You’re expecting, congrats!
I’m sure you’ve covered the list of foods to avoid when pregnant. Have you considered the changes that you might need to make in your skin care routine? Some topical ingredients are absorbed into the bloodstream and could affect your growing baby. Plus, the hormonal changes happening in your body could cause your skin to change. I learned a ton of great tips during my two pregnancies, which will help to keep your skin beautiful during your pregnancy.
First things first, there are a few things to definitely avoid. No lasers, no injectables, no acids, no retinoids. Stick to a gentle cleanser, lotion and sunscreen. My recommended skin-care routine for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers includes:
- Cleanse – Pick a gentle cleanser that removes all of your makeup, rinses off easily and leaves your skin non-irritated with no redness or after wash tightness. My go to is Cetaphil Cleanser.
- Exfoliation – When not pregnant, a chemical exfoliation is my go-to. Since the beta hydroxy acids, such as salicylic acid are a no-go during pregnancy, I opt for a physical exfoliation. One to two times a week I will use a scrub to help slough off dead skin and keep my skin glowing.
- Moisturize – Keeping your skin nice and moist helps with minimizing signs of aging and will help ward off any itchiness and redness. Hydration is also super important, be sure to drink plenty of water every day.
- Sunscreen – At a bare minimum, SPF 15 with broad spectrum UVA and UVB coverage, but SPF 30 is even better! In the summer time, I recommend SPF 50. Some of my favorite brands are Cerave Am lotion and Aveeno positively radiant, both contain spf 30. Do not rely on your makeup for SPF. As your hormones run amok you may notice what is typically called the ‘mask of pregnancy’, Melasma. Reducing your exposure to UV rays will help prevent Melasma (as well as spots, burns and wrinkles) so be sure to cover up!
As your body reacts to the new pregnancy hormones in your body you may notice some not-so-nice changes, including:
Acne – Hormone fluctuations during pregnancy can cause breakouts. Cleansing daily with a cleanser that contains alpha-hydroxy acid, such as glycolic acid, can keep breakouts to a minimum. Cleanse twice daily and if breakouts are severe, follow up with a board-certified dermatologist, as there are certain safe medications you can use during pregnancy. They include medications like clindamycin gel and azeliac acid cream.
Moles & skin tags – these may start popping up everywhere and will continue to grow during your pregnancy. Rarely, the hormones of pregnancy may cause some moles to become atypical. If anything suspicious crops up, go see your doctor right away to rule out skin cancer. In general, we do not remove moles in pregnancy unless medically necessary.
To help combat dull, dry skin during pregnancy, take a daily DHA/Omega-3 supplement to promote baby’s growth and developed. Added benefit: it will also reduce inflammation and promote glowing skin. Also, be sure to consume “good fats” such as fatty fish (salmon), flax seeds and walnuts, and avocado to enhance skin’s elasticity and natural glow.
Pregnant or not, join my Beauty Club to learn more about how to take the best care of yourself. I’ll be sharing skin tips, hosting giveaways and having some great promotions so join today!
African American Dermatologist