During pregnancy, your body undergoes a massive series of changes, from hormonal imbalances to tiny tears in your skin to increased blood circulation. These changes often have an effect on your skin, and while many of the skin issues caused by pregnancy are temporary and resolved after delivery, pregnant women can use certain pregnancy-safe skincare products to relieve their symptoms.
For example, if a pregnant woman experiences melasma (the darkening of skin on her face), makeup and concealer can disguise the discoloration, while sunscreen can prevent further darkening of the skin. Soy-based sunscreen may also have an effect in lightening the darkened skin area.
Stretch marks are another extremely common skin issue caused by pregnancy, experienced by 90% of women (typically in the sixth or seventh month of pregnancy). While research hasn’t proven a surefire way to avoid stretch marks, moisturizers can reduce the itchiness, while sunless tanning products can hide the marks as well.
Along with itchiness, pregnant women are also prone to experiencing rashes on their body. While harmless, these rashes can be quite uncomfortable for women; they can be treated with over-the-counter topical moisturizers, or, if severe, prescription corticosteroids may be required.
One skin condition with a simple, DIY fix is puffiness in the eyelids and face, which occurs due to increased blood circulation during the third trimester. Pregnant women can treat this at home with ice and cold packs applied to the affected area; if paired with sudden weight gain, it may signal problems that you should discuss with your doctor.
As women’s bodies produce more hormones, some women become prone to acne, especially around the mouth. While over-the-counter acne products (such as astringents) can help, pregnant women must be careful to avoid products that contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and/or retinoids, all of which are considered unsafe for pregnant women to use because of their links to birth defects and pregnancy complications.