When I was about three months pregnant with my first child, I stared at my mirrored reflection in dismay, wallowing in thoughts that I'd never look the same again. "Where's the pregnancy glow that everyone brags about? I look like I just lost a fight with Rocky!"
Whether you are pregnant with your first child or your fourth, skin problems are nothing unusual for moms-to-be. The expected "glow" on your face shows you how your hormones are working in overdrive, making an increase of oil secretions. Some women suffer from oily skin throughout pregnancy, while others experience dry, itchy skin, and some women have a combination of both. Women with pre-existing skin conditions may have to alter their treatments. All these factors are enough to make a pregnant woman feel frustrated. But don't despair! There are an array of treatments and skin care products that will help ease these facial changes and make your skin look fresh and relaxed.
For moms-to-be who develop oily skin, many dermatologists recommend washing the face several times during the day with a gentle cleanser.
"Gentle cleansing with Cetaphil or a neutral cleanser may help to reduce oil as well," says Dr. Steven D. Shapiro, MD, board-certified dermatologist and director of Gardens Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery Center in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
"Consider gently wiping a cotton ball with witch hazel on your face during the day and remember to pass on the moisturizer if your face is oily," says Dr. Susan C. Taylor, MD, nationally known dermatologist and author of Brown Skin: Dr. Susan Taylor's Prescription for Flawless Skin, Hair, and Nails.
"Look to glycerin soaps, which cut out the oil, and try to use oil-free makeup," advises dermatologist Dr. Joyce Davis, MD, who has her own private practice in New York City.