With so much going on during pregnancy, skincare and beauty regimes may fall by the wayside; however, it’s important to know what’s safe for skin both during and after pregnancy. And let’s not forget baby skin as well!
To make things a little easier, BD has broken down the top skin concerns for mother and baby, and with some expert advice thrown in, here’s our guide to pregnancy-safe mum and baby care.
Concern: Safe ingredients
Lullaby Skincare founder Kirsty Gow-Gates understands the pressures to find safe ingredients for baby skincare, saying: “experts say up to 60 per cent of what goes on your baby’s skin is absorbed into their bloodstream within minutes.
“Babies and children are at greater risk to the dangers of carcinogens (toxic ingredients), and that infants up to age two are, on average, ten times more vulnerable to carcinogenic chemicals than adults; and for some cancer-causing agents are up to 65 times more vulnerable.”
She notes that key ingredients to look out for and avoid are: Parabens, Phthalates, Sulfates, PPG’s, Dye, Petroleum, Triclosan, Bisphenol A (BPA), and Formaldehyde Donars. Why?
”Chemicals such as preservatives, formaldehyde and parabens used in creams may build up in baby’s skin and disrupt the natural hormones in baby’s body. This may cause growth and reproductive problems as well as disrupt normal endocrine functioning. With the immune system at such an early developing stage, skin rashes may easily be caused by harsh skincare products.”
Concern: Stretch marks
Lloyds Pharmacy pharmacist and skincare specialist Jo Carey says: “Stretch marks affect around 90 per cent of pregnant women. This is simply due to the amount the skin has to stretch as the baby bump grows. Nine months might feel like a long time, but in terms of the skin stretching from day one till due date, it is a fast process.”
There are a number of methods for preventing and/or fading stretch marks, including the use of vitamin E and vitamin C creams, or supplements like zinc and silica. Carey also mentions that while dieting during pregnancy is dangerous, the myth of “eating for two” should be ignored. “If more weight is gained during pregnancy then the skin will need to stretch even more so stretch marks can become more of a problem.”
Plunkett's Vita E Oil
Trilogy Pure Plant Body Oil
Gow-Gates also acknowledges that “It is very common that babies experience dry skin. This is most common in babies who are delivered after 40 weeks and it generally improves within days. The main reason for our little ones getting dry skin later on is that they are spending time in air that is either too dry, too cold, or overheated.”
So don’t panic if your baby is experiencing dryness, it can be easily fixed with gentle, natural skincare. As for mothers post-pregnancy, dryness can be an issue too with dandruff and dry patches being noted as some of the top post-pregnancy concerns. Look out for products with nourishing ingredients like rosehip or jojoba oil.
Hormonal acne is a normal part of pregnancy, but be wary of the products you use to try and cure it. While pregnant, Carey mentions “Vitamin A has been shown to cause birth defects if taken in high doses. The risk is small with cosmetics, but [we] advise customers to avoid vitamin A or retinol products. These ingredients are common in anti-ageing creams so always check the label on these items.”
Below, see BD’s other picks for top mum and baby care products:
QV Baby Gentle Wash
WOTNOT 30+ SPF Natural Baby Sunscreen
Sukin Baby Shampoo
Kosmea Mum and Baby Collection
Wet Brush For Babies
Johnson's baby Bath