Your complete guide to skincare during pregnancy
|   Jul 17, 2017
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Your complete guide to skincare during pregnancy

The ‘Pregnancy Glow’ is one of the changes many women look forward to when they are pregnant. Unfortunately, some women also experience acne breakouts, pregnancy mask, stretch marks, dark eye circles etc. due to hormonal changes during pregnancy.

To deal with such skin related issues during pregnancy, creams and lotions can be used for everyday skin care, keeping in mind their safety profile. However, it might be surprising for you to know that majority of skin care products available in market contain ingredients that are not safe during pregnancy and lactation. The belief that natural products are 100% safe is also not entirely true, especially in India.

During pregnancy everything that goes inside the body of mother can influence the development of her baby. Skin being the largest organ of the body absorbs a large percentage of what you put on it.

Common skin problems during pregnancy and their solution:

1) Pregnancy mask:

Pregnancy mask or melasma or chloasma is the pigmentation occurring over cheeks during pregnancy. There are good chances that it will resolve itself after delivery but may recur with subsequent pregnancies. It gets worse with exposure to sunlight.

  • Apply sunscreen SPF 15 or more with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide every morning and reapply frequently. Even if you stay indoors, some exposure from windows, doors, terrace, etc. is inevitable. Fluorescent lights also have a component of Ultraviolet rays which may trigger pigmentation.

2) Acne breakouts and pregnancy:

Many women have breakouts in the first trimester due to changing estrogen levels.

  • Use a mild cleanser twice daily.
  • Avoid scrubbing
  • Do not squeeze or pop your pimples
  • Use non-comedogenic moisturisers and make-up
  • Some topical applications like clindamycin, azelaic acid, & glycolic acid are considered safe.
  • Do not use Retinoid (Retinol, Retinal, Adapalene, Tretinoin, Tazarotene) based products.

3) Stretch marks:

They develop when the collagen in the skin is stretched beyond its elastic limit causing fissuring which appears as marks on the skin. Stretch marks are often noted during the latter stages of pregnancy when the baby is rapidly growing.

  • It’s impossible to entirely prevent them but moisturising the area with good moisturisers like coconut oil/olive oil/shea butter to reduce the chances of development of stretch marks.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight minimises any rapid gain that could contribute towards stretch marks. 

4) Dark under eye circles:

They are caused by hormonal changes and fatigue especially during later stages of pregnancy. Drink plenty of water, sleep and eat well.

5) Sunscreen during pregnancy:

During pregnancy it is recommended to cover up with long sleeves, cap or a hat and sunglasses. Physical or mineral sun blockers like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are safe as opposed to chemical sunscreens.

6) Make-up during pregnancy:

Avoid cosmetics that contain retinol or salicylic acid. They are not safe during pregnancy and can have bad effects on development of baby. Mineral-only make-up is considered safe as they do not get absorbed into the skin.

7) Hair removal during pregnancy:

Although shaving is considered safest option during pregnancy, hair remover creams containing calcium thioglycolate and potassium thioglycolate are categorised as low risk when applied appropriately.

8) What to look for on the label and avoid during pregnancy and even lactation:

  • Retinoids: Retinol, Retinal, Adapalene, Tretinoin, Tazarotene
  • Beta Hydroxy Acids, Salicylic acid
  • Hydroquinone, Hydroquine
  • Soy based products
  • Lecithin, Phosphatadylcholine
  • Shampoos, creams, nail polish containing Parabens, Phalates, Formaldehyde, & ammonia
  • Steroids: Hydrocortisone, Triamcinolone
  • Sunscreens containing oxybenzone, octocrylene, Paraaminobenzoic acid

So, all soon-to-be-mommies out there, shine bright with that enviable pregnancy glow and enjoy the best phase of your life.

Disclaimer: (The views, opinions and recommendations expressed in this article are solely those of the author and intended as an educational aid. Please consult your doctor for professional advice concerning specific health/medical matters.)

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