Part 2: Responding to Skin Changes during Pregnancy
If your skin becomes dry:
During pregnancy some women notice considerable changes such as dryness and even sudden appearance of fine lines. Dry skin is more prone to wrinkles and premature aging so do not ignore this change and adjust your skin-care accordingly.
If you had a combination or normal skin before pregnancy and now have dry skin you will most probably need to change most of your skin-care products for the pregnancy period.
Be careful, some anti-aging moisturizing products contain Retinoids, a type of Vitamin A that speeds up cell renewal which helps to reduce wrinkles and improve skin tone. HOWEVER, it is very well documented that retinoids, when taken orally will cause severe birth defects. There have not been enough studies made concerning topical retinoids and the impact on developing fetuses. This is why many experts recommend avoiding this ingredient during pregnancy as well. Additional skin-care: Apply a moisturizing mask up to 2 times a week to give your skin a moisturizing boost. For more information read our recommendations on how to take care of the dry type of skin. However, as always, consult your doctor before making the final selection.
If your skin becomes sensitive and irritated:
Sensitive and irritated skin has much weaker ability to protect itself against environmental and sun damage. It is an easy prey for free radicals that make the biggest contribution to premature aging.
If your skin becomes oily:
Hormonal changes can result in the change of the way your sebaceous glands work and instead of dry or normal skin you used to have you would experience oily complexion and most probable break outs. Once again reconsider the skin-care products you are using.
Melasma, Chloasma, Mask of pregnancy:
The pigment producing cells in the skin start to react more strongly to sunlight during pregnancy due to changes in hormonal levels of estrogen and progesterone. As a result many pregnant women get dark brown spots or areas on their cheeks, nose, chin. According to some studies it can effect up to 70% of pregnant women. Usually after pregnancy chloasma fades away however in some women it can persist.
The best thing to do is to prevent melasma from happening by using a sunscreen with high protection of SPF 30. There are very effective sun-screens that protect your skin but do not penetrate through it. Some brands market their sunscreens as specially developed to prevent chloasma in pregnant women. Your obstetrician or dermatologist should be able to recommend the one right for you.
If dark spots persist after pregnancy consult your dermatologist about such treatments as peelings, dermabrasion, retinol treatments etc.