Pregnancy Skin Conditions 22nd May 2018 | By Kesiree Naidoo Pregnant women are still susceptible to everyday skin concerns that plague other women, though the treatment may need to be tailored to suit the changes of the skin and body in pregnancy and take into account the effects on the developing fetus. Here is some of our advice followed by a few product recommendations for common pregnancy concerns. ACNE BREAKOUTS Higher levels of hormones called androgens are at least partly responsible for pregnancy breakouts because they prompt the sebaceous glands in your skin to get bigger, and boost production of sebum. This often occurs during early pregnancy and may make the skin appear or feel oily. Acne during pregnancy may be mild, moderate or severe. It may be of new onset or an exacerbation of a pre-existing problem. It is important to remember that not all treatments and products are safe to use during pregnancy and if you were on a treatment regimen before you fell pregnant this may need to change. Consult your doctor, dermatologist or skincare professional to make sure you are on the right medication. Product recommendations: Neostrata Sheer Hydration-Sheer Hydration is a light, oil-free ,daily hydrator formulated with NeoGlucosamine to gently exfoliate the skin, promote cell turnover and help with minor acne problems. Obagi NuDerm Foaming Gel – This foaming gel cleanser cleans the skin thoroughly of makeup and impurities. This product is safe to use during pregnancy. MELASMA / CHLOASMA (PREGNANCY MASK) Hyperpigmentation can occur for the first time during pregnancy as a result of hormonal and genetic factors, together with increased sensitivity to sun exposure The melanocytes in pregnant women are more sensitive to increased levels of melanocyte stimulating hormone(MSH), oestrogen and progesterone. Hyperpigmentation is one of the most common skin changes during pregnancy, and is also very hard to treat as options are few. It is often very distressing for pregnant women to deal with, in addition to all the other changes that come with pregnancy. It may gradually improve or disappear after childbirth (normally 3-6 months after) but may persist in some women. There are numerous ingredients in cosmeceutical products that work synergistically to lighten and control pigmentation, but many of these are not suitable for use during pregnancy. Product recommendations: Heliocare 360 mineral – This innovative mineral fluid sunscreen is ideal for sensitive skin. Neostrata Brightening cleanser – The Neostrata Enlighten range is clinically proven to treat and control pigmentory disorders, dark spots and signs of sun damage, while also reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Please note that not all products in the Enlighten range are safe in pregnancy. DRY SKIN Dryness of the skin is a common skin complaint and may occur for the first time during pregnancy or part of an ongoing problem. The skin feels tight and uncomfortable and may appear rough and dull. Pregnant women often look for more hydrating creams during pregnancy as their regular moisturiser may not provide enough hydration. Product recommendations: Neostrata Bionic Face Serum – Bionic Face Serum is a concentrated oil-free serum with 10% Lactobionic Acid designed to work synergistically with other Neostrata anti-ageing products in your regimen to improve radiance, skin texture and the signs of ageing. It provides comfort and hydration for dry skins. Neostrata Bionic Face Cream– Bionic Face Cream is an ultra-rich, anti-ageing emollient cream which provides intense hydration and skin smoothing effects without irritation. SENSITIVE SKIN Some pregnant women have the impression that their skin in more sensitive than before pregnancy. This may mean different things to different people, but in general, the skin is easily inflamed and irritated and reacts to numerous cosmetic products. Sensitive skin is a common complaint among pregnant women and is most likely due to changes in hormone levels. Pre-existing skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea may improve or worsen and your regular skin care regimen may no longer be suitable. Product recommendations: Obagi Soothing Cleanser – This calming gel cleanser offers relief from inflammation and irritation. It effectively removes make-up and impurities without disrupting the skins natural moisture barrier. Obagi Skin Calming Cream– This non-irritating moisturising formulation contains plant-derived growth factors Kinetin and Zeatin. It effectively calms and soothes a sensitive and irritated skin. Can I continue with my anti-ageing treatment during pregnancy? A well-tailored anti-ageing skin care regimen can help slow the process of ageing. While you are pregnant you may need to change your existing regimen for one that doesn’t contain ingredients that are unsafe or have high irritation potential. In general vitamin A and its derivatives, including retinol, are not safe for use during pregnancy. Please take our Skinsmart Skin Assessment to see our recommendations for anti-ageing skin care that is safe to use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. If you would like our advice on whether you can still use any of your existing creams, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively book a consultation with our medical therapist or dermatologist on 021 521 1107.