Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, swollen ankles and heartburn aside! However, you may be surprised to find that not every woman will naturally encounter the coveted "pregnancy glow" during this life-creating journey. In fact, you may be among the many with skin changes that bring back memories of teenage years.
That's because in addition to mood swings, fluctuating hormones during pregnancy can also cause a fair amount of skin issues. In creating our pregnancy skincare solutions, we studied the most common complaints and categorized them into what we refer to as the 'threats to a pregnancy glow'.
Get ahead of the game by becoming familiar with them as well as the remedies to help you navigate motherhood with your best face forward!
The Threats to a Pregnancy Glow
Pregnancy acne is most common during the first and second trimesters as your body and skin are producing higher levels of androgens which cause more sebum production. This feeds bacteria inside the follicles and results in acne and inflammation.
- Use a gentle cleanser that will clarify and dissolve impurities without stripping the skin's natural oils.
- Avoid scrubbing or over-washing, as this will result in further irritation and breakouts.
- Skip harsh ingredients such as Retin-A, salicylic acid and other ingredients that may be harmful during pregnancy.
2. Hyper-pigmentation and Melasma
Hyper-pigmentation is an overproduction of melanin and occurs in 90% of women and at least 50% of pregnant women will develop Melasma (mask of pregnancy), characterized by dark spots or patches on your forehead, nose or cheeks. This is a result of hormonal changes and an increased sensitivity to UV exposure during pregnancy.
- Limit sun exposure, particularly between 10am and 2pm.
- SPF! Lather on a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 when going out but avoid chemical sunscreens such as Oxybenzone and opt for zinc oxide or titanium oxide. These will sit on top of skin, rather than being absorbed into it.
- Indulge in skincare products with natural ingredients such as Sea buckthorn that also offer sun protection or with mushroom extracts containing naturally occurring bio-active substances that break down melanin quickly, without the irritation and side effects of hydroquinone.
3. Moisture Imbalance
Many women experience an erratic combination of drier, itchy skin as early as the first trimester and oilier skin toward the second and third trimester, hormones again being the culprit.
- Stay hydrated by avoiding caffeinated drinks, incorporating more fruits and veggies in your diet and going light on sugar and saturated fats.
- Use products that contain natural ingredients that create a moisture barrier and hydrate without being too heavy and clogging pores.
4. Heightened Sensitivity
Even if you’ve never dealt with sensitive skin before, it is likely that your skin will become very sensitive during pregnancy. Certain products containing too-harsh ingredients or chemicals tend to worsen skin issues, leaving it irritated.
- Switch to a gentler, safer skincare routine during pregnancy to avoid irritants as well as hormone-disrupting chemicals.
The pregnancy glow isn't a myth but it isn't magic either! Keeping your skin purified and hydrated is important. The good news is that healthy skin is well within reach with our simple 3 steps to glow.