Ah, the topic of prenatal and postnatal skin care: there is so much to unpack!
That is exactly why today’s blog is entirely dedicated to perinatal challenges, precautions, and care. Bookmark this page today as a handy reference for the next time you catch yourself pondering what skin care is recommended vs. what skin care is not when you are pregnant or breastfeeding!
Firstly: The Facts Behind Perinatal Challenges
While some women experience the best skin of their lives during pregnancy (often hailed as that sought-after “pregnancy glow!”, others, due to hormonal changes, grapple with concerns such as acne, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, and melasma.
These concerns may begin as early as the first trimester of pregnancy and persist into breastfeeding. Inflammation in particular tends to start sooner rather than later, what with your body’s resources being focused on growing your baby vs. on yourself… making it a recipe for surface inflammation to rear its head in multiple visible ways!
The good news? You’re not alone. In fact, these concerns are so common that it would be rare not to witness any during pregnancy! The bad news? Because emotions run so high during pregnancy (thanks again, hormonal changes) common skin imperfections , such as pigmentation or blemishes, distress many expectant mothers. This is especially true when products they have relied on in the past suddenly cannot be tolerated or even cause further skin strain.
While the logical next step may be to seek active corrective treatments both in-home and professionally, taking an aggressive stance on skin care might, in fact, further aggravate the skin. Instead, go with…
What a Professional Would Recommend for Treating Prenatal and Postnatal Skin Challenges
- Product recommendations include the TiZO Mineral Sunscreen line and the jane iredale Dry Sunscreen line, both of which are chemical-free, acne-friendly, and available in multiple shades.Keep it simple: Rather than tackling hormonal-based skin concerns with over-drying or invasive treatments, instead treat the skin to some much-needed TLC. This includes using a gentle cleanser both AM and PM; incorporating hydrating serums containing both antioxidants and hyaluronic acid for long-lasting hydration (which is especially important during breastfeeding, when it becomes a constant battle to maintain proper hydration levels); applying a moisturizer that helps to seal in said hydration daily; utilizing a mineral-based sunscreen with zinc oxide to help soothe skin sensitivities; and treating yourself to a cooling mask to relieve redness and reduce the look of blemishes.
- Opt for Professional Facials and Skin Treatments: As long as they are gentle and non-invasive, professional facials and skin treatments can be a relaxing and beneficial treat for your skin during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding. Here at Facial Expressions, the Calm FX – Pure Comfort Facial is specifically designed to relieve redness, smooth rough texture, and nourish depleted skin with zero downtime or discomfort. Perfect for new moms and moms-to-be!
What to Be Cognizant of When Using Perinatal Skin Care
During both pregnancy and lactation, the body’s resources are dedicated to nourishing and growing the baby… which makes it so that it does not respond effectively to skin-rejuvenation demands!
Due to this, and toxicity concerns, it is advised to avoid the following ingredients when both prenatal and postnatal: benzoyl peroxide, hydroquinone, and high concentrations of retinoic, salicylic, and glycolic acids. While evidence-based data on how these ingredients interact during pregnancy is limited, it is always advisable to err on the side of caution! When in doubt, please consult your resident skin care professional.
Pro tip: Seeking a retinol product that is safe for perinatal skin care use? Dr. Des Fernandez, the founder of skin care line Environ, has stated that our skin does not contain the enzyme necessary to transport topical vitamin A to the bloodstream, where it would be a cause for concern. As such, using a low-level topical vitamin A is deemed as safe. Facial Expressions recommends that if you choose to continue with your vitamin A products, that you revert down to the lowest levels, such as Environ’s Skin EssentiA AVST 1.
Seeking Prenatal or Postnatal Skin Care Services or Solutions?
Every pregnancy is different. Reach out today to either book your first (or next!) service or have your prenatal or postnatal-related skin care questions answered.