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During and after pregnancy, it’s essential to prioritise skincare that focuses on safe and gentle ingredients while addressing specific concerns that may arise during this hormone-loaded time.

It’s important to choose safe-to-use products that will nourish and protect your skin without any potential harm to your developing baby.

Here’re some tips on how to look after your skin during pregnancy with safe products.

  1. Opt for gentle and natural skincare

Look for skincare products that are free from harsh chemicals, fragrances, and artificial ingredients. Choose gentle cleansers, moisturisers, and serums that are specifically formulated for sensitive skin and are labeled as safe for use during pregnancy.

2. Hydrate your skin

Pregnancy hormones can lead to dryness and dullness. Keep your skin hydrated by drinking plenty of water and using a pregnancy-safe moisturiser daily. Look for moisturisers that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid, shea butter, and natural oils to lock in moisture and promote healthy skin.

3. Protect from the sun

Pregnancy hormones can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Opt for physical sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as they are considered safe during pregnancy.

4. Address stretch marks

As your body goes through changes, it’s natural for stretch marks to appear. Look for stretch mark creams or oils that are specifically formulated for pregnancy and contain ingredients like vitamin E, cocoa butter, and almond oil. Regularly massage these products onto areas prone to stretch marks, such as the belly, breasts, and hips, to help improve skin elasticity.

5. Be cautious with acne treatments

Pregnancy hormones can cause acne breakouts. Consult with your healthcare provider before using any acne treatments or prescription medications. They can recommend safe options such as gentle cleansers, oil-free moisturisers, and spot treatments containing ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid in limited concentrations.

6. Practice good skincare habits

Maintain a regular skincare routine that includes cleansing, exfoliating (using pregnancy-safe exfoliants), and moisturising. Avoid using hot water on your face, as it can strip away natural oils and cause dryness.

Find more ways to look after your skin here.

What to avoid during pregnancy

Prescription medications such as isotretinoin and oral tetracycline antibiotics should not be prescribed during pregnancy. Topical hydroquinone and topical retinoids in the form of tretinoin, adapalene, isotretinoin, and retinol should also not be used during pregnancy or lactation.

The topical use of retinol and retinoids may contribute to high levels of vitamin A in the body. During pregnancy, this may cause serious harm to a foetus (oral use of retinoids significantly increases this risk). Foetal retinoid syndrome is a condition caused by taking retinoids during pregnancy.

Remember to consult with your healthcare provider or dermatologist before introducing any new skincare products into your routine. They can provide personalised recommendations based on your specific needs and guide you towards safe and effective products to maintain healthy and radiant skin throughout your pregnancy.