How to Take Care of Your Skin During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is such a wonderful period for a woman. However, it comes with some challenges such as morning sickness, weight gain, etc. When it comes to skin, it is known that hormones provide that pregnancy glow. What is less known is that during pregnancy a lot of skin concerns can appear - from acne to dullness, sensitive skin, and discoloration. 

In this article, you will learn how to take care of your skin during pregnancy and which product to use and not to use while pregnant. 

How Skin Changes During Pregnancy 

Alongside other hormonal changes, you can notice your skin changes as well. These are some common skin conditions that can occur during pregnancy.

  • Stretch marks on the body
  • Melasma, also known as the “mask of pregnancy” - causes skin discoloration
  • Increased skin sensitivity
  • Excess sebum on your face
  • Flushed face


Photo by Rafael Henrique: 

Skincare Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy

It might come as a surprise but some products are not safe to use when you are pregnant. Before we list for you what is safe, it is better to see what isn’t. 

Usually, when they say some products are not safe for pregnant women they can either enter the bloodstream and hurt the fetus or cause skin reactions. This is especially important if your skin is sensitive. Avoid using: 

  • Retinol - products that contain retinoids usually anti-age products or those that treat acne. 
  • Salicylic acid - only when taken in high doses, or in a chemical peel
  • Exfoliation and microdermabrasion - avoid exfoliating treatments 
  • Essential oils and fragrances - scented bath bombs and lotions may cause irritations
  • Formaldehyde - even though it is rarely used as a preservative in cosmetics now since it is known to be cancerogenic, you can still find some formaldehyde-releasing chemicals (bronopol, DMDM hydantoin, Diazolidinyl urea…) 

No matter if your skin is sensitive or not, during pregnancy always read the ingredients list. If you are unsure even about one ingredient that you see on some skincare product, contact your doctor. 

Skincare Ingredients that are Safe During Pregnancy

Don’t worry - there are still plenty of products that are safe for you to use during pregnancy. They can equally well help you fight dryness, itching of the skin, and potential skin breakouts. 

  • Fragrance-free moisturizers and gentle cleansers - they are the best solution for pregnancy and postpartum when you are constantly near your baby.
  • Hyaluronic Acid - you can use a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid to fight dry skin that also has anti-age properties.
  • Vitamin C - perfect for brightening the skin, should be used in the morning, followed by sunscreen. 
  • Salicylic acid - even though it is one of the ingredients you should avoid in pregnancy when taken in low doses can be tolerated. It is usually found in face washes. 
  • Benzoyl Peroxide - check with your dermatologist if it is safe for you to use a low dose.

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Pregnancy-Safe Skin Care Routine

Here is a general morning and evening skincare routine with pregnancy-safe products. Always think about your skin type and choose products according to that. 

First, you need to wash your skin with lukewarm water. Use a mild cleanser that is suitable for your skin type. Next, you need to apply a toner that can be either an antioxidant or suitable for oily, acne-prone skin. 

Moisturizer or a mineral-based sunscreen with a broad spectrum should be applied next. You can simply change it in the evening for a night cream. Follow with an eye cream, if necessary. 

If you have stretch marks, don’t worry because it is completely normal! You can buy some of those special creams, oils, ointments, and butter that are made to reduce those stretch marks. 

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