Keep your skin, as well as your growing baby, healthy by switching up your skincare during pregnancy. Here’s how:

During nine months of pregnancy, women’s bodies undergo many weird and wonderful changes. Some of them are welcome, such as strong, shiny hair and glowing skin. Others, such as morning sickness and melasma, are less so!

While we know that our insides transform to accommodate a growing baby, pregnancy can also bring about changes on the outside. Here’s what to expect from your skin and hair when you’re expecting, and how to keep them healthy before, and after, birth.

 

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Acne

We have all been led to believe that with pregnancy comes radiant skin. This, however, is often not the case. Because of the release of a hormone called androgen, the skin produces more breakout-causing, pore-blocking sebum.

While trusted acne-fighting treatments, such as salicylic acid and retinoids, are off the table until you are no longer breastfeeding, using a gentle cleanser, exfoliating regularly and not picking at zits can help to keep blemishes at bay.

Hair changes

A woman’s locks can go through some significant, sometimes permanent, changes during pregnancy. Some people’s texture changes completely, and others experience quick growth with more strength and fullness. Unfortunately, this can be short-lived, with many people experiencing postpartum hair loss following birth. Keep your shedding to a minimum by adhering to a healthy, protein-rich diet and taking vitamins and supplements, and handling it with care. Hair normally starts returning to normal after a few months of TLC.

Stretch marks

Pregnant bellies do a lot of growing to make room for a baby. This means that your skin also does a lot of stretching – often at a rapid pace. And this can lead to stretch marks, something that up to 90% of women will develop over the nine-month period.

 

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While they do fade over time, keeping the area moisturized and supple can help when it comes to prevention. Other treatments, such as glycolic acid and laser therapy, have also been shown to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation isn’t just caused by sun exposure. It can also be caused by the fluctuating hormones of pregnancy.  It can occur in different parts of the body, too. While some people experience dark spots on their face becoming more pronounced, others may develop darkening around the inner thighs, genitals, and around the navel.

Reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation by staying out of the sun and wearing (and reapplying!) SPF daily. While some marks will fade on their own over time, others can be treated by a dermatologist.