitive, you may develop some pigmentation or acne and stretch marks. During these changes, it’s important to give yourself a much extra boost of TLC.
Our most commonly asked questions during pregnancy
What are some common skin changes that happen during pregnancy?
Many women notice changes to their skin, nails, and hair during pregnancy. Some of the most common changes include the following:
- Dark spots on the breasts, nipples, or inner thighs
- Melasma—brown patches on the face around the cheeks, nose, and forehead
- Linea nigra—a dark line that runs from the navel to the pubic hair
- Stretch marks
- Spider veins
- Varicose veins
- Changes in nail and hair growth
What are stretch marks?
As your belly grows during pregnancy, your skin may become marked with reddish lines called stretch marks. These marks occur when the skin stretches quickly as the fetus grows. By the third trimester, many pregnant women have stretch marks on the abdomen, buttocks, breasts, or thighs. Sometimes the marks are faint. Sometimes they can be quite dark.
There are many products on the market that claim to prevent stretch marks. There is no proof that any of these treatments work. Using a heavy moisturizer may help keep your skin soft, but it will not help get rid of stretch marks. Most stretch marks fade after the baby is born, but they may never disappear completely.
What ingredients do I need to avoid? And what ingredients are safe to use?
This is a frequently asked question, and an important one too! Glycolic and Salicylic up to 2% are safe to use during all trimesters of your pregnancy and when you breastfeed. Choosing what ingredients to use can often be a grey area for many people, and it often comes down to personal choice, and what what you are most comfortable with.
There are some things which we absolutely advise all our clients to avoid. Certain peels during pregnancy should definitely be avoided as they will penetrate deeper into your changing skin. If you want to continue with peels during your pregnancy sticking to those which contain fruit enzymes are a safer option overall. One thing we do recommend is to avoid retinol during all stages of your pregnancy. If you’re worried about any of your products, contact one of our skin therapists to chat with so that you can have peace of mind and focus on all the joys of your pregnancy!
How can I safely treat my melasma while pregnant?
Melasma is a skin problem which is marked by brown or grey patches of pigmentation on your face, and you may notice this during your pregnancy as it is actually a common cause! However, it is definitely treatable using AHA’s which will help lighten the patches and reveal your natural glow. Another ingredient which is very effective at lightening is Kojic acid. A final reminder is that SPF is an absolute must during your pregnancy, as always!
The key is to remember that during your pregnancy, change is normal and vital! Work with your skin, there is no need to bin your entire routine. Chat to a skincare specialist and make sure you are using safe ingredients to treat any concerns and put your mind at ease.
Is acne common during pregnancy and how do I treat it?
Hormonal changes within your skin during pregnancy can result in an over production of oil, leading to closed pores, with the result that you may see increased breakouts, inflammation or skin sensitivity. This is totally normal and there is no need to panic, although it can be overwhelming if your skin has not had these issues before, and it is completely normal and understandable to be overwhelmed when trying to treat your concerns!
Some tips to help you treat acne during pregnancy include:
- Salicylic acid with a 2% concentration is very effective!
- Wash your face twice a day with a mild cleanser and lukewarm water
- If you have oily hair, shampoo every day and try to keep your hair off your face
- Avoid picking or squeezing acne sores to lessen possible scarring
- Choose oil-free cosmetics
We recommend a variety of products with balancing ingredients which are key to helping your skin adapt, and our specialists will chat to you about which ones are best for your concerns. Using specialised advice rather than general advice is the best way to ensure results.
If you’re looking for products to help you with your pregnancy skin changes, then visit our Shop by Pregnancy Safe page. At MySkincare.ie we offer a broad range of pregnancy safe treatments and products to meet your goals, and are always on hand to answer any of your questions!