There’s no denying that Pregnancy is a mixed bag. There’s pure happiness and joy, then there’s dealing with raging hormones and emotions, not to mention the bodily changes you go through that can be both good, bad and simply uncomfortable! The body goes through many changes during pregnancy and the skin is no exception.
Skin changes occur in about 90% of pregnant women in one form or another; while some women have ‘that pregnancy glow’, pigmentation, acne and sensitivity are some of the most common skin concerns that flare up during pregnancy. Mums-to-be need to know what products, ingredients and technologies are safe to use while expecting to keep their skin in optimum condition and help alleviate some of the conditions they might experience.
There are many opinions between doctors and different studies with varying information, so it’s imperative that you consult with your GP prior to the use of skin care products and receiving treatments. Here are three of the most common questions related to skincare during pregnancy.
1. Can I use Salicylic Acid?
This Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) is an excellent exfoliant and can be used to treat acne and resurface skin. In high concentrations it is considered a risk during pregnancy and should be avoided, especially in professional resurfacing and peels. Small percentages used in skin care (for example less than 2% in a wash off Cleanser) are considered safe.
2. What about Aromatherapy?
It’s recommended to avoid using most essential oils during the first and second trimester as they can enter into the bloodstream and when used in high doses can cause foetal damage. Commonly used oils to avoid include; Peppermint, Basil, Cedar Wood, Celery Seed, Nutmeg, Citronella, Clary Sage, Jasmine, Marjoram, Rose, Melissa, Juniper Berry, Myrrh, Cypress, Parsley and Rosemary.
However the use of some oils are safe and aid in stress reduction, relief of back pain and swollen ankles. Using very small quantities is essential, a drop will suffice in a carrier oil. Oils that are safe to use include Mandarin, Geranium, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Eucalyptus, Ylang Ylang, Cypress and Frankincense.
3. Can I have technology used when I have a skin treatment?
In the treatment room there are lots of options your therapist has to deliver great results. Some of these advanced tools (known as electrical modalities in the industry) is not recommended, these may be referred to by your therapist as Galvanic, High Frequency, Microcurrent, Ultrasonic, Microdermabrasion and Laser. Best practice says to avoid any of these.
4. Is Vitamin A (Retinol) safe to use?
Many doctors recommend pregnant women should avoid or screen all products containing Vitamin A (retinol) and its derivatives such as Isotretinoin, Retinoic Acid and Oral Retinoids. High doses of Vitamin A can, in extreme cases, be a possible cause of birth defects so as a general rule it’s best to avoid these products unless advised otherwise by your GP.
With the right products and professional skin treatments it is possible to achieve your skincare goals throughout your pregnancy and in the months afterwards. Here are some all time fave Dermalogica products to nourish and hydrate your skin during pregnancy:
UltraCalming Range - Soothe and calm sensitive skin and reduce redness or inflammation
Daily Microfoliant - Brighten, gently exfoliate and illuminate skin and balance uneven skin pigmentation
Skin Hydrating Masque - A refreshing, moisturising masque that restores critical moisture to dry, stressed skin