Pregnancy and your skin

Pregnancy is a special time of your life, but for some it can also bring an onset of hormonal acne, peri-oral dermatitis, pigmentation, but also clear beautiful radiant skin.

When you become pregnant your skin will either be beautiful and clear and glowing or breakout. For the majority of woman, you need to reassess your regular home skincare routine and treatments as sensitivity, breakouts and pigmentation are all skin conditions that can arise during this time that you may not have experienced before.

A woman will produce more estrogen during one pregnancy than throughout her entire life when not pregnant! No wonders your skin can go a little crazy!

For the unlucky ones it can be a confusing mind field of: What can I do? What should I not do? Are there any treatments I can have?

So to help you all out, here are our tips to keep your baby safe and your skin clear.

The first trimester Your body is going into overdrive to grow your baby. Progesterone and estrogen rise dramatically, and a new hormone, (special to pregnancy) called human chorionic gonadotropin, begins to be produced.
Your blood volume increases and your immune system changes to protect the fetus, you also have a whole lot of hormones traveling through your blood system.

What you may experience

  • Breakouts from the surge of hormones
  • Back acne
  • Increased flushing and a radiant glow due to the increase in blood flow
  • Sensitivity due to a change in your immune system

What you can do

  • Sunscreen!
  • Calming homecare routine
  • Add a calming, but effective serum to help with breakouts. Stay away from too many acids, think instead vitamin B and zinc.
  • A reduced skincare routine if experiencing sensitivity.

What to stop

  • Vitamin A or salicylic acid products.
  • Tell your therapist- we are always the 1st to know 🙂 so that we can make sure your treatment is pregnancy friendly. i.e no high frequency
  • Speak to a naturopath or doctor regarding any omega supplements you may be taking. some are fine, others are no recommended.

The second trimester some women (unfortunately not all) start to feel some relief once they begin this trimester.
When you become pregnant, your thyroid hormones need to increase in order to support the baby’s neurodevelopment and bone development. Thyroid-stimulating hormone, or TSH, is produced in the pituitary gland in the brain and it helps regulate your other important thyroid hormones. This is why some women may begin to notice the “mask of pregnancy,” otherwise known as melasma. You may also notice a dark line appear that goes up your belly, called the linea nigra, and your nipples darkening, along with more pronounced moles and freckles.

In the second trimester, estrogen and progesterone will continue to increase.

Cortisol also increases during this stage and may also be associated with stretch marks, blood pressure issues, and added redness in the face and cheeks.

What you may experience

  • Breakouts may persist or ease off slightly
  • Pigmentation known as melasma may start to appear in areas such as your upper lip, under your eyes or forehead
  • Redness may deepen on cheeks and chest.

What you can do

  • Are you on that sunscreen yet? You are more susceptible to getting pigmentation, so start using it if you haven’t
  • A pigment serum to help ward of melasma (pregnancy mask) better to be safe than sorry and they work amazing, even just for glow and even skin tone
  • You may need slightly more hydrating products, maybe the addition of some Omegas in your skincare.

The third trimester This is a big growth phase, therefore another big hormone boost. Your body is also increasing some of the hormones it will need postpartum. Estrogen and progesterone peak around 32 weeks and your estrogen levels are the highest they will ever be during this trimester—six times higher than before pregnancy.

What you may experience

  • Breakouts are always a threat unfortunately.
  • Melasma (pregnancy mask) may appear or get darker
  • Puffiness

What you can do

  • Please tell me you are using that sunscreen!
  • If you did get melasma, it isn’t too late, as a pigment serum will help stop it get worse.
  • Lymphatic massage to help ease puffiness (see our video on Instagram)

Also, as a side note- these rules below also apply if you are trying to become pregnant, we treat you as if you are pregnant, as you may be pregnant.

What can I do?

  • Facials are great to have and you can have them at any time throughout your pregnancy. There are just some modifications we make if you are pregnant- nothing that changes the great results you can get
  •  Extractions are a great way to go
  • Book a level 3 and we can address any back acne
  • AHA peels are still fine to have. Most of our clients prefer to wait until the 3mth mark, but they are safe to have at any time. AHA’s are great for loosening the build-up of dead skin on the surface that are clogging the pores, as it is only a surface treatment the product cannot penetrate into the blood system so therefore can’t affect your baby. We just need to be careful of any increased sensitivity.
  • LED light therapy is also on the go-ahead list- helps give you the extra glow that you want. Or we can use the blue light if your skin is breaking out badly.
  • You may start to get irritation, therefore changing your homecare to a skincare range like Dermaviduals which has no fragrances, preservatives, emulsifiers and emollients will help keep your skin as calm as possible.
  • Start on a tyrosinase inhibitor to reduce your chances of melasma. And SUNSCREEN!

What shouldn’t I do?

  • Any products containing BHA (salicylic acid) or Vitamin A (retinol) Both these ingredients are designed to penetrate deeper into the skin and have a slight the ability to penetrate into the blood system. Therefore, we say to stay away. These ingredients are found in a lot of acne homecare products.
  • Certain types of peels. The ingredients above-mainly BHA’s- can be found in salon as well, mainly in peels
  • High frequency- A favorite addition of our clients who have acne facials, which when a client is pregnant (or trying) is the 1st thing to go and always faced with dread from our clients who get addicted to it for its amazing results with clearing acne. The alternative though is to add a blue LED light into your treatment. It is a super charged version of high frequency, but safe.
  • Persist with your homecare if you find it irritating as your body has changed, you can go back to it, but worth looking at new products until after you have stopped breastfeeding.

What happens during pregnancy for the most part will disappear after. In salon treatments and changes to your homecare is about minimizing any changes to your skin whilst pregnant, so that then there are no long-term issues like scaring, slight pigmentation or small continued breakouts.

Contact us now for an appointment and let us help.