Caitlin Reid - 07 Feb 2021
Choosing Pregnancy & Breastfeeding Safe Skincare
Ffinding pregnancy safe skincare, and knowing which skincare to avoid while breastfeeding can be tough. Plus, while you’re caring for your growing baby or your newborn, you’re also probably dealing with some pretty crazy skin fluctuations due to the hormonal changes. Here’s why your skin is changing, and which safe skincare products you can use to help. Keeping it simple is best for you and bub.
Hormonal Changes that impact your skin
During pregnancy and breastfeeding, the hormonal changes you got through are absolutely huge. Impacting everything from immunity to your cardiovascular systems and metabolism, hormones cause considerable changes to your skin.
During pregnancy, many women experience everything from dark spots to breakouts.
“It has been shown that 90 per cent of pregnant women will notice some sort of change in their skin: physiological changes, the common or expected skin changes in pregnancy; exacerbation or remission of pre-existing skin conditions, such as acne, eczema or psoriasis; and pregnancy dermatoses, specific inflammatory skin diseases that may occur in pregnancy,” explains medical and cosmetic dermatologist Dr Cara McDonald told Gritty Pretty.
You may experience these conditions in the form of:
• Broken capillaries and redness
• Dark spots known as melasma
• Increased oiliness and a ‘pregnancy glow’
These can all continue after birth while breastfeeding due to the significant hormonal changes that occur to help you keep producing milk for your newborn baby.
With all these changes going on, plus not wanting to apply anything that could impact your baby’s health, it’s hard to know where to turn to deal with your skin’s changes. It's OK, here’s what’s safe for your skin, your baby, and what can actually help you feel your best.
Which pregnancy/breastfeeding skincare profile are you?
Everyone's pregnancy experience and daily life as a new Mum is unique and different. This translates to your skin's changes too. So whichever changes you're going through, there's a safe skin care option for you.
1. You've noticed increased pigmentation/melasma
Hyperpigmentation is common during pregnancy, and our top tip is Vitamin C. Jam-packed full of antioxidants, Vitamin C helps enhance the strengthening of your skin's protective barrier offering oxidisation protection.
How does this work on pigmentation? Often hyperpigmentation and dark spots are caused by oxidisation when free radicals from sun damage and pollutants reach our skin cells. Vitamin C's ability to boost protection against free radicals is incredible, making a vitamin C face oil the perfect pregnancy and breastfeeding safe skincare option.
2. You're struggling with dry and irritated skin
If you're struggling with dry and irritated skin during pregnancy, you're not alone. The solution is to look for skincare the hydrates from deep within, as it's often the dehydration that leads to irritation.
Moisturiser isn't enough. You'll need to transform your skincare routine to include hydrating cleanser, face oils, serums and moisturisers. Plus, you'll need a great exfoliant to sough off the dead, dry skin to allow the products to penetrate.
3. Your skin has started to breakout
As model Jodie-Turner-Smith (wife of Joshua Jackon) has posted about on her socials, breakouts are common for Mums-to-be and for new Mums. Choose skincare that helps balance your skin's natural oils, as this is key to easing the hormonal fluctuations that influence your skin's oil production.
Look for a multi-step routine as you'll need to address breakouts on multiple levels. Slough away dead skin cells with an exfoliant so they don't clog your pores. Cleanse with AHA and BHA cleansers, and hydrate using face oils with antibacterial ingredients to ease breakouts.
What Dermatologist recommend for Pregnant & Breastfeeding Mums
With all these skin changes, you’ll want effective skincare to help. So take a tip from the experts and check out what they use during pregnancy. “For me, sun protection is the number one skincare product 365 days of the year, and my other essentials during pregnancy and breastfeeding (and every other day) include anti-inflammatory vitamin B3 (niacinaminde), alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) to increase cell turnover, decrease congestion, and improve hydration, and a basic moisturizer to protect the face and body,” said dermatologist McDonald.
So!You know what dermatologists recommend, so top products for pregnancy and breastfeeding include:
1. Niacinamide - Vitamin B3 is in pregnancy-safe skincare
Known as a skincare powerhouse to combat fine lines, inflammation and perfect for clearing breakouts; niacinamide can help you manage breakouts during pregnancy. Avoid products with High concentrations anything above 5% is considered high. Serums are the most effective way to integrate B3 into your skincare routine.
Top Tip: Skip the Moisturiser if you're having a summer pregnancy the Hydrating Serum has got you covered!
2. Increase Cell turnover, Exfoliate!
During these major hormonal periods it's important to gently exfoliate your skin to boost cell turnover, preventing dead skin from clogging pores and causing breakouts. Lastly, exfoliating also boost hydration.
Top Tip Exfoliate at least twice a week to maintain healthy cellular turnover
3. Moisturiser + Face Oil: Skincare to nourish
Face oils made from clean ingredients are a gentle way to add extreme care to your pregnancy or breast-feeding skincare regime. Add a Balancing moisturiser on top after your oil has absorbed for maximal hydration. By adding two layers of hydration, you can help balance your body’s natural oils which have changed during pregnancy.
Top Tip: Gently dab face oil with your fingertips. Don’t let the dropper touch your face as it can contaminate the product in the bottle