Pregnancy x Skincare: How to stay clear when you’re expecting
A guide to maintaining healthy, glowing skin while pregnant
Being pregnant can be such an exciting time, and it can also do a number on your skin. There are many factors that can impact your skincare routine when you are pregnant, many of which don’t get talked about often. So when your skin starts misbehaving during pregnancy, it comes as a shock and leaves you clueless about what to do to get back to being clear and cocky.
Let’s demystify all things pregnancy and skincare and normalize having beautiful skin during those fabulous 9 months.
Pregnancy hormones and acne
Your hormones can be all over the place when you’re pregnant and it all impacts your skin. We know this. But did you know that your hormones will vary depending on your baby’s gender? Having a boy increases your testosterone levels and having a girl increases your estrogen levels. Being pregnant with multiples can be a lot on the skin!
As your levels increase and decrease, it can cause your body to produce extra oil and clog your skin’s pores, which can lead to frequent acne breakouts.
If you’ve never had acne before, or if you’ve had acne and got clear but you’re seeing it return since you became pregnant, speak with your esthetician about how to adjust the products in your skincare routine.
Skincare ingredients to avoid while pregnant
Doctors recommend avoiding retinol, salicylic acid, and hydroquinone as they may cause risk during pregnancy. Your skin absorbs the products you use into your bloodstream and can cause hormonal changes.
These potentially risky ingredients are found in most over-the-counter products, so it’s critical that you speak with your esthetician about how to adjust your skincare regimen while pregnant–especially if you are experiencing new acne or blemishes.
Skincare products to use while pregnant
Ok, so what does your skin need when you’re pregnant? You really need 3 essentials to have healthy, glowing skin during your pregnancy:
Cleanser–Look for a cleanser that hydrates and balances the skin as much as it cleanses.
Exfoliant–Mandelic and lactic acids are wonderful exfoliating ingredients that remove dead skin cells, lessen acne, and encourage skin cell turnover for glowing skin.
Moisturizer–a LIGHT moisturizer with replenishing ingredients like vitamin E is ideal.
What to eat for healthy skin while pregnant
Don’t come for me, mamas, but pregnancy isn’t the time to let loose with your diet and exercise!
I know it can be hard to stick with the healthier lifestyle between cravings and gaining weight while pregnant, but it’s even harder to maintain healthy skin for 9 months while eating poorly and not detoxing through exercise. Actually, it’s pretty impossible.
Pregnancy is an important time in your life, so give yourself the fuel you need to make it a healthy one. That fuel is a balanced diet and regular exercise.
Remember, everything you do to your body shows up on your skin, and now it impacts your baby. You give your baby the healthiest start when you make healthy choices for yourself during your pregnancy, and you make the most of your pregnancy glow.
Enjoy your pregnancy, but don’t feed skin inflammation and acne! Consider these swaps when the cravings hit:
Goat cheese or non-dairy cheese over dairy cheese–the saturated fats in dairy products and cheese cause inflammation in the blood and acne on the skin. Also, cow’s milk contains proteins and hormones that trigger our hormones to produce more insulin and sebum (skin’s natural oil) which clogs the pores and causes breakouts. Staying away from dairy products will help with your breakouts. Trust me.
Almond or cashew butter over peanut butter–Peanuts contain an androgen (steroid hormone) that worsens acne by causing the body to produce more sebum, clogging the pores and causing pimples. Have you tried almond or cashew butter, though? It’s a yummy swap!
Natural/unrefined sugar over processed sugar–I know, I know. This is a tough one because those sweet and salty cravings are real! However, processed sugar is terrible for your body and your skin. Studies have shown that people who have a lot of added processed sugar in their diet are 30% more likely to have acne and breakouts. That’s because refined carbohydrates cause the blood insulin to spike, which causes the body to produce more oil on the skin and clog the pores. Lean toward more fruit when those sugar cravings hit.
Skin tips for pregnant women
- Don’t pick at your breakouts! Ice the skin to speed up healing and reduce inflammation.
- Prioritize getting enough sleep, especially later in your pregnancy. Use a body pillow to help yourself get comfy so your sleep isn’t interrupted. A good night’s sleep shows up on your face!
- If you’re hot at night and need to have a fan on, have a humidifier in your room also to keep your skin from drying out.