Skincare for Expecting Mothers
Mamas always seem to know it all. But what to do when you’re expecting and your skin is (let alone body) is changing day-by-day?
This week, I sat down with one of our senior most estheticians at our San Francisco spa, Jennie Hooker, who knows a thing or two about skincare for expecting mothers. A mother herself, Jennie brings her personal and professional experience to the table: skincare for expecting mamas.
How does the skin change during pregnancy?
It definitely gets more sensitive, more sensitive to products and especially sensitive to the sun. The hormones make a lot of women break out, especially in the 1st trimester when the body is having a big surge of hormones, creating an imbalance in the skin.
What products can help address these changes in the skin?
You’ll want to use mild products, and the more natural or organic the better. It’s best to invest in a good sunscreen and wear a hat!
There is something called “pregnancy mask” which is a form of melasma, a darkening of the pigment in your skin. It tends to affect women on the forehead and the upper lip (avoid waxing your lip if you can). The sun can make this mask appear and sadly the discoloration doesn’t always go away. So prevention is the best solution! Skin tags and broken capillaries are common as well, but seem to dissipate a few months after the baby comes.
For breakouts, what products are safe for expecting mothers?
Low percentage alpha hydroxy acids’s are okay, especially in mild over-the-counter products. Again you just want to be really good about your SPF since AHA’s are slightly exfoliating. Other options are benzoyl peroxides, clays, organic willowbark and papain (a papaya extract).
My favorite regimen is:
Kahina Facial Cleanser ($56), with Clarisonic skin cleansing brush, if not too sensitive, followed by Arcona Herbal Compound ($30) or In Fiore Soleil Fleur ($115), then a nice SPF. In the evening, cleanse and alternate Gentle Solution by Arcona ($48) with Kahina Lotion ($62) or an In Fiore face oil ($60) such as Calme.
What ingredients should expecting mothers avoid? Why?
You want to avoid Vitamin A products as these can be irritating and in strong doses can penetrate the blood stream. You’ll also want to be stop using Hydraquinone (a common ingredient to treat hyperpigmentation). Mild enzyme peels during a facial are fine (always let your esthetician know about your pregnancy), but you should avoid strong peels especially those offered through a medi-spa.
How long should they avoid these ingredients?
It’s safest to wait until you are done nursing before returning to any stronger at home products or high percentage peels.
Any other things you’d like to mention?
Once you become a mama, time is precious and skincare regimens go out the window. Stick with your SPF and you can use convenient cleansing pads like Preserve Skincare Face Cleansing Pads ($38) or Arcona Triad Pads ($30) to get the job done after a long day.
To all the mamas,