Skin Care for Pregnancy: How to Prevent Acne, Stretch Marks, and More

Natural Pregnancy skin care

Pregnant women may have that healthy glow, but there are plenty of skin issues that can also accompany motherhood. From hormonal acne to stretch marks and everything in between, it helps to know the ins and outs of pregnancy skin care. With each kid I learned a little more about which products were best to use (and avoid!) and which foods to eat to help my skin cope with the challenges miracle of pregnancy.

The answer to this is yes and no. It’s always a good idea to give our skin the care and attention it needs, especially during pregnancy when the body goes through so many changes. The key is to choose safe, nourishing ingredients that are healthy for both mom and baby.

There are certain ingredients that always make it onto my NO list, whether I’m pregnant or not. Simple and natural are best in my book. There are a few ingredients that even conventional experts say to avoid during pregnancy though.

This synthetic form of vitamin A is applied topically to the skin, usually to fight wrinkles and aging. According to experts like the National Institutes of Health, synthetic vitamin A supplements are known to cause birth defects. The risks mean it should also be avoided topically when pregnant.

Retinol also gets a bad rap from the EWG (Environmental Working Group) Skindeep Database, which rates it as a 9 out of 10 for toxicity. This one can be tricky since it is often found in natural skincare products.

Hormone changes during pregnancy can cause adult acne. Salicylic acid is used to dry up acne, though personally it didn’t work for my teen breakouts. When ingested it can cause miscarriage or birth defects, so it’s recommended to avoid using it topically for acne during pregnancy.

While the two above are only something to watch out for during pregnancy, there are a number of problematic ingredients in conventional skin care products (and why I make many of my own). According to the Environmental Working Group, some of the ingredients to look out for on labels and avoid are:

See “Top Tips for Safer Products from the EWG” for the complete list.

Taking care of our skin is always important, but pregnancy presents its own challenges. This next section covers the top pregnancy skin complaints and how to solve them naturally.

After six pregnancies I’ve earned my tiger stripes, but that doesn’t mean I want to keep them. Stretch marks are thought to be genetic, however they can be diminished or even eliminated. The key to avoiding them or getting rid of stretch marks is a healthy diet and proper skin care.


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