The 4 major ingredients to stay away from include:
- salicylic acid (usually less than 2% is ok)
- glycolic acid (some doctors are ok with this ingredient, some are not- usually mild percentages are acceptable)
- retinoids (usually there’s no negotiating this one)
- benzoyl Peroxide
The other problem women run into when they have a bun in the oven, is pigmentation. This has been dubbed as pregnancy mask, which manifests as brownish spots on the forehead, above the lip, cheeks, or all of the above.
Note: you don’t have to be pregnant to experience this delightful condition. It’s hormonally related, so often any flux in hormones can create it. It happens most often after a woman has gone on or off birth control, then goes out in the sun. The jury is still out as to why this happens, but it has been linked to a surge in estrogen.
The usual treatment for this condition is a combination of AHA’s ( glycolic acid), hydroquinone, and retinol, and of course sunscreen (because the sun or any light brings it out). However, if you’re pregnant you can only use one of those ingredients and that is sunscreen.
Hydroquinone is a big no-no to use while pregnant, as is retinol, glycolic acid is possible based on your doctor’s insight.
So what does a gal do if she’s expecting and experiencing breakouts and pigmentation?
There are a few ingredients to work with:
- lactic acid- brightening, exfoliating, so it helps with pigmentation and acne
- licorice root- helps to stop the pigmentation from reaching the surface of the skin
- azelaic acid- (mild percentage) anti-bacterial, lightening and brightening. Great for acne and pigmentation.
- willow bark- this is what salicylic is derived from, but a milder version. good for acne
- enzymes- bromelain (pineapple) papain (papaya)- these guys work like little pac men to come in and eat the dead skin cells. great for brightening the complexion and helping to prevent acne.
- mushroom extract & arbutin- helps to stop pigmentation from reaching the surface.
- vitamin c- brightening, mildly exfoliating, and further protects the skin.
some products that contain these ingredients:
- Is clinical cleanser
- Is clinical white lightening serum
- Is clinical active serum- last I checked the entire IS clinical line is deemed safe for expecting mamas, but I would be nervous to use the Youth Complex by them during pregnancy. Before you buy check with your doctor.
- Image’s lightening serum -great for irritation, acne, and pigmentation)
- Image’s hydrating serum - great hydrator and gives your skin a good dose of vitamin c
- Image’s enzyme mask- use 1-2 times a week to help with pigmentation and acne
Here’s to a healthy and blemish-free pregnancy!