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Best Pregnancy Skincare For The Summer

pregnancy skincare

Taking care of your skin is important year-round, especially in the hot summer months. Pregnancy skincare is not discussed as commonly as other pregnancy limitations, but it’s important to be aware of the skin products you’re using during this time. Certain ingredients may not be harmful to you but will be harmful to your baby once its absorbed into your skin. Also, as your body is going through many changes, your skin will likely change too.

Whether you’re looking for a pregnancy-safe option to protect your skin from the sun or a product to combat new skin issues, there are certain things to keep in mind for your summer skincare routine. At Green Valley OBGYN, we specialize in obstetrics to ensure each woman’s healthiest and safest pregnancy.

How Your Skin Changes During Pregnancy

According to Healthline, the most common skin issues pregnant women experience are dry skin, darkening skin (melasma or chloasma), and acne.  The majority of the time these changes are hormone-related. However, if you have pre-existing skin issues, such as acne or eczema, it’s possible that your symptoms may worsen during pregnancy.  

Regardless of pregnancy, the summer heat can cause your skin to be dehydrated. Therefore if you’re pregnant in the summer, you’ll want to be extra sure to stay hydrated and moisturized to combat dry skin and stretch marks. Stretch marks, or striae gravidarum, are inevitable during pregnancy for up to 90% of women. Topical treatments won’t completely prevent or remove them, but we recommend applying pregnancy-safe oils or balms generously to problem areas. 

Hyperpigmentation or dark spots are other areas of concern for pregnant women during the summer months. Proper sun protection is crucial, as exposure to sunlight or other ultraviolet rays can worsen dark spots

Is SPF Pregnancy-Safe? 

Using sunscreen is so important during pregnancy. In a perfect world, you could avoid sun exposure entirely, but that’s neither realistic nor fun for the summer. Most sunscreens on the market are pregnancy safe, so you may not have to replace your favorite SPF. Mineral or physical sunscreens are the safest options for pregnant women.

On the other hand, chemical sunscreens contain an ingredient called oxybenzone that has been linked to affecting healthy fetal development. Mineral-based sunscreens that contain Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide will be your best friend this summer. These SPF products sit on the surface of your skin without being absorbed; therefore, they won’t affect your child. Here are some of the most popular sunscreens for pregnant women

Skincare Ingredients to Avoid During Your Pregnancy

Aside from chemical sunscreens, there are other standout ingredients to avoid during pregnancy. One of the main ingredients to steer clear of is Vitamin A or retinol. Retinol is typically used to fight acne and fine lines or wrinkles. It’s a popular ingredient in many anti-aging skin care products. Unfortunately, retinoids have been the cause of significant birth defects in babies.

A prescription retinol, Accutane, caused so many health issues for infants that the National Institue of Health now requires any woman on this medication of childbearing age to be on two forms of birth control while also taking monthly blood tests in order to obtain their refill. If you’re considering pregnancy and have taken Accutane, be sure not to try for a baby for at least one or two months after stopping the medication. 

Another popular ingredient to look out for is formaldehyde. It is typically used as a preservative in skincare products. However, the CDC stated that it could increase the risk of infertility and miscarriage. 

When making your pregnancy to-do list, changing your skincare routine may not have been at the top of the list. However, it can make a massive difference for you and your baby’s health this summer. If you have any more questions or concerns regarding pregnancy skincare, contact us at (336) 378-1110