Skin Tips: Help, I’m pregnant and my skin’s gone mad!

This week: Dealing with sensitivity, spots and other skin problems during pregnancy

Don’t panic if you are pregnant and your skin has become super-sensitive and thinks you’re a teenager again! There seems to be a commonly-held belief that your skin glows during pregnancy. Medically, it does (an increased volume of blood to the cheeks results in a pinky blush) but when we say glow in the context of pregnancy we usually mean ‘looks gorgeous, healthy and peachy’ as opposed to just pink.

Unfortunately, many of us do not experience this glow (the peachy one!) but find our skin reverts to that of a teenager – spotty and oily in patches but very dry and ultra sensitive in others. Or, it’s just super dry and sensitive.

“Now that I’m pregnant my skin is getting even worse with more red spots and dry spells. Do you have any advice on what sort of skin care I need that will actually improve my skin’s condition,” says one woman in an email.

Another says: “My skin used to be oily, but during pregnancy and since having a baby it’s been quite dry.”

Someone else writes saying she has always had sensitive skin but that, during her current pregnancy, Nivea baby sun lotion has caused an outbreak of urticaria (an itchy rash caused by an allergic reaction to anything from food to sunlight to prescription drugs). She is now finding it impossible to use anything on her skin without further irritating it and is desperate to find some skincare and make-up products she can use before she goes to a number of weddings later in the year.

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can increase skin sensitivity and many women do find they become irritated by products – both cosmetics and household detergents – that they have previously used without problem. Spots and acne,  caused by increased sebum production during pregnancy, are another result of all those hormones surging around the body. 

It is worth remembering that these extremes should stop once your baby is born so our advice is not to stress about your skin. The best thing you can do is to support it during pregnancy by going back to basics and keeping things as simple as possible (the Queen philosophy for all skin!). Drastic changes and trying out numerous different products will only make things worse.

So, here’s the Queen guide to looking after skin during pregnancy:

  • Cleanse, tone and moisturise twice a day, preferably using a cream cleanser rather than a wash-off cleanser
  • Avoid perfumed products and products containing essential oils
  • Avoid harsh acne creams. Your skin will clear up, either as your pregnancy progresses or once you’ve had the baby
  • Don’t overstimulate your skin with scrubs, masks and other products.  If you do feel the need to use an exfoliant, use some oats moistened with a bit of water – it can be messy but it is very gentle
  • Fight the urge to attack spots or over-handle your skin as this can just make it worse
  • Don’t take long, hot baths as these will further dry your skin. Take short, just-warm showers and baths and moisturise well afterwards.As a final note, if you do think you have urticaria or find you are suffering from severe rashes and itchiness (particularly in your third trimester) do visit your doctor to get these checked out.
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    3 Responses to “Skin Tips: Help, I’m pregnant and my skin’s gone mad!”

    1. nancy Says:

      During pregnancy hyper pigmentation occurs due to increased level of melanocyte stimulating hormone which causes brown clearly defined patch on face, darkening of nipples, areola and external genitalia. But I have heard that all these normally fade within few weeks after delivery.

    2. Skincarers Says:

      Many women will find they develop brown patches or hyper-pigmentation, particulary on their faces, during pregnancy. This is known as chloasma or the ‘mask of pregnancy’. It does mostly fade a few months after delivery of your baby but you may be left with some small patches or find that they re-appear or become more obvious when you have a tan or have been in the sun. Dermatologists agree that the best thing you can do to avoid getting chloasma in the first place is to stay out of the sun and to wear a sunblock.

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