Pregnant human is holding their belly, while wearing a sports bra to show off the belly to the camera

The abrupt change in hormones can play a big role in how the body, mind, and skin present during pregnancy. While some experience a dewy glow, others experience breakouts. In this blog we cover a list of common skincare occurrences during pregnancy and how to trouble-shoot them naturally.

Miiko Skin Co Products that are safe to use while Pregnant/Breastfeeding

 

1. Honey Face Wash or Unscented Face Wash

  • Great as a daily face cleanser to help manage any acne or imbalances showing up throughout pregnancy. Safe for pregnancy. Unscented Face Wash can be used on babies and newborns

    • Free of parabens, endocrine etc...

2. Hazel Rose Toner or Apple Toner

  • Great for an extra step to your self-care routine. Both toners are effective treatments for minimizing the recurrence of breakouts and other topical imbalances like oily t-zones, blackheads, and patchy irritations.

3. Simplicity Serum or Luminous Serum

  • A daily moisturizer for the skin is a necessity for long-term skin care needs.

  • The Simplicity Serum is ideal for anyone dealing with aversions to scents and looking for a daily non-toxic natural moisturizer.

  • The Luminous Serum is designed more for the acne-prone skin type and does have an essential oil blend (safe for pregnancy) to help combat any additional acne or inflammation the skin might be experiencing during the hormonal peaks and valleys of pregnancy and post-partum. 

4. i-Zinc 

  • Good for minimal UV protection for winter pregnancies. Also great for itchy skin and topical irritations that might come up. Also good for skin discoloration. 

5. Summer Zinc Cream 20% (& Mini Summer Zinc Cream)

  • Our #1 recommendation for sun protection during pregnancy. Help to minimize rise of melasma (mask of pregnancy)

6. Bulk Base Body Oil or Unscented Body Butter/Mini-Cocoa Whip 

  • These are all unscented body care products made with rich hydrating ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and cocoa butter to help soothe dry skin, and help keep the skin hydrated while it expands. 

Common skin changes during pregnancy and postpartum

1. Acne 

What’s happening? 

  1. Hormonal fluctuations can cause the skin to overproduce oil and clog pores. This can result in new breakouts. Also the immune system is dampened during pregnancy which can also increase the risk of topical bacterial breakouts. 

  2. Pregnancy acne is especially common if the body hasn’t had a chance to detox/rebalance the synthetic hormones from hormonal birth control before getting pregnant soon after “pulling the goalie”

  3. Change in diet, cravings, aversions, sickness, insomnia, stress, can also play a factor in the skin's imbalances. 

Strategies for management 

  1. Consistent routine - Try and find time twice per day to wash, tone (optional) and moisturize. Schedules are different with newborns so don’t feel bad if you don’t have a strict morning and evening routine, but finding 2-3 minutes 1-2x day to maintain hygiene and hydration for your skin will help minimize the extremes of skincare fluctuations you could experience. 

  2. Balancing Complexion Collection and Combination Collection are both safe for pregnancy.

  3. Take the quiz or book a consultation

2. Sensitivity and aversion to scents

What’s happening? 

  1. The hormonal changes occurring in the body during pregnancy and postpartum is one of the more dramatic and intense journeys the human body is designed to embark on. Morning sickness, food and scent aversions, and general changes to likes/dislikes can be subtle or massive depending on the person and the pregnancy. 

    Strategies for management 

    1. Everyone will cope with their symptoms differently, but generally simplifying your exposure to extremely strong scents (especially synthetic fragrances, paint VOCs*, and strong cleaners) can be beneficial for both the baby and the parent carrying them.  *(volatile organic compounds)

    2. Even some essential oils and natural aromas can be overpowering for pregnant people. 

    3. We offer essential oil free versions of the following products: Unscented Face Wash*, Apple Toner, Simplicity Serum*, i-Zinc, Turmeric Rose Cream, Mini-Cocoa Whip*, Bulk Base Body Oil, and Konjac Sponges*

    * denotes naturally essential oil free. 

    3. Hyperpigmentation 

    What’s happening? 

    1. Melasma (also known as the Mask of Pregnancy) is common during pregnancy - especially for those of Asian or African descent, or anyone with more melanated skin pre-pregnancy. It is caused by a combination of exposure to sunlight (UV radiation) and the higher levels of estrogen and progesterone stimulating excess production of melanin in the skin. 

    2. Click here to learn more about hyperpigmentation!

    Strategies for management 

    1. Mineral sun protection! Use a natural sunblock with zinc oxide to protect your skin from UVA and UVB exposure without any risk of absorbing harmful ingredients into your bloodstream. We recommend the Summer Zinc Cream 20%. Do you have a darker skin type? Check out our new Darker Tint Mini Summer Zinc Cream!

    2. Sunglasses, hats, mindfulness of high UV periods of the day, umbrellas and natural non-topical forms of sun protection are also highly valuable and recommended! There are other ways to manage the appearance of hyperpigmenation - check out: https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/symptoms-and-solutions/melasma-mask-of-pregnancy/

    3. Keep in mind this is temporary! Melasma related to pregnancy will eventually go away - though it can take a year or so postpartum. If you are experiencing hyperpigmentation not related to pregnancy, please read this blog to help identify the type of hyperpigmentation you are experiencing. 

    4. Itchy skin 

    What’s happening? 

    1. Itchy skin is really normal during pregnancy, External conditions like summer heat, or dry climate zones can exacerbate itchy skin during pregnancy. While hives, and itchy skin can be normal, consult your doctor or midwife if you are experiencing any intense itchiness symptoms. 

    2. One of the more common experiences is itchy pregnant bellies because when the skin expands it becomes increasingly moisture deprived. You might notice this in other growing areas like the breasts or butt too. 

    Strategies for management 

    1. Regular moisturization (no need to wait until the 4-5th month when the belly really starts to bloom) will help keep the skin moisturized and flexible as it continues to grow and build a home for your baby(or babies). 

    2. The i-Zinc or products with French lavender essential oil (avoid Spanish lavender essential oil during pregnancy) is a great natural anti-itch alternative. 

    3. Try something unscented like the Bulk Base Body Oil or Unscented Body Butter/Mini-Cocoa Whip for ultimate safety. Oil-based moisturizers are paired well after following a shower or bath because they help trap water in the skin. 

    4. Other tips: Drink lots of water and be mindful of electrolytes as well. Consider a humidifier, try an oatmeal bath, talk to your doctor. 

    5. Stretchmarks and expansion 

    What’s happening? 

    1. Stretch marks are extremely common, and it is important to begin this conversation with the normalization of stretch marks. The body must expand to physically make room to bring another life (maybe multiple lives!) into this world, and it is an absurd beauty standard to suggest stretch marks are completely preventable and/or unworthy of admiration. 

    2. Stretch marks are caused from tiny tears happening in the deep tissue of the skin. Experiencing stretch marks has a lot to do with genetics, and your skin's elasticity. Lifestyle, diet, exercise can play a role in the elasticity of the skin. 

    3. One other factor to the development of stretch marks can be the rate of weight gain across pregnancy. The faster the skin stretches the more likely it is to tear. 

    Strategies for management 

    1. Understanding the skin as an organ and its capacity to stretch and grow is really important. Stretch marks are a symbol of your body’s incredible capacity for change, and starting the internal dialogue of love and appreciation for your body is important for the greater mission to normalize the bodies transformation in pregnancy and postpartum instead of the expectation of “belly only” pregnancies and immediate bounce-back

    2. A deep moisturizing product like shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, and olive oil (did we just name all of the ingredients in the Unscented body whip?) can be a practical daily practice for pregnant bellies. 

    3. The area of the skin that experiences stretch marks is deep in the tissue. So taking care of your skin from the inside out can be especially important. Eat plenty of vitamin-C rich foods. Vitamin C helps with collagen production which plays a role in elasticity. Vitamin D, and Omega-3 fatty acids are also great! We won’t go into the details of nutrition because this is already a dominant dialogue expecting parents are exposed to during pregnancy. 

    Reminder! Healthy diet, consistent weight gain, hydration, and minimal exposure to synthetic fragrances and VOCs are healthy components of growing a healthy baby. Healthy birthing parent = healthy baby. 

    We live in a world dominated by pressures to lose weight and look a certain way. The magical bellies that get the “ooos and ahhhs” during pregnancy are the same bodies that are scrutinized in the postpartum period for not “bouncing back” fast enough.  It can be hard to learn self compassion and self love as your body changes and gets bigger but healthy bodies don’t “look” any certain way. The more we can add to this conversation and normalize weight gain and body changes as part of health journeys the better! 

    7. Other skin changes that occur in pregnancy 

    Learn more:

    August 03, 2021 — Kimiko Foster

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