Skincare

Get ready to screenshot: these are the best beauty products to use during pregnancy

A rounder belly isn't the only way your body changes when you have a bub on board.

By Amber Elias
Beyonce pregnant

Hormones, dehydration and low fluid levels (because your baby is sucking up all your moisture) can all have an effect on your skin. Going from glowing one day to reptilian the next is not uncommon when you're pregnant, but it is exhausting. Figuring out what is safe and effective can be overwhelming, especially now that you’ve decided to read every ingredient label at 3am, because you can’t sleep.

Acne, pigmentation and dry, flaky skin are just a few of the ways your skin can freak out, but thankfully these products will give you one less thing to worry about when you're planning for a bub.

Pregnancy-safe skincare products

These products will whip your face back into shape, without the common aggressors found in some skincare.

PIGMENTATION WHEN PREGNANT

Hyperpigmentation on your face can happen in varying levels and at its worst is called melisma. It forms when melanin (what gives you a tan and freckles) is over-active and darkens in abstract patches. During pregnancy, hormones can cause the production of melanin to go into overdrive. Vitamin C is an effective way to treat hyperpigmentation, and works as an antioxidant to break down dark spots, increase cell turnover and help stop the creation of new dark melanin areas.

HYDRATION HELPERS

Dehydrated skin can be a pain to deal with (it can be a mission to drink 2L of water every day) but these scientifically formulated serums are an easy way to cheat plump skin, without bathroom breaks every ten minutes.

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a molecule that draws in water and can hold close to 1000 times its weight in h2O. This means when HA is on your skin, it pulls in moisture from the air, filling out fine lines and smoothing your cheeks.

1. Paula’s Choice Resist Hyaluronic Acid Booster, $69

2. Hylamide Low-Molecular HA, $29.95

3. Indeed Laboratories hydraluron, $36.99

ACNE FIGHTERS

Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are the top level of acne treatment, but unfortunately aren’t widely recommended for use during pregnancy. Some studies may suggest otherwise, but if you’re looking to play it safe and steer clear of these ingredients, there are other acne-fighting options.

Dioic acid and colloidal sulfur both can help with preventing and treating acne, as well as individual blemishes.

1. SkinCeuticals Blemish and Age Defense, $98.

2. Weleda Aknedoron Purifying Lotion, $25.95.

3. Mario Badescu Drying Mask, $26.

EXFOLIATION STATION

Lactic and glycolic acid are your new best friends when it comes to exfoliating your face while pregnant. These gentle acids will remove dead skin cells without stripping your face or making it feel tender. If you’ve never used acids before, think of them like the skincare secret to glowing and even skin, without the redness of a harsher scrub that contains micro beads or grainy-pieces.

1. Elizabeth Arden Skin Illuminating Retexturizing Pads, $80.

2. Go-To Exfoliating Swipeys, $46.

3. The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2%, $12.40.

SAFE SUNSCREENS

Sunscreen is your first line of defence against ageing, and is particularly vital if you're suffering hyperpigmentation. When choosing a sunscreen (which you should be applying every day, even if it's cloudy) go with a cream, physical sunscreen and not an aerosol or spray which you could inhale.

A physical sunscreen uses natural ingredients such as zinc to physically block UVA/UVB rays reaching your skin, whereas a chemical sunscreen uses a chemical reaction to absorb the sun.

One of the main differences is application. Chemical sunscreens must be applied onto clean skin to work, under your entire product routine (yes even your serums) and are only effective 20 minutes after application. Chemical sunscreens may also trigger pigmentation in the skin, however more research is needed to confirm this.

Physical sunscreens can be applied on top of products on the skin and blocks the sun immediately upon application. New formulas are not like the thick and white cream of the '90s, and often blend into the skin seamlessly.

5-minute face

Make up can hide a multitude of sins (another dodgy night's sleep thanks to a kicking bub, for example), and these convenient and pregnancy-safe products will have you out the door in a flash.

1. This mascara has a magnifying mirror on the side, helping you get all your lashes, while the soft formula means they are never too crispy and uncomfortable. Bourjois Volume Reveal, $23 available March 10.

2. A tinted moisturiser that's also SPF 50? A winner in our books. Apply with fingers for speedy coverage, without a cakey finish. Natio Tinted Moisturiser SPF 50+, $18.95.

3. This award-winning, high coverage concealer is no joke. Use sparingly to hide dark circles and shadows. Don’t let the name fool you, we love it used all over the face too. IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer, $38.

4. This naturally formulated highlighting stick can be used on cheeks, as an eye shadow and even on lips for a natural wash of colour. Nude By Nature Touch of Glow Highlight Stick, $24.95