There is nothing quite like growing life inside your body, is there? Becoming a mother is an incredible experience and a milestone that marks the beginning of a new journey in your life. But with it also comes a host of things to worry about, like the baby formula shortage and random people who feel like they have the right to touch your belly.
Along with that, you also need to add your skincare routine to the list.
If movies are to be believed, the pregnancy glow is ubiquitous, but in reality, not everyone gets it. Your body goes through various hormonal changes when you are pregnant, which affects everyone differently. While some might experience pigmentation and excessive dryness as a result of these changes, others might have to deal with hormonal acne and stretch marks. And in some cases, the fabled glow might appear. This is why it is important that you assess your current skincare routine and create a new one that is safe for you and your baby.
Is Your Current Routine Safe for Your Pregnancy?
If you are a skincare enthusiast, chances are you already have a cabinet filled with an assortment of products, from creams and lotions to oils, serums, and masks. But once you conceive, as mentioned earlier, your skin can undergo a dramatic transformation and your favorite routine might not be so effective or reliable anymore. Also, chances are, it includes products that contain ingredients that are considered harmful for pregnant women, such as retinoids and phthalates. Don’t get us wrong. You don’t have to overhaul your complete skincare routine when you get pregnant, but there are a few chemicals that you should avoid.
Skincare Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy
Below we have listed a few skincare ingredients that you should avoid during pregnancy. While they may not pose a health risk for you or your baby if you use them just once, they may prove to be harmful with prolonged exposure.
So, when you look for stretch mark creams for your pregnant belly, here’s what you should avoid:
Formaldehyde, most commonly used in hair products and nail polish, is quite harmful for pregnant women as it has been linked with various issues, including miscarriage and congenital malformations. If you are visiting a salon during your pregnancy – whether for a manicure or hair spa – make sure you ask for products that are formaldehyde-free.
Retinoids, a form of Vitamin A, are used to treat cystic acne and are usually found in spot treatments and certain oral medications. Pregnant people should avoid oral medicines containing retinoids at all costs as they can cause fetal retinoid syndrome and other congenital disabilities. Creams and ointments with retinoids aren’t as harmful but it is advisable that you remove them from your regular skincare routine until after you give birth.
Salicylic acid can also cause birth defects. Although it has a low risk of affecting the fetus at a less than 2% concentration, you should look for pregnancy-safe alternatives, such as glycolic acid, to avoid the risk altogether.
Phthalates should be avoided by not just pregnant women but other adults and children, as well. They interfere with the body’s hormones, and during pregnancy, which can result in preterm birth, growth restrictions, preeclampsia, maternal glucose disorders, and more.
Common Skin Concerns During Pregnancy
Here are some of the most common skin conditions that you might experience during your pregnancy:
Stretch marks are probably the most popular AND most dreaded of all pregnancy skin conditions. They appear when your skin gets stretched as your body grows and you gain weight. They start off slightly red or purple and gradually turn into silver or white streaks. Stretch marks can appear on various parts of your body, including your belly, arms, breasts, hips, inner thighs, and so on. you can, however, reduce their appearance over time with the best oil for pregnancy stretch marks.
Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of the skin that is a result of an increase in melanin, which is a substance responsible for color. Pregnancy causes your body to produce more melanin than usual.
It is quite common for pregnant women to have extremely dry skin. Hormonal changes during pregnancy cause your skin to lose moisture and elasticity as it stretches to accommodate the growing life inside of you. This can result in dryness, flaky skin, itchiness, and more.
Thought you were done with hormonal acne when you left your teenage years behind? Unfortunately, you can get it during your pregnancy, too. The causes are the usual suspects: hormonal changes, increased dryness, increased sensitivity, and so on.
The good news is that most of these will disappear after you have your baby, but for some, such as stretch marks, you need to go the extra mile to take care of your skin and alleviate the issue.
How To Take Care of Your Skin During Pregnancy?
The perfect pregnancy skincare routine is different for everyone. If this is your second or third pregnancy, your skin might react completely differently this time around. An ideal routine should be gentle and should include products that are safe for you and your baby.
Load up on moisturizer
Since your skin might be extra dry during pregnancy, you need to double up your moisturizer as it can help with not just dryness but also stretch marks and itchiness. Slather a generous layer of moisturizer all over your body, especially your elbows, knees, belly, and so on.
Hydration is key
Keep yourself hydrated. Drink plenty of water. You can also use hydration products. Hydration products are different from moisturizers because while the former increases the water content in your skin, the latter sets a barrier between your skin and the air to keep the moisture in.
Do not skip sunscreen
Never leave home without sunscreen, regardless of the weather, as it will protect your skin from the harmful UV radiation. If you live in a house with large glass windows, you should also use sunscreen while indoors. Apply it on all exposed parts of your body, such as your face, neck, hands, feet, and back.
Consult your OB/GYN before getting new skin treatments
While some skin treatments, such as botox and lasers, are best avoided during pregnancy, you can still get facials. But make sure you talk to your OB/GYN before you do that so that they can advise you better. Also, avoid therapies and machines that use excessive heat or electric current.
Invest in effective stretch mark remedies
Stretch marks affect 8 out of 10 pregnant people and taking care of them is a crucial part of pregnancy skincare. If not taken care of properly, they may refuse to go away. This is why you should invest in products, such as the best anti-stretch mark oil for pregnancy, that are specially formulated to reduce the appearance of these pesky marks on your body. They will help minimize scarring and lines that might appear as your skin stretches to make room for your growing baby.
No matter how your skin changes during pregnancy, it is a significant adjustment. For many women, pregnancy is what gets them to consider clean beauty. They stay away from products and ingredients that could harm the baby. Fortunately, today, there are several brands, such as Dermaclara, that offer pregnancy-safe products at affordable prices.