You’ve got the most fantastic news you could have wished for – you’re pregnant (!) somehow inside your amazing body there’s now a mini-you growing away. For the next 9 months everything you do, your age zero mini-me does too.
You watch Love Island… your mini-me does too.
You listen to Drakes new album… your mini-me does too.
You sneak in a cheeky gherkin packed McDonald’s burger… your mini-me does too.
Although after finding out your pregnant, it’s very probable you’ll be;
Switching your love of R&B for a classical concerto in B minor – because someone said it can make your mini-me a super-genius.
Flipping over Love Island for David Attenborough’s Blue Planet – because even your mini-me does back flips to the drama of love island, but is soothed to calm by David Attenborough – the world’s best ever grandad voice.
Choosing to give over McDonald’s (!!) for an omega packed fillet of salmon with a side helping of vitamin rich petit-pois – now there’s words you never thought would see the light of day.
Bottom line: Now you’ve got a mini-me on board, everything you’d normally do gets double checked for baby safety. And skincare is a biggy. Can you use your current skincare as pregnancy skincare? What does safe skincare during pregnancy look like? What skincare products should you be avoiding during pregnancy?
How do you get rid of itchy baby tum?
What are the best pregnancy safe skincare creams to help protect against stretch marks?
What do you do for never spoken about post pregnancy skincare for cracked nipples?
My friend, for all your pregnancy skincare questions, you will very soon have answers. Get your feet put up and come take a read with me…
This post is sponsored and made possible by Mama Mio.
Pregnancy Safe Skincare: Is Baby Affected?
Skincare is something you put on top of your skin, which absorbs into your skin and which – with the right ingredients – can help improve your skin – noticeably. But, does what you put on the outside, affect your baby on the inside?
There is a widespread rumour that over 50% of the skincare you use, ends up in your bloodstream.
Dear skin savvy this is just not true. Imagine if you went swimming and absorbed 50% of the bath water. Yikes!
While 50% of what you put on your skin is definitely not absorbed into your bloodstream – small amounts are.
Take for instance sunscreen – which by the way is a must during pregnancy as pregnancy hormones can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Chemical sunscreens like for instance oxybenzone, have been shown to absorb through into a persons bloodstream. About 1 to 2% of the dose you put onto your skin. They’ve also been shown present in breast milk.
And with suspected estrogen mimicking activities, they’re not really something you’d consciously want to use as pregnancy skincare.
Pregnancy Skincare: The No-Go Ingredients
Dear friend the below list of no-go pregnancy skincare ingredients is in order of you’ll want to avoid based on what we just chatted about above. A lot of these are avoid during pregnancy for extreme caution.
- Chemical sunscreens – switch for physical sunscreens containing only zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as active ingredients
- Vitamin A/retinol/retinol derivatives – anything on your skincare ingredients list starting with ‘retin…’
- Salicylic acid – the FDA have rated as low risk if applied to small areas of the body during pregnancy
- Benzoyl peroxide – which I don’t recommend you use anyway, for these exact reasons
- Strong peeling skincare products with high AHA/BHA concentrations e.g. glycolic acid
- Fragrance or skincare high in essential oils
While this list is helpful if you’re very used to scanning skincare ingredients lists, other times you may end up with the side effect of eye ache. Which is why it’s fantastic to have a few pregnancy skincare brands up your sleeve. Brands which you know only use skincare ingredients which are safe for pregnancy. And brands which don’t just sit on the fence using only shea butter and almond oil, but which use ingredients proven to help stimulate collagen levels for keeping pesky silvery stretch marks at bay.
Mama Mio Pregnancy Safe Skincare
These guys are one of the very first skincare brands to be founded on offering you 100% safe to use during pregnancy skincare. Launched in 2004 with their now famous Tummy Rub Butter, they have formulas for even the most taboo of pregnancy skincare issues. Cracked nipples here we come! Below I’m exploring 3 of their top products for use during pregnancy plus immediately after you meet your mini-me. Exciting times.
A huge, huge side effect of pregnancy is an itchy tummy. Your skin gets itchy when your skin barrier is struggling and your skin is therefore loosing hydration. Like the dry winter itch your grandma always complained of. Before your tum began to grow, your skin had a happy and helpful layer of dead skin cells held together by natural oils aka lipids. They act like a brick wall, keeping out bad stuff and locking in the good stuff e.g. hydration. As your tum begins to grow, this layer of bricks, slowly and surely gets pushed upwards meaning lots of teeny tiny cracks.
Mama Mio The TummyRub Butter (available to buy here), helps fill them back in.
— Cheryl Woodman (@HonestyForSkin) 6 August 2018
And psst! They’ve tested this guy in independent clinical trials. Testing which showed the ingredients in this formula help to increase the elasticity of your skin by 20% after just 14 days of use. Which also means your pot of Mama Mio TummyRub butter is clinically proven to help protect against stretch marks. Not to shabby ‘eh.
A few of the highlight ingredients;
- Aloe juice – first on the list i.e. there’s most of this in the formula – soothing, also may help form a second skin therefore preventing dehydration
- Cyclopentasiloxane – second skin former to help prevent dehydration and improve your skin’s elasticity
- Beta Glucan – taken from oatmeal, helps promote skin renewal and collagen synthesis
- Rosehip oil – rich in essential fatty acids which are proven to help relieve dry scaly skin
- Vitamin E – skin identical antioxidant
As your skin stretches, sometimes it tears. But because when you’re pregnant your skin’s stretching from the inside-out, these tears are deep inside of your skin. What you see first as a pink line, is actually the very deep layers of your skin peeking through an inner skin tear. Imagine wearing a pair of black socks over a pair of red ones. Now imagine having a hole in the black one. This is pretty much exactly what a stretch mark is. To fix it, you need to sew back up the hole.
Therefore skincare ingredients which help your skin to heal and be elastic while stimulating collagen synthesis are especially helpful in minimizing pregnancy stretch marks.
Mama Mio’s Goodbye Stretch Marks Minimizer (available to buy here) – a few of the highlight ingredients;
- Peptides – specifically a combination known as Matrixyl 3000 – they help your skin to heal and repair
- Methylsilanol Mannuronate – helps your skin to restructure effectively plus may increase your skin cell metabolism
- Sodium Lactate – an essential component of your skin’s natural moisturising factor – helps keep your skin hydrated and healthy
- Squalane – skin identical skin softener and conditioner
Sore nipples are the worst and if you thought you couldn’t use anything to help ease away your pain, think again dear friend. The Mama Mio Keep Calm Nipple Balm uses an extremely careful blend of 5 ingredients to help soothe, calm and repair – all while you breastfeed. Here’s the thing, skin doesn’t like water when it’s put on the outside. Think of how crinkly your hands get after swimming. Water on the outside breaks down your skin barrier which is naturally oily. Therefore when you breastfeed – all that sucking away does the same thing and before you know it – boom – cracked, sore, sensitive nipples.
The Mama Mio Keep Calm Nipple Balm (available to buy here) says no with these fantastic ingredients;
- Lanolin – an excellent skin softener and skin conditioner which has been proven time and time again to help dry, sore skin heal
- Calendula oil – a healing, anti-inflammatory oil
- Shea butter – protects and soothes
There you have it my friend, pregnancy skincare you can trust without eye strain from ingredient list scanning. Aka more time for making sure your mini-me gets a daily dose of that classical concerto in B minor (!) What are you currently using as pregnancy skincare? Have more pregnancy skincare questions? Come ask them to me in the comments below…
Cheryl Woodman is a scientist & award winning skincare formulator who’s more friend next door than bow tie wearing professor. As creator of Honesty For Your Skin her aim is to help you care for your skin in the best ways possible. She’s founder of the natural & fragrance free skincare brand Honesty while also hosting 1 to 1 skincare coaching to help you get your best skin yet. Find out more here.