These problems are temporary, with your skin going back to normal some time after giving birth, and there are easy treatments that you can use to feel your best.
Common Pregnancy Skin and Hair Problems
Pregnancy comes with a lot of changes in the body, including in your skin and hair. But there's no need to worry, as there are things you can do to manage and prevent them.
Melasma, sometimes known as “the mask of pregnancy” or chloasma causes brown to grey-brown patches on your face. This is due to extra melanin (also known as pigment) to protect your skin against harmful UV rays.
To avoid this, women should stay away from the sun during pregnancy and after birth. Wear a sun hat that covers the face, use an umbrella, and always wear pregnancy-safe sunscreen.
If you start seeing the signs of melasma, use gentle exfoliating scrubs, polishing kits or some products with bleaching agents that are specially formulated for damaged skin. Try brands with mild ingredients, but to be extra safe, wait until you finish breastfeeding to use these products.
Your skin may feel extra sensitive during pregnancy and you might find that products you’ve used before can make your skin react differently. Be gentle with your skin and avoid scrubbing too hard or using perfumed products that can cause irritation. Use scented and hypoallergenic products.
Pregnancy hormones can make your skin run riot, causing acne breakouts. In this case, check with your doctor on which products to use because many may contain chemicals harmful for pregnancy. Lactic acid, tea tree oil or sulfur are usually safe, and remember to wash your face daily with a mild cleanser.
Another skin ailment during pregnancy is dry skin. Always stay hydrated by using gentle hypoallergenic lotions and moisturisers, and try using a humidifier while sleeping at night.
Pregnancy will inevitably cause your skin to stretch. One way to minimise this is to constantly keep hydrated and use a stretch mark prevention cream.
Pregnancy can cause excessive hair loss in some women. This condition is called telogen effluvium caused by stress and shock. Postpartum hair loss can last as long as a year after childbirth, peaking at the 4th month.
General skincare during pregnancy
There's no reason to stop caring for yourself, especially now that you are growing someone inside of you. This includes caring for your skin.
Here are some tips to maintain your skincare during pregnancy, with precautions to keep both you and the baby safe.
Use Clean and Natural Beauty Products
‘Clean’ beauty products are those formulated without toxic ingredients and tested for safety and efficacy. These products are usually made from natural or synthetic products. Synthetic means these are molecularly replicated in labs to deliver the same or better results - even making it vegan!
Natural products have a lot of benefits. They are primarily made from organic ingredients like plants, fruits, flowers, seeds and minerals, and are devoid of artificial fragrances. They are very effective because you benefit from no antioxidants because no chemicals are involved.
Natural products can even and reduce stress levels. Check out these items for the best natural skin products.
Avoid Toxic Ingredients
As an expectant mother, you have to be very careful about what you put on your skin. There are ingredients in cosmetics that are usually harmless, but can be pretty dangerous when used during pregnancy and can cause complications.
In addition to clean beauty products, be aware of toxic ingredients. Some of the main suspects are:
- Parabens, Pthalates, and Sulfates, which have been linked to cancer and hormonal imbalances.
- Retinoids, while great for anti-ageing and reducing wrinkles, can be harmful for a growing foetus.
- Some creams, especially those used for acne, contain salicylic acid which can cause complications. Some other cosmetic products, like exfoliants, also contain salicylic acid in the form of beta hydroxyl acid.
- Try to avoid makeup. If you are going to use it, make sure to choose pregnancy-safe makeup.
But don’t worry! As long as you know which chemicals are harmful, just simply pick another product that is guaranteed to be safe during pregnancy.
Develop Good Lifestyle Habits
Beauty sleep is called such for a reason! Sleeping is when your skin regenerates and a nighttime skincare routine can help boost this process. At night, your skin is also more receptive to these products.
To get the best rest, develop a wind-down routine before bed and sleep at the same time each night. Stay off your digital device at least 30 minutes before sleeping, as artificial blue light from screens can disrupt your melatonin production which controls your sleep-wake cycle. This can affect your sleep quality.
Try reading a book or have a cup of chamomile tea instead.
Hydration is not just for your skin! Water is the best anti-ageing agent and safer than using toxic chemicals.
Drink at least 8 glasses a day to promote fewer wrinkles, a clearer complexion, smaller pores, tighter skin, reduced puffiness, and less acne, to name only a few of the benefits. Carry a 1L bottle of water with you to remind you to keep hydrating throughout the day.
Consult your doctor
If you are unsure about using specific products and treatments for your skincare during pregnancy, always consult a trusted professional to guide you. If you don't have a gynaecologist yet, this list of the best gynaecologists in Singapore can help.
Original Publisher: theAsianparent