Anti-ageing / Guide to Skincare Ingredients / Skin care Routines / Skincare Tips / Pigmentation

Safe, effective skincare solutions during your pregnancy

I thought I would talk about safe skincare during pregnancy as I often get asked which products are safe to use, and also as I am pregnant at the moment.

Isn’t it enough that we have to deal with heartburn, swelling, varicose veins, cramps, weight gain and much more? Some of us also suffer from brown spots, stretch marks, itchy skin and acne.
We are not all blessed with 9 months of pregnancy glow!!


At the beginning of my pregnancy I suffered from a few spots, but nothing bad. Pregnancy can trigger acne or make existing acne worse. This is all down to hormones stimulating oil glands and causing blocked pores, which then leads to spots.

To Avoid :
It`s well known that the acne medication, Accutane, is completely off-limits for pregnant women (and those trying to conceive) because it causes birth defects. Accutane is a vitamin A derivative and part of the retinoid family. These powerful substances, found in some anti-ageing moisturisers, help reduce wrinkles and improve skin tone. That speeds up cell division (quickening your skin's renewal) and prevents skin collagen from breaking down. Therefore, steer clear of all retinoid and retinol products while pregnant. (eg. tretinoin, adapalene, tazarotene and retinyl)

BHA/Salicylic Acid: A topical exfoliant often used in acne medications. BHA is a derivative of aspirin. Because pregnant women are cautioned against taking aspirin, it`s best to not use products that contain BHA.
Instead, go for Alpha Hydroxy Acids - AHAs (Lactic acid, glycolic acid or mandelic acid) to help slough away the dead surface skin and prevent grease glands from clogging, which would otherwise cause spots.

Dry skin:

The turnover of skin cells is accelerated during pregnancy, so make sure you nourish and moisturise more than normal to keep skin looking healthy.

Itchy and sensitive skin:

If you are suffering, go for gentle skincare products - Allergenics is a 100% natural hypoallergenic, preservative-free skincare range, safe to use on all dry and itchy skin conditions. They contain no steroids, which should be avoided during pregnancy.

Melasma: The Pregnancy Mask

Skin becomes more susceptible to pigmentation during pregnancy. Even limited sun exposure can cause dark discolourations to appear around the eyes, on the cheeks, forehead and above the upper lip. Please make sure you are applying a high, broad-spectrum sunscreen daily, even on cloudy days.
If you still end up with hyperpigmentation, don’t fret. You can treat it with Kojicol acid which is a lightening agent. Please wait until you have had your baby before using these products.
Mandelic acid (AHAs) is safe to use regularly during pregnancy and lactation. This gentle Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) penetrates deep into the skin and breaks up areas of uneven pigmentation.
Please note Alpha Hydroxy Acids, (sometimes listed as AHAs, glycolic acid, or lactic acid) are considered to be safe.

Stretch Marks:

More scared of developing stretch marks than giving birth?
is a clinically proven range of safe-for-pregnancy products to prevent & treat stretch marks.

If you are unsure what skincare products to use during pregnancy please ask your midwife or doctor.

Cosmetic Nurse Practitioner

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Andrea Patel Dermatology Nurse Practitioner & Director Author
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