What is safe for your skin during pregnancy?
The skin is our biggest organ and, as we know, many ingredients can be absorbed through it into the bloodstream.
The problem is, there haven't been any tests conducted to identify what ingredients you can and can't safely use when carrying a baby, because no woman would ever agree to being tested while pregnant!
With that in mind, we've compiled a list of ingredients and treatments that you may want to avoid.
Stay away from: Retin-A/Accutane, Retinoids, Vitamin A
Why? Vitamin A is used in skincare because it's an anti-ageing powerhouse. But when you're pregnant it's an important ingredient to avoid. Some of the stronger forms of vitamin A, such as Retin-A and accutane, are prescription drugs and have been linked to birth defects.
While most types of vitamin A found in skincare are less potent "it's still not advisable to be used during pregnancy", says Nicky Quinn of Quinn Beauty & Day Spa.
Swap it for: Vitamin C and serums that contain antioxidants. "These are great to use while pregnant as they'll keep the skin looking and feeling bright and hydrated and will also assist with controlling pigmentation," explains Louise Williams, clinical educator at Advanced Skin Technology.
Stay away from: Botox
Why? Botulinum toxin, or Botox, works by paralysing the muscles around wrinkles so they become less visible. Dr Catherine Stone from The Face Place says it's best avoided while pregnant. "If you're pregnant or breast-feeding, your clinician will recommend you wait until you've finished breastfeeding before commencing your treatments. This is because there's no clinical research proving the safety of Botox during pregnancy."
Instead: Opt for a lifting face cream. Try: 5 Clarins Double Serum, $115, which contains active ingredients designed to revitalise the skin.
What should you use?
Sunscreen. Due to hormonal changes, you can develop pigmentation, dark spots and melasma (like a full mask of pigmentation). To combat this, stay out of the sun and wear a daily sunscreen.
It's not all about your face – remember it's your body that's going to face the most changes during pregnancy. Be sure to lather on the body oil to keep stretch marks at bay.