Pregnancy is a wonderful time in a woman’s life! The problem is there is very little data on safety of ingredients in pregnancy as very few clinical trials have been done! So it is a question I get asked a lot in my dermatology clinic in Melbourne, and I try to give as scientific an answer as I can! At the end of the day most women CHOSE to stop using their active skin care ingredients so as not to take any chances. It is important to note that the skin changes a lot with the hormones during pregnancy, so you may need to switch it up anyway! Luckily our highly trained dermal clinicians know all the answers to your questions of what skincare is safe in pregnancy!
It has been established that ideally, pregnant women avoid retinoic acid. This is the active form of topical vitamin A. Whether or not precursor forms of Vitamin A such as retinol and retinaldehyde should be avoided is controversial and depends on many factors such as how inflamed the skin is and therefore how much absorption beyond the skin there is likely to be. It is a discussion to have with your treating doctor. Same goes for salicylic acid in high concentrations. Other fruit acids are considered safe. But should be discussed with your treating practitioner, or one of our knowledgeable skin clinicians at Skindepth Dermatology.
There are some ingredients/products that are safe in pregnancy. Most bland moisturisers are fine (and necessary!) Women often get itchy skin as the skin expands to accommodate the growing baby. Our dermatologists at Skindepth Dermatology recommend a good thick moisturizer is vital at least once a day. Pregnancy is also a time you should definitely go for a non soap body wash.
Sunscreen is VITAL! Many pregnant women develop hormonal pigmentation/melasma due to the hormones in pregnancy, especially in Sunny Melbourne where UV rates are high. SPF 50+ is non negotiable, and more important than ever! Some women worry about the chemicals in sunscreen being endocrine disruptors but that research has not been confirmed and so at this stage there is no reason to avoid sunscreen. I use it every day and top up if I’m going to be out more than 2 hours. My honest go to is the Antihelios Tinted Anti-shine for my pregnancy induced acne prone skin! Other safe products to use on pigmented pregnant skin care antioxidants such as vitamin C, niacinamide, and others. What each women needs is so individual so we recommend making an appointment with one of our trained dermatologists or dermal clinicians to get a concoction that is right for your pregnancy!