It’s always so exciting to hear that one of my clients has gotten pregnant. It also always leads to a host of questions and concerns about skin care. Here is some advice to consider if you’ve discovered that the stork will be visiting you soon.
Expect your skin to change, and be prepared to change with it. Some dry skin types will suddenly have oily skin, while oily skins may experience dryness for the first time in their lives. Don’t be afraid to change your products accordingly! Dry skin can switch to a creamier moisturizer or add a botanical oil under a current moisturizer. Oily skin should switch to an oil-free, light-weight product. Some of these changes may last months after you deliver!
Stay miles away from retinol and Retin-A, benzoyl peroxide, and hydroquinone. Salicylic acid is hit-or-miss; I find that half of my clients doctors tell them to avoid it, and the other half say it’s okay. Definitely ask your doctor what he or she recommends, and follow those instructions.
Break outs are unfortunately very common during pregnancy, and as you may have noticed above, we just eliminated almost all of the acne-fighting ingredients. So how do you treat acne? Pure tea tree oil is generally okay, and since it is antimicrobial and antiseptic, it can provide a little relief by way of killing the bacteria that causes acne. Generally, AHAs like glycolic are considered okay. You may try a glycolic cleanser followed by a little tea tree oil under your moisturizer. Double check all of these ingredients with your doctor just to be sure.
Melasma, or hormonally-induced pigmentation, is also unfortunately very common during pregnancy. Try using a botanical brightener or lightening product. Look for serums that contain ingredients like arbutin, bearberry extract, or licorice extract. I highly recommend to start using a brightening product as soon as you realize you’re pregnant, since pigmentation is easier to avoid than it is to correct. And again, avoid hydroquinone like the plague.
I will also say that you should check all of my advice with your OB/GYN; as always, my advice is not intended to replace that of your healthcare provider. And most of all, remember to take care of you in this special time. Best wishes for a healthy delivery!