Treatments for Pregnancy Skin: what to enjoy & what to avoid
Have you noticed some changes to your skin?
Textural differences, congestion or maybe even the presence of pigmentation? What about the cheeky “fluff” on your face or other certain areas of your body? As Dermal Clinicians, we can assure you that these are completely normal pregnancy symptoms and we can help you through these changes.
Can I still continue using skincare products and having treatments during my pregnancy?
The answer is YES, you certainly can! There are many different hormonal and physical changes your body is about to embark on that can affect your skin and we are here to support you every step of the way.
Whilst it’s important to understand that certain ingredients and professional treatments are not appropriate to use during pregnancy, there are still plenty of safe options and suitable treatment plans our Dermal Clinicians can discuss with you.
Why has my skin changed during Pregnancy?
The short answer, is hormones! The endocrine system consists of tissues and glands that produce, store and release hormones to maintain the health and wellbeing of the bodies internal environment. Hormones are chemical messengers that circulate in the blood and are responsible for many biological functions. They carry messages across the body and are particularly important when it comes to pregnancy. Some of the most common and significant hormones in pregnancy are; oestrogen, progesterone, oxytocin, endorphins and prolactin.
Research has found that more than 90% of pregnant women experience significant skin changes which greatly impacts their journey and/or postpartum period. There are many different changes that can occur including mild to moderate breakouts which are generally seen on the jawline. This is a common area for congestion and often indicates hormonal causes and sometimes, gut health issues.
Generalised hyper-pigmentation may also develop due to an increase in estrogen. These pigmentary changes can start in the first trimester and are seen in all areas that are already pigmented like the nipples and areola. Other lesions like freckles, nevi and any recent scars may darken and sometimes enlarge. The abdomen may also experience hyper-pigmentation in the second trimester known as Linea Nigra. This is a dark, vertical line which typically runs from the pubic bone to the belly button and sometimes can run all the way up to the chest.
Melasma or the “pregnancy” mask is another condition that occurs in 45% to 75% of women during pregnancy. It often presents as brown, symmetrical, patches across the central face and sometimes above the lip. The exact cause is unknown. However, it is believed that melanocytes (the cells in which produce pigment) are over-activated. Unfortunately, melasma can persist for months and/or years after pregnancy. If you think you are experiencing similar symptoms, it is best start managing the condition now before it worsens.
There can be vascular changes too, such as new “red” spots which may be slightly elevated and circular in shape (cherry angiomas) or flat, red lesions which have little vessels that branch out from the centre (spider angiomas). Additional vascular changes may include the presence of red, dilated capillaries called telangiectasia – however, people often known them as “broken capillaries”.
You may also experience hair changes due to androgens. An increase in hair growth is known as hirsutism and hypertrichosis and this can be either an increase or decrease in growth.
What types of ingredients do I need to avoid during my pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding?
As a precaution, we advise you to avoid Retinoic Acid (Vitamin A), Salicylic Acid (BHA’s) and some essential oils.
What types of professional treatments do I need to avoid during my pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding?
Laser and IPL treatments
Vitamin A Peels and infusions
What types of professional treatments can I still enjoy?
This depends on you and your skin as everyone will experience different changes throughout their pregnancy. A skin consultation (if you are a new client) or a skin review (existing) with one of our Dermal Clinicians will give you best indicator of what treatments you may need and the path you are heading towards. During the consultation, besides learning more about you and your history, your Dermal Clinician will also further educate you on why your skin is behaving the way it is. A treatment plan along with a skin care routine will be designed specifically for you. However, to give you an idea; below is a list of treatments safe for pregnancy and/or breastfeeding.
Customisable Skin Health Facials
Vitamin and Mask Infusions
Microdermabrasion and extractions
Mild chemical peels
LED light Therapy
As always, it’s important to be completely transparent with us. If you’re trying to conceive, are pregnant or are breastfeeding, we will alter your treatment plan accordingly. Here’s to your amazing journey into motherhood! We look forward to being a part of your experience and maintaining healthy skin every step of the way.