"It's impossible to predict how hormonal changes in pregnancy will affect your skin," says Lula Lewis, naturopath and the woman behind the health and beauty website LoveLula. "If you are not one of the lucky women who find themselves glowing during pregnancy, look for gentle, natural skincare products that can help rebalance your skin." Avoid anything that might trigger skin sensitivity, particularly preparations containing alpha hydroxy chemical peels or abrasive exfoliants.
If your skin does erupt, blame progesterone, which can cause the secretions of your skin glands to go into overdrive, thus triggering a less-than-perfect complexion. The good news is that it won't last. The first few months are when hormonal activity is at its most frantic, then it should settle.
Check your skincare and cosmetic products to see if they are loaded with toxic chemicals (see below) and consider switching to natural ranges. The ingredients list shouldn't contain any suspect chemicals, and many of the products you can buy are infused with feel-good plant oils, too.
Skincare ingredients you might prefer to avoid
Our skin absorbs about 60% of the lotions used on it so it makes sense to be cautious during pregnancy. Choose gentle formulations and check the labels carefully.
Avoid the following no-nos:
- Parabens such as methyl, propyl, butyl and ethyl
- Polyethylene glycol (PEG)
- Propylene glycol (PG)
- Sodium laureth sulphate
- Sodium lauryl sulphate