Pregnancy is a beautiful journey that brings love and life into the world. It’s a magical time for women as they enter motherhood, but it might not always be smooth sailing. During pregnancy the body’s hormones continuously change, and one aspect it can have a huge effect on is the skin.
We’re breaking down some common skincare concerns mothers experience during their pregnancy journey, and the best (mostly!) K-beauty products that are pregnancy-safe and will handle these concerns with ease. From creams to serums to body moisturizers, you deserve to be pampered throughout your 9 months. Get your carts at the ready, because you’ll be wanting to snag these safe and effective products for your skin needs!
*Disclaimer: if you have questions about the safety of products you’re using, always consult your doctor or pediatrician beforehand.
1. Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are an extremely common skin condition during and after pregnancy, with 8 out of 10 pregnant women being affected by them. While this isn’t a harmful condition, they do leave visible pink, purple, red or brown marks on the skin as a result of ruptured collagen and elastin in the skin as it heals. Stretch marks are completely natural and are nothing to be ashamed of; they can fade away by themselves 6-12 months after giving birth. Given this, it’s totally understandable if you want to speed up that process.
The primera The Relief Cream for Stretch Marks alleviates stretch marks by restoring the skin’s resilience with Panthenol, and moisturizing the skin with Passion Flower Seed oil (Passiflora Incarnata, to get technical). A hypoallergenic cream without fragrance, it’s suitable for all skin types including skin suffering from sensitivity.
Boosting a dermatologist-approved low irritation formula, the Derma:B Stretch Mark Safe Cream is infused with Olive, Jojoba and Rapeseed Oil for the ultimate nourishing experience. It aims to improve the skin’s elasticity to cope with pregnancy changes, as well as amp up the skin’s moisture for a healthy glow. With a fresh peppermint and herb scent, your skin will feel revitalized and cared for all at once.
If you’re experiencing dry skin on the face during pregnancy, you can attribute it to hormonal changes. During this time your skin is stretching and tightening around the belly area to accommodate for the growing baby, and so it might feel tighter and drier on the face. Moreover hormonal changes can also lead to oil imbalance in the skin, hence increased dryness. The result is related symptoms of dry skin, including flakiness, redness and sensitivity.
CLIO-owned Goodal offers a range of underrated gems, and the Apricot Collagen Youth Firming Creamis a very good example. Its vegan formula features a unique Apricot Collagen Complex, highlighting 70% fresh Apricot extract that plumps and moisturizes the skin. The cream erases fine lines and provides ample antioxidant protection, leaving skin smooth, supple, and hydrated. Did someone say pregnancy glow?
For that *extra* skin-quenching layer on those days when your moisturizer by itself isn’t cutting it, try the Pyunkang Yul Oil This 100% plant-based oil lists only 8 essential ingredients, including Jojoba Seed oil, Shea Butter and Sunflower Seed oil, for intense moisture and a lit-from-within glow. Its ingredients have structures similar to the skin’s natural sebum, so appropriate use of the product won’t lead to clogged pores. Add a few drops into your moisturizer, or apply it as an additional layer atop your moisturizer.
During a pregnancy, the skin can become a bit fussier than usual. This is largely due to hormonal changes and the change in how skin reacts to different substances, such as sunlight, heat or chemicals. Coming into contact with an irritant causes skin to be inflamed, red, and even tender. At times like these, it’s important to opt for gentle products that are fragrance-free and formulated with skin-loving ingredients that soothe sensitivity.
Every bottle of I’m From’s Rice Toneris packed with 77.78% Rice Extract to support skin elasticity. It forms a protective barrier over the skin to ward off irritants, prevent water loss, and offer moisturization to revive dehydrated, tired skin. This toner has topped countless favorites list for its soft, milky texture that the skin loves and drinks up.
The Etude House Soon Jung collection is every K-beauty junkie’s essential for sensitive skin. Its 10-Free Moist Ampoule provides a potent layer of Panthenol and Madecassosside to quell irritation from external aggressors, in addition to strengthening the skin barrier. The light, watery texture sinks into the skin with ease and provides relief for irritated, sensitive, and weak skin types.
A symptom of dry or sensitive skin, itchiness occurs when the skin’s blood supply increases and hormone levels change. Mild itching is a normal matter and can be addressed with calming products that alleviate the need to scratch, preventing further irritation and skin damage.
Aloe Vera extracts and Panthenol work hand in hand to soothe inflamed skin within the COSRX Hydrium Green Tea Aqua Soothing Gel. Part of the Hydrium series, this moisturizer is quick-absorbing and includes Green Tea for antioxidant benefits. With a bouncy jelly texture and cooling finish, slather this on to put an end to the itchy feeling.
If you’ve scratched and have already done damage, not to worry because the Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Creamis here for you. This rich moisturizer spotlights 5-Cera Complex filled to the brim with Ceramides to fortify the weakened skin barrier, helping the skin recover quicker and become healthier over time. In addition it creates a shield against water and moisture loss, so if the source of itching originated from dry skin this moisturizer will come to your rescue.
5. Hormonal Acne
Pregnancy acne and typical skin acne are one and the same. In contrast to a lack of oil production due to hormones, the opposite can also occur, where the skin produces more oil. The pores are therefore blocked by excess sebum and dead skin cells, leading to the dreaded blemishes.
The Ordinary’s Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% stars Azelaic Acid at its center, an active approved by dermatologists for use during pregnancy that works wonders for acne. It smooths out rough skin texture to reveal a brighter, glowing complexion, at the same time offering antioxidant protection against pollution and aggressors. Users have reported a significant reduction in acne, redness, and hyperpigmentation after use.
Another option for acne-prone skin is the Isntree Chestnut AHA 8% Clear Essence. AHA is indeed safe for use during pregnancy, as it is a more mild active that doesn’t have adverse effects when used in small amounts. The combination of Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid clears away dead skin cells, rebalances oil-water levels, and reduces the appearance of pores for smooth, even skin. An extra gentle formula, it includes Cica and Ginkgo extracts to care for sensitive skin.
6. Sun Sensitivity
As mentioned earlier, the skin becomes more reactive during pregnancy and one substance that causes skin reactions is sunlight. Hormones can make your skin more prone to hyperpigmentation or burning, so sun protection is of the utmost importance (but really, when is it not?). To prevent sun damage and sensitivity, you’ll need a mighty SPF or two in your arsenal for day-to-day protection.
For a weightless sunscreen that glides onto the skin without stickiness, the Canmake Mermaid Skin Gel UV SPF 50+ PA++++ is your best bet. Its gel formula is alcohol-free and feels like a light, hydrating lotion, ideal as a makeup base or to wear alone.
Another option for acne-prone skin is the Isntree Chestnut AHA 8% Clear Essence. AHA is indeed safe for use during pregnancy, as it is a more mild active that is low-risk when used in small amounts. The combination of Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid clears away dead skin cells, rebalances oil-water levels, and reduces the appearance of pores for smooth, even skin. An extra gentle formula, it includes Cica and Ginkgo extracts to care for sensitive skin.
With this guide in hand, you’re sure to tackle pregnancy skin concerns head-on to maintain a healthy, strong complexion. Congratulations on your pregnancy, and we at the Stylevana HQ wish you and your baby the best! Meet us on Instagram and Facebook to get more instant product updates and skincare tips!
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