Firstly, congratulations you're having a baby!….or two or three!
Now that you’re expecting, you may be radiating with excitement, but your pregnancy complexion doesn’t always reflect that inner joy. Skin issues can abound during pregnancy—we’re talking everything from teenage-like acne to stretch marks and strange rashes. Here are some of the most common skin problems women encounter during pregnancy, and what you can do about them.
Issue #1: Newfound Sensitivities
Your skin will feel a lot more sensitive, so easier on it now that you’re pregnant. You might notice that you get red more easily, and even your normal facial products might feel uncomfortable. But don’t worry I am here to help you keep it simple and gentle for your pregnant skin. You certainly don’t want anything making your more uncomfortable that you may already feel. This is why many mums-to-be start choosing natural creams and washes with less or no harsh chemicals in. Certain ingredients aren’t just potential irritants—some can actually pose health risks to baby. Look out for blog coming soon Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy. Even if generally benign, some lightly perfumed products might also irritate your skin (and make you nauseated, thanks to your heightened sense of smell), so consider switching to products that contain light essential oil scents or unscented.
The BAO face collection was originally curated for sensitive skin, this includes pregnancy skin too. *All the face products have a gentle pure organic sweet orange scent, which everyone loves. The Lip Saviour is unscented and Restorative Beauty Oil lightly smells of lavender, perfect for bedtime use.
Issue #2: Breakouts
Obviously, your hormones are all out of whack by now, and that might mean pimples reminiscent of those you got back in your school years. The annoying thing is, of course, some acne products are unsafe to use during pregnancy, so before you use anything, check it with your doctor. Prescription medications like Retin-A and tetracycline are definite no-nos. The jury’s out on over-the-counter creams, since they haven’t been tested specifically on pregnant women (yup, you find that a lot with products). While some experts believe low concentrations of ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid may pose low risk, others recommend avoiding altogether to be safe.
For hormonal breakouts I suggest using Radiance Face Scrub around three times a week as part of your evening routine. It is super gentle yet really effective and un-blocking pores, soothing any redness and gives your complexion a beautiful fresh glow!
Issue #3: Dryness and the Itchiness
While some mums-to-be find themselves breaking out, others are dealing with drier skin than they’ve ever experienced (if you’re one of the lucky ones who’ve got a combo of the two, my sympathies). For dry lips Lip Saviour is a winner! Make sure you’re drinking lots of water—you need more now that you’re expecting—and try adding in lots more healthy fats to your diet, nuts, seeds, olive oil and avocados, they will do wonders for your complexion. Use a gentle day moisturiser, I suggest Recovery Face Cream. And if you get nasty, itchy sensations because of your dry skin (and all that stretching!) What I find helps is taking warm (not hot!) bath with Healing Bath Salts but also I put dried oats into an organza bag and pop in too. They turn all creamy and make the bath milky, this is amazing for soothing itchy skin!
Issue #4: Sun Sensitivity
Although I am writing this in February in England, no sun, you’re pregnant for 9 months, so there will be some sunny days. But sorry, mum-to-be, the “pregnancy glow” does not refer to a bronzed, sun-kissed complexion. You should actually try to stay out of the sun as much as you can while you’re pregnant. That’s because your surging hormones make you susceptible to dark patches on your skin—known as melasma, or the mask of pregnancy, which is triggered by sun exposure. So pull out the big floppy hat, find a beach umbrella and be diligent about wearing sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day. The safest sun protection to use during pregnancy is physical or mineral blocks—the ones made with either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Chemical sunscreens, such as oxybenzone, homosalate and avobenzone, can potentially irritate the skin and have higher risks associated with them. I am planning on launching a sunscreen (one day!) but for now I recommend Skin Ceuticals, it is my favourite one yet, light, doesn’t block pores and smells nice but it is my personal choice.
Issue #5: Stretch Marks
The next big skin concern….. stretch marks. Anytime someone’s body grows quickly, they’re at risk for stretch marks.
I personally have had to deal with this, after over 10 years of being on high strength steroids, for my Crohns Disease, I put on 30kg in 3 years. But luckily being a skincare nerd, my skin has benefitted hugely from my daily body cream application and monthly massages. Now my weight is slowly decreasing, as I have stopped the steroids for the first time in 10 years, I have stretch marks - annoying but they are much better than if I hadn’t moisturised.
So the fact a baby is growing exponentially in there puts you right in the high-risk zone. Of course, not every mum-to-be gets stretch marks. For most people, whether or not they get stretch marks actually has to do with genetic predisposition. But you can do your best to head them off by gently exfoliating and thoroughly moisturising your belly, breasts, stomach, hips and thighs as much as you can!
Issue #6: Weird and Freaky Rashes
If you’ve got red, itchy skin, it’s important not to ignore it. Itchy feet and hands could be a sign of cholestasis of pregnancy, a complication that can cause liver problems for babies. Your doctor can do a simple blood test to make sure that’s not causing your rash. Another common pregnancy rash is PUPPP (pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy), which often starts in the abdomen and spreads from there. PUPPP is actually harmless to the baby, but it will be completely aggravating for you. Seek advice from a Dermatologist.
I have created a fuss free, easy routine for you to follow whilst you're on this magical journey, BAO pregnancy skincare products are listed here in the HAPPY PREGNANCY SKIN ROUTINE.