We get lots of skincare questions from expectant mums and new mums – what the best beauty products are to use for specific skin concerns and what beauty products to definitely avoid during pregnancy. We asked two of the new mums here at Jersey Beauty Company to share their experiences and the tips they have learnt along the way, and we also quizzed skin therapist Naomi for her top tips on skin care during and after pregnancy.
Pregnancy – everything is changing
Pregnancy does many things to your body. It’s a pretty amazing work of nature but it also means your hormone levels change massively during and after pregnancy. You also have to change some of your lifestyle choices, including your skin care routine to protect the baby your body is busy creating!
So what happens to your skin during pregnancy?
At Jersey Beauty Company we never get tired of saying everyone’s skin is unique, partly because we don’t think we hear it enough in the beauty industry, but mainly because it is true! So when it comes to pregnancy, it will come as no surprise that your skin may not react like any other pregnant woman’s. In fact, even your own skin might not react in the same way throughout your pregnancy. That said, there are some common things that do happen during pregnancy, so we thought we’d talk about each of them and what you can do if they apply to your skin.
- Sensitised skin – as your body is hard at work making another human body, you might find that you experience sensitivity, even if you normally don’t have sensitive skin. This is totally normal – it’s also normal for your skin to react to products and ingredients it hasn’t before now.
- Dry Skin – pregnancy can mean patches of dry or dehydrated skin. This can be from a lack of oil (dry) or from a loss of water in the epidermis (dehydrated).
- Breakouts – your hormones are all out of sync so breakouts are entirely normal, if a bit frustrating! Making sure you are cleansing (with the right products) will help to deal with breakouts and pregnancy acne.
- Dull tired skin – pregnancy can affect your sleep patterns so you might find this reflected in your skin, especially if your diet is affected during early pregnancy. Your skin can feel dull and tired and in need of some TLC.
- Butterfly mask – this is a common pregnancy skin concern – uneven skin tone and darker patches, across the eyes, cheek and nose area. It’s called a butterfly mask because that’s what it can look like you’re wearing!
This is by no means an exhaustive list of common skin care issues during pregnancy. And then of course we need to add on our everyday skin care issues, as they don’t necessarily go away during pregnancy! It can feel like an arduous task dealing with skin care during pregnancy. The important thing to remember is not to be too hard on yourself.
Mum Lou, who works with us at Jersey Beauty Company, explained how during her difficult pregnancy, it was hard to even think about skin care. Lou suffered with really bad sickness for the first three months so only really ate sugar and carbs, which had an affect on her skin. Lou was also really exhausted and spent a lot of time in bed so didn’t feel like spending a long time on skin care. The result was that three months in her skin was feeling dull and tired.
It can be hard, when you’re feeling tired and run down, to even think about looking into the right skin care products to be using. That’s why we asked skin therapist Naomi to make it simple for us and to give us her top tips for pregnancy.
What Beauty Products to Avoid During Pregnancy
There are some products that aren’t suitable during pregnancy and should be avoided. Skin therapist Naomi explains anything that over stimulates the skin is best to avoid, even if it is a product you are regularly using. Most Dermalogica products are considered safe for use during pregnancy but there are some that have contraindications and medical advice should be sought if you are unsure.
High levels of Vitamin A derivatives like prescription retinoids Retin-A, Renova, Differen and Tazorac should be avoided. Oral retinoids, such as Isotretinoin are known to cause birth defects and should not be taken.
Retinoids have not been shown to cause problems in their topical form in pregnant women. A new study completed in 2015 on topical retinoids in pregnancy has demonstrated no increase in the concerns and conditions usually associated with retinoid use, however, until enough data is collected to ensure safety, women are not encouraged to use retinol continuously during pregnancy.
To take the Dermalogica range as an example, anything with a high percentage of Retinol A in is best avoided. That’s products like Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair and Dermalogica Eye Reversal Complex. That’s because they have a very active resurfacing agent in them, explains Naomi, and your skin can’t quite cope with that level of intensity during pregnancy. It can actually make hyperpigmentation worse using those products during pregnancy.
Skin therapist explains it’s the same reason why the use of essential oils for massages during pregnancy – anything that will get into the bloodstream and over stimulate is best avoided. To be on the safe side most doctors will recommend to avoid all essential oils for massage (body and skin) during the first trimester. After the first trimester it is always best to consult medical advice about which essential oils are safe and in what quantities, remembering that your skin may also be more sensitised than normal to some ingredients.
Salicylic Acid is part of the aspirin family so in high concentrations it is contraindicated for pregnant women, mostly because doctors are unsure of its effects and ability to penetrate topically into the bloodstream.
The Dermalogica Medibac range have the active ingredient salicylic acid. Under normal circumstances this range is great for handling breakouts so it is tempting during pregnancy if you are experiencing breakouts to reach for the Medibac range. But Naomi explains that this can also actually increase cell turnover and hyperpigmentation which causes butterfly/pregnancy mask and the uneven skin tones we talked about earlier.
Finally skin therapist Naomi suggests that a good rule of thumb for avoiding products is those that are labelled or promote being detoxifying. This means they are likely to be absorbed into the bloodstream, so baby will be exposed to them as well. Detoxes are normally great but during pregnancy we want to keep everything in for baby to grow and develop.
A Handy List of Dermalogica Products to Avoid During Pregnancy:
- Age Reversal Eye Complex (Contains Retinol – Breastfeeding clients should also avoid)
- MultiVitamin Power Serum (Contains Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate)
- Overnight Retinol Repair (Contains Retinol – Breastfeeding clients should also avoid)
- Enzymatic Sea Mud Pack (Detoxifying effects)
- Soothing Additive (20% concentration of essential oils – Pregnant Therapists should also avoid)
- Clearing Additive (20% concentration of essential oils - Pregnant Therapists should also avoid)
- Revitalizing Additive (20% concentration of essential oils - Pregnant Therapists should also avoid)
- MultiVitamin Power Exfoliant (Contains Retinol and Salicylic Acid)
- BioSurface™ Peel (Extended application of acids and skin unpredictability)
- Retinol IonActive™ 1% (Contains Retinol)
Product precautions for pregnant clients – based on Doctor’s advice or personal choice
- Stress Relief Treatment Oil (Pre-blended essential oils)
- Energizing Oil (Pre-blended essential oils)
So what can we use for skin care during pregnancy?
The good news is there are lots of products that are great for use during pregnancy! We asked the new mums the products they had found worked for them. Pregnancy might mean changing some of your regular products but it is important to maintain your skin routine as much as possible – so that’s double cleanse, tone, moisturise, exfoliate, mask and serums or boosters. It might feel like the biggest effort when you’re not feeling your best or more tired than normal but the future you will thank you for making the effort for your skin during pregnancy!
Double-Cleanse – Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser
This is a fab cleanser that works really well even if your skin is feeling really sensitised. You can use it with or without water, making it a quick option if you’re really exhausted but still want to cleanse.
Tone – Dermalogica Ultracalming Mist
This is a brilliant thing to carry around with you, according to the new mums. When your skin is sensitised or irritated during the day you can use this for a quick boost and soothe, as well as using it after the Ultracalming cleanser.
Exfoliate – Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant
This is great for dealing with those breakouts. So you can’t use Retinol A or the MediBac range but this daily exfoliant is a great way to safely deep cleanse your skin and treat the causes of those breakouts. It’s also gentle enough to not irritate your skin like other exfoliants may do.
Boost – Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster
We love a booster or a serum when our skin is going through any kind of changes or struggles. This one is great for use during pregnancy as it has hyaluronic acid, a pretty amazing ingredient that holds up to a thousand times its weight in water, which makes it pretty much like the equivalent of plant food for your skin. The good news is it is safe during pregnancy. Giving your skin a boost with a Dermalogica Booster can help to counteract some of the effects of those hormonal changes.
Masque – Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque
This masque is packed full of great vitamins, plant extracts and botanical extracts that will calm and rehydrate your skin. It’s a really fab treat for your skin and can help to repair and restore the hydrolipid barrier and the epidermis.
The new mums we chatted to were keen to point out that the changes to your skin may continue after pregnancy, particularly if you are breast feeding. It is important to continue to check as well the products that are suitable when you are nursing. Taking care of your skin during pregnancy can feel like a difficult task, as your changing hormones might mean changing skin needs, and you may need to find alternatives to some of your normal products. But there are lots of great choices of skin care products that are suitable and safe during pregnancy and after, and the future you will thank you for putting the work in to continue your skin routine during pregnancy, so you can continue to have skin that reflects the happy, healthy remarkable you!