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“During pregnancy, most people either get breakouts, or they tend to get quite dry and sort of deflated,” explains Chapman. “The key things to use are a good hyaluronic acid to maintain hydration; vitamin C to brighten and control things like melasma and pigmentation; and, most importantly, SPF for sun protection—pregnant or not!”
Dr Kluk concurs: “Cleanser and moisturizer are the non-negotiables. Look for ingredients like glycerin and ceramides in your moisturizer, and layer a hydrating hyaluronic acid serum underneath. Melasma often flares up in pregnancy, and daily sunscreen application is the best way of mitigating this. All other skin care you choose should be used on an as-needed basis.”
When it comes to breakouts, localized applications of salicylic acid on the affecting areas are advised, says Dr. Kluk. “Localised applications of 2 percent salicylic acid or less is generally felt to be acceptable, whereas more regular applications to a greater surface area in concentrations of more than 2 percent is felt to be more risky.”
Do be cautious with retinol
Prescription retinols, such as Tretinoin, Retinaldehyde, and Adapalene, are all an absolute no-go during pregnancy, says Dr Kluk, while Chapman explains that encapsulated formulas such as retinyl palmitate are less aggressive, and, as such, can be used in low doses.
“The concentration that we use in cosmetic formulations such as our Overnight Facial and Icon Night are not going to have a negative effect,” assures Chapman. “If you are using a cosmetic product that is stronger, at higher concentrations of one percent, for example, I would stop using that.”
Don’t cut out oils entirely
“Essential oils such as those that you would find in an aromatherapy blend in a bath or body oil, and which are applied to the entire skin surface, should be avoided,” says Chapman, “because the concentration of the oils, as they get absorbed into the bloodstream, is potentially an issue. But if you’re using a face oil that has a fragrance with some essential oils in it, there’s not going to be any issue with that. Think about the sort of square footage of your face versus the rest of the body— when you are using something on your face, it’s a relatively small amount.”
Do speak to your midwife or doctor
Both our experts were unequivocal about the fact that speaking to an expert (not trawling through internet forums) to get reassurance about concerns or woes is key. After all, what harm is there in asking a question?