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Dermatologist’s Tips: How To Care For Your Skin During Pregnancy

Dermatologist Dr. Enrizza shares her knowledge on the changes our skin goes through during pregnancy

Written By:
Dr. Enrizza
Dermatologist’s Tips: How To Care For Your Skin During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, our body goes through a series of changes in our hormonal, metabolic, and immune systems. The combination of all these changes can be dramatically visible on our skin.

Common Skin Concerns During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, our body goes through a series of changes in our hormonal, metabolic, and immune systems. The combination of all these changes can be dramatically visible on our skin. Hyperpigmentation or changes to our skin tone are the most common changes during pregnancy.

From the Linea nigra, the long, dark, vertical stretch mark on the belly to melasma: blotchy facial hyperpigmentation, these skin changes are signature to pregnancy. In fact, at least 70% of pregnant women deal with melasma.

Fortunately, with high quality skin care and consistent TLC, the Linea nigra is typically reversible and so is facial melasma.

However, the most common skin change that is not so reversible is stretch marks. Moreover, due to the hormonal changes during pregnancy, some women develop acne during pregnancy.

Although pregnant women may not use certain skin care ingredients, there are still acne fighting ingredients that are pregnancy safe.

To learn more, see our article on pregnancy safe acne fighting ingredients. On the other hand, pruritus or itching is also a common complaint during pregnancy.

This is natural as we are prone to sweating more during pregnancy from the slight increase in core body temperature from hormonal changes.

For skin dryness or itchiness during pregnancy, no need for any particular body lotions or products marketed toward pregnant women. It’s best to treat this with high quality, natural lotions and regularly indulge in a refreshing shower or a bath full of mineral-rich salts.

Which Ingredients To Generally Avoid

During pregnancy, I generally recommend to patients to keep things simple and to try minimizing the number of products applied.

No need to get rid of your skin care routine, with high quality products, less is more.

Generally, I recommend staying away from topical retinoids. In medical research literature, using topical retinoids may not show a direct effect on the baby, but there is no harm in holding off for the time being while pregnant.

I also recommend, when needed, using sunblock and avoiding excessive sun exposure.

For pregnant women, I also discourage the use of skin care products with salicylic acid to avoid salicylism.

Although it takes an unusually strong concentration or excessive application on a large body surface to cause any harmful effects, we prefer to err on the side of caution.

Key Ingredients For Skin And Hair Care During Pregnancy

There are countless products marketed specifically toward pregnant women during this time of many changes.

It can be easy to be overwhelmed by these visible skin changes and rely on brands/companies to provide the perfect product. Nevertheless, I still recommend that it is best to keep your skin care and hair care routines simple.

During pregnancy, hair care is as simple as a shampoo and a conditioner.

Try to avoid highly fragrant shampoos as it can also cause allergic contact dermatitis or can trigger acne to develop. 

Skin care is very important during this time as the changes in the body can affect the mental wellbeing of pregnant women.

For dry skin, I highly recommend use of moisturizers with ceramides and/or colloidal oatmeal to keep the skin barrier supple and hydrated.

If you are pregnant and dealing with acne, instead of harsh retinoids, you can use gentler azelaic acid gels or low dose alpha hydroxy acid based exfoliating products.

These gentle yet effective exfoliants help smooth and brighten the skin. Pregnancy is only temporary and so are many of these skin changes. The safety of your baby is of utmost importance. 

Remember that you are beautiful regardless of a pimple or stretch mark.

Pregnancy is a blessing that does not come easily to all. It is amazing what your body is capable of and we want to nurture ourselves through these changes.

Our promise

Healthy is beautiful and beauty should never cost us our health. Let's face the truth: women are the beauty industry's most important customers but we're not getting the VIP treatment we deserve. Research shows that toxic chemicals present in many skincare products can interfere with our hormonal health. With the lack of regulation in the beauty industry it's up to us to call out these toxic chemicals in personal care products to keep these brands on their toes. So as women together we're taking a stand for fertility' sake.

meet our team

facing fertility blog writer and editor

Dermatologist Enrizza Factor

Dr. Enrizza is a clinical dermatologist who completed her dermatology residency in Skin and Cancer Foundation Inc. During training, Dr. Factor, she served as chief resident in her last year of training.

facing fertility blog editor and professional esthetician

Esthetician & MUA Rebecca Byrne

Rebecca always had an eye for aesthetics and glam. She is a licensed master cosmetologist from Atlanta who enjoys teaching others about natural skincare and the power of makeup.

facing fertility natural skincare blog author michelle lee

Senior Writer Michelle Lee

Lover of all things Kbeauty, Michelle believes that beauty is health. With news of her first pregnancy, she began learning about natural skincare and finding new products that fit her standards.

facing fertility blog writer and natural skincare expert

Writer Mrinalini Sachan

Mrinalini is a skincare enthusiast who loves to try new products to share her honest views. After her battle with hormonal acne, she is an expert on choosing natural products that keep breakouts at bay.

facing fertility blog editor and skincare expert

Skincare Expert Stephanie Ivonne

Stephanie is a former Esthetician turned freelance beauty and wellness educator. Although a busy mom to two teenage boys, she still keeps up her active lifestyle with yoga and 10k runs.

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Our promise

Healthy is beautiful and beauty should never cost us our health. Let's face the truth: women are the beauty industry's most important customers but we're not getting the VIP treatment we deserve. Research shows that toxic chemicals present in many skincare products can interfere with our hormonal health. With the lack of regulation in the beauty industry it's up to us to call out these toxic chemicals in personal care products to keep these brands on their toes. So as women together we're taking a stand for fertility' sake.

meet our team

rebecca byrne editor for facing fertility natural skincare blog

Editor Rebecca Byrne

Rebecca Byrne is a licensed master cosmetologist from Atlanta, Georgia who enjoys teaching others about natural beauty and cosmetology. She has worked in several areas of the beauty industry since 2012 and specializes aesthetics: the art of looking beautiful.

stephanie ivonne editor for facing fertility natural skincare blog

Editor Stephanie Ivonne

Stephanie Ivonne is a former licensed Esthetician turned freelance beauty and wellness educator. As a mom to two teenage boys, in her free time she spends living a healthy and happy lifestyle participating in yoga, 10ks and regularly practices meditation and self.

mrinalini sachan writer for facing fertility natural skincare blog

Writer Mrinalini Sachan

Mrinalini is a skincare enthusiast who loves to try new products to share her honest views. Her skincare journey started years ago when she began researching different ingredients and practical daily tips proven to help clear acne and hyperpigmentation.

Senior Writer Michelle Lee

Lover of all things Kbeauty, Michelle believes that beauty is health. With news of her first pregnancy, she began learning about natural skincare and finding new products that fit her standards.

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