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Pregnant moms often have one question: Do you have any pregnancy skincare tips?
That’s because pregnancy can wreak havoc on your skin.
Hyperpigmentation, stretch marks, acne, and more can appear out of the blue as your hormones change.
How do you manage all these changes?
We can help!
Pregnancy Skincare Tips: What to Expect
According to a 2022 study, a majority of pregnant women develop skin changes, including worsening of preexisting skin conditions or the appearance of new problems. Many of these changes are due to differences in hormone levels, but some changes can occur without any known exact cause.
In an earlier study, researchers found that more than 90 percent of women have significant and complex skin changes during pregnancy that can have a big impact on their lives. Most of these resolve themselves after childbirth, but some can linger after that.
The researchers added that hormonal changes, immune changes, metabolic changes, and vascular changes all have a part to play in creating these skincare issues.
All this means that if you’re experiencing skincare changes during pregnancy, it’s completely normal. It happens to most pregnant women. So the question is, what can you do about it?
A Couple of Helpful Tips About Pregnancy Skincare Changes
First, it’s helpful to know that while you can adjust your skincare routine to help reduce the appearance of skin care problems, you can’t completely erase them from your body. As long as you’re pregnant, your body will continue to produce different levels of hormones while undergoing other changes to support your baby.
Though you can certainly improve the condition of your skin, you may not be able to completely eradicate any issues you may be having. Do your best, then try to relax and accept that your body is creating a miracle!
It’s likely that once your child is born, your skin will gradually start to go back to normal. For some, the issues may persist while breastfeeding.
Different women will notice different changes. What your friend experiences while pregnant may be different from what you experience. Pay attention to your skin and what it’s telling you to determine what adjustments you may need to make in your skincare routine.
6 Pregnancy Skincare Tips to Minimize Unwanted Changes
1. Hyperpigmentation Changes
Studies indicate that pigmentary (color) changes are the most common side effect of pregnancy on the skin. Elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone increase melanin output. Melanin is the compound that creates the color of your skin.
As pregnancy hormones increase, melanin often increases. That can result in freckles (or darker existing freckles), darkened scars, a linea nigra (hyperpigmented line on the abdomen), and melasma (the “mask” of pregnancy that appears on the face). Some women also develop dark spots on the breasts, nipples, or inner thighs.
Tips to manage hyperpigmentation:
- Always protect your skin from the sun. Sun exposure can make hyperpigmentation even darker and more noticeable. Use a safe, non-toxic sunscreen that includes zinc oxide.
- Use safe lightening skincare solutions. Good options include those with vitamin C and kojic acid. Avoid products with hydroquinone. There are some concerns that it can damage the skin. Also avoid steroids, as studies have suggested they may increase the risk of low-birth-weight infants.
- You can also try gentle fruit acids like mandelic acid. It is a natural melanin inhibitor and is safe for pregnant moms.
- Our Restorative Skin Balm includes castor oil, which is incredibly effective in fading dark spots. Regular use can help even out skin tone. It also includes turmeric. Studies have proven that turmeric helps protect against the formation of dark spots, improving pigmentation, unevenness of skin tone and texture. Best of all, the product is 100% natural, non-petrolatum, and completely safe for you and baby
2. Stretch Marks
These are partial tears in the structures of the skin that can occur as your belly expands to accommodate the fetus. They usually appear as pinkish, reddish, or blue streaks running down the abdomen and/or breasts. Some women find them on the buttocks and thighs as well.
Stretch marks can become dark because of the changes in melanin, and are also considered a hyperpigmentation effect.
Tips to manage stretch marks:
- As soon as you know you’re pregnant, start preventative care. Apply moisturizer daily to the abdomen and breasts to help keep the skin hydrated and flexible.
- Look for products with vitamin E. Scientists suggest that it can help prevent water loss in the skin during pregnancy. Our Body Repair Lotion has this ingredient along with several others that will help shore up the skin barrier, reduce inflammation, and deeply moisturize.
Acne is another very common issue that can show up during pregnancy. A spike in androgen and cortisol hormones stimulates skin oil (sebum) production and increases dead skin cells, leading to breakouts.
Unfortunately, acne products—including retinoids and benzoyl peroxide—are usually not recommended during pregnancy. That means you need to look for safer alternatives.
Tips to manage acne:
- Mandelic acid can help. It is extra gentle and safe for use during pregnancy. Plus it has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce acne breakouts.
- Use an exfoliating cleanser. Stepping up your exfoliation can help shed those dead skin cells that tend to block pores.
- Don’t overwash your face. It can stimulate more oil production. Instead, limit it to two times a day and after heavy sweating. In between, try our Rescue + Relief Spray for a refreshing facial mist. It’s non-comdogenic, oil free, and contains natural anti-microbial ingredients to help prevent breakouts. It also balances the skin’s natural pH and is completely safe for pregnant women.
- Try low-concentration salicylic acid preparations. You can find it in cleansers and serums that you apply before your moisturizer.
- Use other safe acids. These include azelaic acid and lactic acid. They also help shed dead skin cells without stripping your skin of moisture. You can find toners with these ingredients that can be very safe to use.
4. Dry, Itchy Skin
As your skin changes during pregnancy, you may notice areas of dry, itchy skin. Some women suffer from severe itching later in pregnancy. In rare cases, this may be accompanied by red, raised patches. Always check with your doctor if you have any concerns.
Tips to manage dry, itchy skin:
- Wash your skin with mild, fragrance-free cleansers.
- Add uncooked oatmeal or baking soda to your bath and soak.
- Use a quality moisturizer on the area at least twice a day. Our Calming Moisture and Body Repair Lotion both include ingredients that not only moisturize deeply but address inflammation and itch.
- Use our Rescue + Relief Spray during the day to calm the itch, and especially during the third trimester to soothe that itchy belly. It contains aloe, cucumber, waterlily, valerian, and comfrey to help soothe and calm skin.
5. Sensitive Skin
Pregnancy can make skin more sensitive. Products you were using before with no problem may start causing your skin to react with redness, inflammation, or breakouts.
Tips to manage sensitive skin:
- Start using gentler, fragrance-free products. Avoid those with sulfates, alcohols, parabens, and ureas, and choose products from conscientious companies that are cautious about the ingredients they include in their solutions.
- All of our CV Skinlabs products are 100 percent toxin free and safe for use during pregnancy. You can even use them on your newborn!
- Check your laundry detergent. Some harsh detergents can contribute to skin sensitivity. You may want to change to a gentler, fragrance-free option while you’re pregnant.
6. Rosacea and Redness
Pregnancy can exacerbate preexisting skin conditions like rosacea. It can also cause redness to appear more regularly on your cheeks or other areas of your skin.
Tips for managing rosacea and redness:
- Look for redness-reducing solutions like our CV Skinlabs products.
- Apply cooled green tea to the affected areas. It can help reduce the appearance of tiny blood vessels close to the surface of the skin.
- Use our Rescue + Relief Spray as needed to calm inflammation and redness.
How did pregnancy change your skin?
Featured image by Garon Piceli at Pexels.