Date
20 October 2018
Hormonal changes and stress in women during pregnancy can cause many negative effects on the skin. Photo: Reuters
Hormonal changes and stress in women during pregnancy can cause many negative effects on the skin. Photo: Reuters

Skincare tips during pregnancy

It is every would-be-mother’s wish to have beautiful skin that provides for greater confidence for taking selfies for sharing or for preserving memories while expecting a lovely newborn.

However, hormonal changes and stress in women during pregnancy can cause many negative effects.

To overcome potential problems, having a beauty routine and choosing the right facial products are of critical importance.

There are countless skincare products on the market but not every single one of their ingredients is safe for the baby. Some ingredients can be detrimental to the development of infants. And so, well-informed mums are more inclined to baby-safe cosmetics.

That is a reasonable choice to make. Baby-safe products are suitable for pregnant women because their skin could become as sensitive as the baby’s.

Yet, baby skincare products in general only have moisturizing property, which may not be adequate. Moreover, these products are not guaranteed to be safe for pregnant women.

Be extra cautious of formulas that claim to have “whitening” or “anti-aging” properties.

Vitamin A acid, a common whitening ingredient, for instance, is not 100 percent safe for mothers and babies. Read the product description thoroughly before purchasing. Better yet, ask the salespersons or professional consultants about the main ingredients and their safety during pregnancy.

Apart from moisturizing the skin to prevent irritation, mothers-to-be should also be aware of dark spots as they are more likely to appear during pregnancy. Freckles and hormonal spots can also get more serious. Whether it’s sunny or cloudy, use a PA+ sunscreen of SPF30 or above to protect the skin and minimize formation of dark spots.

Many people falsely believe that sunscreens of higher SPF perform better. In fact, sun protection factor is just a measure of how well a sunscreen will protect the skin from UVB rays. A sunscreen of SPF15 blocks 93 percent, SPF30 blocks 97 percent and SPF50 blocks 98 percent of UVB.

Generally speaking, products that feature readings higher than SPF50 would not provide much more protection. Rather, they carry greater risks of irritating the skin. A sunscreen of SPF30 to SPF50 is sufficient for pregnant women.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on April 25

Translation by John Chui

[Chinese version 中文版]

– Contact us at [email protected]

JC/BN/RC

Specialist in Dermatology & Venereology, FHKAM (Medicine)

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