Ah, the radiant glow of an expectant mother! What could be more beautiful? Unfortunately for many women the hormonal and physical changes that occur during pregnancy can cause frustrating and confusing changes in their skin. Conditions such as chloasma, the “mask of pregnancy” and acne can not only be a source of distress but, left untreated they can continue long after your child is born. There are however many treatments available which can safely address these skin concerns. As many women are waiting longer to have children it is also important for mature mums to be to note which anti-aging ingredients and treatments are safe during pregnancy and which should be avoided.
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That pregnancy “glow” is actually caused by increased blood flow to the skin as well as an increase in sebum production, which in many woman can lead to troublesome and sometimes severe acne. It will be even more important during this time to keep your skin clean, removing makeup thoroughly each night. It is also important to change your pillow cases often and keep glasses and cell phones clean to prevent avoid bacterial invasion. You may choose to switch to a lighter moisturizer and avoid heavy oils. Acne during pregnancy requires special consideration as many treatments and active ingredients are unsafe or questionable for use during pregnancy and breast feeding. Vitamin A based treatments like Accutane or topical Retin-A are to be avoided during pregnancy and antibiotics are often contraindicated as well.
Benzoyl peroxide and high concentrations of salicylic acid (keep it under 2%) should be replaced with safer alpha hydroxy acids such as *lactic acid to keep skin smooth and clear. Our *Super Clear Pore Perfecter helps to calm and heal even the angriest of breakouts and can be used as a mask or an intensive spot treatment overnight. A very safe and effective method to treat persistent breakouts and inflammation is *LED phototherapy. This gentle in-clinic treatment eliminates the bacteria that causes acne while reducing inflammation and speeding up the skin’s healing process. Our clients especially love that this treatment is also anti-aging, increasing collagen and elastin synthesis and leaving the skin more even toned and supple. Prompt treatment of pregnancy acne will minimize the risk of future scarring so you can stop worrying about your skin and enjoy your time with your newborn!
- Topical Retin A
- Benzoyl Peroxide (concentrations higher than 5%)
- Salicylic Acid (concentrations higher than 2%)
Chloasma or the “mask of pregnancy” is a form of melasma, or excessive pigment experienced by expecting mothers that can continue long after pregnancy in some individuals. It is characterized by brown or greyish patches on the forehead, across the cheeks and chin and can be very distressing to those who experience it. It is especially common in women of asian or hispanic descent but can occur with any skin type. Use of a broad spectrum SPF using zinc and titanium dioxide rather than a chemical sunscreen can help to prevent this disorder. We love *Coola Vegetable Sunscreen unscented* and it is advisable to avoid direct sun exposure or wear a wide brimmed hat. Preventative use of treatments to inhibit melanin formation can also be very helpful. While Hydroquinone has been used for many years for this purpose it has now been banned in several countries due to toxicity issues and we do not recommend this ingredient whether pregnant or not. A safer, gentler alternative is Alpha Arbutin. We use this ingredient in our *Pigment Correcting Serum* which not only helps to prevent pigmentation but to fade existing chloasma and sun damage. Gentle exfoliation with *alpha hydroxy acids and Kojic acid* will also help to fade these marks over time and they improve the effectiveness of the Alpha Arbutin. More persistent cases can be treated in clinic with professional strength chemical peels or *Silkpeel treatments and in some cases *IPL. An experienced medi-spa technician can advise the most suitable treatment for your skin. Although this condition can be dramatically improved or eliminated, continued use of sun protection is integral to maintaining your results.
- Excessive sun exposure
- Wear a mineral based sunscreen (zinc and titanium based)
- Use Alpha Arbutin
- Wear a hat when out and about