How skin changes during Pregnancy

PREGNANCY AND ACNE ADVICE at Shine, Church Street and Newington Green Salons in London

I would like to touch on some of the skin changes that women may experience when they are pregnant to help you with tackling those common problems – acne or breakouts in particular.

While some women are lucky to have a gorgeously glowing complexion throughout their pregnancy, others are not so fortunate. Many can develop acne, breakouts, pigmentation, itchy skin, dry skin, skin tags, spider veins or even a sudden sensitivity to products they’ve used for a long time.

The good news is, most skin changes in pregnancy are mild and not so serious, plus they usually resolve once you have given birth.

It is important not to introduce too many new products during pregnancy and ramping up your regimen. Better to stick to your basics and keep things simple, but also get advice from a professional beauty therapist about any active products that you have been using, to make sure they are still recommended during pregnancy, or if you can continue using the same ones.

There is more hormonal influence on the skin during pregnancy, especially oestrogen and progesterone. These intense hormonal changes can cause an increase in the skin’s natural oil production, resulting in acne that can be anywhere from a very mild case to severe on your face, back and/or chest. The oil and dead skin cells build up and clog the pores, allowing bacteria to grow to form a pimple.

I would suggest focusing on reducing the congestion (blackheads) for a start, as these are precursors to breakouts. Facials are safe during pregnancy as long as you go for the more gentle style of treatment. You cannot have any chemical peels, microdermabrasion, electrical or any invasive facial treatments.


Home care is really important if you want to keep your skin healthy.

Have a good double cleansing routine preferably with the first cleanse being with cleansing oil. The Dermalogica Precleanse Oil is perfect for this, as it will lift up any dirt to the surface, morning and evening. Try to keep your fingers away from your face throughout the day.

Increase exfoliation!

Try active-soy based products like for example the [comfort zone] Enzymatic Powder – containing Chlorella, Rice Starch, and Papaya enzymes for a brighter and smoother complexion.
Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid and other alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA’s) are safe to use during pregnancy, and will help keep your skin smooth and hydrated while refining your pores. Just beware, of salicylic acid and beta-hydroxy acids (BHA’s) additives.

Bacteria doesn’t stand a chance against benzoyl peroxide which is a staple ingredient in treating acne. It is not my favourite ingredient to go for when treating breakout problems, as sometimes it can really dry out your skin, although for very severe cases you can use between 2.5% up to 5% and see brilliant results. It has been given the green light by physicians for many years to treat acne / breakouts during pregnancy.

My personal preference will be to go for something containing azelaic acid, which helps control oil production, colloidal silver, which eliminates bacteria, zinc and tea tree which are anti-bacterial and helps soothe the skin. The Dermalogica Breakout Control contains all these ingredients and is proven to help.


Remember to go for an oil free moisturiser and minimum SPF30 on your skin. There’s still no proof if the ingredient oxybensone is safe during pregnancy. Go for zinc and/or titanium based mineral sunscreen instead. Otherwise try a non-mineral sunscreen without oxybenzone.

You may like to consider switching to all-natural or organic products to totally avoid any chemicals entering your bloodstream and reaching your baby.

Also switching to mineral make-up is the best choice for you, as the ingredients sit on top of the skin rather than sinking in. They’re formulated with zinc oxide (natural sunblock ) and absorb excess shine.
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For a free consultation or to book a Beauty appointment call Shine, Church Street or Newington Green Salons in London N16 on 020 7241 5033

Desi Petkova