Pregnancy is a very important time in a woman’s life, and there can often be doubts in what is safe to use in regards to your skincare. While only some women, the lucky ones, achieve the ‘pregnancy glow’, the reality is in most cases they do not. Instead, their skin can change so much that they have problems they may have never had before! This is down to a change in hormones. The results are different for everyone. Increased blood circulation and mild fluid retention will result in a healthy rosy glow, but others may find their skin gets drier, dull, redder and more blemished. Another common effect pregnancy has on skin is hyper-pigmentation. Melasma is so common during pregnancy that it is known as the ‘mask of pregnancy’. Most of the time this hyper-pigmentation will fade soon after pregnancy, though in some cases it may become permanent.
We get asked a lot in MEDISKIN about what products our clients need to cut out of their routine once they become pregnant. This blog post should be useful for anyone who wants some advice about what is safe or not when it comes to minding your skin while you are expecting.
What ingredients are NOT safe during pregnancy?
Retinol (excluding Environ’s AVST 1 & 2)
Vitamin A, retinoic acid, retinaldehyde, adapalene, tretinoin, tazarotene and isotretinoin are all retinol derivatives and are unsafe for use during pregnancy due to the risk of congenital abnormalities. If you are unsure whether a product contains a form of retinol, do not use it until you clear it with your doctor first.
Environ have recently stated that AVST 1 and AVST 2 (retinyl palmitate) are suitable for use during pregnancy. If you are on a higher level of AVST, they recommend stepping down to AVST 1/2 until after pregnancy/breastfeeding and then working your way back up. Be sure to check with your skin therapist for more details.
AHA’s (Glycolic Acid, etc)
Not all alpha hydroxy acid’s are considered to be particularly unsafe for pregnancy, such as lactic and kojic acid, but at MEDISKIN we routinely advise all of our pregnant clients to leave them out of their skincare until after they give birth. This goes for all aha’s such as glycolic acid, mandelic acid, kojic acid, malic acid and lactic. All of these ingredients will increase skins sensitivity to hyper-pigmentation even more, so in order to minimise this we recommend avoiding them.
BHA’s (Salicylic Acid) (excluding Environ’s Sebuwash)
Salicylic Acid is a beta hydroxy acid and the best ingredient at our disposal in terms of treating excess oil production and breakouts. However it is contra-indicated during pregnancy.
Environ’s Sebu-wash Gel Cleanser has also been approved for use during pregnancy which is great for any acne clients to help keep things at bay.
This ingredient is very effective for treating active acne and breakouts. It is deemed unsafe for use during pregnancy.
Chemical Based Sunscreens
Ingredients such as Octylcrylene, Avobenzone, Octinoxate, Octisalate, OxyBenzone, and Homosalate and Helioplex are unsafe for use during pregnancy. At MEDISKIN we recommended the use of sun protection with physical ingredients instead such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
What ingredients can I use during pregnancy?
We recommend the use of topical vitamin c products in order to treat hyper-pigmentation, redness, loss of collagen and dryness. Our favourite products to use are shown below.
Hyaluronic Acid is your skins natural moisturising factor and makes an excellent addition to your skincare to boost the moisture content in your skin. It is used to treat dehydration, dryness, fine lines, tired, dull skin.
What treatments are not recommended during pregnancy?
Chemical Exfoliation Treatments, IPL Skin Rejuvenation, Laser Hair Removal, Laser Pigment Removal and Skin-Needling.
What treatments can I have to maintain my skins health during pregnancy?
At MEDISKIN we encourage our pregnant clients to maintain their skin throughout pregnancy to minimise the adverse effects their hormones are having on their skin. Your therapist will tailor each treatment for you.
If you are pregnant, planning on becoming pregnant, or breastfeeding, and are unsure if you using the correct products, please contact MEDISKIN where one of our highly trained and knowledgable therapists will only be too happy to help you.