skin(care) changes to expect while you’re expecting

Ohhh the joys of pregnancy: the rumoured Rapunzel locks, the excitement to show off that baby bump, new boobies + that pregnancy glow… or so they say.

What they don’t always mention is that we don’t all get to enjoy the perks of pregnancy… and that pregnancy glow may come with a couple of sidekicks such as acne, and additional body hair and lots of new linesN’lumps as you progress in this 40ish week journey.

Thaaaaaaankyou hormones.

This is Xac!!! giving me a MUCH needed facial since I am reaping all the glowy benefits of pregnancy, accompanied by lots of new acne, some new facial hair and some shoulder/bacne! WOO hormones <3

I sat back down with Xac Williams; mother of two, my boss and an esthetician for 10+ years to ask her exactly WHAT I should expect to see change, and how to handle these changes while expecting this lil baby…

When do skin changes during pregnancy usually start?
Every pregnancy is so different. Women may notice changes immediately but changes can occur at any point during pregnancy. And without any reason except one………  Hormones. During pregnancy, there are 10 important hormones releasing chemicals vital to growing your healthy baby. But all these chemical outbursts can cause reactions such as bloat, emotional changes, and acne. 

What are the most common skin changes during pregnancy?
The most common changes with skin during pregnancy are sensitivity, acne, oiliness and melasma (dark splotches on the face also known as pregnancy mask). 

Melasma is the result of pregnancy and sun exposure, stimulating the production of melanin. The only way to prevent it is to avoid the sun. I recommend a physical sunscreen UVA/ UVB ( look for zinc oxide and titanium dioxide). Oxybenzone, a chemical found in 56% of sport and beach sunscreens, has been linked to hormone disruption and should be avoided. 

What can I do to prevent these changes? 
During pregnancy, skin can be sensitive and super reactive. With all of the skincare “No’s” during pregnancy AND breastfeeding, one may consider leaning more towards all-natural products. But watch out, a lot of natural products contain essential oils. Instead look for fragrance-free and paraben-free products. 

Acne sucks and unfortunately, ingredients used to treat it examples: retinols, retinoids, vitamin A are not approved for pregnancy or breastfeeding. There are some who will say small amounts of salicylic acids (2% or less) are fine but there just aren’t enough studies.

Here are some tips to keep acne and oiliness at bay: 

  • -drink water! Lots and lots of water.
  • -cleanse your skin with a foaming facial cleanser 2-3 times a day.
  • -don’t over cleanse or exfoliate your skin.if you strip too much oil, your body will produce more oils. 
  • -switch to a hyaluronic acid-based moisturizer or serum. 
  • -use blotting paper 
  • -eat lots of fruits and veggies, avoid foods high in saturated fats and limit sugar. 
  • -switch to oil-free moisturizer and foundation 

Are any of these things permanent? 
Most of your skin issues will clear up after you have your baby and your hormones balance back to pre-baby levels. 

If your acne still persists, begin an acne treatment. Be sure that before you jump into chemical peels and using retinols that you are also no longer breastfeeding. 

The dark spots from melasma can be treated by laser treatments, facials and peels. Once again, only after you’ve had your baby and are finished breastfeeding. Just be mindful of sun exposure but you should be doing that anyway. 

When do I get that “pregnancy glow”?
Some women will get that pregnancy glow, while others get the pregnancy greasy glow, lol.

With each pregnant woman and pregnancy being so different, there’s really no way to tell. For me, during my first pregnancy, my skin was radiant and glowing. With my second, my skin was completely different. My skin was splotchy and I would randomly breakout in rashes. You really just don’t know what’s going to happen until it’s happening. 

Is it safe to get facials while pregnant? 

Yes! But make sure your esthetician knows you’re expecting so they know which products to avoid. Opt for oxygen facial treatments, pore cleansing facials, and Dermaplaning. 

Pregnancy skincare No’s:

  • Retinols 
  • Vitamin A 
  • Essential Oils
  • Botox and filler
  • Aloe Vera 
  • Chemical SPFs 
  • Limit sun exposure 
  • Parabens 
  • Fragrance 
  • DHA (found in spray self-tanning solution) 
  • Hydroquinone 
Me after an ahmaaaazing facial from Xac

Don’t get discouraged!

Skincare may be the last thing that you want to worry about while tracking which fruit your little bebe is this week + wiggling into your pre-preggo pants. Many of the skin changes can be easily sorted by seeing your local esthetician or seeing your obgyn if it seems completely abnormal. All pregnancies are different- whether it’s your first, your fourth or your friend’s pregnancies and our bodies all react completely differently!! So it’s totally normal if you aren’t experiencing the exact same thing as your bff or boss (Xac and I have had completely different experiences).

I hope this helps if you are pregnant and desperately scouring the internet for some information on what to possibly expect!!! Congratulations and hang in there friend.

If you are in the Louisville area pregnant or not you should definitely come to see Xac at The Parlour Louisville for all of your skincare needs: waxing, facials, lash lifts you name it.

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway on instagram!

The Mama Giveaway

One lucky mama will win a Salon Package from The Parlour: a customized facial + haircut with a deep conditioning treatment + a holiday haircare box with three full-sized products and a free mini session with photographer Yazmin Torres from Iigrega Visual Collections. Who took all the photo’s for this post <3

Do you have any funny, wild or just weird pregnancy stories or experiences? I’m curious!
Let me know <3 xx messypot