Desk Report: Pregnancy is a time when a woman’s body undergoes significant changes. Hormone fluctuations are such that they take a toll on the most vulnerable and outermost layer of the body – skin.
Not all cosmetic products are compatible during pregnancy and there are several ingredients that may harm you as a mother-to-be or the baby inside your womb. Therefore, you must be careful about your skin care regime.
Dr. Kiran Lohia, MD – Dermatologist and Founder of Cosmedic Skin Solutions helps you get acquainted with the factors that may affect your pregnancy and lists five exclusive tips to select the right skin care product.
Avoid the sun
Pregnant women undergo many hormonal fluctuations that make their skin more sensitive. As a result, their skin becomes prone to darkening and pigmentation. Avoiding the hormonal imbalance is not practical but what you can definitely avoid going out in the sun. Try and stay indoors and cover up the exposed areas whenever you go out. Wearing a hat is a good way to prevent the sun’s rays from falling on your face.
Use sun block
It is not possible to entirely avoid sun exposure. Sunlight filtering through windows inside your car and home can also harm your skin. Therefore, dermatologists recommend using a sun block cream that has at least SPF30++. The SPF 30 refers to UVB sunlight while the ++ refers to UVA sunlight. It is important to protect the skin from both these types of sunlight with broad-spectrum sun protection. It takes about 30 minutes for the sun block to take effect so it’s best to apply it in the morning before the sun becomes harsh. Also remember to re-apply every 3-4 hours afterwards so that its effect doesn’t wear off.
Stay away from chemicals at home
It’s imperative for pregnant women to stay away from allergic elements that may cause distress to them and their unborn child’s health. Ensure that the ingredients in the products they are using are safe and do not have any reaction on their baby. It’s best to avoid ingredients such as hydroquinone, steroids and other harmful bleaching agents, unless otherwise directed by a supervising dermatologist. These ingredients are commonly used for reducing pigmentation and are often purchased over the counter without medical advice. This is dangerous due to side effects that these products may have.
Drink plenty of water
This is the simplest and best technique to get rid of all the waste in your body and have a naturally clear skin. Also drink plenty of fresh juices, and other natural drinks such as coconut water etc.
Use Alpha-Hydroxy Acids
Alpha-Hydroxy Acids are some of the safest ingredients for treating pigmentation in pregnant women. They are natural ingredients, the most important ones being glycolic acid and lactic acid. Glycolic acid is derived from sugarcane, and lactic acid is derived from milk. These actives are very effective in treating pigmentation, however, sun protection must be used simultaneously. Additionally, to prevent irritation, try to find products that use a combination of glycolic acid and lactic acid, as that lactic acid is a known humectant (moisturizer).
Keep It Natural
Try avoiding chemical treatments and facials as much as possible. Go in for natural homemade face packs, or other herbal packs, which are safe for the skin, and do not cause any side effects. Chemical based products and treatments cause the skin to age early, and also make the skin dry. This is the reason why skin experts suggest using natural products to enhance your skin quality, most of which can be found at your home easily, such as yogurt, papaya skin, orange peels etc.
Visit a dermatologist
As a mother-to-be, you must be watchful of any skin rash, itchy skin, or other dermatological issues. Go to a dermatologist for proper medical skin advice as soon as you notice any of these symptoms. Getting yourself checked by a specialised doctor helps protect you and your child.