Pregnancy and Your Skin

Pregnancy and Your Skin

While pregnancy is a time of wonder and can often contribute to a deep respect for (and connection to) your body, it can sometimes leave you wondering when that mystical “pregnancy glow” will appear. Although some people experience a beautiful skin glow, others find that pregnancy presents extra challenges, but this isn’t cause to stress; these changes are common and normal. 

These challenges can take the form of changes in skin pigmentation, acne and general increased sensitivity of your skin. You may find the changes that occur during pregnancy disconcerting (particularly if you’ve been graced with well-behaved skin otherwise), so we’re here to ease your concerns and provide some information on the “why”s, the “how”s and the “what can you do”s.

Changes in Pigmentation: 

During pregnancy, your body will produce more estrogen than you will during the entire rest of your life. This hormone, along with progesterone, plays a huge role in supporting your baby (or babies) as they develop. These hormones can also contribute to hyperpigmentation as your body produces more melanin, which can be expressed as a darkening of nipples, birthmarks, freckles and moles, a dark line down the center of your belly (Linea Nigra) or as slightly darker patches on your face (Melasma). These examples of hyperpigmentation are all normal and should not cause you concern - they do generally fade soon after pregnancy. 

Linea Nigra translates simply to “dark line” and refers to a harmless vertical line that can appear from your navel to your pubic bone that may appear during your second or third trimester. Melasma or “the mask of pregnancy” refers to the slightly darker ‘blotches’ that can appear on your face. Keeping out of the sun or applying a good natural sunscreen will help stop both pigmentation expressions from darkening further. If you’re looking to reduce the appearance of this pigmentation The Herb Farm’s Repairing Rosehip Oil could be a great option. It’s full of vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids that help repair your skin and can reduce scarring and pigmentation. 

Linea Nigra

Stretchmarks occur when weight is gained quickly which can put pressure on your skin. It’s common to see stretchmarks on your belly, hips, breasts or thighs during your pregnancy and they usually appear slightly darker than your normal skin tone (but then fade). Prevention strategies are best here: significantly reduce the appearance of stretchmarks by keeping your skin soft and nourished throughout your pregnancy. Look for something safe during pregnancy that focuses on skin elasticity like The Herb Farm’s Mother To Be Body OilThis has been a holy grail for a lot of our customers during their pregnancies, with many not experiencing any stretch marks at all!

Acne and Skin Sensitivity:

Sebum, is an oil produced naturally by your body to keep skin nourished and, during pregnancy, this production increases which can lead to breakouts. Making sure the cleanser you use is mild is key to reducing this production of sebum. It might sound counter-intuitive but stripping your skin of its natural oils will only trigger your skin to produce even more oil! Choose a soft cleanser with calming ingredients like our Softening Rose Cream Cleanser for best results.

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also result in drier, more sensitive skin. Keeping cool, wearing soft, loose clothing, and simplifying your skincare routine can help reduce irritation. Think about choosing soap-free body washes and skincare products with calming ingredients rather than “active” ones. The Herb Farm’s Normal (including sensitive) Skincare Range was created using calming ingredients like Rose Extract and would be a great option during your pregnancy. You could also consider reducing the number of times you bath or choosing lukewarm water temperatures over hot to help reduce dryness and irritation. 

Luke-warm temperatures are best for sensitive skin.

Choosing Pregnancy Safe Products: 

Navigating the skincare world can already be a difficult task; with so many options out there, it can be overwhelming finding a product that works for you and your values. This difficulty only increases when your search is limited to products that are safe to use during pregnancy. 

Our top tip for finding pregnancy safe skincare is simply to look at the ingredients to ensure they are natural and gentle. Regarding skincare specifically, it’s a good idea to steer clear of sulfates, exfoliants like glycolic, salicylic acid, and retinoids, and any creams with a long list of synthetic ingredients. Stick to ingredients that focus on calming and nourishing rather than those with lots of active ingredients. 

The Herb Farm's Skincare Range for Normal (and sensitive) Skin

 

This doesn’t mean you can’t use serums and face oils if you want to – check they’re not packed with synthetic ingredients like those listed above and, if you want to double check, you can reach out to the manufacturer and ask about a specific product and whether it’s safe to use. 

A widely used product that isn’t recommended for use during pregnancy is retinol. While recommended for stimulating the production of collagen (and therefore reducing the appearance of wrinkles), retinol is a synthetic product which is known to cause several side-effects including photo-sensitivity and irritation. If you don’t want to miss out on that collagen boost, choose nature’s alternative and find a product with Bakuchiol: this is a fantastic ingredient that takes everything that’s good about retinol but leaves behind all of the negative side-effects! 

BAKUCHIOL 

RETINOL 

100% natural, derived from plants 

Synthetic 

Visibly improves signs of ageing 

Visibly improves signs of ageing 

Can be used morning and evening 

Best used at night as can cause sensitivity to sunlight 

Stimulates collagen production 

Stimulates collagen production 

Can be used alongside other active ingredients 

Use with other active ingredients not recommended 

Suitable for all skin types 

Can cause irritation to sensitive skin 

Safe to use during pregnancy 

Not safe to use during pregnancy 


For the best of both worlds, try The Herb Farm’s Transforming Bakuchiol Face Oil
a botanical powerhouse of high-performing Hemp, Apple Seed and Rosehip Oils, combined with the natural retinol alternative Bakuchiol Oil. Formulated to target signs of ageing and acne or problem skin, this oil is a great option for all skin types. 

The Herb Farm Transforming Bakuchiol Face Oil - Nature's Retinol

For the duration of your pregnancy, the main thing is not to feel too overwhelmed by your body’s changes. Remember that these are all natural and generally harmless short-term challenges. Embrace your body’s new quirks and enjoy your pregnancy journey! 

  - by Katrina Smeaton, Marketing Assistant at The Herb Farm