What's Safe to Use, and What's Not, During Pregnancy
As a self-confessed skincare junkie, I can comfortably say I know what works for my skin. Well I could, before I fell pregnant earlier this year and everything I knew became redundant. Within the first three months, all bets were off: my oily skin became dry, my breakouts less frequent. While I welcomed some changes with open arms, learning to treat new concerns (at a time I was also trying to remove as many chemicals as possible) took a little trial and error, before I finally settled into a regimen that best suited my new skin type. Now, I can focus solely on growing my mini human, without worrying about the state of my face.
Despite what pop culture has led us to believe, the "pregnancy glow" isn't a given. For some, it's nothing but a myth—and there's not a lot you can do about it (cheers, hormones!). Pigmentation, broken capillaries, dryness, congestion and breakouts are just some of the delights you may encounter during your nine months, but there are treatments you can look to as safe options. Enter: Jocelyn Petroni. To discover how to create a prenatal glow, I quizzed the skin expert on the remedies she recommends for treating for mum-to-be. Scroll on to discover the safe and effective treatments she recommends for the top pregnancy skincare concerns.
The Concern: Ageing Skin
Retinoids should be avoided during pregnancy. Instead, Petroni recommends switching to brands such as Sodashi and Shema, and looking to products with plant extracts to get your anti-ageing fix.
The Concern: Melasma
Hormone-induced pigmentation can be aggressive and frustrating, but it's important to leave treatment until after pregnancy. "Pigmentation fades for six months after giving birth, so give your skin this amount of time to fade out any hormonal pigment that has come up. Then, treat with topical active ingredients: vitamin A at night and fruit acids during the day. The best is Ultimate A2 Anti-Ageing Serum and Ultimate Brightening Serum, both by Ultra MD," says Petroni. These products are available by doctor's recommendation only, so you'll need to head into salon to purchase. In the meantime, you can use natural forms of vitamin A, such as jojoba oil.
The Concern: Breakouts
Before you reach for your go-to pimple remedy, you'll need to become an avid label-reader as some acne treatments contain ingredients unsuitable for expectant mums. "Salicylic acid is the best topical treatment for breakouts, and it is also pregnancy safe," says Petroni. Product should be applied as a spot treatment in small amounts, and never to the whole face.
The Concern: Dull Skin
Create your own pregnancy glow by exfoliating twice per week. "This will slough away the dull surface and dead skin build up, as well as boosting circulation to feed the skin oxygen-rich blood from the inside," explains Petroni.
The Concern: Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are best prevented by keeping your expanding skin nourished and hydrated. Petroni recommends a good body oil, such as Nuxe Dry Body Oil ($40), as it smells divine and can also be used on the hair and face.