There’s probably no time in your life that you’ve craved a good ol’ facial more than during pregnancy. It’ll help you relax, steal a little “me” time, and hopefully leave you with a glowing complexion. Not that we need to sell you on facials–but if you need a little convincing, consider this your excuse to book yourself in for a little bit of pampering.
Before you book, here’s what you should tell your salon
Facials are safe during pregnancy as long as they’re done safely and with the right products. Do some research on salons or spas before you book, and when you call, be sure to let them know you’re pregnant and would like to see a facialist with experience treating pregnant women. They should be able to adjust the products they use accordingly, and if anything doesn’t feel right, speak up! You know your body (and skin) best.
What should you sign up for?
Here are the best facial options tailored to treat all of your pregnancy skin woes.
For bad breakouts… try a deep cleansing facial
Is your skin acting like it’s the 10th grade again? We feel you. Unfortunately, the influx of pregnancy hormones (plus stress!) cause a lot of women to experience acne during pregnancy. Resist the urge to pop, though — your skin is more prone to hyperpigmentation right now, and trying to extract your pimples can cause scarring.
Instead, try a deep cleansing facial. This classical facial treatment usually includes a cleanse, steam, massage, serum, and moisture. It will help treat your pesky breakouts, prevent new ones, and moisturize your skin without causing new acne.
For dry skin… try a hydrating facial
Hydrating for two is tough work, and the strain of lending your body’s hydration to baby can rob you of that pregnancy “glow”. On top of that, hormones do crazy things that can make your skin drier than usual. Drinking more water will help long-term, but if your skin needs a major dose of moisture right now, then a hydrating facial is definitely the way to go. Gentle cleansing, exfoliation, and hydrating serums will hydrate your parched skin and allow your own skincare routine to work better.
For a dull, flaky complexion… try a gentle peeling facial
The dryness and irritation of sensitive pregnancy skin can lead to a buildup of dead skin cells that’s not so cute. Brighten up your dry, dull skin with a gentle peeling facial. Instead of harsh chemical peels, try a gentler pregnancy safe option, such as a lactic or glycolic acid peel. These are both AHAs–also known as alpha hydroxy acids–that act as gentle chemical exfoliators, as opposed to a physical exfoliator (like scrubs). Although they may sound harsher, they’re actually way gentler and safer than going to town with a sandy facial scrub, and they’re great at clearing away dead skin cells. They’ll smooth your skin texture and leave you with vibrant, glowing skin–yes, please!
For a more youthful glow… try an oxygen facial
Some of us get more of the pregnancy glow than others, but what is that ‘glow’ even attributed to? Well, during pregnancy your circulation naturally increases (which can mean a rosier complexion) and your body also tends to retain excess fluid (which can result in a fuller face and reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles). Uhh, awesome right? If you want to boost your natural glow there is a facial that can help you hack it. Oxygen facials infuse oxygen just below the skin, which both increases circulation and plumps out fine lines and wrinkles, and the best news is they are safe for pregnancy (and postpartum, if you want to keep the glow going!).
For dark spots and hyperpigmentation… press pause
We know! It’s so tempting to want to get rid of those spots asap. You’re more likely to deal with hyperpigmentation during pregnancy because of an increase in naturally occurring melanin, but because hormones cause this to happen, most of your dark spots will probably go away after pregnancy. So don’t stress–they’ll probably sort themselves out on their own!
If you’re still tempted to treat them, you should know that most facial treatments for hyperpigmentation aren’t safe for pregnancy and could even make things worse. Dark patches are usually treated with chemical peels, lasers, or microdermabrasion–all of which aren’t recommended while expecting. To reduce hyperpigmentation during pregnancy, be sure to wear a facial SPF every day and be mindful of sun exposure. If you still have concerns after birth, revisit the above treatment options.
To recap, what treatments should you avoid?
Really, anything harsh and abrasive is better off limits. That means no microdermabrasion, chemical peels, hot stones, hot wraps, and IPL (intense pulsed light). And if you’re a fan of topical retinals and retinoids, skip those for now, too–you can replace any Vitamin-A derivative products with Vitamin C for now.
If you’re doing a facial at home, make sure you know what products to avoid
If you want to do an at-home facial you still want to be careful with what products you’re choosing. It’s important to only use gentle, fragrance free formulas. Yes, really–skipping the fragrance matters! The added fragrance in skincare products can be a major irritant for a lot of people, and oftentimes, it’s added in the form of essential oils, some of which aren’t always safe for pregnant women.
Speaking of essential oils, there are some that should definitely be avoided or used with caution during pregnancy, whether they’re added to products or not: pay particular attention to sage, tarragon, rosemary, fennel, marjoram, mugwort, birch, and wintergreen.
Want more pregnancy-specific guidance? Try the Baby2Body app today for guided breathing exercises, meditations, and wellness tips — always suited to your stage.