We talk about skincare all the time. What moisturiser to use, the right skincare routine, eating right for better skin, but what happens if you’re pregnant? Do we continue as we were? Anyone pregnant will know, one of the first things the gynaecologist does is give you a list of what to avoid. And often, that can leave you confused. So, we spoke to four dermatologists for their expert advice. Here’s all you need to know about your pregnancy skincare routine.
We spoke to Dr Varshini Reddy, better known as The Glow Edit on Instagram, who runs a skin studio called Glow in Hyderabad. “Some women forego most of their skincare routine during pregnancy, and that’s not the solution. Use what works for you, is safe, and gives your skincare a little boost with at-home tools like microcurrent devices, rollers, and LED masks. Switch your skincare to something non-toxic and more plant-based.
And Dr Nirupama, an MD dermatologist practising at the Zolie Clinic in South Delhi, gave us a great prenatal skincare regimen. “One, you want to use a facewash best suited to your skin type. Use a gentle foamy one for oily skin and a milder non-foaming one for dry skin. Avoid exfoliants in your facewash as your skin may be more sensitive at the time. Second, use a toner that delivers antioxidants or hydrating agents like Vitamin C or Hyaluronic Acid. Next, use a hydrating moisturiser to maintain your skin barrier. Adding vitamin E as a serum or in your moisturiser is great during pregnancy. Vitamin E can also be applied to the abdomen area to alleviate stretch marks. Last, use a gel-based sunscreen for oily skin or a cream-based one for dry skin, SPF 30 PA +++, in the day,” she explains.
“The chances of hyperpigmentation increase during pregnancy. It’s called chloasma. So sunscreen is of utmost importance if you don’t want it to flare up” advises Dr Trasi.
In terms of haircare, Dr Nirupama adds, “Hair usually become much better during pregnancy, however, post-natal hair is a different story: Shedding can increase. This will recover on its own, but it’s important to boost your growth with the right supplements, your doctor can help you with this.” “In case of hair fall during pregnancy, which can happen due to poor nutrition, hormonal fluctuation, stress, or pre-existing health conditions, find the root of the cause and treat it.
Under your doctor’s supervision, you can work more nutrients into your diet: Iron, omega, protein, or flavonoid supplements, and accompany this with supplements like Vitamin B, E, D, and zinc,” says Dr Nirupama. “In these cases, avoid using heat and styling tools.”
“Start applying cocoa butter mixed with bio-oil or almond oil daily, even as early as the first trimester on your body. Due to genetic predisposition, you may still get stretch marks, but they will be less severe,” says Dr Shaista Kazi of Ellegenz Clinic, in Mumbai. “In case of sever itching or lesions, which can happen during pregnancy, keep lacto calamine in the fridge and use. It’s your best bet.”
Dr Shefali Trasi Nerurkar, of Dr. Trasi’s Clinic & La Piel, adds, “In pregnancy, it’s essential to stay hydrated inside and out. The body’s skin gets dry. So, a good moisturising routine must be established from the first trimester itself.”
Avoiding actives and essential oils in skincare
“Now, this is important. Avoid using retinol or any other Vitamin A derivatives, whether it’s topical or oral, as it can be teratogenic (substances that can produce physical or functional defects on a fetus),” adds Dr Varshini. “You should also avoid benzoyl peroxide-based creams or ointments and essential oils (not to be confused with carrier oils like avocado, coconut, jojoba, black seed, olive oil, etc). Essential oils can stimulate early labour in some cases. They can also be harsh on the skin,” she adds.