One of the great pregnancy myths is best known as the pregnancy glow. It’s not that pregnant women can’t have a particularly glowing complexion—many do—but just as many would say they feel (and look) a little green. There’s also a slew of dermatologic issues that can arise during pregnancy, leaving women feeling duped by all that pregnancy glow talk.
The so-called pregnancy glow it isn’t some enchanted spell the universe casts across a woman’s face to say this woman is in the throes of something magical! The reality is that the profoundly increased blood volume in any pregnant woman’s body can pinken up her cheeks. And the whirlwind of activity in her oil glands gives the skin a certain sheen. But think about other ways increased blood flow and oil secretions can manifest themselves! For many pregnant women, these things spawn a red and ruddy complexion or acne breakouts. Here are some common issues and ways to cope:
- Acne. Wash your face in the morning and evening with a mild, non-comodegenic cleanser and lukewarm water. If you have oily hair, wear it in a style that keeps it away from your face.
- Redness. Use oil-free foundations and skin products, especially those with soothing ingredients like aloe. Also, try a redness-neutralizing product, which should contain yellow pigments. Because they’re designed to camouflage redness, rosacea concealers can also be helpful.
- Melasma. Also called “the mask of pregnancy,” this appearance of darkened patches on the complexion can be slowed—but not resolved—by using a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays and brimmed hats. Again, this is an issue that can best be combatted with cosmetics. Look for foundations with white or yellow undertones.
- Skin Tags. These tiny, benign nodules of skin that commonly appear during pregnancy are easy to remove. A dermatologist can painlessly freeze them off. Many people tout home remedies for skin tags involving natural oils, but it’s wise to have a dermatologist look at any skin growth to make sure it’s what you think—and not something malignant.
- Cherry angiomas. Also benign, these tiny red papules on the skin. They’re just a proliferation of blood vessels, and they are also easily treated by a dermatologist. Their appearance can sometimes be minimized with red-reducing makeup, too.