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Header_Simple pregnancy skin care routine

Simple Pregnancy Skin Care Routine

The esmi skin experts weigh in on how you should change up your skin care routine during pregnancy.

From breakouts to dryness, or if you’re really lucky the fabled glow, pregnancy changes your skin. Your usual line up of products may not be right for your pregnancy skin care routine. Plus, there’s the issue of safe vs not-safe ingredients every mum-to-be needs to know about.

Switching things up is also the ideal time to refresh how you approach your routine. Has applying skincare become a chore you rush through on autopilot?

We encourage you to think of it as a self care routine instead. A moment in your day of pure ‘me’ time to reset and focus on yourself - something every expecting mum deserves!

What Happens to Your Skin During Pregnancy

The not so great news? The oh-so-pregnant-glow isn’t guaranteed when you’re expecting. Instead, you might find yourself dealing with a number of more challenging pregnancy related skin changes.

Hormonal acne - Breakouts around the chin and jaw are common.

Melasma (‘mask of pregnancy’) - Hyperpigmentation that can appear on your forehead, nose, and cheeks.

Dehydration and dryness - Dryness can make fine lines and wrinkles more pronounced.

Increased sensitivity - Redness, flushing, and irritation

Let’s look at safe skin care for pregnancy to tackle these concerns while you’re expecting and during breastfeeding.

Acne and Breakouts During Pregnancy

Whether you’re usually prone to breakouts or not, many women experience acne in the first and second trimesters.

A rise in hormones called androgens causes your sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. If not managed in your pregnancy skin care routine, all this excess oil can clog pores causing acne and inflammation.

Acne treatment ingredients to avoid during pregnancy

These ingredients aren’t safe for use while you're expecting or breastfeeding.

  • Salicylic acid
  • Retinol (Vitamin A)

Some oral acne medications are also unsafe. Always consult with your healthcare professional

Pregnancy-safe ingredients to manage acne

Thankfully, you’re not stuck with a ‘grin-and-bear-it’ approach to dealing with pregnancy breakouts! There are plenty of safe ingredients and products on the anti-acne list.

  • AHAs - Glycolic acid and lactic acid
  • Fruit enzymes
  • Bentonite clay
  • Activated charcoal

What esmi skincare products are safe during pregnancy to help manage breakouts?

These products are also safe to use during breastfeeding.

Why Pregnancy Can Cause Redness and Flushing

Hot, red, flushing cheeks is probably not the kind of subtle pregnancy glow you were hoping for.

Redness, flushing, and a ruddier appearance are caused by hormonal changes and an increase in circulating blood volume during pregnancy. If you have existing rosacea you might experience flushing flare ups more frequently.

Pregnancy-safe ingredients to manage redness

Include these cooling, calming ingredients in your pregnancy skin care routine to help manage redness and flushing.

  • Aloe vera
  • Arnica
  • Tasmanian Pepper Extract
  • Linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid)
  • Menthol

We recommend: Anti-Redness Minty Green Smoothie

Lightweight with an energising wild mint aroma, this serum cools and heals damaged, red skin with potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and hydrating properties. Suitable for all skin types and safe to use in your pregnancy skin care routine and while breastfeeding.

Reactive and Sensitive Skin During Pregnancy

You may find your skin has become ultra sensitive and reactive almost overnight. Certain products, ingredients, and foods you had no issue with before can now spark an uncomfortable reaction.

What’s the cause of increased skin sensitivity? You guessed it - increased hormones.

Skin is also extremely sensitive to sunlight so wearing mineral SPF30+ sunscreen every day is a must. Avoid chemical sunscreen containing oxybenzone as this is a known endocrine-disrupting chemical.

Fragrances can also trigger reactivity so it’s best to steer clear of heavily fragranced products.

Calming ingredients for your pregnancy skin care routine

  • Aloe vera
  • Topical probiotics (read more about the benefits of probiotics for sensitive skin)
  • Green tea extract
  • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
  • Vitamin E

esmi pregnancy-safe products we recommend for reactive and sensitive skin

These products are also safe to use during breastfeeding.

How Pregnancy Can Cause Skin Dryness

Dry patches of tight-feeling, flaky skin are often associated with pregnancy.

The skin barrier becomes more permeable which increases transepidermal water loss - moisture evaporating off the skin.

In addition to keeping moisture levels topped up with hydration focused skincare make sure you’re drinking plenty of H2O and eating foods with high water content.

esmi pregnancy-safe ingredients to aid skin hydration

  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
  • Glycerin
  • Aloe Vera

We recommend: Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum

esmi Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum is like a big drink of water for your cells containing triple action Hyaluron which increases hydration by 25% within 2 hours.

The hydrating serum isn’t a moisturiser, it works by attracting water to the deeper layers of skin and rehydrating cells from the inside out. After hydrating the skin, it’s then important to apply a moisturiser on top to lock in the hydration.

Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum is also safe to use during breastfeeding.

Other Important Pregnancy Skin Care Recommendations 

In addition to your getting at-home pregnancy skin care routine sorted, look after your skin by getting enough quality sleep. Sometimes easier said than done (we know!) but doing your best to establish a good sleep routine will help keep skin hydrated and healthy.

Also avoid professional skincare treatments like laser treatment, micro needling, or chemical peels which are unsafe during pregnancy. 

Products Recommended for Breastfeeding Mothers

While nursing, your skin may continue to change and hydration levels, in particular, need extra attention.

You might have experienced oilier-than-usual skin during pregnancy but now your complexion is drier than the Sahara!

To keep hydration levels topped up and moisture locked into the skin we recommend:

We hope our tips on how to take care of skin during pregnancy will help you make the right skincare choices during this special time. If you have any questions about pregnancy-safe skincare and ingredients, reach out to us at hello@esmi.com.au - we’re here to help! 


Infographic_ Simple pregnancy skin care routine