your skin during pregnancy

CONGRATULATIONSSSS!!!!! It’s not always easy knowing what to expect when you’re expecting, especially in regards to your skin. When you’ve got a mini hooman growing within, you’re in the middle of drastic lifestyle changes, rising hormone levels and you’re probably feeling a little bit stressed – happy stressed, but cortisol-raising all the same. Everyone tells you that you’ve got “the glow” but the reality is that pigment may be an issue and you are annoyed that you can’t use actives. We’re here to help you identify what is going on with your skin and provide you with pregnancy-safe solutions.

Problems that can occur with your skin during pregnancy



You may notice that your skin is reacting differently to your usual washing powder, your signature fragrance or your usual skincare routine. During pregnancy, your skin can become very sensitive to things that didn’t cause you problems pre-pregnancy. To combat this, be gentle on your skin. Avoid using products that include known irritants, like fragrances. Instead, use products that are hydrating and free from acids and retinol, such as Neostrata’s Restore range.

On the left, Neostrata’s Restore Bio-Hydrating Cream (€40.90) and on the right, their Restore Facial Cleanser (€28.30)


Maybe you’ve had it in your teen years, your twenties, or maybe you’ve never even had a blackhead. Acne can crop up in your pregnancy due to your heightened hormonal levels, but you have to be careful to only treat acne with products that are proven safe to use during pregnancy. Salicylic acid is a no-go due to it being derivatively related to aspirin. Acne Out Oxy Wash uses pregnancy-safe lactic acid in lieu of salicylic acid.

Biofresh Acne Out Oxy Wash (€23)

Dehydrated skin

The changes in your body could make your skin feel itchy, dry and tight. Minimise this by drinking plenty of water, investing in a humidifier and making sure to use a gentle moisturiser daily, nightly and ever-so-rightly.  Up your omega intake to lock in moisture – omega fatty acids also have multiple benefits for you and your baby! Of course, always remember Spritz O’Clock. Spritzing refreshes and re-hydrates the skin, so make sure to keep a bottle of a refreshing mist handy.

Yon-ka’s Lotion Yon-ka PS (€32)


Melasma is when your pigmentation levels rise due to the influx of hormones, causing brownish spots on your face and body. To combat this, cover up well in the sun, make sure to use pregnancy-safe sun cream but remember that they should fade after pregnancy. If your melasma marks don’t fade away by themselves post-pregnancy, seek a consult with a clinic to understand how best to treat them. IMAGE Skincare, Skinceuticals and Heliocare all have great high SPF suncreams.

From left to right: Skinceuticals Sheer Mineral UV Defense SPF 50 (€31.45), Heliocare Advanced Gel SPF 50 (€30.00), IMAGE Skincare Prevention Daily Ultimate Protection Moisturiser SPF 50 (€47.50)

Stretch Marks

When you think of pregnancy and your skin, you probably think of stretch marks. During the natural enlarging of your bump, the collagen of your skin is stretched past its limit. This causes fissures which appear on the skin as brown, purple or red stretch marks. Genetics play a role in the likelihood of you getting stretch marks: it’s probable that if your mum had stretch marks, and her mum before her, you will have them too. There is no way to truly stop stretch marks, but including vitamin E, vitamin C and zinc in your diet can help to minimise them. Stretch marks will naturally fade to a silvery-white colour with time but treatments using microneedling, radio-frequency and lasers are making ground-breaking changes at the moment. Environ AVST Vitamin A, C and E Face and Body Oil is great for helping to fade stretch marks post-pregnancy.

Environ AVST Body Oil (€50.00)


It’s also advised to switch out your regular foundation and concealer to mineral makeup due to the new sensitivities that may arise from your pregnancy. But here at The Skin Nerd, we never need an excuse to advocate for mineral makeup – we love it always!

Our final tip on skincare and your skin during pregnancy: most pregnancy-related skin conditions clear up on their own after you’ve given birth. We hope you enjoy a worry-free pregnancy, and when baby is born, we’ll write an article on that!

To recap on what we’ve learned:


  • Vitamin C
  • Antioxidants
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • SPF

Be Careful

  • Salicylic Acid: due to its relationship with aspirin
  • Glycolic Acid: photosensitises the skin
  • Retinol: active brands won’t sell the products to pregnant women for insurance reasons

REMEMBER – skincare doesn’t penetrate to the blood, this is all just precautionary!

To all the mums, mums-to-be, daddies, aunties, uncles and grannies, please comment below with your pregnancy skincare tips!



Jennifer Rock

About Jennifer Rock


  • Jess says:

    Really good information and so handy to know ?Love this . Thank you looking forward to reading more of your blogs

  • Catherine hennessy says:

    This is fantastic, love love reading all your various posts. I’m 34 years old and 18 weeks pregnant on my second baby and have full blown acne at the moment, avoiding all mirrors at present for my mental health! As well as the different products you described what kind of treatments could I maybe get during pregnancy to try and to clear my skin. Skin currently so bad at present, spots spontaneously bleed, normally when I have an audience! HELP

  • I have been trying to think of what kind of skin care tips I need to know now that I found out I am pregnant with my first baby. You said that during the natural enlarging of your bump the skin is stretched and can cause stretch marks. That is a great point for me to consider looking for skin products that will help with the marks.

    • Jennifer Rock Jennifer Rock says:

      Hi, Barbera!! CONGRATULAAATIONS!! I believe Environ A, C, E body oil to be great for stretch marks but post-pregnancy, after the baby has been born, as it is deemed not 100% safe for during pregnancy x

  • Mary says:

    Are Environ products safe to use during pregnancy?

  • Mel says:

    Hi jen,
    I am currently using Heliocare Gel Sunscreen. Just tested positive and I am glad that it is safe to use during pregnancy. I won’t have to look for another sunscreen anymore. Thanks for the very informative post!

  • Síofra McGrath says:

    Hello Jennifer. Is Glycol the same as glycolic acid? I’m guessing they are the same or part of the same family at least? My Kiehls toner has glycol in it and I just found out we’re pregnant. ? I’d like to set up a consultation with you or your nerdettes as we are living in America. Many thanks, Síofra

  • Kayla says:

    My sister is pregnant and it’s she’s a first-time mother. My mom suggested asking help with pregnancy and shared this article with her. My mom reminded her to take care of her skin because she has sensitive skin.

  • Maria says:

    Hi Jennifer, I am just 8 weeks pregnant and already suffering with breakouts and bad skin. I have always had oily skin but kept breakouts under control using a salicylic acid face wash and oil control lotions. I am now on the hunt for pregnancy friendly skincare. Are all image products ok to use during pregnancy?

    • Jennifer Rock says:

      Hi Maria, anything that contains the ingredients listed is not recommended, I’d suggest speaking with your Image clinic or salon to be absolutely certain x

    • Jennifer Rock says:

      Hi Maria, unfortunately, no – anything with the ingredients listed above from IMAGE (ie. the Clear Cell range) are not suitable during pregnancy. Have you considered booking in for a consult with us? We can advise you on products suitable for use during pregnancy! x

  • Èrin Reddy says:

    Hi Jennifer, I’m just 23 weeks pregnant. I’ve always had very dry and very sensitive skin, throughout my pregnancy my skin has gone from dry to oily. I usually use No.7 as I find they suit my sensitive skin best, but the last couple of days my skin has just become so sensitive I’m afraid to use anything on it especially my eyes (they keep watering). Is there anything you could recommend to use… I’ve already spoken to someone in No.7 about changing my dry skin products to oily ones which has helped in just concerned about the sensitivitie of my skin. Thank you so much, such a great piece of information best I’ve read yet ☺️

  • lynda berry says:

    Hi Jennifer.

    Is phloretin CF antioxidant serum safe to use when pregnant? thanks

    • Jennifer Rock says:

      Hi Lynda, technically, yes, it should be okay for use during pregnancy but I’d always suggest checking with your GP first x

  • Christina says:

    Hi Jennifer, I am 14 weeks pregnant and wondering if the kinvara or trilogy range is safe during pregnancy? Great article, thanks 🙂

    • Jennifer Rock says:

      Hi Christina, congratulations!! You would have to contact each brand separately to ensure that all of the products you are using are safe during pregnancy – I have not trained with either brand. x

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