I think we often underestimate the effect that pregnancy can have on our bodies, especially our skin. From hormonal changes, digestion issues, insomnia and sleep deprivation, changes in medication, and impacts on our diet and exercise regimes – it can all have a massive impact on our bodies and can show on our skin.
Some of the most common skin concerns people develop during pregnancy and breastfeeding include increased sensitivity, redness and rosacea, more frequent breakouts and cystic acne, excessive dryness, increased oil production or hyperpigmentation in the form darker spots on the face (i.e. Melasma or the ‘pregnancy mask’). This may naturally lead you to want to try new skincare products to compact some of your new skin concerns.
Even if you are lucky enough to avoid new skin concerns and instead bask in that pregnancy glow, it is always important to check the ingredients in your current skincare routine. Similar to the recommendations to avoid certain foods while pregnant and breastfeeding, because skincare is also absorbed into the body it is also important to know what's safe for use and what you should be avoiding.
Below is a general list of skincare ingredients to avoid, but please always check in with your GP or OBGYN to ensure your specific routine is safe for you to use.
Ingredients to avoid
Vitamin A (Retinol or retinol derivates)
Salicylic Acid (BHA chemical exfoliant and acne treatment)
Skin brightening ingredients like hydroquinone or arbutin
Some prescription and over-the-counter skincare or skin medication (e.g. some antibiotics etc)
Generally speaking if you are using skincare with gentle actives suitable for sensitive skin, e.g. hyaluronic acid, peptides, vitamin B/C & E, botanical extracts, ceramides etc, then you should be fine to continue your skin routine throughout pregnancy and beyond with the agreement of your physician.
If you are suffering from new breakouts, rather than reaching for your BHA toner it would be wiser to stick to a physical exfoliant or a gentle AHA chemical exfoliation like lactic acid of fruit acids or even clay masks. Check out our CLARIFY Matcha Clay Mask and CLEANSE SMOOTH DUO as an example.
If you are concerned about pigmentation then opt for antioxidant rich skin-brightening ingredients like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Kakadu Plum, Green tea, Quandong extract and Liquorice root extract. Most of these illuminating ingredients are found in our REFRESH Balancing Hydration Mist.
It is also incredibly important that you apply sunscreen (at least SPF30+) EVERY SINGLE DAY to prevent further effects from sun damage and pigmentation. I cannot stress this enough. Prevention is better than treatment.
So if you are thinking about starting a family, or know someone who is please check the ingredients in your skincare routine and stop using anything that contains the listed ingredients to avoid. Always talk to your OBGYN first if you have specific questions regarding topical treatments or medication you are considering while pregnant or breastfeeding. And most importantly enjoy this exciting time in your life!