During pregnancy our skin undergoes multiple changes which aren’t always amazing like that “glow’” we often hear about it. We see celebrities in magazines looking completely stunning with their flawless skin and you think to yourself, that’s photo shopped for sure. I know with my first child it was anything but magazine-worthy. Have you turned brown yet in patches? Nobody tells you about that pesky melasma caused from all those lovely hormones. I want to briefly tell you the changes that can occur and solutions that can help or control the issue. I know second time around my skin is completely different and I swear it is from using the correct products to control problems caused from those crazy hormones.
During pregnancy, you may find yourself developing acne/spots, oily skin, dry skin, itchy skin, pigmentation, spider veins and much more. This is all down to the changes in the levels of hormones been produced during pregnancy. Immunity and the increase in circulation can also play a role.
Why is my skin turning brown?
Brown patches of pigmentation on the forehead, cheeks and neck often arise early in pregnancy and have been referred to as the pregnancy mask, chloasma and melasma. It is caused when your body produces more melanin, the tanning hormone, than it normally does. By having more melanin it does protect your skin against UV light. Roughly two out of three experience this in pregnancy. I know with my first I had no idea and assumed it was too much sun from my holiday in Thailand in the first trimester. It was when it didn’t fade through the winter months that I realised it was hormones. Back then I had no idea that being in the sun made it worse, even for a short time. I had not heard of pigment inhibitors. If you don’t know what they are... they are your new best friend for a few months. Complete Pigment serum by Aspect Dr is amazing for the management of lightening off those pigment patches and also preventing new pigment from forming. This is my go to serum now second time around and touch wood, I have not seen one bit of pigment form so far. I’m not saying it won’t and every pregnancy is different but at the moment I’m rolling with what works and it sure is doing the trick right now. I also swear by exfoliating the skin to always reveal a brighter complexion. It’s tricky with pregnancy as there is so many ingredients you can’t use. I have turned to Cosmedix Defy for the next few months. Its triple hydroxy acid complex turns over skin cells to brighten but also hydrate and is safe during pregnancy. This is definitely keeping oil and blemishes at bay when you suddenly can’t turn to your usual salicylic scrubs for help.
Why do I have breakouts now?
So it may feel like your teenage years are returning to haunt you, but you can once again thank your increasing surge of hormones that produce more sebum – the oil that keeps skin glowing. Too much and your glow quickly turns to blocked pores, blackheads, congestion and acne. The worst thing we can do is scrub and strip our skin even more rather than taking a gentle approach at de-greasing the skin, if you like. I would suggest Aspect Dr Mild clean or Benefit Clean by Cosmedix. We stock both, so I’m lucky to have access to each and I swear by them. I wish I was in this business first time around. I turned to scrubs with my first child thinking I was really cleaning the skin, but in fact you’re dehydrating it more, so what does the skin do? Produce more oil, of course. It’s a viscous cycle, right? Now I realise a gentle approach to simply clean but not strip the skin actually works. I use a face mask once to twice a week to really de clog pores. My go-tos are ‘Pure Enzymes’ by Cosmedix and ‘Glow’ which are great for exfoliating and brightening the skin. I cannot recommend these enough for clearing skin. With excess oil you do need to change from a hydrating moisturiser to one that is oil free. I had to change from my favourite Aspect Dr resveratrol cream, but thank your lucky stars, the same cream comes in an oil-free form which is just as amazing as its original but less hydrating because you don’t need it. Another way to help control oil is in-house peels. A chemical peel is a great way to nourish the skin during pregnancy and we have multiple treatments that are safe during this precious time. I swear by the Pomegranate Peel which is simply lactic acid and antioxidants combined. A fantastic pick-me-up for dull and dry skin.
Your skin can go the other way too and become dehydrated. For this we reverse the treatment and recommend hydrating products to help put moisture back in. Cosmedix Restore is an ultra-moisturising mask that restores skin with vitamins and essential fatty acids to help promote water retention and proper lipid balance resulting in a more revitalised complexion.
You can also find that your skin is more sensitive during pregnancy than normal. This is down to the higher hormone levels and with the increase in weight comes stretched skin, which in turn leaves it more delicate and easily irritated. You can become dry quickly and may find that using gentle soaps are best. With dry skin and an increase hormone levels you can also experience itchy skin. Turning to oatmeal-based shower gels or lotions can alleviate this. The importance of SPF is significant during pregnancy as you may find your skin burns more easily or you develop a heat rash quicker than you would normally.
I have only touched on the main concerns that I deal with in the clinic and from personal experience. There are many more skin changes our body goes through but I’m sure you have read enough for today. I hope these suggestions will help. As I said, I wish I was in the business of skin care with my first child because second time around I swear the right products and preventative strategies have my skin in a very different condition. I have not one bit of melasma thanks to pigment preventers and the use of SPF (I know I should have used it all the time).