Friday, January 29, 2010

What to expect from your skin, while expecting


Pregnant women need to take a careful approach to skin care regimens. Not only is the skin much more sensitive during pregnancy, but some products need to be avoided altogether. Just as food and drinks are consumed and can affect an unborn baby, skin care products can be absorbed and reach the baby as well. Pregnant women should be aware of the risks and speak to a dermatologist about any skin care issues.

Maternity Skin Problems

During pregnancy, skin is very sensitive due to the body's quickly changing hormones. Many women notice that breakouts, oily skin and dry skin are much more common during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester. The excess amount of hormones may also stimulate the body to produce too much melanin, a hormone that changes the skin's pigment. This can result in dark blotches on the skin.


For dry skin during pregnancy, exfoliating can help to remove the dead and dry cells from the surface of the skin. Drinking water and using moisturizer can help as well, as can using a humidifier and taking showers that are not too hot or too long. For oily skin, blotting sheets help to soak up excess moisture.


New skin care products should be avoided during pregnancy to prevent unpleasant reactions from sensitive skin. To protect skin during pregnancy, sunscreen should be applied every two hours if the skin is being exposed to the sun. Sunlight should also be avoided during peak hours. Oil-free makeup and skin care products may help keep breakouts at bay, and gentle cleansers will get rid of dirt without the use of harsh chemicals.

Skin Care Products to Avoid

Pregnant women should avoid certain types of skin products that can be absorbed into the body, such as cortisone, hydrocortisone or retinoids, a type of vitamin A often found in anti-aging moisturizers and wrinkle creams. A high dosage of vitamin A can be harmful to an unborn baby. Skin care products containing soy can make the dark splotches that occur during pregnancy worse. Although there is no conclusive evidence that these items are dangerous when used topically, it is safest to avoid them if possible.

Acne Products to Avoid

Acne products, though tempting to use due to the pregnancy hormones that can cause breakouts, can actually be harmful. Salicylic acid, used to treat acne and found in cleansers and toners, has been proven to cause birth defects when taken orally. According to, it is safe to use small amounts of salicylic acid topically a couple of times a day, but face and body peels that allow the salicylic acid to soak into the body should be avoided. A dermatologist can suggest a safe medication for acne.

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