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


  1. Samantha Blevins
    November 25, 2019 / 8:34 am

    I love this post. My skin has surprisingly been better during pregnancy, I’m just super super bloated and my nose has gotten much bigger! A crazy pregnancy story for me is when I’ve gone to the emergency room while pregnant thinking something was wrong. With my first I thought my water broke,I called an ambulance since I didn’t have a ride and got to labor and delivery and I had simply peed on myself. This pregnancy had me going in the middle of the night worried about low fetal movement, turns out baby had the hiccups and took a nap. The nurse told me she was going to wake him up for me. Pregnancy is a wild ride. I’m so ready to see my little one!

    • November 29, 2019 / 2:34 am

      Honestly, the water breaking story is sooo relatable. I feel like I have so much longer to go and when I’m finally closer to due date every time I pee I’ll be convinced my water broke.

  2. Taylor McWhorter
    November 25, 2019 / 8:50 am

    Besides the weird/cool movements from Demi throughout my pregnancy, I gotta say my fav story to tell is the night I went into labor, lol. Looking back, I think I had been in labor for quite some time. My back was hurting, I was suuuper drained, etc. But I didn’t think anything of it. I cleaned my house and went grocery shopping through it all. So, naturally, after a day of doing exhausting things, my pregnant a$$ still didn’t wanna go to sleep. It was around 2am, I had just sat my phone down to finally go to bed. I knew I had to pee, so I got up. I stand up and there goes a little trickle down my leg. Obviously I was like, “really? I know my bladder’s weak right now, but damn.” My water broke. And I never went to sleep. Then I had my little beeb and have been tired ever since, lolol.

    Moral of the story: go to bed.

    • November 29, 2019 / 2:35 am

      I’m reading this currently at 2:35 am. So I think it’s time I take your advice and go to bed!

  3. Samantha R.
    November 25, 2019 / 9:12 am

    I saw your giveaway entry on Instagram and came to your blog to read it!!! I have been to The Parlour a few times for cut and color and absolutely loved it!!! But of course since getting pregnant I have not had the motivation to even treat my self, waiting on that pregnancy glow still lol
    I loved reading your blog and love how relatable it is to the moms and moms to be. I’m glad I’m not the only one struggling with acne, back acne, oily skin, AND even oily hair etc.
    I’m expecting my first in February and let me tell ya, SHE IS WILD. From not being able to keep anything down first trimester to eating everything in site my second. I’m about to be in my final trimester so we will see how that goes. I haven’t had anything weird or funny happen that particularly sticks out but I still can see my husbands face light up the first time he felt her kick. It’s was the most beautiful moment in my pregnancy thus far.
    But I did want to say congratulations on your baby!! And I look forward to reading more of your blogs!!

  4. Kathy Kingsbury
    November 25, 2019 / 4:14 pm

    Funny story is we didn’t find out gender of either of our kids but with our second child we couldn’t agree on a girl name. I was 42 weeks pregnant and ready to explode on all levels and I just threw an absolute tantrum
    Over this kids name. And that this kid wasn’t coming bc it didn’t have a name. I was insane

  5. Shelby gribbins
    November 25, 2019 / 5:37 pm

    I haven’t actually birthed my own children, but I’ve been raising and working my life around my 2 Stepbabies for the past 5 years, it’s exhausting but so rewarding just to see them grow into these amazing humans. My favorite”mom” moment was the first time they said I love you to me. Or how some nights they bug my husband to come get me from whatever I’m doing so I can give them a kiss and hug goodnight. They make life worth while.

    • November 29, 2019 / 2:32 am

      I love that they want you to come give them a little goodnight hug/kiss <3 how adorable

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