During pregnancy, there are a series of hormonal changes that affect the skin of women. Some of the consequences may be the appearance of acne, dry skin, and itchy skin during pregnancy. Or there may be an increase in this skin imbalance during those months.
The first thing you have to know is what type of skin you have. It is important that you know several things about it before buying any cream or using a specific product because if not, the results may not be as expected and even cause you an allergic reaction.
The type of skin not only refers to whether it is oily, dry or mixed but to other factors such as the age of the skin, if it has spots, if it is intolerant of any component that contains cosmetic products, atopy, phototype that goes from the I in lighter skins until VI in black people.
If you do not know exactly how your skin is, you can go to a professional center where they will evaluate you and tell you the most appropriate products. In many places, this diagnosis is free.
Changes in skin during pregnancy
As we said, among the many changes that you will experience throughout pregnancy, is the skin change. There are women whose pregnancy beautifies and changes their skin becoming more luminous, smooth and without granites and others the opposite happens.
The same goes for the allergy, which you may have during pregnancy or suffer from it even though you have never had symptoms. Therefore, good skincare will minimize those changes that are otherwise inevitable because they depend on your condition and your genetics.
Among the most common problems that your skin may experience during pregnancy are:
During pregnancy, there are women who have both very dry skin and very oily skin. The skin during pregnancy is more sensitive and it is best to avoid long baths with very hot water. It is advisable to hydrate the skin well at the end of the bath, with creams containing vitamin A and D, so that they increase the luminosity of the skin and give it extra elasticity to cope with stretching during pregnancy. It is very normal that, when the gut begins to grow and its skin to stretch, the woman feels certain itching in the abdomen, and notice the presence of scales due to dry skin. In this case, it is convenient to use specific creams to soothe dry skin and itching.
Acne is another of the most common problems that can appear on your skin during pregnancy. Acne is an inflammatory skin disease that is caused by a bacterial infection. It is due to changes in the pilosebaceous units, the skin structures consisting of a hair follicle and the associated sebaceous gland.
In response, the skin becomes inflamed causing the visible lesion. These skin pimples affect a large number of human beings at some point in their life, especially during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, a woman’s skin is more susceptible to irritation from the use of products such as cosmetics, deodorants and perfumes. For this reason, it is advisable to use neutral soaps or cleaning emulsions appropriate to the skin biotype. The handling of cleaning products should be avoided, as well as the use of moisturizers that contain perfumes or antiseptics that can irritate the skin. On the other hand, the skin during pregnancy has a greater predisposition to develop allergies to jewelry or/and food. In this case, it would be good to observe what type of food or object is causing skin irritations to avoid it.
Stretch marks are those marks that appear on the skin when collagen fibers, elastin and reticulin break the skin after subjecting the body to large changes in weight. Its appearance in pregnancy can occur sooner or later depending on the speed at which you gain pounds and also the genetics. In principle, they are reddish and even purple and in the end, they turn white, which is when they can no longer be removed.
They usually appear on the breasts, legs, buttocks or abdomen in the last trimester of pregnancy but can delay or reduce them with some basic care to prevent them such as good hydration with appropriate cosmetics before they leave, healthy eating and circulation activation blood by draining massages.
However, your doctor or midwife will tell you what you can do to take care of your skin in those areas of the body that are more prone to breakage of the fibers that cause stretch marks.
When to take care of my skin?
If you are pregnant for a few weeks, you probably haven’t experienced any changes in your skin yet. However, although you do not know what is going to affect you and what is not, the professionals who control pregnancies (midwives, gynecologists) usually give you some basic instructions from the first day, you go to a consultation, either in a private center as in Social Security.
As for skincare, care should also be started as soon as possible. Because that way you will avoid or reduce the effects of those aesthetic problems that may affect you later.
For example, in the case of stretch marks or spots, it is important that from the first moment you start to hydrate the skin well and also protect it from the sun. For example, it is summer and you go to the beach or the pool. You never know when symptoms will appear and it is better to prevent them in time.
If your pregnancy is already more advanced and any of the symptoms we have mentioned (spots, itching, acnes) have to be used, you will have to use remedies to calm them or minimize them so that they do not go further.
How to prevent acne during pregnancy
However, there are certain recommendations that we can follow to help keep the face free of pimples, or improve its appearance and prevent the appearance of other skin problems.
- Wash your face and skin areas that are most affected. The accumulation of dead skin cells is one of the causes of acne, so we must keep the skin clean. Two good washes are essential, in the morning and before bedtime, with an oil-free cleansing soap to avoid raising the fatty level of the skin.
- In relation to the previous point, you have to remove make-up before going to sleep. Embedded impurities and clogged pores for many hours, at night when the skin is able to oxygenate better, is harmful.
- However, as far as possible it is necessary to dispense with makeup that clogs the pores of the complexion during the day. In any case, it is convenient to use moisturizer and makeup suitable for oily skin.
- The sunscreen we use during pregnancy should be specific for sensitive skin and that does not contain PABA (paraaminobenzoic acid, a substance that should be avoided in photoprotective products for pregnant women and infants).
- Drinking plenty of water is essential to maintain proper hydration during pregnancy, essential for the health of the mother and the fetus, and minimize skin problems.
- Do not touch the pimples because it worsens their appearance, it could spread the bacteria that causes them and can become infected. Also, stress is one of the possible causes of acne, and that is also not beneficial for the baby.
- In short, proper hydration and special care of the facial skin will help control acne during pregnancy. In addition, let’s think that in a few months it is likely that the state of the skin returns to its usual state, except for some other dark circles that will already have a different motive.
How to prevent dry skin during pregnancy
To avoid the uncomfortable feeling of dryness during pregnancy you can follow these very simple and effective tips that work very well.
1. Use a good humidifier, especially in dry environments.
2. No smoking or drinking alcohol.
3. Drink more water and liquids that do not have caffeine
4. The diet should be balanced and rich in fruits and vegetables. Take them in smoothies, juices, smoothies, raw in salads, grilled, and steamed.
5. Moisturizer is important. It will provide water and the fat that your skin needs to feel calm, hydrated and smooth. If the cream you use regularly does not work for you because you immediately notice dry skin again, you will have to change it for another. You need another cream that gives you that fat film that makes the evaporation of water from the skin slower.
6. Use mild bath soaps/gels or face cleansers that are not very aggressive. And use them sparingly.
7. Do not rub the skin energetically when it is dry. Do it gently.
8. Limit bath or shower time to reduce the disappearance of your skin’s natural fat.
9. Beware the sun. Do not expose yourself to him for a long time and never without using an elevated photo protector. In addition, you will also avoid the dreaded spots on the face and cleavage, so common in pregnant women.
10. Limiting the intake of animal fats will also favor the luminosity of your skin.
11. Clean your face every night. Never lie down without having done a good cleaning.
12. Move! Juicy skin is also achieved by avoiding a sedentary lifestyle. During your pregnancy, moderate exercise will help you a lot.
13. You shouldn’t stress. Exercise will also help you fight it.
What products should I avoid?
Before buying the products, you must know what type of skin you have (dry, oily, acne, atopic …) and from there choose the most suitable ones. Some ingredients of cosmetics are discouraged during pregnancy and therefore, you better avoid them.
Among the most common are:
Chemical products; both in shampoos, dyes, lotions can be harmful. Although there are different opinions about it, if you doubt and want to be sure that you and the baby are fine, it is best to discard them.
Soy: creams or masks with this ingredient, although it is usually used to cover skin blemishes and unify them, in pregnancy, it is discouraged because it is related to the production of steroids and other hormones.
Anti-aging creams with retinol: retinol present in anti-aging creams and also in some indicated for acne is not recommended during this stage as it can have serious effects on the development of the fetus and at birth.
Parabens: it is a very common ingredient in many cosmetic products such as shampoos, softeners, body creams, masks. It can affect endocrine and estrogen hormones so it is better not to use it.
There are other ingredients and compositions in cosmetic products that are contraindicated but to know more exactly what they are it is better to consult with a specialized dermatologist.
Best foods for healthy skin during pregnancy
A good diet is essential not only for the skin but to keep you healthy and strong during all these remaining months. Receiving your baby with optimal health will help you during the first months that are the hardest until you adapt to motherhood.
It is not necessary to eat for two, but you must avoid certain foods that can be harmful as well as the way to cook them (avoid raw meats, unpasteurized milk or cheese, wash fruits and vegetables well). These general tips that you probably already know about feeding during pregnancy can be complemented by the intake of certain products that benefit your skin.
Avocados: They are rich in vitamins A and C and also have monosaturated fats that favor the elasticity of your skin. You can eat them alone, in salads, juices or as you please.
Broccoli: although in general all vegetables are good, although not in excess since many produce gases, especially at night, broccoli contains two large antioxidants(vitamin C and E) that not only protect your skin from UVA rays but that favor the production of collagen.
Carrots and pumpkins: both contain beta-carotene, which helps protect your skin from dryness or sun rays. But they also contain vitamins A and C that favor the production of collagen and elastin.
Green leafy vegetables such as spinach or chard, because their folates keep your skin hydrated in addition to being rich in iron and vitamins A, B and E.
Tropical fruits, such as mango, papaya, pineapple … have plenty of water, as well as vitamin C and antioxidants, so they are also very healthy for the skin during pregnancy.
Fish such as salmon, anchovies or sardines are a great source of Omega 3 that helps strengthen your skin cells, protect it and reduce its inflammation from other external agents.
Nuts such as hazelnuts: although you should not go with the nuts because they can cause you to gain weight, it is occasionally good that you consume hazelnuts either in yogurt, cereals, salads or alone. They have many vitamins among which is vitamin E that is good for nourishing your skin.
In conclusion, you should take good care of yourself inside and out. Those skin problems will most likely disappear when you give birth. The important thing now is to enjoy this moment to receive your baby with joy and the best possible health.