Between morning sickness, unusual cravings and more frequent trips to the loo, there are a few things that come standard when you've got a bun in the oven. But when it comes to what you should expect from your skin when you're expecting? Well, that's a whole different ball game.
You've probably heard of that pregnancy glow that all expectant mums look forward to—supposedly it's caused by increased hormones and blood flow to the skin creating a brighter-looking complexion—but in actual fact, many mums-to-be experience breakouts, pigmentation and acne.
To debunk the pregnancy skin myths and dish the dirt on what you should actually be doing to look after your skin during those nine months, we're sharing some top tips Nichola Joss, Foreo's celebrity facialist.
With A-list clients like mum-to-be Meghan Markle, Kate Moss, Margot Robbie and Gywneth Paltrow, Joss certainly knows a thing or to about getting skin to glow. She's most renowned for her signature facial massage technique which not only is believed to regenerate the skin for anti-ageing effects, but also works beneath the surface to detox and boost immunity. Keep scrolling to find out how to enjoy a taste of her celeb-approved skin treatments at home…
Understand the changes that may happen during pregnancy
When it comes to how your complexion might change, Joss is honest about what you can expect. "The skin can become very dry and super sensitive—as well as congested and disrupted," she explained. "As a result, this can cause spots, acne, inflammation and heightened redness, [which] for many women who have always had clear and easy to manage skin … can be a bit of a surprise and a challenge."
Even after you've given birth, there can be an adjustment period as your skin settles back into its usual routine. "The skin can take up to 12 months post-pregnancy to rebalance, advised Joss, "so if your skin is sensitive, try to stick to clean gentle skincare for the first few months after."
Learn to adapt your skincare routine
So when your hormones are in a constant state of flux and you're facing skin issues you haven't before, what should you do? "It's essential for everyone to have a good cleansing routine, but even more so when your skin is fluctuating," explains Joss. "If you're experiencing flare-ups, it's important that your morning and nightly routine is unclogging pores and removing any trapped dirt. Use a gentle organic cleansing product, as well as a cleansing tool like the Foreo Luna 2 to work your cleanser more deeply into the skin."
Start using this skincare tecnique
Renowned for her facial massages, it's no surprise Joss is a huge advocate for introducing massage into your skincare routine. "It's really important to massage your skin while pregnant, as this practice removes tension and stress from the muscle tissue," said Joss. "It also relaxes the face, drains puffiness and fluids, improves the texture and tone of the skin, increases circulation and stimulates the lymphatic system."
Joss shares tons of videos demonstrating massage techniques on her Instagram page if you aren't sure wear to start. But the simplest way is to spend a couple of minutes really massaging your cleanser into your face at night. Use upwards stroking motions, working from the centre of your face, outwards. Or try a jade roller for a similarly soothing affect with less of the handiwork.
Avoid these things
"Layering products can be great for the skin, but sometimes we are so overwhelmed with the amount of options available that we think they will all be beneficial," said Joss. "While your skin is fluctuating, and potentially more sensitive, try adopting a less is more approach. It's also important to avoid certain ingredients that may have been part of your skincare regimen before—things like retinol, salicylic acid and certain essential oils should be avoided. It’s always important to check before using a product while pregnant."
For context, retinoids and retinol are a derivative of vitamin A, which some studies have shown can be harmful to an unborn child. Although you shouldn't panic if you have used a product containing retinol—it's just best to be cautious and avoid it where possible. If you have any concerns about the ingredients you're using, consult a medical professional. Keep scrolling to shop the skincare tools Nichola Joss recommends for during pregnancy—and other pregnancy-approved beauty picks.
A natural, water-based moisturiser that's packed with organic sunflower seed oil, chamomile and calendula extracts. Not only is this a makeup artist secret for prepping skin before foundation but it has the perfect slippy texture for facial massage. Even better, you can use it on your body to soothe stretch marks or to pamper tired feet.
It's important to always wear SPF, but even more so when expecting. This one has an innovative dry-oil texture that feels incredibly lightweight on the skin. Plus, it helps to neutralise pollutants and protect your skin from other environmental damage.
A treat for post-pregnancy, Joss advises adding a mask into your skincare routine, as skin can become dry and dehydrated, especially if you're breastfeeding. "I really like using the Foreo UFO smart mask treatment which is a quick and effective way of delivering great results for new mums. With the combination of [K-beauty]–formulated masks, warming and cryo-technology, T-sonic pulsation and full-spectrum LED light therapy this smart mask device is fantastic for treating all skin types when time is of the essence."