Skin care and pregnancy

During pregnancy, your body undergoes major changes. You breathe faster, heart pumps harder and more blood is produced. Also, your body is undergoing hormonal changes.

While the lucky few experience a carefree 9 months of perfect skin glow, for some women it can mean months of nausea and fatigue. Also more flare up of dermatological conditions like acne, dry & sensitive skin, stretch marks to dark spots. Women with pre-existing skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis or rosacea may also experience a change in their symptoms, better or worse.

  • Pregnancy and skin problems
  • How do you maintain beautiful skin?
  • What ingredients are better to avoid?
  • Which ingredients are appropriate?
Zwangerschap En Huid Melasma Pil Anticonceptie

Written by Francis Wu

Published 16 October 2022

Edited 21 October 2022

Dr. Francis Wu on pregnancy and skin

Below explains Dr. Francis Wu briefly discusses skin problems, pregnancy and skin care

Tips when you are pregnant

Below you will find tips from Dr. Francis Wu

Tip: stretch marks

Also called stretch marks or stretch marks. It occurs to a greater or lesser extent in 90% of pregnant women. They are elongated lesions that arise from excessive stretching of the subcutaneous connective tissue. The collagen fibers in the dermis and elastic fiber have started to recede.

What are the treatment options after pregnancy?

Over the years it spontaneously decreases, but it does not disappear completely.

If the redness is in the foreground, a 585nm pulse-dye vascular laser is suitable. Or long pulsed 1064nm ND:YAG laser.

Vitamin A, such as tretinoin (by doctor’s prescription) can reduce stretch marks in the early stages. However, this starts after pregnancy and breastfeeding. Build it up carefully because skin irritation, flaking and burning can occur.

Chemical peels with 15-20% trichloroacetic acid are sometimes used. This is an act under medical supervision.

If you can’t wait then dermabrasion is an alternative. This is a method of removing the top layer of skin by grinding or sanding it. Blemishes and stretch marks become less visible.

Tip: Pregnancy mask

Melasma, also known as pregnancy mask, is a pigment disorder characterized by symmetrical, pigmented maculae. Macula is Latin for spot.

Under the influence of pregnancy hormones, the pigment cells are activated to produce pigment. When these pigment cells start to produce too much and too local pigment, hyperpigmentation occurs. Melasma is easy to recognize by specific preferred locations. Melasma mainly occurs on the forehead, cheeks, temples, around the eyes and on the upper lip. In addition, the spots often occur symmetrically on the face.

What can you do?

Step 1: Sun protection.

Start with a mineral sun protection that offers protection against both UVA and UVB, in addition, this protection must have a high protection factor of 30 or 50, containing antioxidants. Apply this protection daily and repeat it several times a day, this is most important in case of (sensitivity to) melasma. This prevents the pigment spot from darkening due to sunlight or visible light.

Step 2: Night cream with Niacinamide

In addition to the sunscreen for the day, it is advisable to use a night cream with niacinamide. Niacinamide down-regulates melanogenesis. This means that less melanin is formed because the melanosomes transfer is inhibited. This prevents an overabundance of melanin from being produced.

Step 3: Any combination of ingredients

In combination with vitamins C and E, niacinamide is perfect for use on skin pigmentations. This composition has been proven effective with too much pigment in the skin, provided that it is used in the right concentration. For example, niacinamide is effective at a percentage of 5%, vitamin E at at least 1% and vitamin C at at least 4%.

Melasma pigmentation can sometimes be deep in the skin and will not disappear with the cream alone. In addition, every skin / melasma is different and every skin reacts differently, so be well informed with a skin therapist / dermatologist.

Tip: UV protection - what protection?

There are two different ultraviolet radiation (UV) that reach the Earth’s surface. Those are UVA and UVB rays.

UVA rays are present with relatively equal intensity during all daylight hours throughout the year, and can penetrate clouds and glass. These UVA rays make up the largest part of the ultraviolet radiation, so more than UVB.

UVA rays are not felt on the skin. These rays cause free radical formation in the dermis, which destroys your collagen and elastic fibers.

3 x UV(A) – Asymptomatic (doesn’t feel it), Always present, Aging of the skin

UVB rays

UVB penetrates into the superficial epidermis and is responsible for our vitamin D production. So for a slow and longer lasting tan. Too much UVB causes redness, sunburn and eventually also skin aging and skin cancer. Unlike UVA, UVB does not penetrate glass. UVB radiation can be up to 1000x stronger than UVA rays.

For melasma: Apply mineral sunscreen SPF30 every two hours.

Huidtype Uva Uvb Bescherming, Dagcreme Uva Bescherming, Zwangerschap, Huidkanker Rimpels Uv Stralen Zonkracht Gehele Jaar Door Tinted Mineral Sunscreen

Tip: Pregnancy itch

Itching is worse than pain. Itching during pregnancy occurs due to the faster growth of the breast, abdomen, buttocks than the skin can stretch. More on itching

What else can you do yourself?

  • Try to resist the temptation to scratch. vIt’s easier said than done. The vicious itch cycle this creates makes it worse.
  • Keep your skin from drying out and stay hydrated. Dryness also causes itchiness.
  • Wear airy cotton and loose clothing. Tight-fitting clothing also causes itching.
  • Menthol cream relieves itchiness. Other soothing ingredients include aloe vera, panthenol, avena sativa, marshmallow root.

If it is intolerable, consult your doctor or consult a dermatologist or gyneacologist.

A weak hormone ointment and certain antihistamine (anti-hay fever) medications may provide relief.

Tip: morning sickness more likely to be a girl

An interesting retrospective study examined the relationship between morning sickness and fetal gender. 2543 Pregnant women were included in this study. Women carrying a female fetus, as opposed to a male fetus, reported a significantly higher frequency of morning sickness and vomiting during the first trimester of pregnancy.

What are the tips against morning sickness?

  • Take adequate rest (fatigue can worsen nausea)
  • Avoid strong-smelling foods that make you nauseous.
  • Eat something light such as toast or a cracker before getting out of bed.
  • Small and frequent meals of plain light foods high in carbohydrates and low in fat (such as bread, rice, crackers and pasta)

The best products during pregnancy

Below you will find some products that can help you take care of your skin.

  • All products have the ideal pH 5 acidity – for good skin resistance and skin barrier.
  • Vegan, Zero Plastic inside
  • Iconic Elements skincare has been named the Best Holistic skincare line 2022 by EU Business News.

What our customers think of our products

Read More
This cream contains high-quality, safe ingredients. The packaging is very hygienic. The cream works perfectly for my sensitive skin. I think it is a top cream that fits in the higher segment in terms of effect. While the cream is still very affordable
SonjavdLely Wonderful day cream!
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This cream is perfect for my aging skin. It lubricates very well and because of the pump you can easily dose it. Great value for money!
Felicia32 Very happy with this skincare line
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Lubricates very nicely and feels good. Didn't know at first that UVA rays are present year-round. Been looking for a brand without microplastics in ingredients for a while.
Lotus72233Lotus Top product
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I have been using Targeted Pigment Serum for two weeks now. The pigment spots have already decreased by 50 0/0. Had a pigment spot on my nose for five years and is gone now. Skin pores have become less coarse and skin even. Product is great. Would recommend this product to anyone.
NathalieLem very satisfied with Iconic Elements
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I am very happy that my skin reacts well to it and that the products do not contain certain ingredients and that it is environmentally friendly!

Frequently asked questions about pregnancy and skin

Hydroquinone is an ingredient that can reduce pigment spots. The use of hydroquinone during pregnancy does not appear to be associated with an increased risk of major malformations. However, due to the significant skin absorption of 30-45%, it is better to minimize exposure.

There are two groups of sunscreen filters: mineral and synthetic filters.

Mineral filters such as Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide largely scatter sunlight and bounce it off your body.

  • Advantage. Physical filters are safe and are best suited for children, people with sensitive skin and pregnant women. It works immediately after application to the skin.
  • Disadvantage. They can leave a white, dull glow on the part of the skin to which it is applied.

Synthetic filters absorb UV-A and UV-B radiation and then convert it into heat and infrared radiation.

  • Advantage, no white haze after application.
  • Disadvantage. They can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions. There are also indications that some chemical filters penetrate the skin and end up in your bloodstream.

Stretch marks occur because the skin expands faster, causing small tears in the subcutaneous connective tissue. Both collagen and elastic fibers in the dermis begin to recede. Replenishing your collagen in the skin is a logical thought.

Smearing with collagen enriched cream is trending right now. The problem is that the molecular size of the collagen used (expressed in Dalton, molecular mass expressed in g/mol) is too large to penetrate the skin. Whether it works remains to be seen. Studies has shown that it does not. However, the added collagen can contribute to hydration of the skin.

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