Pregnancy is one of the most miraculous journeys that our body goes through. As an expectant mother, you’ll likely experience a whirlwind of emotions as you prepare for your bundle of joy. For some however, pregnancy can also come with its physical challenges including fatigue, morning sickness and a range of skin changes. Amidst all of this, it’s important to prioritise your self-care and one aspect that needs special attention is your skin. This blog is here to guide you through the journey of nurturing your skin during pregnancy, helping you maintain a healthy, radiant complexion while embracing the changes that come along.
Pregnancy hormones & Skin
Pregnancy triggers a surge of hormones including oestrogen and progesterone. Each individual skin will respond differently to this which is why there is such a range of changes that can occur. You might find your skin changes throughout your pregnancy. In the early stages of pregnancy, these hormonal fluctuations generally trigger an increase of oil production which can leave the skin appearing healthier. The body also experiences an increase in circulation and blood volume, which combined with additional oil can result in a healthy ‘pregnancy glow’…but not always.
The surge of pregnancy hormones and increased oil production can result in pesky breakouts, congestion, and bumps beyond expectation! Those that have a naturally oilier skin or have struggled with hormonal breakouts before are more prone and therefore more likely to experience this during pregnancy. The key to managing these breakouts is adopting a safe and effective skincare regimen. Ensure you have a consistent cleansing routine, this is critical for keeping your skin clean, balanced and less prone to breakouts. Double cleansing morning and evening is an effective method, helping to remove impurities and keeping pores clear of build-up. Active Clay Cleanser is a fantastic second cleanse option for absorbing excess oil and balances the skin with prebiotics, promoting a clearer and healthier appearance.
A common characteristic of hormonal breakouts is inflammation. When the pore becomes blocked, bacteria can thrive, causing an inflammatory response resulting in redness, swelling and the formation of pimples. The game changer for clearing these stubborn breakouts is Deep Breakout Liquid Patch. This powerful formula creates an invisible film to help clear deep and even hidden breakouts as well as quickly reducing inflammation, and what’s better is that it is totally safe to use during pregnancy.
Another challenge very commonly associated with pregnancy and effects up to 70% of pregnant women is hyperpigmentation, also known as melasma. Our pigment producing cells are extremely sensitive to pregnancy hormones and can go into overdrive when triggered, resulting in uneven pigment distribution (aka dull, uneven skin tone). Exfoliation is the top choice for sloughing away those pigmented skin cells and restoring your healthy glow but during pregnancy it’s advisable to avoid strong acid-based formulas. Daily Microfoliant is a gentle powder based exfoliant with brightening superpowers and a hero amongst Dermalogica customers. Pair this with a sunscreen as pigmentation is exacerbated by sun exposure. Vitamin C formulas will also help to minimise unwanted pigment and brighten the complexion. For more information on treating pigmentation check out ‘the science behind dark spots’ .
Besides breakouts and pigmentation, pregnancy hormones can leave our skin unpredictable and more sensitised. Our skin can become more sensitive to certain skincare products, environmental factors like sun exposure or harsh weather conditions and even stress. The key here is keeping it simple. The worst thing you can do is overcomplicate your routine or throw lots of new products into your regimen. Opt for products within our UltraCalming line to hydrate, soothe and nourish your skin and consider some self-care and stress management techniques to try and calm those nerves. If you are challenged with managing your skin during pregnancy, get advice from a professional skin therapist.
During pregnancy and breastfeeding it’s important to be mindful of not just what you should be doing with your skin, but also what you need to avoid. Retinoids such as retinol and isotretinoin should not be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Other ingredients such as essential oils should be used with caution or avoided altogether. All products registered as cosmetics should have a warning label if they pose any risk during pregnancy, anything that therefore doesn’t show a warning can be used confidently. However, it’s advisable to always check with your medical professional if you are unsure on whether something is safe.
In a nutshell, pregnancy can bring some unique skin challenges, but with proper care and attention you can overcome them. At Dermalogica we also have a wide range of professional services, that can be adapted for pregnancy to help you achieve the best possible results. This is also a prime opportunity for you to switch off, relax and unwind (which can also have incredible benefits on the skin!). This may feel like a wild ride but remember it’s all part of the incredible journey of motherhood. You’ve got this!
If you want personalised advice on how to care for your skin during pregnancy, chat live with one of our professional skin therapists.