Despite the final outcome delivering the greatest gift of all, there are a lot of things to give up during a pregnancy. From sashimi and spicy margaritas to retinol and Botox, it’s hard to keep track of what you can and can’t enjoy over the nine month period.
And while we can’t assist you in naming every soft cheese to give a wide berth (excuse the pun), we can point you in the right direction of the skin care treatments and ingredients to sub out (and in) over the course of your pregnancy.
As if swelling ankles, nausea, and back pain weren’t enough, pregnancy can often lead to acne, melasma, and pigmentation. Which is why omitting one brightening or acne-fighting ingredient from your regimen may call for it to be replaced with another gentle and pregnancy-safe alternative.
So, to remove the guesswork from pregnancy skin care and kick your pregnancy glow into gear, here are the skin care ingredients you can and can’t use:
Botox and fillers. Even though the effects of Botox on a fetus have not been extensively studied (and we do not expect them to be, for obvious reasons), there is a very real possibility that birth defects could occur.
Switch to: Hyaluronic acid. With deep hydration, you’ll plump out thirsty skin and fill in fine lines. Better yet? The plumping and swelling of our cheeks and lips during pregnancy produce a natural Botox and filler effect.
bh loves: La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Anti-Ageing Serum, $69.95 at Adore Beauty, CeraVe Foaming Cleanser, $14.99 at Chemist Warehouse
Salicylic acid. This acne-fighting BHA is typically recommended to be excluded from any pregnancy skin care routine, both oral and topical. While some doctors deem anything less than two percent to be safe, you should always consult your own physician first.
Switch to: Mandelic or lactic acid. Both AHA exfoliators will effectively resurface and slough away dead skin, however are far gentler than salicylic acid.
bh recommends: Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment, $121 at MECCA
Retin-A and retinol. As a vitamin A derivative, this active ingredient is commonly used for its anti-ageing and acne-fighting properties, and while it’s one of our most-loved ingredients, it’s not safe for pregnancy.
Switch to: Azelaic acid. As well as keeping hyperpigmentation in check, it also controls hormonal breakouts.
Chemical sunscreen. Although the rules around sunscreens aren’t entirely black and white, chemical sunscreens work by being absorbed into our skin, therefore posing a risk of getting into our bloodstream. In general, SPF products containing oxybenzone are to be avoided since they may interfere with hormonal function and cause allergic reactions.
Switch to: Physical/mineral sunscreen. Instead of being absorbed into the skin, these sunscreens sit on the surface and redirect UV rays, causing fewer reactions and sensitivities.
Hydroquinone. Known to lighten dark spots and pigmentation, this chemical ingredient has not been approved for use during pregnancy.
Switch to: Vitamin C. When applied topically, a vitamin C serum is a safe and effective method to brighten skin, minimise pigmentation and boost collagen production.
bh loves: Alpha-H Vitamin C, $79.95 currently $60.76 at Adore Beauty
Main image credit: @ashleygraham
Do you have any pregnancy skin tips of your own?