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You’ve seen that second line on the urine self-test pregnancy kit and your family doctor has confirmed it with a blood test. Besides receiving words of congratulations, from what you eat, drink, wear and put on your skin, suddenly everyone seemed to have an opinion about what you should or shouldn’t do during pregnancy. Pregnancy is an exciting time for women, but it often comes with many challenges, with skincare being an outstanding concern to many. Misinformation about pregnancy skincare creates frustration and confusion for pregnant women during a time they should be enjoying to the fullest. Further misled by the need to navigate into unchartered waters to deal with unfamiliar skin changes brought about by hormonal fluctuations which they’ve never had, it is little wonder that pregnant mommies are doing too much or too little.
Sun protection is universal
Throughout pregnancy it’s important to avoid overheating and dehydration. Pregnant or not, it’s crucial to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays, but that doesn’t mean you need to hibernate indoors throughout the whole nine months.Try to enjoy outdoor activities and exercise in the morning and evening as much as possible when it’s not that hot. While you’re heading outdoors, sun or no sun, keep yourself well hydrated and form a tight Siamese twin bond with a broad spectrum sunscreen.
Sunscreen actives are not known to be a risk during pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists hasn’t found any of the alleged fears about sunscreen ingredients substantiated by medical or animal research, and its continual use is strongly recommended by dermatologists especially when pregnancy makes your skin more susceptible to hives, heat rash and worsening of undesirable skin pigmentation such as melasma. If you find your skin is more sensitive during pregnancy, consider using physical blockers with only the mineral actives of titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide, as both are non-irritating.
Keep breakouts at bay
Many women experience acne during pregnancy although it might not be a skin woe that bothers them before there’s a bun in the oven. This is most common during the first and second trimesters, as an increased in circulating androgens can lead to hyperctivity of oil glands in the skin with increased sebum production; leading to bacterial colonization, inflammation, clogged pores and breakouts. AHAs and BHAs are a group of naturally occurring fruit acids that has found its way into the dermatologist’s office for treating a whole host of skin issues, and some are exceptional in keeping breakouts at bay. Glycolic and Lactic acid are superior AHA exfoliants that are OK to use while pregnant, reducing oiliness and unclogging pores to restore skin’s pH to an optimum level. It’s recommended to lay off products containing Retinoids such as Differin, Retin-A and Tazorac, as although very little of this vitamin A derivative gets absorbed into your skin, studies have suggested a possible link to birth defects.
Lightening the mask of pregnancy
Approximately 90% of pregnant women will experience some form hyperpigmentation during their pregnancy. Women who are dark haired with darker skin types are more likely to develop some degree of skin darkening, and it is also more likely to be more pronounced in these women as well. Increased skin pigmentation may affect skin spots such as scars and freckles, nipples and areolae, external genitalia, or areas of increased friction like the axillae and groin. This may also occur in specific areas of the body such as the midline of the tummy as “linea nigra” or on the face as “melasma”, often refer to as the ‘mask of pregnancy’.
The FDA approved Norseld Dual Yellow laser is an effective pigment busting, complexion clearing option against undesirable skin darkening that is safe for pregnant ladies and nursing mums. The unique yellow and green lights emitted by this treatment platform not only help clear existing unwanted pigment, it actually curbs the production of melanin, hence reduces the likelihood of recurrence. Combined with a sound skincare routine for a synergistic effect, looking good despite the hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy has never been easier.
Crank up the moisture
Whether rollercoaster hormones have made your skin dry, oily or ultra-sensitive, it’s important to crank up skin moisture to optimal levels with a pregnancy-safe face moisturizer. Generally speaking, anti-aging products with vitamin C, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and peptides are considered safe for use during pregnancy, with no research showing adverse findings from topical use. However, if you’re uncertain about starting a new anti-aging product or a combination of ingredients, do check with your physician and follow their professional advice.