In pregnancy, caution is never too much, even when it comes to applying creams, lotions and other cosmetics to the skin
During the nine months of pregnancy, there are many things that the expectant mother has to pay attention to: nutrition, medicines, but also cosmetics. Well yes, sometimes you don’t think about it, but even cosmetics can contain dangerous substances for the unborn child. For this reason, when choosing a cosmetic product such as a cream, exfoliant or water retention treatment, you need to understand if the ingredients are safe for the baby’s health.
Here is a “vademecum” to choose the safest and most effective products during the nine months.
In this article
Cosmetics against cellulite blemishes
Water retention in pregnancy is physiological and very often tends to disappear by itself with breastfeeding. If the woman still wants to use a product to reduce the blemishes of cellulite, then you have to carefully choose the right one. “First of all, it must be said that in order to combat the imperfections of cellulite, the dermocosmetic treatment must improve localized microcirculation is reduce inflammation of the affected area “explains the Biologist and Expert Cosmetologist Carla Cimmino. “In fact, we know that in the areas of the body where cellulite is present the skin appears poorly oxygenated due to the stagnation of liquids”.
Having said that, to be prudent it is better to avoid products that contain high concentrations of certain substances such as caffeine, guarana and algae, whose active ingredients could enter the bloodstream and affect the growth of the fetus, and which could also interfere with the woman’s thyroid metabolism. Go ahead instead for creams containing centella, blueberry, red vine and pineapple. “These natural plant extracts improve microcirculation, help drain stagnant liquids and smooth the skin.”
For a “do it yourself” treatment Fill a tub with lukewarm water and pour in a kilo of coarse salt, or Epsom salt, and sit in the tub for 15-20 minutes. The salt will free you from excess fluids by osmosis, helping you to feel your legs immediately lighter, thus eliminating that horrible feeling of heaviness in the lower limbs.
Anti-stretch mark creams
Stretch marks are one of the most common imperfections in pregnancy and to prevent their formation it is always recommended to apply specific creams during the nine months. Green light to creams then? Yes, but not really at all. You have to choose carefully among the many alternatives on the market, even if they are often found, especially in pharmacies specific lines for the expectant mother that contain ingredients that are safe for the unborn child.
“In this case, the dermocosmetic treatment must somehow tone and stimulate the function of the dermal structures, increasing microcirculation and also ensuring superficial exfoliation” explains Cimmino. It’s fine then to use natural products how:
- almond oil;
- rosehip oil;
- Wheat germ oil;
- creams containing snail slime, a substance rich in collagen, vitamin C, vitamin E and allantoin, which repairs the “wounded areas”.
The substances contained in these products preserve and improve theelasticity of fabrics in a phase in which the skin is more subjected to tension.
For a “do it yourself” treatment, get a bottle of sweet almond oil and one of wheat germ oil from the herbalist’s shop and mix them in equal parts with extra virgin olive oil. Spread the ‘cocktail’ of oils on the areas most prone to the formation of stretch marks once or twice a day: olive oil is very rich in vitamin E, antioxidant and elasticizing, sweet almond oil nourishes and stimulates cell turnover, while wheat germ oil contains palmitic acid, which is emollient and nourishing. To avoid surprises on clothes, however, it is better to wait a bit before getting dressed or pat the skin with a handkerchief.
“Be careful not to use instead essential oils“- says the biologist -” in pregnancy they could be harmful. “There are still not enough studies to prove their safety during gestation.
Sometimes, despite the use of creams and oils, stretch marks can still appear. The cause? According to a study published in the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology, the risk factors that cause stretch marks are:
- genetic predisposition;
- weight gain;
- hormonal changes;
- the young age of the future mother.
Wrinkle creams during pregnancy can be used, but not all those on the market are suitable for expectant mothers. “Most wrinkle creams contain the vitamin A (retinol) or its derivatives, famous because they favor cell turnover, but unfortunately they can have toxic effects on the unborn child “says Cimmino. On the labels of products containing retinol or its derivatives it is expressly indicated that they are not suitable for pregnant women, but in case of doubt always ask your doctor or dermatologist who will be able to indicate the most suitable product.
Better then to look for an alternative product to vitamin A, choosing creams enriched with antioxidant substances such as vitamin C, vitamin E and flavonoids that fight free radicals.
A pregnant woman can never do without sunscreen when she is exposed to the sun. A rule that should actually apply to everyone, but even more so for future mothers. In fact, during pregnancy there is a high risk of seeing the chloasma (or melasma) gravidarum, a skin blemish characterized by the appearance of dark patches in some areas of the face. “To avoid unpleasant surprises it is therefore important to choose a good sunscreen for both face and body, preferring those with a high protection factor“, explains Carla Cimmino, biologist and expert cosmetologist. For optimal protection, the cream must always contain a high SPF filter, from 30 upwards, regardless of the type of complexion.
In pregnancy, it would seem better to protect yourself with sunscreen containing physical filters (and non-chemicals) such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which are not absorbed by the skin and which have that texture from the whitish complexion. As for the chemical filters, on the other hand, the scientific community has conflicting opinions. There are those who argue that chemical filters are safe even in pregnancy and who, like the authors of this recent study published in the scientific journal Journal of the American Medical Association, argue instead that there is a risk that the substances contained in chemical filters may be absorbed by the skin thus entering the bloodstream.
The most important trick, however, remains that of do not use expired creams or open for too many months, both because they lose their effectiveness and because they can cause skin reactions.