HomeLifestyle & TravelHealth & BeautyWhat to expect from your skin during pregnancy

What to expect from your skin during pregnancy

It’s no secret that a woman’s body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy. These changes also affect the skin.

The hormonal changes a woman goes through during the various stages of pregnancy may disrupt the skin’s delicate balance, resulting in anything from dehydration, to breakouts and hyperpigmentation.

Your pre-pregnancy skincare routine will likely not suffice for the new challenges brought on by pregnancy, plus, if you use products containing active ingredients, you may need to reconsider your regime as the ingredients may not be safe for baby.

For most women, pregnancy brings on a radiant glow, especially during the first trimester. This is due to an increase in blood flow, fluctuating hormone levels and increased oil production. However, this glow sadly doesn’t always last, and as a woman’s pregnancy journey evolves, she may begin to experience less desirable skincare changes.

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Some of the most common skin concerns women experience during pregnancy are:


Acne is extremely common among pregnant women, especially among those who have a history of acne or those who experience hormonal acne linked to their menstrual cycle. The change in hormones and increased oil production that is responsible for that pregnancy glow may lead to clogged pores and an increase in breakouts. This may range from occasional breakouts, to severe acne.



Have you ever heard of the “pregnancy mask”? Also known as melasma, it refers to a condition in which women develop dark marks on their skin during pregnancy. For some women it may be small freckle-like spots, and for others it may be larger, blotchy patches. Melasma is often symmetrical and occurs most commonly on the nose and cheeks (thus where the term “mask of pregnancy” comes from) but may also appear on the upper lip and forehead. Anyone can develop melasma, but it is particularly common among women with darker skins.

Melasma occurs when a steep rise in the hormones oestrogen and progesterone stimulates excess melanin production in the body. It usually develops during the second and third trimesters when these hormones are found in higher levels in the body.

Melasma may be intensified by sun exposure and one of the most important things you can do to avoid this is to protect your skin against the sun’s rays by applying a broad spectrum SPF product every day. The good news is that melasma is usually temporary and will fade after pregnancy.


Skin sensitivity

Skin sensitivity is extremely common during pregnancy, largely due to increased hormone levels. Some women may also experience flare-ups of conditions like eczema or dermatitis. It’s important to avoid skincare ingredients that are harsh or drying, and to opt for soothing products free from fragrances and colourants.


Dryness and dehydration

Hormone changes may cause skin to lose elasticity and moisture, which is why dry skin is a common concern during pregnancy. Replenish moisture by drinking plenty of water and by applying moisturising products containing hydrating and moisturising ingredients like hyaluronic acid.


Ingredients to avoid

Some ingredients used in certain skincare products may be harmful to your baby, so it’s important to reconsider your skincare regime as soon as you find out you’re pregnant (or if you’re trying to conceive). Avoid products with high caffeine content, retinol (vitamin A) and salicylic acid, especially during the first trimester.

It’s important to avoid any prescription skincare products during pregnancy as these may be harmful to your baby. Professional treatments like Botulinum Toxin injections, filler, laser and  certain chemical peels are also not recommended during pregnancy, however, there are plenty of pregnancy-safe facials available.

Speak to your doctor or healthcare professional if you’re uncertain as to which products are safe.


Ingredients you may use

Hyaluronic acid is considered the best ingredient for dry and dehydrated skins and it is safe to apply during pregnancy. Natural ingredients like tea tree oil, aloe vera, coconut oil etc are also safe. UVB ray blockers like zinc and titanium are safe and are a must to help prevent darkening of hyperpigmentation.


Pregnancy-safe skincare

Biomedical Emporium’s trusted Maternology range is a scientifically formulated skincare range suitable from pre-conception to Mom-to-be. This range is simplistic, easy and safe to use. The ingredients are rich in vitamins and minerals and covers a wide array of gentle and effective ingredients to treat your skin optimally when trying to conceive as well as during pregnancy. The Maternology range will assist to control skin concerns associated with pregnancy such as pigmentation, acne and severe sensitivity.

Try this trusted 3-step daily skincare regime and enjoy healthy skin throughout your pregnancy:

Biomedical Emporium Maternology Cleanse (R274.00): Offering deep cleansing and mild exfoliation, this cleanser gently unclogs pores while soothing and calming skin.

Biomedical Emporium Maternology Skin Stabilising Serum (R1060): This skin-calming serum helps smoothe fine lines and wrinkles while preventing and diminishing hormonal pigmentation.

Biomedical Emporium Maternology Nutri-Hydro Day SPF30 (R1233.00): This is a sunscreen moisturiser suitable for moms-to-be, that prevents photo-ageing, controls the skin’s oil production and reduces redness caused by UV radiation.

Biomedical Emporium Maternology Nutri-Hydro Night Therapy (R1200.00): This night cream provides cellular hydration to help combat dryness, rebalances the biodiversity of the skin and restores to skin barrier.


Whether you’re loving your pregnancy skin or facing skincare challenges, it’s important to stick to all the skincare basics you knew before you were expecting: Maintain a suitable skincare regime twice a day, never go to bed with makeup on, change your pillowcase regularly, disinfect your cellphone regularly, drink lots of water, eat fresh and unprocessed foods, try not to touch your face and remember to apply SPF every day.

If in doubt about your skincare, or if you’re struggling to combat any of the concerns you’re faced with, make an appointment with your healthcare practitioner.

This article was written by Dr Judey Pretorius

Dr Judey Pretorius is a highly accomplished Biomedical Scientist and product development specialist with substantial experience in the disciplines of acute, chronic and post-surgical wound healing, regenerative medicine and cell therapy. She holds a Master’s degree in Genetics and Molecular Biology followed by her PhD degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Medicine Development and Design. She has also obtained an Advanced Diploma in Dermal Aesthetics.

She is the co-founder of Biomedical Emporium®, a biotechnology company specialising in the formulation of advanced biological products, cell culture processes and tissue engineering for advanced wound healing and an advisory on regenerative medicine. She has made unique formulation discoveries that have had a profound influence on the course of new developments in aesthetic and wound care treatment.

For more information: https://www.biomedicalemporium.com/

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