As we go through different life stages, our skincare needs can change and we often find ourselves looking for something new to meet our new needs. When it comes to skincare products during pregnancy, there are 3 main areas that are important: sun protection, keeping skin moisturised and comfortable, and a good deodorant to get us through those hormonal changes.
During pregnancy, skin can become especially sensitive and you may find that you’re more prone to burning than normal. Along with avoiding the sun during times of peak UV radiation and staying covered up and in the shade, sunscreen is an important product that we should be using daily (for our whole lives!), but can raise concerns for some people during pregnancy. A broad spectrum SPF of 30+ that protects against both UVA and UVB rays is often considered the minimum for good protection, but the higher the SPF the better!
There are many products on the market that use natural minerals to protect from the sun: either zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or a combination of both. These are a good choice during pregnancy as they are hypoallergenic (important when skin is feeling extra sensitive) and sit on top of the skin rather than being absorbed. Products with these active ingredients are also gentle on your little one’s skin and are a great choice for the whole family.
Our current favourite is SunJuju – an Australian-made SPF 50+ sunscreen that uses zinc oxide as its active ingredient. A great tool is the SunSmart app – using this app you can check what times of day UV radiation will be at its worst and plan accordingly.
It’s common for skin to become dryer than usual during pregnancy, which can cause flaky skin, itchiness or an uncomfortable tight feeling. A gentle product that contains a mixture of water-based ingredients and oil-based ingredients (i.e. a typical moisturiser or lotion) is ideal. The water-based ingredients replenish moisture, and the oil-based ingredients lock in moisture by creating a barrier. This prevents transepidermal water loss (or TEWL) – the cause of dry skin.
Using hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid can help to keep the dry feeling away. Hyaluronic acid is a pregnancy-safe ingredient that holds over 1000 times its weight in water, making it an excellent addition when you need an extra boost of moisture. You can find hyaluronic acids in serums and sheets masks, or for less steps (a good thing in our books!), in a facial moisturiser. Our favourites are the Flower Face Cream by Be Fraiche for a light feeling face lotion, or Naked Luxury by Simply Indispensable for a richer-feeling face cream.
For the body, a simple moisturiser applied daily should do the trick. We love the Full Cream Moisturiser from Moogoo for all over, which also contains milk protein for skin elasticity. A nourishing body balm or oil like the Hemp Seed Butter from Melvory can also be used for massage and to help with providing a protective barrier to skin, preventing dryness.
You may notice that hormonal changes come with changes in body odour, but be leaning away from traditional antiperspirants. Compared to other skincare products, antiperspirants and deodorants usually contain high levels of fragrance which can set off sensitive skin during pregnancy (even natural deodorants usually contain essential oils which can cause the same issues).