Our skin is just one of the many areas to experience change during pregnancy. The face cream you’ve been using for years can suddenly bring you up in a rash while previously flaky skin can start looking akin to an oil well, add in the changing seasons and it can all get a little confusing. With summer coming to a close and winter marching forward, I asked Advanced Nurse Practitioner and Renowned Skin Expert Marie Dolan, to share her top pregnancy skincare tips to get you through the winter months.
During pregnancy higher levels of androgens, prompt sebaceous glands to become larger increasing the production of an oily substance called sebum. Extra sebum on the skin blocks your pores and creates the perfect environment for bacteria to multiply eventually causing inflammation and acne break outs.
Remember with acne its not so much about what you ‘Do’ but what you ‘Avoid’
*Avoid scrubbing or applying exfolliant scrubs to the skin, this will only irritate the skin further.
*Avoid ‘oil based make up’ and look out for ‘water based’ (non comedogenic) products as they are less likely to clog pores resulting in break outs.
*Avoid harsh skin washes, retinoids and fruit acids which may irritate the skin and more importantly are advocated against in pregnancy, albeit cautious there is no evidence to support the safety of such ingredients.
Dry Flaky Skin
Hormonal changes when pregnant can play havoc with the moisture levels in your skin, resulting in dry, flaky and often itchy skin. Combine pregnancy with the dreaded upcoming winter months and your highly likely to experience increased dryness, flakiness not only on your body, but also on your face – by keeping your skin well-hydrated you will improve the elasticity of the skin and in turn, help the skin restore back to normality once baby has arrived.
A hydrating facial once a week will improve skin hydration, soften the appearance of dry lines and ensure a natural, dewy glow to the skin. I would highly recommend the ‘Skinbreeze Lymphatic drainage treatment and Hydro Mask facial combi’ – This delightful facial will offer intense moisturising properties to replenish skin reduce inflammation and restore a fresh overall glow.
A great weekly home mask is the Hydro Mask that contains collagen. The hydrating mask is a gel-based mask that features rose water, hyaluronic acid and nutrients for a quick burst of deep hydration. Keep the mask in the fridge overnight, apply to the skin, sit back and relax for about 20 minutes or so, the cooling effect is perfect for inflammation and break outs too and skin is left feeling and looking plump.
Pigmentary changes in the skin are quite common during pregnancy; presenting as darkened freckles and yellowish or brown discoloured patches which may become apparent more commonly in the 2nd trimester. The ‘pregnancy mask’ known as ‘cholasma’ may appear on the forehead, mid face, nose and chin. Pregnancy hormones estrogen and progesterone stimulate melanin cells in the skin to produce more pigment which may present as a ‘patchy tan’ on the face.
To reduce the risk and protect your skin, ensure you apply a daily high factor sunblock containing both UVA and UVB. Be sure to also apply SPF even throughout the winter months as the rays that damage the skin and provoke hyperpigmentation can do damage throughout the winter months too!
I would highly recommend the Heliocare advanced range which not only provides protection for your skin but moisturises the skin leaving it feeling silky and soft and contains anti-microbial properties, ideal for acne and anti-inflammatory properties that will reduce the risk of pigmentary changes.
Marie Dolan is a recognised and respected advanced nurse practitioner and skin expert and founder of Define by Marie Dolan situated at 23 Wickham Road, Studley, Warwickshire, B80 7LE Tel: 07772 637458
Have you noticed changes in your skin since becoming pregnant? Share your experience in the comment box below.