While pregnant, there are numerous things that you should or shouldn’t do. Do take your prenatal vitamins. Don’t eat sushi. Do stay active if you’re active already. Don’t drink a lot of caffeine. The list goes on. But did you know the do’s and don’ts extend to skincare as well?
Because we want you soon-to-be mamas as prepared as possible, we spoke to Louise Proulx, longtime med spa professional (certified in various laser technology such as CoolTone and CoolSculpting) and owner of Renew Beauty Med Spa, about all the details.
Pay attention to how your skin changes. Proulx highly recommends taking a moment to just think about what happens to you hormonally. This can help you better understand what your skin needs as it changes during pregnancy.
For example, Proulx notes that many women use birth control as a way to combat acne—then when they become pregnant, they have acne flare ups. Or there are women whose skin becomes much drier. Paying attention to those details can help you be more conscious of what you’re applying—or need to apply—to your skin.
Use laser treatments. Proulx makes a point to say that while there hasn’t necessarily been evidence to suggest laser treatments are good or bad during pregnancy, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Wait until baby comes to bring out the lasers.
Use sunscreen. It goes without saying that we should use sunscreen all the time, but during pregnancy it’s super important for your skin to stay hydrated.
Proulx stresses the importance of antioxidants in your sunscreen and reminds mamas that SPF in your makeup isn’t enough—it needs to be medical grade, with zinc and high levels of titanium dioxide.
Go hard on the chemical peels. Proulx says that while exfoliation is fine, using harsh chemical peels can wait until baby arrives.
For example, during pregnancy it’s common for women to get melasma (or pregnancy mask in which brown or gray-brown patches appear on the cheeks, forehead, nose and chin) in the third trimester. While it’s something we know you’ll want to deal with right then and there, have patience. You can easily get rid of it with more intensive therapies after you deliver your little bundle.
Go with organic products. Proulx strongly suggests that soon-to-be mamas try to use as much organic product as they can in the interest of baby’s safety as well as feeling good.
A few of Proulx’s favorite organic lines are FarmHouse Fresh (based in McKinney) and Eminence. Two of her favorite products from Eminence include the Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant and the Stone Crop Oxygenating Fizzfoliant—she says both are great exfoliants for all skin types.
Bypass your dermatologist. If you notice you’re developing a sensitivity—whether you’ve changed your skincare regimen or not—go see a dermatologist. It’s common for women to develop allergies during pregnancy, so talking to your dermatologist can help you pinpoint what’s going on.
Get facials and lymphatic massages. While chemical peels, injections and lasers need to go on a temporary hiatus during pregnancy, facials don’t have to.
One kind in particular that moms-to-be are concerned about trying while pregnant is the trendy Hydrafacial. But Proulx says they’re very safe.
While it does include a glycolic peel, it’s not harsh enough to be a no-go while pregnant. Just make sure you chat with your esthetician first—Hydrafacials include shellfish in the product, so if you’re allergic, steer clear.
Lymphatic massages are helpful for moms-to-be that are dealing with congestion. Proulx says many moms who come in to Renew are congested, but don’t want to (or can’t) take medicine for it. These massages help clear that away by rubbing the face, neck, décolletage and hands.
Photos courtesy of Renew Beauty Med Spa.