From your head to your toes, every part of your body changes during pregnancy- especially your skin. Skin conditions experienced by pregnant women range from stretch marks and rashes to melasma, and in some cases, these skin conditions can cause pregnant women some discomfort. Luckily, most of these skin issues will resolve themselves after delivery; however, here are a few ways to treat common skincare problems with pregnancy-safe products.
If a pregnant woman develops melasma, she experiences darkening of the skin on her face due to hormonal imbalances. While makeup and concealers can camouflage the dark spots, wearing sunscreen will prevent further darkening, and soy-based sunscreens can lighten the skin.
Stretch marks are another common skin issue, affecting 90% of pregnant women during the sixth or seventh month. While research is inconclusive on how to best manage stretch marks, moisturizer can improve the appearance and reduce itchiness; it’s also possible that topical creams with glycolic acid and/or green tea may be effective.
For itchy skin and rashes, pregnant women can relieve their discomfort by using over-the-counter moisturizers, as long as they’re fragrance-free. Puffiness in the eyes and face is easily treated at home with ice or cold packs. Finally, acne can be improved with regular face-washing and pregnancy-safe over-the-counter products, as long as these products don’t contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or retinoids.
In general, pregnant women should be sure to avoid using skincare products with retinoids and/or salicylic acid. Both of these skincare product ingredients have linked to birth defects and pregnancy complications, meaning it’s safer not to use them at all.