In light of Khloe Kardashian’s birth to a baby girl, Park Street Clinic have collected some ideas for women that concerned with how to look after their skin during pregnancy. As the body goes through significant changes, so will the skin, so it is useful to know what to expect and how to tackle such skin issues if and when they arrive.
What to expect
The development of hyperpigmentation during pregnancy is significantly high due to a changing shift in hormones and increased production of melanin in the body. This is a common condition which causes harmless dark brown or greyish pigment to develop mainly on the face and some parts of the body. This particular cause of hyperpigmentation is notoriously difficult to treat, however if you find following childbirth that you still have it (it can fade over time) then consider speaking with our Doctor about using hydroquinone to treat the leftover pigment. See below about ways in which you can protect your skin, to lessen the chance of melasma forming and becoming as noticeable.
Acne is also common, particularly during the first 3 months of pregnancy as a result of bigger and more active sebaceous glands in the skin. These outbreaks frequently occur on the lower face and can appear cystic and angry, or in a more subtler form of blackheads and milia. It is difficult to choose an effective ingredient to treat such skin conditions, however lactic acid is one useful exfoliant that is recommended to be used during pregnancy. This AHA is perfect for sloughing off dead skin cells and clearing out the pores to prevent further bacteria from gathering. Make sure to keep the skin hydrated with natural oils such as sweet almond to nourish the surface and prevent further breakouts, and reduce existing redness and inflammation using calming aloe vera.
Between 75-90% of women develop stretch marks during pregnancy, particularly in the final months before giving birth. The best prevention tip for this would be to massage your skin daily with a moisturiser rich in Vitamin E. Massaging will improve circulation, whilst the rich Vitamin E will provide immediate hydration. If you are still concerned with the appearance of stretch marks a couple of months after the birth, consider EDS treatment to stimulate new tissue growth.
How to protect your skin
Opt for an oil-free SPF during your pregnancy to reduce the chances of hyperpgimentation developing and to keep skin healthy and protected. Just avoid sunscreens with the ingredient ‘oxybenzone’ and you’ll notice a significant improvement in overall skin condition and tone.
It is a good idea to address the makeup you are using whilst adapting your routines for pregnancy. Try switching to a mineral-based makeup line will reduce the chance of ingredients sinking into the skin and causing potential irritation and harm. Youngblood is an excellent brand to try and you will notice drastic improvement in the overall condition of your skin too.
Although we often choose to forget it, exercise is a great way to boost circulation and deliver nutrients around the body, including the skin. Making a conscious effort each day to commit to some form of exercise, will help boost your mood AND skin health.
What to avoid
There are some ingredients you just need to stay away no matter what, due to risk of chemicals being absorbed into the body. Below is a list of toxic ingredients that you should stay away whilst pregnant, from if they are on the back of the bottle you are using. These include:
Beta hydroxy acids (BHA’s)
Vitamin A or ‘retinol’
Sunscreen chemicals like ‘oxybenzone and avobenzone’
If you still need further guidance with what to use and your treatment intentions following pregnancy, do not hesitate to book in for a free consultation with one of our practitioners.