You can read all the books in the world and do all the research that is humanly possible, yet nothing will ever completely prepare you for pregnancy. The nine-month period can be one of the most intense and magical times a woman experiences, as your body prepares to bring a little person into the world. However, this time can also be baffling as certain unexpected changes occur: random food cravings, heat flashes and sporadic emotional outbursts (fun, right?). On top of everything else, changes in our skin and complexion also take place, making our once airtight beauty regimens less-than-perfect. Whether you’ve got a bun in the oven or not, we feel it is our duty to shed light on some of the things you can expect during this time. We reached out to skincare pros Stacy Cox and Dr. Kavita Mariwalla to sound off on the surprising effects pregnancy can have on your beauty routine. (Please note: These changes may not be the case for all women. Symptoms may vary!)
1. Back to Basics
New York–based dermatologist Dr. Kavita Mariwalla says that during pregnancy many of your go-to skincare faves will go on a brief hiatus. “You want to be as minimalistic as possible,” says Dr. Mariwalla. Los Angeles-based esthetician Stacy Cox also suggests getting a second opinion on any and all skin care while you’re expecting. “You should clear your skincare products with your doctor before using them,” she says. “ For the next nine months, your physician will be your skincare cop.” Strip your skincare regimen down to the bare bones and stick to a gentle cleanser, toner, moisturizer and, of course, sunblock. When it comes to scouting for pregnancy-friendly products, Cox suggests looking for products with keywords and phrases like “gentle” and “all skin-types.”
2. Hormonal Outbreak During pregnancy, the ever-changing hormones that cause you to cry at the drop of a hat also take their toll on your face. “Your skin goes through fluctual hormonal changes, so it’s not unusual to have periods of extremely oily skin and quickly switch to periods of dry skin,” explains Cox. “I recommend arming yourself with both a creamy, milky cleanser and a gel-based cleanser to address each issue as they come.”
3. The “Glow” We don’t want to be Negative Nellies and focus on just the unpleasant effects of pregnancy on the skin. It’s not all bad! In fact, many women experience a radiant change that eliminates the need for highlighter or any sort of shimmery products.May we offer a suggestion? Add a little cream blush to the apples of your cheeks to complement the glow and lend your face some rosiness.
4. Pregnancy Mask During pregnancy, skin sometimes will darken and develop blotchy areas. This is known as a pregnancy mask. Discoloration typically develops around the upper lip, nose and cheek bones, and is especially likely to affect women with darker or warmer skin tones. Again, this can be attributed to your lovely hormones. But, don’t worry, this pigmentation will fade in the few months following the arrival of your little bundle of joy. In the meantime, try a foundation that will help give you a more balanced complexion.
5. Vitamin Loss This is probably not news to most women, but we feel it is our duty to stress the importance of prenatal vitamins during pregnancy. All those skin-loving vitamins and nutrients that are naturally produced by your body are no longer just yours for the taking, says Cox. “Suddenly there’s a little person snatching all those vitamins and goodies that fill the gaps in your skin,” she explains. “It’s crucial that you take prenatals to pick up the slack and keep your skin, hair and nails in good shape.”
Hey mommas! What was your pregnancy experience like? Tell us in the comments below.