4 ways to care for skin during pregnancy
Pregnancy can bring out the glow “pregnancy glow” but for some it can be a very challenging time for skin health. There are a few common skin conditions that arise for a lot of us when pregnant and you may be wondering how to treat them and what is safe to use.
There are the few Mamas who are lucky enough to have an unconditional pregnancy glow for their entire pregnancy (lucky them!) but for others it’s a tough time. We have put together the 4 ways you can care for your skin during pregnancy & beyond.
1. Pregnancy Acne & breakouts
Hormones! Hormones! Hormones! hormonal changes mean unpredictable skin changes too. The ones responsible for this are called androgens. A rush and increase in androgens cause the glands in your skin to produce what’s called “sebum”. Sebum is an oily substance causes clogs pores and then annoyingly creates bacteria growth and inflammation.
Usually, it’s in the first trimester. That’s when your progesterone sky-rockets and causes more oil production. But try to breathe easy as pregnancy acne will most likely fade on its own after your baby is born, when hormone levels settle. We know that acne is the last thing you want to be dealing with when pregnant but here are a few steps to add and skincare to help if you suffer from it.
Skincare & tips:
- Cleanse twice daily, go for as gentle cleanser as possible – we don’t want to aggravate the skin even more than it already is.
- Use calming and nourishing ingredients like Niacinamide & Aloe Vera which can be found in our Ofia Skin So Bright Serum
- Avoid using drying products, as your skin will overcompensate and produce even more oil.
- Avoid picking! We don’t want to scar.
- Once you have your new bundle of joy, try something stronger with a blend of AHAs Lactic and Glycolic acid, plus BHA Salicylic acid.
2. Melasma – Hormonal Pigmentation
Taking care in the sun is the first and most important step to take if you’re suffering melasma, also known as “the mask of pregnancy”. This usually pops up around the cheeks & forehead but its accelerated with sun exposure. Aside from pregnancy hormones the main causes are the sun’s UV rays, and genetics.
You are not alone in suffering this condition, and there are many effective ingredients to treat but they are often quite harsh and a not an option whilst pregnant or breastfeeding.
Skincare & tips:
- Sunscreen! Everyday. Even if you are inside the house and sitting near windows or driving your car.
- Avoid topical medications such as retinoids and hydroquinone which are not safe to use during pregnancy.
- You can include brightening ingredients like niacinamide (vitamin B3), vitamin C, and licorice root extract. They are known to lighten superficial pigment and these substances are safe and gentle to use during pregnancy. You can find Niacinamide & licorice root extract in our Ofia Skin So Bright serum
3. Stretch Marks
Listen, they aren’t so bad! They really are just a badge of honour. But stretch marks, they can pop up and for good reason, your body is expanding and stretching. There is not much we can do to STOP stretch marks happening. A huge proportion of why they happen is thought to be genetics but the best thing we can do to help is continuous hydration of the body. Elasticity is also important when your skin is stretching.
Skincare & tips:
- Stay well-hydrated & drink plenty of water
- Moisturise the body
- Look for nourishing ingredients like shea butter, Vitamin E & avocado peptides
4. Dry Skin
Some lucky Mamas gain shiny hair, strong nails and a glowing complexion. For others, pregnancy can cause our skin to appear duller and dryer than usual.
By now you know the major cause of dry skin is hormonal changes. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can rob your skin of oil and elasticity, thus making it dry. But hormonal changes alone are not responsible for dry skin. Interestingly during pregnancy, the body requires more fluids to cope with the demands of the growing bub and this can cause dehydration which can trigger skin dryness.
Skincare & tips:
- Again, stay hydrated and drink plenty of water
- Shower with lukewarm water. Using hot water can rob the skin of its natural oils. So take a bath with warm water!
- Avoid harsh soaps or detergents
- Add Hyaluronic Acid to your skincare, it holds 1000 times its weight in water, and is a powerful and safe hydrating ingredient. Our Ofia Skin So Bright serum is formulated with a unique 5% HA structure that immediately and gradually delivers 72 hours of hydration to the skin.
- Eat well, What you put in your body affects your skin so make sure to eat lots of ‘good fats’ and ‘super foods’ such as avocados, nuts and olives.
And finally, Mamas, these are some of the ingredients you might want to avoid.
- Retinoids, including retinol and retinoic acid
- Benzoyl peroxide
- Certain essential oils
- Salicylic acid
Pregnancy is a journey not just for you, but for your body and your skin. The changes you experience during your pregnancy for the most part, totally treatable and manageable with a strong at-home skincare routine. We always advise checking with your doctor. But as a general rule, if you establish a good routine to take care of your skin, it will pay off in the long run.