Friday 10 February 2023

Pregnancy | A Dermatologist's Skincare Guide

"How do I look after my skin during pregnancy?" is a question every woman will ask herself at some stage during her pregnancy. This is because hormones, though famous for playing havoc with our skin throughout our lifetime, cause the most destruction during pregnancy. Of course, some women are luckily enough to get the gorgeous ‘glow’, however some aren’t so lucky and have to handle adult acne, heightened skin sensitivity, and pigmentation. This is made worst by the fact some skincare ingredients and treatments are off limits; due to the risk they pose to the baby...

Pregnancy skincare is a minefield, so Dr Tiina Meder - dermatologist, cardiologist, and founder of Meder Beauty Science - has provided information on what products, ingredients, and treatments should be avoided during pregnancy...

Skincare | What to Avoid During Pregnancy

1. Systemic retinoids (particularly Roaccutane) used in acne treatments are strictly forbidden during pregnancy, so much so that dermatologists advise women not to plan a pregnancy for the whole duration of therapy.

2. Injectables will have to wait too. Botulinum toxin, fillers, and bio revitalisation are officially forbidden from being administered to pregnant women in all countries of the world.

3. Machine treatments, whether high-intensity or energy-assisted methods, should be avoided. Laser resurfacing, RF liftings, and, of course, cryolipolysis, should also be avoided during pregnancy.

4. Skincare products formulated with retinol derivatives are not recommended. There is no definitive proof of any negative effects yet, however it has been suggested that retinol derivatives may pose a risk of harm, however minor, to the embryo.

5. Whitening and brightening solutions with hydroquinone are safe to use during pregnancy and won’t harm the foetus. However, skin can become more sensitive during pregnancy, increasing the risk of side effects and complications from these treatments.

6. Salicylic acid is also safe to use during pregnancy and won’t harm the foetus. However, like hydroquinone, salicylic acid is not recommended either, for the same reason. Salicylic acid can be found in many skincare products, including body care, so be sure to read a product’s ingredients list before use.

7. The jury is still out on glycolic acid, with some dermatologists recommending it be avoided during pregnancy. However, this doesn’t mean all AHAs need to be avoided! Citric and lactic acids, for example, are safe to use during pregnancy.

8. Although natural, there are several essential oils that should be used with caution during pregnancy. The agents they contain have small molecular weight and high volatility, so they may affect the body as a whole. Many essential oils increase the skin’s sensitivity to UV, which isn’t great considering the risk of pigmentation is higher during pregnancy.

9. Camphor, peppermint extract, and mint oil are also not recommended during pregnancy, especially for those late in pregnancy or those with an increased risk of miscarriage. These ingredients are perfectly safe for use outside of pregnancy, however pregnant women should ensure skincare products are free of these ingredients before using them.

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