In this post, we’d be tackling how to take care of the skin while pregnant. During pregnancy, your hormones tend to fluctuate and this could reflect on your skin, so how best can you take care of your skin during this amazing nine months journey?
It is important to keep a skincare routine even while pregnant, however, it should be kept relatively simple, as certain ingredients are not very appropriate for pregnant women. Examples of such ingredients include Salicylic Acid, Retinol, Glycolic Acid, etc. Lactic Acid is a gentler alternative, however, if you’re Lactose Intolerant, it’s better to just stay off it, as it is derived from milk.
During pregnancy, a number of women experience various skin conditions like stretch marks, melasma, uneven skin tone, acne, excessively dry skin and so on. It is important to pay attention to changes in your skin at this time. More often than not, there is only so much that skincare products can do at this time for such conditions. Hence, the best is to keep your routine simple and be patient. Most of these conditions usually disappear after childbirth.
On the flip side, some people have perfect skin during pregnancy but suddenly experience a hanky – panky with their skin after childbirth. Whichever angle of the spectrum you fall into, ensure that you are taking skincare advice from professionals and not just roadside vendors or ‘bathroom skincare specialists’.
Research has shown that the use of 20% Vitamin C can help with the fading of stretch marks. However, this is advised after the birth of the baby. The best bet is to use ample doses of moisturizers and the proven African secret – Shea Butter to massage the skin as often as you can. This may not prevent the marks 100% but it will make it more manageable.
It is also advisable to exfoliate at least once a week with products containing mild ingredients to get rid of dead skin. Exercising as often as possible also helps. Please try not to itch your stretch marks during pregnancy as it could worsen the appearance/severity of the marks. To help manage the itching, try not to take very hot showers and moisturize on damp skin.
Melasma refers to dark patches on the skin, which is also a case of hyperpigmentation. Antioxidants and mild brightening agents like Niacinamide and Vitamin C can help to manage this. However, this is best treated after the baby is born. The same goes for Acne.
To combat dryness during pregnancy, stock up products rich in Hylauronic acid, Glycerin, Ceramides, and other moisturizing ingredients. Don’t forget to layer on your Shea Butter or oils especially if you live in colder cities.
In order to help us understand better, I sought out some counsel from Certified Aesthetician and Entrepreneur, Asher who tweets @ashertuta
. She has gone through the pregnancy phase and was able to manage her skin during the time. Here’s what she had to say:
Q: Did you have a skincare routine before and while pregnant? What were you using and how were you using them?
A: Yes, I did have a skincare routine before and during pregnancy. It wasn’t elaborate though. Just essentials; Estée Lauder Perfectly Clean Creamy Cleanser, Estée Lauder Perfectly Clean Hydrating Toner and Clinique No 3 Toner, Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair, Estée Lauder Enlighten Serum, Estée Lauder Hydration Creme and Estée Lauder DayWear Sunscreen SPF50
Q: Were there ingredients you stayed clear off while pregnant?
A: I didn’t consciously stay off any ingredient, everything I used just happened to be pregnancy-safe because I wasn’t treating any skin issues.
Q: Were there specific skin issues that came with your pregnancy and how did you tackle them?
A: Dryness, my skin became extremely dry and flaky. I doubled up on hydration and then at some point, I started using a thicker moisturizer. I got one from Clarins (can’t remember the name), then I got Peter Thomas Roth Camu Camu Moisturizer later.
Q: After childbirth, what changed in your routine?
A: After childbirth, my skin took the worst turn. Horrible is the right word. Nothing worked. My skin barrier was a mess, rashes and flakes, melasma, dullness, etc…. that was when I entered the world of acids. A combo of Retinol and glycolic acid + 20% vitamin c helped me more than anything else.
Q: Are there ingredients or practices that can help with stretch marks experienced during pregnancy?
A: For stretch marks, use a lot of moisturizers. It won’t prevent the stretch marks, it will only make the appearance less horrifying.
Pregnancy is a beautiful journey. Make it more enjoyable by keeping your skincare routine simple with antioxidants, protection and loads of moisture. If you found this helpful, do share with others!