A. Congratulations on your new blessing, Allison! What an exciting time for you. I’m sure you have many questions from all the changes that will be happening to the baby’s gender to what is safe and what is not safe during pregnancy. I recommend my patients take the most conservative approach to their skin care during their pregnancy. While this can make for a long nine months for you filled with acne, brown spots and wrinkles, it is the safest approach and well worth the temporary annoyances for a healthy baby. Ultimately, you will want to check with your physician or obstetrician if you have any questions about a certain skin care product’s safety.
First, Allison, discontinue the use of any retinoids or retinols including Retin-A® and Differin® that you may be using for wrinkles or acne. You will also want to stop using anything with benzoyl peroxide or anything with acids in it such as salicylic acid as well as hydroquinone for the lightening of brown spots. So, then, what can you use? I recommend you stick to a gentle cleanser, alcohol free toner, Vitamin C serum and sunscreen. The sunscreen will not only protect your skin from skin cancer and wrinkles, but it will also help prevent any pregnancy mask or melasma you might develop as your hormones change from getting worse. One tool sure to be your best friend for your pregnant skin is a sonic cleansing brush like the Clarisonic®. Since you are limited on the products you can use to exfoliate your skin, this handy gadget will help remove six times more dirt, oil, makeup and blackheads than just cleansing with your hands can do.
While any kind of laser treatment is off limits during your pregnancy and breastfeeding, vibradermabrasion, a version of microdermabrasion, might be a good option for those pregnancy pimples. Vibradermabrasion uses a vibrating surface that removes the top layer of the epidermis leaving the skin supple and vibrant. This treatment will help provide significant improvements in skin tone, texture and clarity.
Finally, using a high quality mineral makeup like jane iredale® will not only help to completely cover up any imperfections without irritation or further skin issues, but it will also help to calm your skin. Just be careful to select a product that is both noncomedogenic and free from the ingredient bismuth oxychloride as these can contribute to problematic skin.
All of these products and treatments are best from a medical practice such as a dermatologist, plastic surgeon or medical spa as the ingredients are higher quality, proven effective and safe and backed by clinical research.
Enjoy this special time in your life, Allison, and try not to worry about your skin looking perfect and focus on a healthy baby.