The 3 most basic products for any skincare routine must contain a cleanser, moisturiser and sunscreen. However, sticking to just these could deprive your skin from important additive ingredients that could drastically improve the performance of your skin. Skin actives are one such category that target specific skin concerns to bring about desired changes. This makes them highly efficient and a “must have ingredients” in your regular skin routine, as it is critical to feed your skin with exactly what it needs.
But the pressing question remains, how can you make the most of this when you are pregnant?
What are skin actives? Why should you take special precautions while choosing your actives during your pregnancy?
When you are pregnant, it is easy to want to prioritise the needs of your unborn baby over yourself. However, you should not ignore yourself in the bargain, both you and your baby are equally important. Leaving behind your skincare routine and depriving yourself from essential ingredients, will only derail you from achieving overall well being. Active ingredients are an important part of reaching your skincare goals and though there are some ingredients that must be avoided at all costs, there are some that are completely safe to use!
The most common type of actives will help target acne, excessive dryness, ageing, uneven texture, hyperpigmentation and a wide range of other medical concerns. You can find them in both prescribed or over-the-counter products and can be found individually or as a key component mixed with other ingredients to have a more holistic impact.
To know more about skin active ingredients, click on the link given here.
The rapid shift in hormone levels experienced during pregnancy may lead to a number of changes in your body. This can also affect the way your skin feels or looks. Some of the most noticeable differences in your skin may include:
1. Pregnancy glow
This refers to that luminous glow that makes your skin look slightly flushed and radiant. It is caused by the increase in blood flow that increases circulation and extra oxygen. The change in hormonal levels make the skin more oily, making it look shiny and glossy.
2. Stretch marks
As common as it can get, stretch marks are experienced whenever the skin stretches. The best way to prevent stretch marks is by gaining pregnancy weight slowly and steadily by finding the right diet and exercises.
Increase in the hormone called Androgen can lead to excess oil and sebum production This oil can clog the pores with dirt and dust. Within no time these clogged pores become a breeding ground for bacteria causing breakouts and acne.
4. Dark spots and Hyperpigmentation
Melasma is a common condition experienced during pregnancy when blotchy patches or darker skin begin to develop on your skin. It is triggered by the changing hormonal level that increases melanin production. They can be aggravated near areas that encounter friction.
Which active ingredients are safe to use during pregnancy?
Now that we understand the different changes our skin might experience during pregnancy and the importance of using the right ingredients for both you and your baby, let us look at the active ingredients that can deliver the best while being completely safe to use:
1. Glycolic Acid
This is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that helps to reduce fine lines, brighten dull skin and control melanin production. It is best to use concentrations of under 10 percent when pregnant as it can speed up Collagen production and treat pregnancy induced acne. Aminu Instant Facial AHA Power Peel | Brightening contains tiny glycolic acid molecules that seep deeper into the skin, breaking down pore-clogging debris and repairing sun-damaged, congested, wrinkled or dull skin.
Another great way to include this acid in your routine is by using the Daughter Earth AHA BHA PHA Exfoliating Cleanser using this gentle exfoliating cleanser with AHA, BHA and PHA helps to gently remove dirt, impurities and dead skin cells to leave you with healthy looking skin.
To know more about Glycolic Acid, click on the link given here.
2. Azelaic Acid
Helps to kill bacteria thus reducing acne and rosacea. It is safe to use during pregnancy as it helps reduce brown patches and discoloration too. We recommend the Deconstruct Breakout Control Serum with 3.3% Potassium Azeloyl Diglycinate which is a superior derivative of Azelaic Acid. It works effectively even when used in low concentration on the skin to reduce sebum secretion.
3. Ascorbic Acid/ Vitamin C
Ascorbic Acid is a widely used form of Vitamin C with its countless benefits solving almost every issue arising during pregnancy From dry skin, to boosting antioxidant power, treating dullness, fades dark spots or even acne scars. We recommend the Dear, Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Drop Serum that works wonders to revitalise, maintain and transform your skin.
Check out our article that proves the benefits of using Vitamin C by clicking on the link given here.
4. Lactic Acid
Helps to keep the skin hydrated, stimulate collagen production and tighten the skin. This can be especially helpful to keep stretch marks at bay when the skin stretches. Moisture can prevent and treat stretch marks and using the Suganda 5% Lactic Acid Serum can help remove dark spots, brighten dull skin, provide hydration, and rejuvenate the skin by removing dead cells sitting on the surface of the skin.
To know more about Lactic Acid click on the link given here.
Also known as Vitamin B3 it helps minimise visible pores, tighten the skin and improve uneven skin tone by reducing dark spots and scars. It is safe to use during pregnancy as it tightens skin and lipid barriers reducing moisture loss, thus reducing inflammation and redness during breastfeeding. Try the Over Dermis Skin Alphabet Vitamin B Serum that helps reduce acne scars, age spots and sunspots. It is known to tighten the skin by stimulating collagen synthesis.
6. Mandelic Acid
It is used to exfoliate the skin and is derived from Bitter Almonds. It helps with invigorating the skin with enhanced cell renewal and increasing collagen production.
7. Kojic Acid
Tyrosine is a chemical found in the body responsible for producing melanin. Hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy can dramatically release Tyrosine thus leading to bochy pathes or dark spots.
Which skincare ingredients should you avoid during pregnancy?
While most products are generally safe to use, there are certain active ingredients that are best to avoid. Here is a list of actives you must look out for:
These are a class of Vitamin A that is used to reduce fine lines, increase collagen, treat uneven texture and skin tone. However they should not be used by pregnant women as they can be absorbed by the skin and can cause birth defects and neurocognitive problems.
To know more about Retinol and the different forms of Vitamin A, click on the link given here.
2. Salicylic Acid (more than 2% unsafe)
Acne development is a common concern pregnant women might face. Cleansers and toners generally contain small amounts of Salicylic Acid. However, using larger amounts can increase the risk of unwanted side effects and must only be used after consulting a doctor.
To know more about Salicylic Acid, click on the link given here.
3. Chemical Sunscreens
The active ingredients it contains makes them easier to rub into the skin without forming a white layer. This is what makes them attractive to use when compared to physical sunscreens. They work by absorbing UV rays into the skin, converting it into heat then releasing it back out compared to blocking them outright by reflecting sunlight. This can be particularly dangerous during pregnancy as the chemicals can be absorbed into their bloodstream causing harmful changes in the cell structure of the fetus.
Instead of using chemical sunscreens we recommend the Sandiva One & Done Tinted Sunblock with Sandalwood, SPF 35 that is a creamy formulation containing sandalwood that works to shield your skin against the harsh rays of the sun giving you a smooth satin like matt finish.
4. Hair removing lotions
These use chemicals with active ingredients to destroy the hair shaft by dissolving the hair. It can cause burns and dark spots and create unpleasant experiences for those with sensitive skin. And though they may be considered safe generally, you might experience an increased sense of sensitivity when pregnant.
The best way to approach this is by conducting a small patch test before swabbing a whole layer on. Learn the right way to perform the test by clicking on the link given here.
5. Comedogenic makeup
With the increased hormonal activity and excess sebum production caused during pregnancy it is best to avoid comedogenic products and ingredients. These are products that can block your pores and aggravate bacteria development leading to acne and breakouts.
Regardless of how actives are found in your products, its main role is to solve a certain issue by using its potent formula to deliver successful results. Having said that, be sure to follow precautions when choosing the right active for your skin. This is especially important during pregnancy as what you consume, both externally and internally may affect both you and your baby.