During the extraordinary process of creating and nurturing a new life, a woman’s body and skin may experience various effects of the endocrinological, immunological, metabolic, and vascular changes. Hormones play a particularly significant role in these transformations which are known to impact the skin’s appearance and health.
Environ says that expectant mothers experience dramatic increases in hormones such as progesterone, which can have various influences on the skin. One of the most common skin changes during pregnancy is an increase in oil production which might lead to breakouts and even acne if you’re predisposed to the skin condition. Hormones may also trigger pigmentation changes, resulting in patches of skin discolouration, dark spots and melasma, as well as increased sensitivity of the skin.
To help you maintain a healthy-looking skin and radiant glow, here are answers, from Environ, to a few of the most frequently asked questions on the topic:
1. How do I prevent or improve the appearance of stretch marks and scars during pregnancy?
Stretch marks are a common concern for many pregnant women. These marks are known to appear when the skin stretches rapidly, causing collagen and elastin damage. While it is challenging to prevent stretch marks entirely, there are steps that you can take to minimise their appearance. Keeping the skin enriched with ingredients such as vitamin A (shown to promote natural moisturising factors) as well as collagen and elastin synthesis, antioxidants, shea butter, jojoba seed oil and moisturising Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHA), can help to improve skin elasticity and reduce the severity of stretch marks.
It’s also important to maintain a healthy diet and stay hydrated to support the skin’s overall health.
2. How do I reduce the appearance of oiliness and breakouts?
Sebaceous glands are known to go into overdrive during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. This may cause increased sebum production, resulting in congestion, bacterial growth, inflammation, breakouts and in some cases, flare ups of acne. As a first step, it is important to seek the advice of your doctor or skincare professional to establish a routine. Avoid harsh cleansers that can strip the skin of its natural oils and consider introducing products with intelligent ingredients to help control the oiliness and reduce breakouts. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t pick or squeeze pimples as this can lead to scarring.
3. Is Vitamin A safe to use during pregnancy?
As experts in professional skincare, Environ is frequently asked about the safety of applying skincare products containing vitamin A during pregnancy. The brand says that in December 2023, the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety Commission in the EU concluded that vitamin A in cosmetics, at the specified regulated concentrations, is safe. It is extremely unlikely that topical cosmetic vitamin A skincare products could pose a health risk because the active molecules are not absorbed into the bloodstream.
It is important to note, however, that during pregnancy the skins’ response to cosmetics may change due to the hormonal changes taking place in the body. At this point, the skin might be sensitive, in which case it is recommended that soon-to-be mums lower the level of vitamin A in their skincare to avoid irritation.
4. How do I improve signs of sensitivity and redness during pregnancy?
It’s not uncommon to experience a higher level of skin sensitivity and redness during pregnancy. To manage these effects, it is recommended to apply topical skincare products with calming, soothing barrier supporting, and immunity boosting ingredients, like colostrum and antioxidants, that can help calm the signs of redness and help to reduce an inflamed appearance. Avoid using products with harsh exfoliants that can further irritate the skin.