“Most skin care treatments use powerful chemicals (anti-aging, acne reducers, pigmentation reducers) in the process to achieve phenomenal results. This is safe for most people, however during pregnancy, most of these chemicals cannot be removed because even topical application can cause absorption into the bloodstream, which can affect the developing fetus,” says Mila Davis, a licensed esthetician in Morristown, New Jersey. You should also avoid harsh treatments like microdermabrasion and chemical peels, because your skin becomes more sensitive during pregnancy. “These procedures can cause hypersensitivity, irritation, redness, acne, hyperpigmentation and even scarring.”
In addition to helping you relax, a facial can also help you manage any changes to your skin caused by pregnancy hormones.
“Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy will generally affect how much oil is produced in the skin. This extra oil can mean more hydrated and glowing skin. However, if you already tend to be more oily, this increased oil production it can cause an exacerbation of acne symptoms or increased breakouts,” says Emily Trampetti, a licensed esthetician in Chicago. “The increase in hormones also tends to overstimulate our production of melanin in the skin, which is what causes pigmentation or darkening of certain areas of the skin. This is the culprit in melasma or ‘pregnancy mask.'”
While the list of ingredients and treatments to avoid during pregnancy may seem long, you still have plenty of options. Learn more about pregnancy-safe facials below.
Pregnancy-safe facials to get from a professional
1. Oxygen facial
“An oxygen facial uses a specialized machine to deliver pressurized oxygen infused with essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients directly into the epidermis,” says Davis. “Like any facial treatment, it includes a gentle cleansing and light exfoliation before high-pressure oxygen is delivered to the outer layer of skin. This non-invasive procedure offers several benefits, such as improved blood circulation, reduction of fine lines and wrinkles. , skin hydration and a more even skin tone.”
2. Moisturizing facial
“A hydrating facial is designed to hydrate and nourish the skin and is recommended for dry, flaky skin,” says Davis. “Don’t be surprised if your skin texture changes during pregnancy, requiring different procedures to revitalize your skin. A hydrating facial involves cleansing, light exfoliation, and the application or infusion of hydrating serums into the skin.”
Trampetti adds that these facials will use moisturizers and emollients like hyaluronic acid, mushroom extract, glycerin, shea butter, jojoba oil, almond oil, and aloe vera, to keep skin hydrated.
3. Deep Cleansing Facial
“A deep facial cleansing is more appropriate for oily and acne-prone skin during pregnancy,” says Davis. “A deep cleansing facial will include exfoliation and extractions to clean pores and the use of pregnancy-safe drying agents, such as benzoyl peroxide, to remove excess oil on the skin’s surface.”
Although glycolic acid is off the table, you can get facials with other alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) like lactic, malic, and mandelic acid, along with beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) salicylic acid and benzol peroxide in small amounts.
“These are considered good to use in small amounts during pregnancy by many medical professionals,” Trampetti says. “If you’re nervous but still want to use these ingredients, just ask your doctor. Otherwise, I generally don’t hesitate when advising my clients to continue using them during pregnancy considering their pH.” She says limit it to 10 percent or less for these AHAs and less than 2 percent for BHAs. For benzoyl peroxide, make sure it’s below 5 percent.
4. Facial acupressure
An acupressure facial involves the use of acupressure points to stimulate blood flow throughout the body. Just make sure you get your doctor’s permission first.
“During pregnancy, unless you’re a specialist in knowing exactly what you’re doing, certain acupuncture points can potentially overstimulate or trigger unnecessary energy or blood flow in an already quite stimulated body,” Trampetti says. “I always recommend talking to your doctor or doula before deciding on any treatment that has to do with stimulating a lot of energy and blood flow.”
Want even more beauty insights from our editors? Follow our Fineprint Instagram account for essential tips and tricks.