Probably you are in this page because everybody was talking about “pregnancy glow” 💫 before, you’ve dreamt about your future pregnant beauty 🤰🏼 while you were a little girl - and here we are: you look like a teenager with your new acnes and oily skin... what happened?
Here’s the thing:
There are not a lot pregnant moms out there who get the glow (or just their skin doesn’t change that much), but many of the mommies experience at least a few skin changes, while others are hit with just about every skin problem in the book.
Because pregnancy can be a no-glow...
It's largely those pregnancy hormones at work yet again, causing your pores to secrete excess oil, making you vulnerable to heat rash and visiting discolorations on your face, legs, palms and soles. Add to that your suppressed immunity (to protect your baby) and stretched blood vessels and you have a recipe for surface inflammation.
Some skin changes you may notice:
- pregnancy acne
- skin tags or small raised growths on the skin
- dry skin
- oily skin
- red palms
- spider veins
- skin discoloration
How can you treat them?
- Stick to an appropriate pregnancy diet, which contains the right balance of nutrients to keep your skin looking as good as it can under the circumstances.
- Drink enough water 💦 and other fluids every day
- If pimples are your problem, wash your face two to three times a day 🧼 with a thorough but gentle cleanser — harsh ones will only leave skin more open to irritation. Exfoliate very gently too, around once a week, and finish off with an oil-free moisturizer. Overly stripped skin is more prone to breakouts.
- Look for the words "noncomedogenic" and "unscented" when you're buying makeup and skin-care products. "Oil-free" will be less likely to add excess oils and clog up pores — good if your skin is on the oilier side to begin with. But if your skin is dry, you'll do best to choose moisturizing products.
- If you see a dermatologist 👩🏼⚕️ , always tell him or her that you're expecting. Some drugs commonly used to treat acne, like isotretinoin and Retin-A, should not be used while you're pregnant and certain ingredients in some acne products are also off-limits.
- Taking too many baths 🛁 can strip your skin of its moisture. Stick to short showers 🚿 —which is good training for actual motherhood — in warm, not hot, water, and use a mild cleanser. For very dry skin, try a moisturizer or put a warm-mist humidifier in your room.
- For eczema, low-dose cortisone creams 🧴 are usually safe,but talk to your practitioner and ask if he or she has recommendations.
- For redness on the palms of your hands, sit tight. This condition disappears after you give birth. But definitely check in with your doctor 👩🏼⚕️ just to make sure it's normal.
- Skin tags usually appear during pregnancy and disappear after delivery. If they don't, a dermatologist can remove them in a flash.
What are some other skin issues pregnant women need to watch out for and how do you treat them?
Other pregnancy issues include sensitive skin, itchy skin, broken capillaries, melasma (mask of pregnancy) and varicose veins.
For sensitive skin: use less harsh soaps 🧼 , switch to cream cleanser or try a non-alcohol based micellar solution instead of soap to cleanse. You can also switch sunscreen 🧴 to physical blockers (no chemicals, which is safer anyway and recommended in pregnancy).
For itchy skin: use a thicker body moisturizer, such and hydrocortisone as needed.
For broken capillaries: these can be treated safely postpartum with a laser, so reassurance is best while pregnant that we can zap them away later!
For melasma/chloasma: wear a wide-brimmed hat for sun ☀️ avoidance, use sunscreen with zinc, vitamin C serum and peels. Then get laser treatments postpartum.
For varicose veins: wear compression socks (our boxes include them) and elevate your legs for best practice preventatively.
Many of your skin changes will subside at some point during pregnancy or right after delivery. Some, like skin tags, may be permanent. Talk to a dermatologist doctor if these really bother you.