Retinol products like eye creams, wrinkle gels and serums have become hugely popular, praised for their skin resurfacing abilities. However, due to the powerful nature of retinol, it is not an appropriate ingredient for all life stages.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should consider tailoring your skincare routine to what’s best for your body and your baby. Due to the significant hormonal changes that take place, your skin may become more sensitive or present new concerns such as hyperpigmentation or breakouts.
Certain ingredients such as retinol can be harmful to your baby while pregnant or breastfeeding, which means it’s important to review the products you’re using during this period.
This guide will answer your questions about using retinol and we’ll also provide advice on how to address skin concerns that may emerge during pregnancy with alternative suitable ingredients.
WHAT DOES RETINOL DO FOR THE SKIN?
Retinol is a form of retinoid derived from vitamin A. It is most commonly used in serums and creams to target the visible signs of ageing, breakouts, texture and skin tone. By increasing skin cell turnover, retinol can benefit the skin in many ways.
REDUCES THE APPEARANCE OF SIGNS OF AGEING
Retinol helps to minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by increasing collagen production. As our skin ages, it slowly loses collagen and elastin, which contributes to sagginess and fine lines and wrinkles. Retinol helps promote new collagen production, keeping your skin looking plump and firm. Retinol also works to neutralise free radicals and promote skin cell turnover to encourage refreshed, more youthful-looking skin.
Our Retinol B3 Serum helps to manage these concerns, while improving the skin’s ability to maintain moisture levels. Alternatively, our Redermic R Anti-Ageing Eye Cream helps to visibly reduce signs of fatigue and ageing around the delicate eye area.
HELPS MANAGE BREAKOUT-PRONE SKIN
Retinol can help to manage breakout-prone skin by removing dead skin cells before they have a chance to clog pores. This means there are fewer impurities sitting in the pores, waiting to emerge as blackheads, white heads, or pimples.
By promoting skin cell turnover, retinol also helps to minimise the appearance of acne scars, acne-prone skin and congestion.
IMPROVES SKIN TEXTURE AND TONE
Retinol promotes exfoliation and skin cell renewal which makes room for new, evenly pigmented skin cells and helps create a refreshed appearance with minimal discolouration. As well as managing existing discolouration or hyperpigmentation, retinol also helps to minimise the ongoing production of dark spots by helping to inhib the activity of the melanin-producing enzyme tyrosinase.
CAN YOU USE RETINOL WHEN PREGNANT
If you are wondering whether retinol is safe during pregnancy, the answer is no. Vitamin A plays a vital role in fetal development, which means high levels of retinol may interfere with this miraculous development. For the same reason, it is not advised to use retinol while breastfeeding.
Many skincare products contain retinol or other vitamin A derivatives like retinyl acetate, retinyl linoleate, retinyl palmitate and retinyl propionate, so make sure to take a close look at your ingredient lists when pregnant or breastfeeding.
VITAMIN C FOR SKIN BRIGHTENING
Hyperpigmentation affects almost 50% of people during pregnancy, with the increase in estrogen and photosensitivity manifesting in the form of skin discolouration.
In addition to daily SPF use, those who are pregnant may want to integrate vitamin C into their skincare routines. The powerful antioxidant neutralises the free radicals that are responsible for causing dark spots and hyperpigmentation for a more even, radiant looking skin.
Our Pure Vitamin C10 Serum is suitable for sensitive skin, helping to minimise the appearance of wrinkles, loss of radiance and irregular skin texture. Its blend of vitamin C and salicylic acid evens out skin texture and tone and adds to your existing pregnancy glow.
HYALURONIC ACID FOR ANTI-AGING
If the newborn stage has taken a toll, consider integrating hyaluronic acid into your skincare routine. Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, which means it can infuse the skin with deep hydration and promote a more plump and youthful looking appearance.
Our Hyalu B5 Serum offers all the anti-ageing benefits of hyaluronic acid and more. Enriched with vitamin B5 and madecassoside, this serum targets the appearance of wrinkles, loss of volume and tiredness in sensitive skin types.
NIACINAMIDE FOR BREAKOUT-PRONE SKIN
During pregnancy, our bodies undergo a surge in progesterone. This causes the skin to produce more sebum, which can lead to acne-prone skin during pregnancy.
Niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, is an effective ingredient for acne-prone skin and congestion. Boasting comforting properties and helping to regulate the production of oil, niacinamide is a great option to consider for skin concerns. Our Effaclar H Cleansing Cream is a gentle cleansing cream that helps to maintain the pH of the skin while also reducing signs of redness. The addition of zinc PCA also works to balance oiliness and minimise breakouts.
Retinol and pregnancy don’t go hand in hand. Instead, explore our range of alternative and sensitive skin products to address your prenatal skincare concerns.
For more information on retinol, read our next article on Retinol for Pigmentation & Dark Spots.
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