Here’s the cold, hard truth: The answer is yes! For the uninitiated and worried mothers out there, pregnancy facials are possible.

Pregnant women probably need them more than before they got themselves with child — why, hello there, yet another triple-zit-on-my-nose. Where’s that glow everyone talks about? You aren’t alone; many mothers find themselves privy to acne, dry flaky skin, sensitivity, amongst other unwelcome guests — instead of the elusive, legendary radiance.

However, remember to play by the rules of the game to ensure your baby (and you) are safe during this highly hormonal period. 

Pregnancy Facials - Can I Get One With That Bump? | Pregnancy Diaries

Credit: Alex Pasarelu

GENERAL RULES OF THUMB SO PREGNANCY FACIALS DON’T BECOME PREGNANCY FAILS

  • Don’t raise your core body temperature above 38.9°C. You don’t want your body to trap heat and become an oven… research has shown that raising the internal core temperature too high during the first trimester can result in birth defects
  • ALWAYS tell your therapist that you are pregnant when making the appointment, especially if it’s your first pregnancy facial; this helps them modify the steps as necessary so they don’t get charged with babyslaughter

NOW, THE PREGNANCY FACIALS YOU CAN DO

No bells, whistles, or frills where these are related. In other words: stick to the basics. Gentle, hydrating facials are the safest bets and can deliver much-needed moisture and confidence boosts.

1. Facials That Were Specifically Made For You
Customized and thus perfect for pregnant women, period (no more).

How could we say facials are suitable for pregnant women without first designing one specifically for you? Sometimes, pregnant women need just a little bit of downtime or a reminder that they still deserve to and can pamper themselves. Given the hormonal imbalance and resulting epidermal antagonists, you just want to fix them. You just want your un-saggy skin back. You just want some peace.

Doesn’t some oxygen therapy with a Shiatsu facial massage sound wonderfully oasis-like?

Treatments to try: RestorativeTM. Me-time, confidence and brighter, water retention-free skin.

2. Oxygen Facials
Especially great for dry and dull skin

Pregnancy Facials - Oxygen facials are great for dull, dehydrated skin

Oxygen is a really powerful thing. When your skin is tired, dull and lifeless, it’s there to pull you back from the edge. This miracle gas heals by boosting cellular regeneration and blood circulation. The faster your new cells replace the old ones, the younger your skin looks. This super gentle facial can also clear your pores so it can absorb moisture more. Voila, you’re as close to a pregnancy glow as you can get / you just amped on that radiance you have (you lucky thing, you).

P.S. It’s also anti-bacterial (meaning it can help with your acne) and anti-aging (it plumps out fine lines and wrinkles)!

Treatments to try: OxyReviveTM. Glow-ier, brighter skin awaits.

3. Hydrating Facials
Again, especially great for dry and dull skin

Pregnancy Facials - Hydrating facials are great for dull, dehydrated skin

Credit: Camila Cordeiro

Dry skin can really become the bane of your existence when it seems to flake beyond repair (to your despair). Your body is constantly transferring water to the little one inside while leaving you dehydrated and cranky. Dehydration can exacerbate oily skin conditions (the irony), acne and even pigmentation. Keeping it hydrated and healthy, on the contrary, can increase your resistance to the sun’s damaging effects, pollution and free radicals.

Pair your power-packed hyaluronic acid serum with an intensive hydrating facial to quench your skin’s thirst and heal it to a softer, suppler complexion.

Treatments to try: Sun RescueTM. Happier, more hydrated skin lies ahead. 

4. LED Light Therapy
Brilliant for acneic and distressed skin. And yes, generally safe for pregnant mamas 

Pregnancy Facials - LED light therapy is great for distressed, acneic skin

Credit: Anderson Guerra

To make things clear, LED light therapy is non-invasive and targets only the upper layers of the skin. It doesn’t damage your skin tissues but rather, triggers natural biochemical reactions similar to photo-synthesis.

In other words, your baby is safe.

Blue light targets acne-causing bacteria and simply minimizes / brings breakouts to a standstill. Red light, another commonly-used frequency, boosts collagen production, reduces inflammation and lessens redness and irritation.

Leave your frustration with acne bouts and sensitive, inflamed skin at the door. LED light therapy is a multi-talented weapon against acne, wrinkles, dullness and inflamed skin. Depending on the light frequency, it can be used for anything from boosting tissue growth to stimulating collagen production and regeneration.

Kind of a superhero like oxygen.

Treatments to try: Pick Me Up. Rejuvenated skin is just 30 minutes away.

AND, THE STUFF YOU CANNOT DO

As we said — no bells, no whistles. Refrain from fancy stuff like:

  1. Electric currents
  2. Chemical peels – The skin is super sensitive and easily irritated during pregnancy
  3. Microdermabrasions – These will likely scar your extra-sensitive skin and aggravate breakouts.
  4. Extractions – Or, if really, really necessary, ask your therapist to be really gentle with your sensitive skin
  5. Plastic surgery

Credit: Bruce Mars

Not just slayers of skin woes, pregnancy facials can also really lift your mood. You deserve it. Go for it.

 

Stay true,

 

 

 

 


 

READ MORE STORIES HERE:

Pregnancy Skincare: 5 Woes, 5 Tips | Pregnancy Diaries

Skincare For Expectant Mothers: 10 Tips

Understanding Acne – Why Some Get It And Some Don’t

Layering Hydration the Right Way | #SkinHacks

Dry Skin Vs Dehydrated Skin – 3 Quick Tips | #SkinHacks

 

 

Everyone talks about the pregnancy glow. Less talked about are the nasties: Zits like back when you were in high school. Dry, flaky skin even when you don’t usually have dry, flaky skin. Days out on the beach are days long gone because — is that another dark mark on your face? We ask you to calm down though — these are all perfectly normal pregnancy skincare skintuations that many women like you face… and there are remedies.

Pregnancy Skincare: 5 Woes, 5 Tips | Pregnancy Diaries

Credit: Josh Bean

PREGNANCY SKINCARE WOE #1: ACNE
(WHEN I WAS 13, I HAD MY FIRST LOVE ZIT)

Being a teenager was nothing without bouts of breakouts… but when you’re 30 and pregnant? You might almost wish you weren’t having a baby bump. Pregnancy hormones can send your oil glands into overdrive, creating a breeding ground for acne. Worse, androgen (a male sex hormone) increases during pregnancy, further increasing sebum production, clogging, blackheads and finally, pimples.

The cruellest joke ever? The acne products you used to use are unsafe while you’re pregnant because of the chemicals. Minocycline, doxycycline, tetracycline and Accutane, are definitely no-gos as they can cause birth defects.  Then, it’s best to stay away from ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid too, since these can enter the bloodstream. Most products are not actually pregnancy-tested…

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Your skin will most likely clear up after pregnancy. In the meantime, here are some quick tips.

Skin Hacks: DON’T SQUEEZE. DON’T PICK. DON’T TOUCH. Opt for ingredients like lactic acid, tea tree oil or sulfur. See a doctor if you’re really sick of the acne that seems persistent and widespread. Instead, cleanse face with a mild, hydrating cleanser. If necessary, use steam to clear clogged pores. Look for non-comedogenic / water-based skincare products as these don’t aggravate oily, acneic skin. Also, contrary to popular belief, you CAN go for facials while pregnant — watch out for the next Nanny Princess Pregnancy Diaries post on this! 

PREGNANCY SKINCARE WOE #2: DRY SKIN

Damned hormones. Where you once had smooth, glowing skin, you’re now left with a dryness that doesn’t seem to stop itching.

Why?

It’s really many factors that play a part: More moisture is channelled to care for your baby, thus leaving you high and dry. With the little one inside you, your body temperature also tends to rise, thus literally getting you more hot-headed, stressed and itchy, thus triggering dry skin.

Pregnancy Skincare Woe #2: Dry Skin

Credit: Juliana Arruda

And the biggest contender (again): hormones. Oddly, those can’t seem to make up their mind between producing too much or too little sebum. Too little oil? You’re facing dryness and decreased elasticity. Too much? What else to do but to keep washing your face, right? Wrong. Washing your face too frequently can actually dehydrate the skin even more.

Skin Hacks: Water — lots of it. Aim for 12 cups a day. Hydrating lotions for milder cases; prescription treatments for severe ones. Warm (not hot!), comforting showers (and oatmeal baths, we hear) work wonders to calm your spirits and skin but don’t spend too long in there or your natural oils will start depleting. Get a humidifier for the bedroom. And our final, favourite trick: Get a high-grade, ultra-hydrating serum loaded with hyaluronic acid to quench your skin’s thirst.


 

 


PREGNANCY SKINCARE WOE #3: INCREASED SENSITIVITY
(YOUR SKIN IS BEING A BIGGER BABY THAN THE ACTUAL BABY)

As if acne and dry skin weren’t painful enough, your skin might be literally… in pain. The usual facials you go for might verge on painful, your face seems to get red more easily when you’re exfoliating, and your favourite scented lotion is now sitting on its lonesome on your dresser. Your skin is being a total baby.

Why?

… You guessed it. Hormones.

Skin Hacks: Gentle is the name of the game. Swap out scrubs (both for the face and body) for a loofah or a soft, textured washcloth. Switching to unscented / natural lotions and body washes could also help. Apply calamine lotion on itchy spots. Shun products that are heavy with additives, dyes, and / or fragrances, all of which can exacerbate the situation. When in doubt, always check in with your dermatologist, pharmacist or doctor.

 


“You certainly don’t want anything causing micro-tears on your skin… the more cuts and wounds on your skin, the easier it is for chemicals to be absorbed into your bloodstream. Ingredients to stay away from in soaps and body washes include triclosan, parabens and fragrance.”
| Melissa Schweiger, coauthor of Belli Beautiful: The Essential Guide to the Safest Health and Beauty Products for Pregnancy, Mom, and Baby

 

PREGNANCY SKINCARE WOE #4: (HYPER)PIGMENTATION
(AKA ITS SUPERHERO ALIAS, THE MASK OF PREGNANCY)

Aside from causing hormones to go a little (a lot?) out of whack, pregnancy also increases melanin production. Melanin is responsible for darkening of the skin, and you might be victim to dark patches.

The sun you used to love? That love might be long gone at this point. But it won’t be for ever… the melasma (another name for this pigmentation conundrum) usually fades after pregnancy.

Skin Hacks: If you weren’t religious about sunscreen before, it’s time to start now. An SPF of at least 25 to 30 would do half the trick; the other half would be for you to stay indoors as much as possible to reduce sun exposure. Physical and mineral sunblocks are your safest bets, as chemical sunscreens can irritate your sensitive skin + have potential risks. In more specific words, opt for protection that comes with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.

PREGNANCY SKINCARE WOE #5: STRETCH MARKS
(YOU TIGRESS WHO BROUGHT LIFE TO THIS WORLD)

Pregnancy Skincare Woe #5: Stretch Marks

Credit: Chayene Rafaela

A good 50 – 90% of women get these in pregnancy. It isn’t curious—anytime a body grows at a rate at which the body can’t keep up with, these tiger stripes appear. These tend to come fastest in the final trimester when your baby grows the most.

 


“For most people, whether or not they get stretch marks has to do with genetic predisposition.”
| Glenn Kolansky, MD, a board-certified dermatologist

 

While there isn’t much you can do to prevent it, there are ways to reduce the risks of developing them (too much), including controlling your weight. Staying hydrated (at least 12 cups of water a day), and eating a healthy and balanced diet (think antioxidants, vitamins, leafies, fatty acids).

Skin Hacks: Thoroughly moisturize, especially areas which are most prone to these marks. These include your belly, boobs, stomach, hips and thighs.

Till the next Pregnancy Diaries post, stay true,

 

 

 

 


 

READ MORE STORIES HERE:

Skincare For Expectant Mothers: 10 Tips

Understanding Acne – Why Some Get It And Some Don’t

Layering Hydration the Right Way | #SkinHacks

Dry Skin Vs Dehydrated Skin – 3 Quick Tips | #SkinHacks

 

Types of Peels (And How Often Should You Do Them?)

The most commonly known are chemical or mechanical peels, and these vary in intensity.

Types of Peels (And How Often Should You Do Them?)

At-Home Peels

Chemical – The trend for regular home peels using a mild dose of acids (such as AHAs and BHAs) has been around for a while. Non-acid enzyme peels, derived from fruits and plants, are also gaining in popularity. These are a lot milder and suitable for regular use without much side effects.

How Frequently: For enzyme and non-acid enzyme peels, thrice a week. Acids with an extremely low concentration (in the form of toners or blended into cleansers) can be used daily.

 

Mechanical – Traditionally performed only in salons, these have also been gaining popularity especially with the launch of Clarisonic and similar home-use technology. Electronic devices help remove dead skin cells, akin to “polishing” the skin to gradually remove epidermal tissues.

How Frequently: Once or twice a week. Alternate between enzyme/acid home peels and mechanical ones. If you’ve had your skin peeled in a salon, do not use mechanical peels at home.

Both are effective in maintaining the brightness and clarity of the skin, depending on the regime that follows.

 

Professional Peels

Chemical – These vary from “lunchtime peels” to stronger deep peels (akin to controlled second-degree burns). The former can be done by trained aestheticians while the latter only by dermatologists.

Lunchtime Peels or Superficial Peels use AHAs, or other mild acids such as Lactic Acids to penetrate only the outer layer of the skin to gently exfoliate it. It is recommended for mild skin discolouration, dull and rough skin on the face, hands and body. Some equipment combine both acids with high-velocity jets (i.e. Aqua peel) to dissolve and vacuum dead skin cells to remove the impurities.

How Frequently – Depending on your skin, you can do this up to once a week or fortnight for a few sessions. Subsequently, do it once every two months for maintenance or as advised

Medium to Deep Peels – This uses acids in stronger concentrations to deeply penetrate the deeper layers of the skin to remove damaged skin cells. It stimulates the production of new skin cells and is able to target various skin conditions like lesions and wrinkles. There is downtime with this treatment and requires proper post-treatment care.

How Frequently – Depending on the strength, some needs to be done only once in your life. Some ot hers, you can do once every two to three years depending on the type of peel and your skin condition.

Mechanical Peels – Commonly known as Microdermabrasion, these use micro-particles to “polish” the skin to remove dead skin cells. This enhances cell turnover and results in invisibly brighter skin. An alternative to using microparticles such as diamond tips, some salons/clinics uses ultrasonic waves to “scrub” the skin’s stratum corner. These light abrasions can improve dull skin, light acne scars and improve the appearance of fine lines.

How Frequently – Once a month

Fractional Skin Resurfacing (Ablative Technology) – Uses Radio Frequency (or Laser technology) and micro needling. These remove the surface layer of the skin, allowing focused light energy / radio frequency waves to reach the epidermis and the dermis to stimulate cell regeneration. This is generally the most expensive, requires downtime and proper post-treatment care but is able to improve the appearance of acne scars, deep wrinkles, enlarged pores etc.

How Frequently – Depends on age and skin concerns. Clients with saggy skins require more sessions for collagen remodelling (once every 3 weeks for a few sessions before maintenance mode of once every 6 months). For younger skin, the treatment can be done every 6 to 12 months, as long as it is combined with other treatments.

Contraindications

The contraindications differ from equipment to equipment, and product to product. Generally, clients who have diabetes, eczema-prone skin, or on medication that thins the skin or impairs repairs should not go for peels. Their bodies are not able to repair themselves normally. Also, for clients with hyper-sensitive or thinner skin, certain treatments may not be suitable as they increase the risk of infection.

Clients with Rosacea, who are currently pregnant, immune-impaired, prone to keloids/scarring or on antibiotics such as Roaacutane should not go for chemical peels. Also, those with infections/skin diseases or generally poor health should also avoid intense chemical peels as the acids in the solutions cause greater risks of inflammation.

For sensitive and eczema skin types, gentler peels are possible. Check in with your skincare professional.

Finally, mechanical peels are better for clients with darker skin tones instead of chemical peels.

Can Peels Cause Scarring?

Home care peels don’t have that risk although generally, all peels have a risk of scarring, infection and discoloration. This risk increases as the peel goes deeper or if used in higher concentrations. Chemical peels and fractional skin resurfacing have a risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (or PIH), where the client may result in darker patches of the skin. However, this will heal over time depending on your age and the treatments you do to speed up recovery. Proper home care and post-treatment regime are crucial to mitigate the risk of infection and scarring.

Can Peels Cause Sebum Over Production & For Skin To Become More Prone to Acne?

In fact, no. Some of the peels such as Salicylic are designed to aid acne-prone skin. With regular non-aggressive peels, you are stimulating cell turnover, removing dead skin cells and preventing build-up in your pores. These reduce the development of acne.

Ingredients to Avoid After Peels

Ingredients to Avoid After Peels

For gentle home-care peels, or quick lunchtime peels, we recommend sunscreen as the skin is more susceptible to UV damage. Adequate hydration is also important to help cellular turnover. A lack of hydration may cause the development of fine lines and other issues.

For more aggressive peels, we do not recommend use of retinoids, acids, benzoyl peroxide, harsh cleansers as your skin needs time to heal. Avoid harsh exfoliators and home-peels as well. If you had taken Roaacutane in the past 12 to 18 months, you should also avoid peels.

© Porcelain Pte Ltd

While pregnancy brings a lot of happiness and joy, the hormonal changes sometimes bring along some skin problems. Pregnancy is usually a period of changes due to changing hormonal levels. A part of feeling good during pregnancy is also looking good because skin problems can sometimes cause a lot of stress. Unfortunately, you have less freedom in using skin care products as some may be harmful to the baby. Here are ten tips on skincare for expectant mothers.

Skincare For Expectant Mothers: 10 Tips

Credit: Ryan Franco

1. Acne

Acne is the most common problem that plagues pregnant women. You should avoid using any skin care products that contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or any one of the retinoids. It is best to avoid using any products having chemical ingredients. If you have to use them at all, consult a dermatologist to find out what is safe for you. The natural way to avoid acne is to cleanse your face regularly as clogged pores can bring on the acne. Use a mild soap for this. Using oil-free moisturizers and cleansers and a natural sunscreen may also help. Eat healthy food and drink plenty of water. Remember that this is a temporary problem and therefore, if nothing else works, just grin and bear with it.

2. Stretch Marks

To prevent stretch marks and dry skin, you will need to apply some oils daily. You can either mix them, use them separately or find natural products that contain them. Oils that are helpful for the skin during pregnancy are coconut oil, sweet almond, jojoba, olive, castor, wheat germ and avocado oils. The mixture should be applied to your breasts, abdomen, thighs and buttocks as these are prone to dry skin and stretch marks.

3. Hair Loss

Skincare for expectant mothers: Managing hair loss

Credit: Yoann Boyer

Due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, the hair goes into a dormant or resting phase and there is little hair loss. After pregnancy, however, this hair begins to fall in greater quantities than usual. This may cause worry but it is natural! There is no danger of going bald. Some also experience brittle nails and their nails tend to crack or split. The nails will need regular attention during this time. However this is also temporary and will resolve. If the condition gets too aggravated you can consult a specialist who may recommend safe topical nail strengtheners.

4. Essential Oil

Some essential oils are not safe for use during pregnancy — especially during the first and the second trimesters as they may bring about an abortion of the fetus. These are Cinnamon, Basil, Juniper, Lemongrass, Thyme, Sweet marjoram, Myrrh, Peppermint, Pennyroyal, Rosemary and Parsley. Some oils on the other hand can be put to very good use to relieve the common symptoms of pregnancy. Consult an aromatherapist about these.

5. Moisturizing

Skincare for expectant mothers: Moisturise!

Credit: Jernej Graj

Moisturizing the skin often during pregnancy will be of great help as it tends to be drier than usual. If you have oily skin, you can use a water-based moisturizer. If your skin is dry, then use one that is oil-based. For healthy skin during pregnancy, a regular routine of cleaning and moisturizing must be followed.

6. Cracked Nipples

In the initial stages of breastfeeding, women usually suffer from cracked nipples. Lanolin-based creams can be used safely without harming your baby. They will heal and soothe the soreness. You can also use it as a prevention after each feed. Read instructions before use. It has been observed that leaving a small quantity of milk on the nipple also helps in bringing relief.

7. Varicose Veins

Some pregnant women suffer from varicose veins and this is better prevented than treated during pregnancy. The best ways to prevent varicose veins is to take a daily gentle walk, avoid standing for long periods, place your feet and legs in an elevated position, avoid excessive weight gain and avoid crossing your legs while sitting.

8. Choice of Soap

To avoid skin irritation during pregnancy, use only natural soaps. Soaps containing coconut oil are good. Use only soaps made from vegetable oils that don’t contain any perfume, chemicals or dyes. You can get natural soaps at a health food store.

9. Pigmentation

A skin pigmentation problem that affects some women during pregnancy is the pregnancy mask or chloasma. It affects women with darker complexions more than others. Patches of pigmented dark skin usually appear on the woman’s face, around the nipples and between the thighs. Some women also experience the ‘line of pregnancy’ or linea nigra which is a dark line of pigmentation that runs down the abdomen. These are aggravated by exposure to sunlight. The best way to handle these is to avoid sun exposure as much as possible, or if necessary, to use a safe sunscreen made from natural products.

10. Itchiness

A natural, safe and cheap method for relieving itchy skin is to add a little bicarbonate of soda into your bath water. A cup of soda added to the water in your bathtub will usually do the trick. It will reduce the itching and soften your skin as an added bonus. Avoid using scented bath products and use only natural soaps while bathing.