It’s no secret that your body changes dramatically during pregnancy, but many don’t realize to what extent the changes actually occur. While it’s true that pregnancy glow is a real thing, there’s also less flattering skin-related side effects such as rashes, redness, skin discoloration and acne. In addition to these, there’s changes you’ll need to make in your skincare routine because some of your favorite products may now be considered unsafe during the next nine months.
What changes might you expect?
Acne - A surge in hormones causes the increase of sebum, which can in turn clog pores. Combat it by cleansing your skin twice a day with a mild cleanser, using a non-alcohol based toner, and staying moisturized. Steer clear of acne specific products unless you consult your doctor, because not all are recommended for pregnancy.
Dry/Oily skin - If your skin is feeling drier or oilier than usual, hormones are again to blame. For oily skin, consider keeping oil-absorbing sheets handy and switching to an oil-free moisturizer and foundation. For dry skin, be sure to use a gentle cleanser, moisturize immediately after the shower to seal in the moisture, and use a hydrating mask.
Avoid fixes such as chemical-based peels and stronger salicylic acids during this time without consulting your doctor.
Discoloration - An extremely common part of pregnancy, skin discoloration can come in a variety of forms. You can expect anything from redness on your palms, darker moles and freckles, melasma, or the mask of pregnancy, which is gray or brown patches that form on your face, to the linea nigra, which is a darkened line that runs down your abdomen. There isn’t much you can do for these, but wear sunscreen to prevent further discoloration and know they will fade postpartum.
Skin tags - Noticing skin growths that seemed to have popped up out of nowhere? Skin tags typically appear on skin that is frequently hot, moist, or rubbed, including your neck, armpits, genitals, torso or beneath your breasts. While there’s not much you can do to avoid them, they generally clear up after delivery. If not, your dermatologist can remove them.
Spider Veins /Varicose Skin - Varicose veins are bulky bluish veins whereas spider veins are the reddish blood vessels that branch out. Both are common in pregnancy due to increased blue volume, which causes the veins to swell. To limit them, avoid sitting for long periods of time, walk around, put your feet up, and wear support stocking. Both types should disappear after pregnancy.
Stretch Marks - Pinkish/reddish streaks that run down your abdomen or breasts, the majority of women will experience stretch marks during their pregnancy. Apply lotions containing vitamin e to help prevent them and know they will probably fade to a faint silvery color after pregnancy.
If you typically suffer from eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea, you could potentially experience a change in symptoms for the better or for the worse during this time.