Pregnancy can be either the most rewarding or the most difficult time in a woman’s life. One of the more challenging things to manage is how to maintain healthy skin during your pregnancy. Some women glow the entire time, and their skin looks plumper and more youthful than ever. On the contrary, some women break out and develop skin conditions that can be tough to reverse. How can we treat and protect our skin during and after pregnancy to ensure a healthy skin barrier and youthful, glowing appearance?
Ways to Maintain Healthy Skin During Pregnancy
Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! I am sure hearing this on repeat can become repetitive and uninteresting, but it can be that simple at times. If you protect your skin with proper sunscreen throughout the entire day (yes, you have to reapply when needed), then you are taking the first and most important step. Creating that shield from UV exposure while pregnant is monumental. It is recommended by some to invest in a mineral/physical sunscreen during pregnancy. While I will not tell someone they should or should not use a product for health reasons, I can suggest a couple favorite brands that I have used during pregnancies. Supergoop makes a few variations of mineral sunscreens, and their entire line is fabulous. They create products without oxybenzone. Their clean chemical sunscreen line is amazing. The serum, glow screen, and defense refresh (re) setting spray are a few cult favorites. Elta MD SPF46 Tinted Moisturizer is also a great option for your last step in your morning routine before any makeup.
Hydrate All Day, Everyday: Maintaining hydrated skin during pregnancy is a must. Hyaluronic acids are a BIG drink of water for your skin. You can use a hyaluronic acid serum both in the morning and night to ensure that your skin stays as plump and smooth as possible. When all else fails in skincare trials, especially during hormonal times, stick with your HA and a good moisturizer. You have read about my love for Advanced Night Repair and its consistency with maintaining a strong skin barrier. Other favorites are Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Hyaluronic Serum and IS Clinical Hydra Cool Serum.
Take a break from Vitamin A. While you take some time away from retinols that help increase skin cell turnover, you can find benefits from using pregnancy safe levels of alpha hydroxy acids, such as glycolic acid and lactic acid. Sunday Riley’s Good Genes is a holy grail product and instantly creates a smoother, brighter complexion. These AHA’s will exfoliate and stimulate collagen production. Although I never used this, it is suggested that bakuchiol can be a beneficial substitute for vitamin A. It can have a similar effect on your skin.
Vitamin C can be your bestie for treating dark spots and discoloration while pregnant. Using Vitamin C is another great alternative to a retinol as far as boosting collagen production. Most importantly, Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and helps shield your skin from sun damage. I recommend using Vitamin C every morning after cleansing and toning your skin. This will brighten your skin, protect your skin, and feed your skin the nutrients it needs during this time in your life.
Antioxidant gels and colostrum are a great addition to aid in skin immunity during pregnancy, post pregnancy, and most commonly during monthly hormonal skin breakouts. Colostrum can help with acne flare ups and other sensitivities. Please reach out to me directly for suggestions on my favorite products to help with your skin’s immune system. There are some fabulous products that work to strengthen and protect your skin during women’s hormonal periods in life.
Yes, some home skincare tools and devices are okay. There are currently a multitude of skincare devices on the market, but not all are approved safe during pregnancy. We can start from the bottom. Facial massage and gua sha usage is all encouraged during pregnancy. It is a great way to manually lift your facial muscles and help with lymphatic drainage. Home micro needling devices such as Beauty Bio’s GLOPRO device are safe. This process allows your product to penetrate deeper into the layers of skin. Yet, any microcurrent devices should not be used during pregnancy. Rose quartz and cryo rollers are all beneficial ways to soothe your skin as well as lift and contour your face.
Don’t try anything too new. While you may be in search of a new mild hydrating serum or crème, I would not suggest experimenting with new skincare that could potentially wreak havoc on your skin. Try sticking with what you already know works for you! Our skin is extremely reactive while pregnant and can cause conditions that you would not expect to happen prior to pregnancy. I would not suggest trying every new skincare trend while pregnant, especially if you suffer from sensitive skin. Leave that for post pregnancy, when your skin is really needing that extra TLC.
How to Maintain Healthy Skin Post Pregnancy
Post Pregnancy is the time to stay on top of your skin! Even if your skin was glorious to you during pregnancy, your hormones are still adjusting and may take time to settle back to a normal state. Use sunscreen, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and moisturizers daily to transition your skin back to a stable state before re-introducing new vitamins back into your routine. If you developed conditions such as melasma during pregnancy, you can speak to your dermatologist about an action plan for post delivery. Even though many dark patches will fade over time, it often times can be a condition that reappears and needs more management. So wear your sunscreen, put on a large brimmed hat when directly in the sun, and take good care of your skin.