What you can and can’t use to combat your ever-changing pregnancy skin…
Pregnancy can be tough on the best of days – (morning sickness and extreme fatigue anyone?) but the real kicker is how it can affect your skin. I don’t know about you, but by the time I was pregnant with my first baby I had my skincare regime sorted. And suddenly everything changed. The charging hormones introduced breakouts that I’d never experienced, coupled with the horror of pigmentation. Added to that, some products that I’d religiously used and loved (like ones with vitamin A) were no longer deemed safe with a bun in the oven. So here is a guide to help you navigate the beauty minefield that can come with pregnancy. You can thank me later…
The Issue: PIGMENTATION
While many of us have dealt with pigmentation in the past, when you’re pregnant it is a whole different ballgame. Known as melasma or fittingly the ‘mask of pregnancy’ it can cause large patches of dark discolouration on your face – particularly your forehead, cheeks and upper lip. Just blame those pigment-stimulating hormones that cause a temporary increase in the amount of melanin in the body.
The solution: Usually with pigmentation the most effective way to get rid of it is with laser treatments. However, this isn’t an option when pregnant as it is generally not thought to be safe for pregnant women. Mairanna Glucina, Director of About Face, says most pigmentation caused by pregnancy ‘will normally clear 3-6 months post birth’ but says it’s a good idea to try and keep your skin in premium health with something like their bespoke Skin Changing Facial, $189. Of course, the best option is always prevention so lather up on that sunscreen. I’m currently loving the ultra sheer SPF by Cane+Austin, $68, from Ines. Infused with antioxidants like green tea and vitamin E it’s the perfect lightweight formula to go on daily under makeup. A vitamin C serum is also another great pigmentation preventer as the powerful antioxidant will work to protect against free radical damage from the sun. Ty my personal favourite Aspect Dr Complete Active C Serum, works to not only break down dark spots but to stop the creation of more. Apply every morning.
The issue: HORMONAL ACNE
Yep… it’s those hormones again which can often bring an increase in oil and cause breakouts around the chin and jawline.
The solution: Stay away from any traditional acne treatments that contain benzoyl peroxide or retinol as many of the products containing these ingredients aren’t considered safe to use when pregnant. Instead you need to get back to basics and work on your cleansing routine. Try Sukin Sensitive Cleansing Gel, $11.92, which uses a blend of green tea, chamomile, cucumber and avocado oil to provide a gentle and non-drying cleanse, removing those excess oils. Opt for products without added fragrance as this will also help to avoid inflammation.
The issue: INCREASED REDNESS
The volume of blood can almost double in your body when pregnant which can sometimes mean that rosy ‘glow’ might just turn into hot flushes. Added to that those little blood vessels on your face can increase and, unfortunately, if you’re a rosacea sufferer already, the redness may only get worse.
The solution: Find products specifically targeted to redness like Bioderma Sensibio AR, $52, from Ines. This cream not only soothes but will reduce the sensations of overheating (phew!) It’s also a good idea to find a facial water to spritz yourself on-the-go when dealing with one of those often ill-timed hot flushes. Try Mario Badescu’s best-seling Facial Spray with aloe, herbs & rosewater, $10. It’s a pleasant, refreshing pick-me up that works for all skin types.
The issue: DRY SKIN
While some experience skin that resembles an oil slick, others combat extreme dryness. If you’re feeling a little reptilian then you need to rehydrate and plump up that dehydrated skin asap.
The solution: It may seem simple but firstly make sure you’re getting your fill of water by drinking and also eating foods with a high water content like fruits and vegetables. On top of that you need to address your skincare and perhaps add a weekly hydrating mask into the mix. Try Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask, $41, which will give you an instant hit of hydration while working to replace lost moisture. The best thing about this one is you don’t even need to bother to wash it off. Simple apply, relax, and reap the benefits.
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