Dear mothers and mothers-to-be,
Have you ever watched all those Hollywood movies?
You know what I’m talking about. Those movies where all the women look so glamorous while pregnant. They drink kale smoothies and take yoga classes. They go shopping with their baby strollers. They’re practically glowing and literally radiating happiness.
And you can’t help but to imagine and hope that you’ll also look like this when you’re pregnant.
Well, the reality is, pregnancy isn’t so glamorous for most of us.
Aside from the must-eat-everything crave, coupled with nausea, peeing-every-5-minutes, your pants which won't button up, and mood swings, you also have to deal with many changes in your skin. And most of the time, these changes aren’t pretty.
5 Common Skin Changes You Can Expect During Your Pregnancy
When you’re pregnant, your blood flow is increased, and your skin will produce more oil. That’s the reason why some women experience that “pregnancy glow”. But because of that excess of oil, you may develop acne.
The solution is to keep the skin clean, without stripping it of its natural sebum. Also, you should frequently exfoliate. But you should only use a gentle exfoliator. Since your skin is already sensitive, you don’t want to irritate it even more.
During your pregnancy, your body will naturally increase the amount of melanin in your skin. This is the reason why there are areas of darkened spots on your skin, especially on the face.
To minimize this, avoid exposing your skin to the sun for too long. And if you do, make sure to light, protective clothing (like a linen shirt with long sleeves and collar for example) as well as a hat to help shade your face, neck, and decollete.
And don't forget to use antioxidant-rich products that contain Vitamin C like our Fullmoon Serum to lighten up your dark spots and even out the skin tone.
So you’ve probably already heard that stretch marks and pregnancy go hand in hand. And obvi, most of these stretch marks will be on your belly, since that’s where your bundle of joy is camping out.
But did you know, these stripes can also appear on your breasts, buttocks, and thighs? It’s true. Stretch marks can appear in any place where your skin is stretched out rapidly.
Sadly, no amount of cream or lotion can prevent and erase these stretch marks but using a light, absorbent body oil can help reduce skin irritation and add elasticity to your stretched out skin. Luckily, most marks slowly fade away after you’ve given birth.
Spider veins are tiny red and purple veins that appear on your face, neck, and arms. They are caused by the hormonal changes and the increase in blood volume when you’re pregnant.
These are large, raised, and swollen blood vessels that will mostly be under the skin in your legs – making that area seem “bumpy”. They’re caused by the weight and pressure of the uterus pressing down on the veins.
Short of a visit to your Derm for a laser treatment, both of these types of veins tend to fade away once your pregnancy is over. Phew.
Why does your skin change during pregnancy?
Mostly, it’s those pregnancy hormones. Your body produces more estrogen and progesterone hormones. These are the hormones that are normally a part of your menstrual cycle.
But there’s more...
Your body also produces a special pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin. These hormones are responsible for many changes in your body during this time, including the 5 common skin changes we just talked about.
At what point during the pregnancy do skin changes start?
Short answer: It depends.
Some women experience them as early as the first trimester. While for other women, these skin changes don’t show up until the second or even the third trimester. But no matter what, these are all things that you must go through when you’re pregnant.
Also, changes may vary from person to person.
While some women may experience the full shebang – rashes, redness, acne, and discolorations, some may get away with just a few pimples.
The good thing is, most of your skin symptoms will disappear within weeks of delivery. Others, like skin tags, may be more stubborn and won’t go away. So talk to your MD, Naturopathic, and/or Ayurvedic doctor if they're bothering you.
Speaking of treatments…
There are many things you must watch out for when you’re pregnant, and that includes skincare. Here are 3 skincare ingredients you need to be cautious of during your pregnancy:
Essentially, it bleaches the skin, which is helpful for dealing with hyperpigmentation. You might be tempted to use a product that contains this ingredient to deal with your dark spots - but be careful.
We all know the importance of protecting and moisturizing our skin against the rays, especially while pregnant.
A safer, more eco conscious choice in terms of protection from the elements, would be a mineral-infused moisturizer, like our Face Glow which is rich in soothing and protective zinc and titanium dioxide.
That said, if you’re using a skin cream or serum that is a retinol-based, you may want to take caution, as most doctors advise pregnant women to avoid them, just to be safe.