The Skin Nerd: How to look after your skin when you are pregnant

Your skin is going through changes alongside your body
The Skin Nerd: How to look after your skin when you are pregnant

Skin Nerd: Your skin is going through changes alongside your body.

Preparing for a new arrival is an exciting (and sometimes) scary time! 

You wouldn’t be hooman if you didn’t feel a little apprehensive about what to expect from your body as it takes on its new role as a mama, but here is a little nerdie guidance about the journey your skin will be on whilst you are expecting!

What can happen to the skin during pregnancy

Pregnancy is an incredible experience! 

It is a brilliant demonstration of how amazing and strong the body is, but as with the rest of the body, your skin will undergo significant change during this time due to the fluctuations in your hormones – all very normal and to be expected!

Pigmentation and dark spots

Hormones are notorious for triggering pigmentation. 

Pregnant women are more susceptible to melasma, which appears as darkened patches on the face. The body has 30% more blood pumping around it during pregnancy, which means a lot of pressure on the vascular system. 

This can lead to dilated capillaries, broken and varicose veins. 

Protect skin from further pigmentation with the use of SPF. By ensuring that your diet is high in vitamin C, you can also support your vascular system, as vitamin C strengthens vessel walls. Vitamin C is packed with other skin benefits, helping to boost collagen and skin clarity.


Due to the change of hormones in the first trimester, breakouts and the development or worsening of acne is common. 

This is completely normal and can be managed with a suitable skincare routine. 

Although you need to check with the manufacturer's recommendations, using a low % salicylic acid is considered fine to use during pregnancy and can help clear the skin of congestion and excess oil. 

Environ Focus Care Clarity+ Sebu-Wash Gel Cleanser contains 0.5% salicylic acid and is great for addressing blemishes, as is Murad Clarifying Cleanser, but do check with your doctor before use.

Worsening of skin conditions

If you suffer from conditions such as eczema or rosacea, you may find that this flares up during pregnancy as your skin can become more sensitized. 

Ensure that your skin is well moisturised at all times and when showering or bathing keep water temperatures warm rather than hot in order to reduce the risk of unnecessary flare-ups.

Where is the glow?

‘Pregnancy glow’ a no-show? Join the club! 

Whilst even first-time mamas are likely to have heard of the much-anticipated pregnancy radiance, it is nothing more than a myth to most pregnant women. 

Triggered by an increase in blood circulation, some women do experience a ‘glow,’ as can those whose hormones increase sebum levels. 

On the downside, this increase can also lead to acne and breakouts, so it is best to be prepared for the unpredictable flow whilst your complexion is adapting to these changes. Which leads us to...

Skincare advice during pregnancy

If you want to keep on using skincare and cosmetics during your pregnancy, you are not alone - recent studies have revealed that 60-80% of pregnant women use cosmetic products while they are expecting.* 

Research reveals a lack of available information concerning the use of cosmetic / skincare during pregnancy, with 65% of the women studied claiming that they would have appreciated this advice. 

As a pregnant hooman, one way to minimise this additional stress is to speak to your GP or a skincare professional. 

A professional consultation is the best way to find an effective product to treat pregnancy skin and achieve optimal results. 

Help is available at where our trained professional skin experts provide online consultations in the comfort of your own home! As a general rule, I recommend the following:


  • Vitamin A / Retinol: Vitamin A is amazing when we include enough in dietary form via a balanced diet, however it is always best to pause topical usage until your mini hooman is born. There are some fantastic alternatives such as hyaluronic acid, peptides, niacinamide and vitamins C and E to help provide your skin with the nutrition it needs during this wonderful time.
  • Exfoliating acids: When it comes to acids, it is always best to stick to something that is effective at addressing your skin needs but gentle enough to support pregnancy skincare. Skingredients AHA Cleanse is an excellent choice as it contains lactic acid, which hydrates whilst it exfoliates and will help to both maintain and support the skin. If using acids, do be aware that the skin is more susceptible to pigmentation and so SPF is key for protection from any damage.
  • Unnecessary additives: You may find your skin is more reactive to synthetic fragrances and preservatives. Switching to natural formulas and products for sensitive skin can help you avoid any irritation or redness flare-up.

Stock up on...

  • Hydrating oil: Although genetics play the contributing factor in stretch mark formation, it is ideal to keep the skin supple. Apply hydrating oil liberally to help lock in moisture and prevent stretch mark formation as much as possible.
  • SPF: Your skin will be more sensitive to light and so it is important that you wear a high factor, broad-spectrum sunscreen every day to protect against pigmentation.

*Maternal cosmetics use during pregnancy and risks of adverse outcomes: a prospective cohort study (Huixia et al)

Nerdie Pick

Basq Cooling Body Bliss Lotion
Basq Cooling Body Bliss Lotion

This light gel contains a cooling blend of cucumber, green tea extract, aloe, and eucalyptus to ease pregnancy aches. 

Great for soothing a sore back, tense neck and reducing swelling in tired legs and feet, apply all over the body to nourish and relax.

Basq Cooling Body Bliss Lotion, €25.00,

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