10 Ways Pregnancy Changes Your Skin

Another reason for this glow: weight gain, which “fills in the skin and ‘firms’ it, making it look smoother,” she says.

2. What to expect: rashes

Increased progesterone levels also trigger more “sebum (oil) production, causing breakouts,” says Ranella Hirsch, MD, board-certified dermatologist in Cambridge, Mass.So choose acne products carefully. Avoid products containing retinol, retinoids and salicylic acid, due to possible birth defects. “Retinols and retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A, and high doses of oral vitamin A can cause serious birth defects,” says Matthew Schulman, MD, assistant professor of plastic surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. . “A topical retinol or retinoid is unlikely to harm a developing baby, but there are no data regarding the use of these ingredients during pregnancy.”Use benzoyl peroxide instead, advises Dr. Schulman. Acne Fighter has been tested and shown to be safe during pregnancy. Or try natural topical remedies such as tea tree oil and lavender. Other acne treatments administered by dermatologists, such as intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments and microdermabrasion, are also safe, says Dr. Schulman.

Patricia J. Callender