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Niche Topics (Pregnancy and Kids) is all about practical parenting advice and parenting skills to help you deal with common parenting challenges from toddlerhood to teen years. You’ll find tons of healthy food ideas and easy-to-make kids meals, fun activity ideas and creative crafts projects that kids love to do and play!

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I am asking this question for my wife who is in 8th week of her pregnancy. Her normally dry skin is acting weird lately and has suddenly become very sensitive to sunlight ever since she got pregnant. The skin on her face reacted badly to her usual facial care products, and made her break out in an itchy rash. I was wondering what skincare products would be good and safe for pregnant women with hypersensitive skin? Thank you very much. – Dave, North Dakota.


What Can I Do for Sensitive Skin During Pregnancy?


Hi Dave,

Thank you for bringing up this question on pregnancy and sensitive skin. Many women find that their skin has changed – spots and acne, skin darkening or blotchy skin, rashes and itchiness –  and become more sensitive during early pregnancy. This is partly because of the skin being stretched to accommodate the growing baby and higher hormone levels, which can make a pregnant woman's skin more sensitive to contact with substances that would not normally affect her.


What Skincare Products Are Safe During Pregnancy?

I highly recommend Novena Maternal Skin Care, a complete line of pregnancy skin care and beauty products that addresses common pregnant skin conditions such as dehydration, pregnancy breakouts, brown spots (pigmentation), and stretch marks. I also like Earth Mama Angel Baby, Mambino Organics, and Belli. All ingredients found in these brands are natural, organic, and safe to use during and after pregnancy. Check out their websites for your nearest retailer, or order online.

Another option is use skincare products especially designed for babies. Baby skincare products are free of irritants – dyes, fragrance, phthalates and parabens – and therefore, great for use on even the most sensitive skin. Try Aveeno or Mustela.

In my own experience, I found unrefined cocoa butter, pure shea butter as well as pure almond oil to be really helpful and safe for pregnant women. All works exceptionally well as an emollient and moisturizer for dry or sensitive skin during pregnancy. In addition, almond oil also helps prevent stretch mark formation by maintaining skin elasticity and resilience.



What Ingredients Are Unsafe for Pregnant Women?

Make sure to completely avoid products that contain essential oils such as rosemary oil, evening primrose oil, myrrh, peppermint, basil, sage, thyme, and coffee extracts. Also, stay away from ingredients like salicylic acid (BHA or beta hydroxy acid), retinol A, parabens, phathalates (DBP or dibutyl phathalate), benzoyl peroxide, hydrocortisone, and lead.


Having said that, it's always a good idea to identify what could be causing skin sensitivity. Could it be the washing detergent, perfume, or bath soap? Try washing clothes, towels and sheets in an unscented, ultra-mild, hypo allergenic laundry detergent for sensitive skin. Doing so may help prevent skin from chafing and soreness. I would suggest you switch to soap nuts, which  have been used for hundreds of years in India as a natural detergent. Soap nuts are 100% natural, chemical free, and hypoallergenic. Plus, they are very environmentally friendly.

Your wife should avoid using perfumes, and scented soaps for a few days and see if her skin condition improves over time. Also, encourage her to wear loose-fitting, cotton clothes to keep her body cool and dry, and avoid scratching.


The best way to treat itchy skin during pregnancy is to apply liberal amounts of moisturizer and avoid hot showers or baths. Always apply moisturizer or lotion just after getting out of the shower when skin is still damp because this allows the skin to absorb more moisture and prevent itching.

Generally speaking, most skin rashes and itchiness that occur during pregnancy are temporary and can be easily relived with over-the-counter skin ointment. If problem persists, she should consult with her doctor or gynecologist.



Homemade Organic Skin Care Ideas for Pregnant Women

Some commercial pregnancy skin care products can be quite expensive, so I would definitely suggest making your own homemade skin care products using simple and natural ingredients found in your kitchen. Facial cleansers, scrubs and moisturizers can be made from a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and oils such as olive oil and coconut oil.

A little olive oil combined with a little uncooked oatmeal makes an excellent face or body scrub that heals and soothe sensitive skin. You can try grinding a handful of soaked almonds into a fine paste, add a bit of manuka honey and olive oil for an inexpensive spa quality body scrub.

Green tea is brimming with a plethora of powerful antioxidants that are both healing and soothing. Steep an organic green tea bag in a cup of hot water for a few minutes. Let cool completely and splash on face or body.

Applying plain unflavored yogurt on the face is extremely gentle and soothing for sensitive skin. The good bacteria in yogurt helps keep skin clear and healthy.

Another excellent natural skin moisturizer is avocado. Smash up a ripe avocado and spread on face. Alternatively, try manuka honey, which has more healing powers and antioxidant properties than regular honey.

By Tiffany Moore




what skincare products are safe for pregnant women

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