7 Things I Changed in my Skincare Routine While Pregnant
It's absolutely no secret that your skincare routine has to change once you become pregnant. Mine changed a lot because well, you know I'm a skincare fanatic. Previously I was testing hundreds of products each month, and trying different body, skin and beauty products. So here's the lowdown of all the things I changed this year, to ensure I keep baby Ada safe in the womb.
*As always, I am not not a doctor, dermatologist or anyone certified or qualified to tell you what changes to make for you or your baby's health, so consult with your doctor and do your own research.
1. Goodbye chemical peels, peel pads, Botox & filler
This was a dagger to the heart and twist for me because anyone who knows literally anything about me, knows that the Dr Dennis Gross Peel Pads are my holy grail. If I could only have one product long-term, this would be it because it is the most brightening and exfoliating. Literally one peel pad can make a huge difference, but the universal and extra strength do have vitamin A but they also do irritate super sensitive skin. On top of that, I did some chemical peels inside a professional office (VI Peel, PCA Skin Peel, etc) and those are completely off the table during this sensitive time.
The Botox and filler situation has been super heartbreaking for me because I do scrunch up my face. A LOT. Botox not only didn't allow me to do that, but it also made my skin really smooth and glossy. It's like an instant face lift truly, especially depending on how it's injected. The same can be said for the filler under my eyes and around my chin. We will resume all of this soon enough, and I'll be a more awake refreshed looking woman.
2. I became more careful with salicylic acid
Initially I thought I had to avoid all salicylic acid, but after a few nurse friends told me that there are studies and it is deemed safe in lower percentages I did a little more digging. If you're experiencing hormonal breakouts (which most of us are during this massive change in our bodies) salicylic may be one of the only things that helps alleviate some of the acne. There's nothing worse feeling unwell, and have to deal with aggressive acne all of a sudden.
3. Vitamin A (retinol) is typically advised against
The general consensus is that there's not enough research to comfortably inform us if Vitamin A (in any form) is safe or unsafe during pregnancy. I've seen dermatologists who say that many of their patients decided to use retinol ON their bellies to prevent stretch marks, and then there are also dermatologists who don't even want their clients using lactic acids due to the generally more sensitive skin women tend to experience throughout pregnancy. An alternative to this is bakuchiol which is a plant-derived alternative to retinol that has similar effects. It's not as efficacious but it'll do the trick during pregnancy.
4. Ensuring the cleanliness of the brands
While I tend to gravitate to clean beauty (and cleaner skincare) I've been even more vigilant about it. I try to avoid brands with the ingredient "Fragrance" or "Parfum" especially if the brand is made in the US. Why? In the US, brands can hide over 100 ingredients under Fragrance which is not good for the endocrine system. If the products are made in a European country governed by the EU, I tend to be less weary because they have to go through their own country's testing, as well as adhere to the EU's strict guidelines, which bans over 1,000 ingredients whereas the US only bans ~100.
5. Avoiding the use of lots of (new) products
Previously I was testing hundreds of different products and switching them out willy nilly (I mean it's part of the gig of basically being my own beauty editor) but unfortunately pregnancy doesn't allow for that. I had seen a magazine's rundown of some popular products that are "refreshing" during pregnancy, and the list included the Drunk Elephant Sake Spray. Come to find that sets my skin on fire, and made me bright red (truly like a cherry.) When I tell you that nothing has ever made my skin feel that inflamed, I am not exaggerating. Over time, I've realized that anything that has any sort of fragrance seems to make my skin bright red. I am now much more careful with switching products and using new items because it could quite literally throw my entire skin game off. *As a side note, if something makes my skin bright red and you I get a burning sensation, I wash my skin immediately, twice. This usually helps alleviate the burning and the redness diminishes after a few minutes.
6. Moisture the body to avoid stretch marks
While some may not consider the entire body as "skincare" it most certainly is. The skin is actually your largest organ and during pregnancy, things tend to get dry and itchy. This is why there's so many products on the market for stretch marks, but really sometimes those are just inevitable giving the amount of stretching you're going to be doing through pregnancy.
A few brands I've trusted throughout this process with their belly and stretch mark creams including Honest, Nemah, Skin and Senses and C & the Moon. I've also love Anya's Body Butter, but Anya focuses more on postpartum remedies but their body butter and nipple cream are fab for mamas.
7. Apply, and reapply and then reapply SPF
I've always been a sun protection fanatic, but even more so now. I spent just 10-15 minutes outside chatting with someone, and I noticed my skin got super red and irritated. While prolonged sun exposure is not ideal for anyone, with the additional sensitivity during this time it really is important to reapply SPF. I know it's annoying, but if you use a powder or stick formula it's a lot more manageable throughout the day.