If the time-old cliche is anything to go by, falling pregnant is a surefire shortcut to glowing skin, right? Well, not quite. That so-called pregnancy glow isn’t necessarily as ubiquitous as you might think. In fact, due to fluctuating hormone levels, an increase in tiredness and general changes to your day-to-day lifestyle, there’s actually so much more that goes on in your skin when you’re pregnant than you might think.
If you’re newly pregnant and planning your skin moves for the months ahead, or further down the line, hoping to make sense of the skin changes you’ve spotted recently, then read on for the Lion/ne guide to your skin during pregnancy. Or in other words, what to expect when you’re expecting!
1. A rise in hyperpigmentation
One of the most common pregnancy skin shifts is the development of patches of hyperpigmentation known as melasma. Usually slightly darker than your existing skin tone, melasma can develop on the cheeks, upper lips, chin and forehead and they’re caused by a rise in pigment-stimulating hormones. Although anyone who falls within the Fitzpatrick skin tone of upper 3 and 4 and higher is much more prone to developing melasma, if you have a family history, the likeliness you’ll experience it is higher too. The best way to minimise this tonal change? SPF. As melasma can be spurred on by UV rays, it’s vital you stay militant with your application of broad spectrum sun protection.
2. Increased sensitivity
It’s very common for skin to become more sensitive during pregnancy, and it might react to certain skincare and laundry products, temperature and sun exposure. Annoying though it may be, it’s important to remember that this is simply the body’s way of protecting itself and the foetus from infection and disease. To remedy the sensitivity, look for simple skincare formulations and cut out anything with added fragrances.
3. Shifts in skin excretions
Hormonal changes during pregnancy usually send skin one of two ways: either increased oiliness or increased dryness. Sometimes hormones accelerate oil production in the glands, or they might actually rob skin of oil which can lead to dry and flaky skin. First, it’s vital to figure out which camp your complexion falls into, and then tweak your routine to balance everything out.
4. Unusual breakouts
Sure they’re a nuisance, but pregnancy breakouts make total sense: not only are hormones fluctuating, but anxiety levels are also high which can cause spots to crop up especially around the chin and jawline. Thankfully, this congestion tends to fade around 6-8 weeks post-birth, but in the meantime, you can supercharge your routine with certain (pregnancy-suitable!) ingredients to help handle any smatterings of spots.
5. Stretch marks
Stretch marks are synonymous with pregnancy, as the skin stretches to accommodate for the tiny human growing inside of you. While brands love to shout about the latest 'cure' to stretch marks but in reality, it just doesn't work like that. Not only is there very limited evidence to support any purported stretch mark solution, their appearance really does depend on your health history and genetic backstory. Plus – and more importantly – stretch marks aren't something to be 'cured' anyway so nothing to be ashamed of.
Want help navigating these pregnancy-induced skin shifts?
Lion/ne’s specifically trained Skin Mentors are on hand to coach you through the process, explain what you can and can’t use and help you build a pregnancy-suitable skincare routine that works for you. Simply book a Holistic Skin Session now to unlock.