With pregnancy comes a whole new world of daunting do’s and don’ts and that even stretches as far as what you can put on your skin. It makes a lot of sense, considering that the things you apply topically can be absorbed into your body and therefore potentially be transferred to your baby. Read on as we outline the skincare that’s safe to use during pregnancy and while nursing, and what’s best to avoid, as well as some alternatives for keeping hormonal issues at bay.
What To Avoid
We recommend stripping back your skincare routine during pregnancy, especially the first 12 weeks, and steering clear of anything that contains highly concentrated actives or essential oils and sticking to more inert skincare that will help to keep skin cleansed, nourished and hydrated throughout your pregnancy.
As ever with pregnancy, if you’re worried or unsure it’s worth consulting your GP or midwife to discuss any specific concerns or queries you may have.
This includes any skincare that contains retinol or vitamin A, which work to speed up cell division and prevent the breakdown of collagen. Retinoids are most commonly found in serums and moisturisers and they help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and improve skin tone and texture. Products that contain a high percentage (around 1%) are best avoided during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester when the baby is forming, as the impact on the growing foetus is so far unknown. If you’re looking to plump and firm skin during pregnancy, look for products containing hydrating hyaluronic acid and firming vitamin C – both of which are safe to use throughout your pregnancy.
Often found in cleansers, toners and moisturisers this gentle exfoliant is used to target blemish-prone skin as it works to dry out excess oil and slough away dead skin cells clogging up pores on the surface. When used in high concentrations (greater than 2%) salicylic is considered a risk during pregnancy and nursing, however less than 2% is considered safe and is an effective ingredient when it comes to fighting hormonal breakouts. If you would prefer to avoid using salicylic altogether you could consider using AHAs such as glycolic or lactic acid, which work to dissolve the bonds that hold dead cells onto the surface of skin.
If you’re planning on a baby moon to warmer shores or simply exposing your bump in the garden over the summer you’ll need to reach for the SPF. You may notice that your skin becomes sensitised during pregnancy and is more susceptible to pigmentation, giving you even more reason to protect your skin from UV rays. If you are suffering from sensitivity, we recommend opting for sunscreens with gentle mineral actives such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. This goes for both your face and body.
How To Look After Your Bump
During pregnancy your skin stretches as your bump and breasts grow, so maintaining skin’s elasticity is more important than ever. Dedicated entirely to pregnancy skincare, Mama Mio offers a complete range of high-quality, skincare that’s totally safe to use during pregnancy and while nursing. Their no-nasties formulas are specifically designed to boost elasticity, prevent stretch marks and generally support skin as it swells and decreases during your 40- week journey and beyond.
We recommend the bestselling Tummy Rub Oil made using an organic blend of avocado, sweet almond and coconut oils. Its non-greasy texture instantly absorbs into skin and makes for a luxurious massage moment, which is a really lovely way to start building a relationship with your baby. The light, citrusy fragrance adds to the whole experience.
How To Keep Your Calm
Pregnancy can be a very nervous, anxious and stressful time, but it’s important for both your own health and that of your baby to remain as relaxed as possible. Here are a few tips to help you instil a sense of calm early on.
Take A Bath
A soak in the tub after a busy day is a great way to relieve and soothe aching joints and muscles. Just make sure the water isn’t too hot, we recommend keeping the water below 100 degrees, especially during your first trimester, as temperatures above body temperature might reduce blood flow to the baby and cause stress. Another way to ensure you don’t over heat is to only half fill the bath half full so your bump isn’t completely submerged.
Light A Candle
Scented candles are an instant game-changer when it comes to mood shifting or relieving tension. During pregnancy, you may notice that your sense of smell becomes heightened and your tolerance to unpleasant smells becomes strained so filling your living space with delicious aromas is a sure-fire way to help you relax and feel at home. We love Jo Loves White Rose & Lemon Leaves and Diptyque Lys.
Book A Massage
Pre-natal massages are a great way to relieve muscle tension and stress as you become heavier and begin to suffer from weight-induced aches and pains. Most professional spas and salons will offer a pregnancy specific treatment, which will include pregnancy safe oils and a comfy pillow or bean bag for you to sink into on your side while they work around your bump. Just speak to your therapist first to ensure you get the right treatment for you.