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What You Should Know About Skincare During Pregnancy

by Mama Madre |


During her pregnancy, Trish Maharaj had difficulty finding the kind of skincare she was after—something that was all-natural, Australian and safe for her baby and kind to her skin. So she decided to take matters into her own hands. As a cosmetic chemist and nutritionist, she decided to create her own skincare range that specifically catered to expecting mums and Madré Australia was born. Here, she chats about what you need to know about caring for your skin as a mum-to-be, including how to deal with stretch marks and the non-negotiables of your routine. .

What are some of the key concerns when it comes to skincare products and pregnancy?

“People tend to be concerned about two major factors – the ingredients they are using on their skin and whether there are any harmful ingredients that are best to be avoided for their safety of their unborn child, as well as the way their body is going to change over the course of their pregnancy and how to best manage that.” 

Are there any ingredients that are best avoided?
“Given there is so much misinformation out there, my best advice for women trying to fall pregnant, are pregnant or breastfeeding is to speak to your healthcare professional. In saying that, there are ingredients that we have come to know that are best avoided during pregnancy. People are best to use products that are not only free from harmful toxins, but also endocrine disruptors known as carcinogens which can include ingredients (often found in skincare) such as Retinols, AHAs and BHAs.”

What are some beneficial skincare ingredients that expecting mums can look to incorporate into their routine?

Celery Stem Cells – “These are great for emerging white marks and scars on skin and are the hero ingredient in our Belly Masks.” 

Organic Shea and Cocoa Butters – “Rich in fatty acids, these butters have been touted for their ability to hydrate, nourish the skin and improve elasticity. The fat in cocoa butter forms a protective barrier that allows the skin to hold in moisture. It is also rich in natural plant compounds called phytochemicals that help to fade scarring on the skin and minimise stretch marks.” 

Virgin Grade Plant Oils – “A variety of plant oils is key to ensure there is a variety of omega 3, 6 & 9’s. I love Sacha Inchi Oil, Evening Primrose Oil and Marula Oil. Look for virgin grades as these are unrefined and less processed and therefore retain its antioxidant profile. Our Madré Boob Balm for example, contains a variety of fancy essential fatty acids, omegas, vitamins & minerals from various oils to nourish dry skin.” 

Bakuchiol & Azelaic acid – “These acids are a great natural alternatives for those suffering from pregnancy acne as typical alternatives to Retinol, Salicylic Acid & Benzoyl Peroxide which are known not to be safe for pregnancy skin. These acids will not only help kill the bacteria that causes acne and keep pores clean but can also help brighten dark spots from pregnancy-induced melasma.”

We know that often stretch marks during pregnancy is hereditary but what are some ways expecting mums can help minimise them?

“Although stretch marks are a pretty obvious side effect of pregnancy, that still doesn’t make them any less annoying! You can be proactive by using a combination of ingredients that will help with collagen growth, its organisation which is key in repairing the stretch mark/scar if they have formed, alongside ingredients that help with elasticity and hydration of the skin. Doing this as your skin expands will certainly assist in helping the skin stretch as you grow.  Our Madré Belly Mask has been created specifically to assist with this for both pregnancy and postpartum bellies. It contains those pregnancy skin loving ingredients like Celery Cells, Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter which will help promote collagen organisation, growth and repair.  I would also recommend increasing cell turnover on areas that a prone to stretch marks such as the belly, butt, breasts and thighs via a physical exfoliant/scrub. Look for spherical shaped scrubbing agents such as jojoba, carnauba and coconut based exfoliants. Sugar or walnut based scrubs scratch the surface of the skin and this can lead to further irritated skin during pregnancy.” 

What are some of the non-negotiables when it comes to skincare during pregnancy? 
“As your skin starts to expand to accommodate the human who’s taken up residency inside your stomach, it can lose a lot of its moisture. This can lead to the skin feeling quite itchy, dry and flaky. Use a great moisturiser or oil with a wide array of essential fatty acids and Omegas. Also make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, which helps keep skin hydrated.  Sun protection is absolutely essential! Mineral sunscreens are generally the safest options for pregnant women, so make sure you track down ones that have zinc oxide in the ingredients list. Also, physical sun protection like hats and umbrellas at the beach are key.”