Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful experiences a woman can have in her lifetime. But there are huge changes in lifestyle including a lot of sacrifices, discipline, and extra care for herself as every step she takes is passed onto the little one growing inside her.
The skin is one of the largest organs of the body, which not only protects but also directly absorbs creams, ointments, oils, etc. Little do we realize that there is a huge list of ointments, products, and ingredients that can indeed harm the unborn baby. These products are directly absorbed by the skin and have chemicals that can be passed onto the little one. If you happen to see these key names mentioned on the package, or ingredient list please do consult your dermatologist before using during pregnancy, for all you new moms to be.
The festive season is also approaching and your diet, along with your routine will shape your pregnancy to be a successful one, holistically. Below I have shared a list of things that you should avoid during pregnancy.
As a professional in the field, I’d like to highlight the following first:
- Any form of Retinoids – While Vitamin A is used effectively to reduce fine lines or remove scars and freckles. Anti-ageing products contain lower levels of Retinoids – Retin – A (tretinoin) – which can cause birth defects and have been advised against using during pregnancy,
- Accutane –This is again a prescription retinoid that you should avoid if you are pregnant or thinking of pregnancy. . In fact, if you have been using such products, at least keep a gap of 2-3 months, before considering pregnancy.
- Another common ingredient is Salicylic Acid which is used to treat acne. Skin peels and oral medications should be avoided during pregnancy.
- Hydroquinone which is a skin lightener is should also not be used.
- Phthalates are endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in many beauty products.
- Formaldehyde is used as a preservative and disinfectant in beauty products, and it’s a known carcinogen and has increased the risk of infertility and miscarriage.
- Chemical sunscreens like Oxybenzone ultra-violet (UV) – Anything that says waterproof/water resistant should be avoided as they have PFA’s that can cause neurological conditions and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Glycolic Acid in large quantities isn’t safe to use, but small amounts can be used. However please do consult with your dermatologist before use.
Now that we have all the chemical stuff out of the way, what can we do to take care of pregnancy skin?
Well, it is safe to use Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and Green Tea.
Dry skin and stretch marks are one of the most commonly known problems, drinking plenty of water, and liquids that are not too sweet are highly recommended.
Using a light daily moisturizer that has natural organic ingredients like Almond oil, Coconut oil, and Olive oil-based.
Fresh air instead of air conditioners as well.
Wear pure cotton innerwear and loose comfortable cotton clothing. Remember you are growing every minute, and your skin needs to breathe, and not be restricted in any way.
Sitting in one place and crossing the legs is highly avoidable and can cause a lack of circulation, varicose veins, and broken arteries.
Due to the hormonal changes, and surge of female hormones, (estrogen and progesterone), the skin tends to darken. So, you will notice moles, spots, freckles, etc. on your body, nipples, genitalia area, and armpits may darken. The good news is you can just use moisturizer and not get worried too much, as when the pregnancy is over, the pigment resolves after delivery.
Stretch marks can also be reduced if you use a pregnancy cream all around the back and tummy, gentle massage from the day you know you are pregnant. Mind you, this is a very important ritual that takes a little time. Being a mother myself I suggest you being generous with the cream, and also apply it on the upper thighs, buttocks, and arms, allow to soak for ten minutes, post which you can get dressed. The wonder cream that worked for me, was Stretchnil, with natural ingredients, and non-sticky. I have also mentioned a list of options that you can choose from.
Some women get rashes, eczema, acne, psoriasis, and fungal infections. Best ways to gently cleanse the skin with mild, and less greasy products.
Honestly, The best part of the pregnancy was the thick hair growth, and pink cheeks, due to the increased estrogen levels, luckily, I had no hair fall, but some women experience shedding after delivery. Have a good diet with nourishing food, avoiding everything that has preservatives. Lots of Fruits, Coconut water, Fresh juices, Stir-fry vegetables, and Lean meats to keep the skin healthy!
Tips for daily skincare:
- Avoid the direct hot sun. Wear a hat if you’re going out. Use special sunblock for pregnancy if you’re the sporty type. Avoid too much product on the face.
- Use a mild face wash and shower gel. Avoid scrubs and bubble baths. I recommend moisturizing natural soap bars like almond, honey, or argan oil, depending on your skin type.
- Wear a light moisturizer that is non-sticky.
- Wear cotton stretchy innerwear and maternity panties for gentle support for the baby bump!
- Do gentle yoga stretches designed for pregnancy. Avoid sudden jerks, overstretching, lifting weights, and over-exerting.
- Use a mild everyday shampoo and keep yourself fresh and clean.
- Use natural moisturizing underarm creams, avoiding antiperspirants and sprays that may darken your skin.
- For skin problems visit your dermatologist.
- Take your daily vitamins and calcium.
- Avoid eating products that have a lot of yeast (bread, noodles, maida).
- Sleep well!! The best skincare tip of all.
- Avoid over-eating eat for one but eat nourishing meals.
- Always be happy – dress up, wear flowing clothes that take the attention away from the huge belly.
- Do up your hair and wear a little make-up when you go out, a light moisturizing tinted foundation, light powder, eyeliner/kajal, lip tint, and make sure these products are chemical-free, organic, or ayurvedic.
This is the best time of your life, awaiting the arrival of your newborn baby, so read inspiring books, sing to your baby, be happy, laugh, and have fun. All these activities will ensure glowing skin, and a glowing you.