Your Guide To Pregnancy Skincare
Here’s what happens to your skin when you’re pregnant and how to care for it the right way
What is pregnancy skincare?
When you're pregnant your skin is subjected to an influx of hormones and that can simply wreak havoc on the state of an otherwise balanced complexion. You’ve undoubtedly heard of the radiant glow that often occurs when you’re expecting a baby but it’s not always the case. Many women have to deal with problematic skin caused by an overload of hormones – we’re talking adult acne, a more heightened skin sensitivity and patches of melasma (pigmentation) which is often referred to as a ‘pregnancy mask’.
Why do we need to use different skincare products when pregnant?
There are two reasons why you should consider changing your skincare routine when you’re expecting a baby. The first is that there are certain skincare ingredients that you must avoid. Second of all, due to the hormonal changes happening, your skin changes a lot so you might have drier, more sensitive or more oily skin than normal and you’ll need to address these new concerns with the right products and safe-for-pregnancy ingredients to bring skin back into balance.
What ingredients should you avoid when pregnant?
There are many ingredients that are advised against using in pregnancy including certain essential oils, retinoids, salicylic acid and hydroquinone as they are either known to cause harm to a developing baby or haven’t been studied well enough to be deemed safe to use. While a Korean skincare routine generally focuses on nourishing, soothing and calming it’s still important to ensure your product picks do not include any of the aforementioned ingredients.
How does skin change when you’re pregnant?
As mentioned above, the wave of new hormones that occur when you’re expecting can cause your skin to change in texture, tone and type and bring up a whole host of new concerns. We’ve outlined the most common below as well as the ways and products to treat them best.
1. The mask of pregnancy
Your skin not only becomes more sensitive to sunlight (and therefore is at a greater risk of pigmentation) but it also gets flooded with pigment-stimulating hormones which can contribute to the appearance of melasma. Melasma is a patch of pigmentation that shows up on the face. It generally fades post-partum but for some people it can linger long past birth. Look to gentle pigmentation-busting ingredients such as niacinamide, arbutin and vitamin C which can all help to reduce the risk of developing hyperpigmentation over the nine months and beyond.
One Thing Niacinamide 10%
Pure niacinamide (or vitamin B3) works to refine pores, balance skin, reduce redness and brighten for a softer, more luminous complexion overall.
Beauty of Joseon Light On Serum: Centella + Vita C
This serum uses a less irritating form of Vitamin C to restore skin’s luminosity together with skin soothing centella asiatica to prevent irritation.
Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop
This transforms your skin with a heavy helping of pure Vitamin C packed with soothing centella asiatica and lavender oil to keep any irritation at bay.
ISOI Blemish Care Up Serum
Packed with arbutin, it fades darks spots and prevents them from forming in the first place coupled with nourishing bulgarian rose otto oil and anti-inflammatory baobab tree extract.
2. Overly sensitive skin and redness
The amount of blood in your body increases when you’re pregnant which can greatly affect the small blood vessels in your face. The result? More visible redness, spider veins, hot flushes and a heightened sensitivity are all par for the course. Plus, if you’re prone to certain skin conditions such as eczema or rosacea, pregnancy can trigger them too. Aim for incorporating soothing, calming and nourishing ingredients such as probiotics and centella asiatica to ease inflammation and reduce redness.
By Wishtrend Pro-Biome Balance Cream
This moisturiser is packed with probiotics to strengthen the skin barrier while hydrating skin at the same time. It’s also got soothing, anti-inflammatory propolis to help calm sensitive skin types.
ISOI Cicago Cica Speedy Calming Pads
These instant skin SOS pads do exactly what the name says – they get to work fast to instantly calm, soothe, and reduce redness and irritation thanks to two classic K-beauty ingredients, Centella Asiatica and Panthenol.
TOCOBO Bifida Biome essence
Probiotics strengthen the skin barrier while hydrating at the same time and are paired with Bifida Biome, which soothes skin that’s irritated easily for an extremely soothing formula.
3. Hormonal breakouts
More hormones can mean more oil production and breakouts especially in areas such as your chin, jawline and cheeks. It’s key here to stay away from retinol and BHAs but gentle AHAs to softly exfoliate the surface of the skin and help increase cell turnover are fine to use when pregnant. Look to pore-purging clay-based cleansers too, to help minimise breakouts and blackheads.
By Wishtrend Mandelic Acid 5% Prep Water
This toner uses sensitive-skin friendly mandelic acid to slough away dead skin cells and debris on the surface while soothing and hydrating skin at the same time with Centella Asiatica extract, Panthenol and Sodium Hyaluronate (a form of HA).
Klairs Gentle Black Fresh Cleansing Oil
A spot-clearing cleanser is a staple for those prone to breakouts but it’s this sebum-regulating oil formula that offers a new twist with both nourishing and pore-clearing ingredients for skin that feels supple not taut post-cleanse.
TOCOBO Coconut Clay Cleansing Foam
If you like your cleanser to have grime-grabbing oomph try this two-in-one pore purifier. It goes on as a pore-purging Bentonite and Pink Clay mask to that absorbs oil and tightens pores without overdyring skin.
4. Dry or dehydrated skin
If you don’t experience more oil and breakouts, the opposite can also be true when it comes to pregnancy skin – hormones can robe your skin of moisture and elasticity which is why dryness and dehydration is often a big concern. Layer on a lot of lightweight hydrating layers and look to humectants like hyaluronic acid and panthenol that will draw water from the air to your skin and keep it there as well as barrier-replenishing ceramides.
Dr. Ceuracle’s Hyal Reyouth Night Cream
This silky moisturiser offers a nourishing and protective mix of niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and panthenol to thoroughly calm and hydrate dehydrated skin.
Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream
As the brand’s first product, this cream is packed with amino acid-rich rice bran water and works to brighten, smooth, hydrate and balance skin that’s out of sorts.
TOCOBO Multi-Ceramide Cream
This sink-into-skin formula offers all the hydrating, repairing goodness of a cocooning moisturiser and is spiked with barrier-repairing ceramides to keep skin plump, hydrated and glowing.