Pregnant women know what foods to avoid during pregnancy but ask them the same about pregnancy-safe skincare and chances are they won’t know which skincare ingredients are unsafe. Does that mean you should be resigned to looking drab for the next 9 months? According to Dr Low Chai Ling, medical director of the SW1 Clinic, author of pregnancy care book In Full Bloom (which details pregnancy-safe remedies for irritated or lacklustre skin from her professional and personal experience) and mother of 2, there is absolutely no reason for women to abandon their beauty routines during their pregnancies. She advises instead, simplify your beauty routine. “The more products you use, the more likely you are going to run into chances of using an unsafe product. So unless you are very sure, select your baby-safe skincare range that supports frequent cellular turnover and add specific serums or creams that target issues such as uneven skintone, pigmentation or greasy skin”.
Pregnancy-safe Anti-grease and Anti-Acne Products
Blotting paper may not be everyone’s thing. Some experts think it may even stimulate the oil glands to produce even more oil! Dr Low recommends an oil-free serum after cleansing every morning that unclogs pores. Speaking of unclogging pores, while BHAs such as salicylic acid are popular for acne, this is actually out of bounds during pregnancy. Opt for natural AHAs which are pregnancy-safe instead.
Coming up… BB anti-acne
BB anti-acne provides light coverage to mask blemishes. More importantly, it contains traces of benzoyl peroxide which has an anti-acne and anti-bacterial effect! Unlike salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide is considered generally safe for pregnancy.
Pregnancy-safe Anti-pigment Serum
One of the unexpected skin changes in pregnancy is the development of brown patches known as melasma or cholasma, caused by pregnancy hormones. This is a stubborn issue that can continue beyond pregnancy! The regular skin lightening creams are mostly out of bounds during this period, instead try these pregnancy-safe anti-pigment products.
White plasma contains the active ingredient tranexamic acid which is thought to be effective especially for ultraviolet-induced pigmentation such as melasma. Tranexamic acid is classified as Pregnancy Category B, so it is considered safe for the bub, moreover this is applied rather than swallowed, so even less is absorbed into one’s body.
A good number of over-the-counter creams contain Vitamin A, retinol or their derivatives, which are not pregnancy-safe, so have a look at the active ingredients on your moisturizer’s label, advises Dr Low. Alternatively opt for something basic, such as Luminizing II.