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Pregnancy and Skincare by Dr.Raj Arora

Young female doctor with long dark hair

Common pregnancy skincare problems include hyperpigmentation/melasma (known as the “pregnancy mask”), hormonal breakouts/acne and dry skin. The skin may also become more sensitive and easily irritated by certain skincare products. These are largely down to the hormonal changes, changes to blood vessels and the immune system that take place in pregnancy leading to either oilier skin, more dry/sensitive skin or areas of pigmentation. Dr.Raj Arora shares her thoughts on skincare during pregnancy and what you should consider using and avoiding! 

What active ingredients are safe to use in pregnancy?

  • Mineral based sunscreens (physical sunscreens) – helps protect skin from UV rays and also helps prevent melasma/hyperpigmentation
  • Vitamin C serum – helps protect skin from antioxidants and can help brighten the skin
  • Azelaic Acid – can help reduce inflammation and reduce hyperpigmentation. A safe treatment for acne and hormonal breakouts during pregnancy
  • Hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, niacinamides and peptides are also safe to use in pregnancy

What active ingredients do you need to avoid? 

Vitamin A based products such as retinols, retinoids and harsh exfoliating acids should be avoided in pregnancy. Active lightening ingredients such as hydroquinone should also be avoided. This is because there is limited research to clearly indicate the impact these ingredients may have on the baby. It is also thought that ingredients like retinol or hydroquinone may pass more readily through the placenta to the fetus and therefore may pose a risk. It is best to stick with well known and researched pregnancy safe ingredients. 

How best to treat spots without using lots of ingredients? 

I would suggest using azelaic acid or a gentle exfoliating acid such as lactic acid (Always consult your skin doctor first) and in some cases a salicylic acid cleanser (not a stay on treatment) may also be helpful. 

What Skincare concerns during pregnancy can FOREO treat and with what products?

I would highly recommend the LUNA 4 device to help cleanse the skin, remove excess oil, dirt and grime from the skin. This will help to prevent acne and hormonal breakouts. The device is silicone and ultra gentle for sensitive skin during pregnancy but still gives incredible results. I would also recommend the UFO device, a gentle at-home facial and you can pair it up with a hydrating mask – coconut oil if the skin is very dry or H20 overdose (hyaluronic acid) to keep the skin hydrated. The device also uses a spectrum of gentle LED light therapy so you can choose green light to keep blemishes at bay and red light for rejuvenation.  

Should you use the devices as often when pregnant?

The LUNA cleansing device can be used twice a day and using it frequently is completely safe. I would recommend the UFO once a week as it does have gentle LED light therapy – if the skin is sensitive during pregnancy then once a week will be sufficient. 

What changes in your skin should you be aware of during pregnancy?

Pregnancy can lead to hormonal changes.  This can lead to skin changes such as skin that is more sensitive than usual, more irritated skin and skin that may break out more easily.  

What are the main problems that pregnant women face with their skin? Breakouts, pigmentation etc? 

Main problems can present in the skin as breakouts, blemishes/pigmentation, irritated skin and also dry skin. There are also specific pregnancy-related rashes that can appear on the face and body as a result of changes in the immune system. If you are concerned about your skin, always see your doctor for advice before trying any products/devices.

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