Understanding "Pregnancy Glow"

Two words we all want to hear when we’re pregnant: “You’re glowing!” Many of us think that pregnancy glow is a mom-to-be guarantee. Sure, our bodies might be going through some uncomfortable changes while growing another human being, but we’re supposed to look great doing it, right? Our skin should be rosy, radiant, and flawless. Unfortunately, expect the unexpected: There are a medley of skin issues that pregnancy can bring, which may make that pregnancy glow a little harder to achieve.

What skin changes can I expect during pregnancy?

  • Redness, especially on the palms (palmar erythema).
  • Acne.
  • Dry or oily skin.
  • Rashes, such as PUPPP (pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy), which are itchy, bumpy legions that can develop in stretch marks on your belly, as well as on your thighs, butts, and arms.
  • Spider veins.
  • Skin tags.
  • Discoloration, like melasma, the “mask” of pregnancy, which can include splotches on your face and the darkening of the linea nigra and your areolas. Discoloration is common, affecting 90% of expectant mothers.

When can I expect skin issues to occur—and leave?

You might experience skin issues as early as the first trimester, though some don’t notice any until the second or third. Pregnancy acne, in particular, will usually show up around week six of your pregnancy. Luckily, you should see any pregnancy-related skin issues clear up within weeks of delivery; some issues, like skin tags, may be permanent, however.

Why does your skin change during pregnancy?

Hormones, among other things. Hormonal changes will make you more oily and susceptible to heat rash and discoloration. Plus, your suppressed immune system and stretched blood vessels make inflammation much more likely.

What can I do to get the promised pregnancy glow?

  • Eat healthy. Eliminate foods that will exacerbate skin issues, like excess sugar, refined grains, and unhealthy fats. Add in lots of whole foods, like veggies, fruits, whole grains, and fish, which will give your body the nutrition it needs to support you -- and your healthiest skin.
  • Drink plenty of water. Water keeps your skin hydrated and flushes out toxins.
  • Be careful with the products you use. You may want to choose a concealer (or powder, depending on if your skin is oily or sensitive) if your skin problems occur on your face and make you feel self-conscious; be careful to choose something non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and designed for your particular issue and skin. In particular, Topical Vitamin C could help brighten melasma and promote collagen production. 
  • See a dermatologist. Let your dermo know you’re pregnant, as certain medications, such as retinoids and most oral acne-fighting meds, are unsafe for your baby. If your skin issues haven’t gone away after delivery, ask your dermo what options are available to support your skin.
  • Don’t overwash your skin. Overwashing can lead to stripped skin, which will only cause your skin to produce more oil -- and more unpleasant skin issues.
  • Protect your skin. Wear pregnancy-safe sunscreen. Avoid the sun during peak hours, usually from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wear a hat or long sleeves to protect against sun exposure, which can exacerbate some issues, like discoloration.
  • Make sure you’re getting enough folic acid. Discoloration may be linked to a folic acid deficiency, which can be dangerous for your growing baby, so be sure to supplement with a vitamin, or tincture if you’re having trouble swallowing pills.
  • Stay cool. Wear soft, loose clothing. Use aloe vera or cold compresses to cool down your skin. Avoid long baths, and take short showers.
  • Try our Pregnancy Glow Gummies. These gummies are formulated with Biotin, Vitamins C and E, Zinc, Folate, and more to support your natural beauty during pregnancy.

Pregnancy skin issues are common, so don’t feel down if the pregnancy glow is something you have to work for. With some good habits, you can keep your skin, your body, and your baby healthy, which is the most important thing.


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