Discovering that you’re pregnant is one of life’s most joyous moments, but there’s also much to navigate throughout this unique nine-month period. One of the most common things you’ll come across in this time is a noticeable change to your skin, with fluctuations in hormones often triggering breakouts, episodes of acne and the pigmentation disorder known as melasma.
As a woman, these things can make you feel self-conscious about how you look and, more importantly, anxious and confused as to which skincare products can safely manage these conditions without bringing harm to your baby.
What follows below is a breakdown of which skincare products and ingredients have been deemed safe for use whilst you’re a mum-to-be, carrying through into what you should do when breastfeeding. Enjoy!
Skincare Products That You Should Avoid
When you’re pregnant, it can be hard not to question everything you do. After all, your number one priority will always be the safety of your unborn child. In terms of skincare, this means leaving certain products on the shelf for the foreseeable future.
Of these, the most crucial to ignore are retinoids, which are derived from vitamin A. Stronger forms of retinoid – such as tretinoin and isotretinoin – pose the most serious threat due to higher doses being associated with birth defects. Although this risk is reduced in milder, over-the-counter retinoids, it is still best to find an alternative to your acne and ageing-based woes.
Next up, hydroquinone. As this prescription-strength compound can be used to lighten areas of skin made darker by melasma, it can be tempting to add this to your pregnancy skincare routine, However, this is also best avoided, due to how easily it can be absorbed by the skin and create potential problems for your baby.
Salicylic acid, which regularly appears in toners and cleansers, should be used in moderation during pregnancy. Although most evidence suggests that this is completely safe, pregnant women are advised to stay away from its higher doses, such as that found in some types of chemical peel.
As a general rule of thumb, you should also steer clear of all of these substances when breastfeeding.
Skincare Products You Should Embrace
Despite certain ingredients being out of the picture, there are still many that have been deemed suitable for use throughout pregnancy. And all of these can help to tackle any skin conditions that may have developed during this time.
For instance, azelaic acid, a common feature of products designed to even out skin tone, can be useful in managing discoloured or acne-marked skin. Topical vitamin C is just as valuable and will often prove its worth in reducing skin damage and promoting cell renewal. Investing in a hyaluronic acid-based product pays dividends too, as it will boost hydration and minimise the occurrence of stretch marks.
Meanwhile, in order to guard your skin against sun damage, we’d always recommend using a mineral SPF. As well as protecting the skin from UV rays, some variants of mineral sunscreen are also able to inhibit the development of melasma, so make sure you locate one of these if you can.
Conditions like acne that can be exacerbated by pregnancy can also be effectively controlled by the likes of glycolic acid and lactic acid. Glycolic acid products can brighten the skin and diminish wrinkles, whereas lactic acid can fade hyperpigmentation and restore a radiant glow befitting of being with child.
A Note On Aesthetics Treatments
Away from skincare and into the clinic, there is much debate over whether it is advisable for patients to undergo aesthetics treatments when pregnant. Some argue that the risk involved in performing these procedures on such patients is too great, whilst others believe that this simply amounts to being over-cautious. Understandably, there is no real evidence to support either side of the argument, but you need to be sure that you remain aware of the problems that this may cause your developing baby.
Dr Rasha Clinic
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