Pregnancy Skincare Journey with our Founder Elly Seymour
In early January 2023, I found out the very special news that I was pregnant. It was very early on and I felt somewhat “normal” still. Whist finding out you are pregnant is thrilling, life changing news, navigating the new guidelines on what you can and can longer do, eat and use on your body can be challenging.
Having a long history in the skincare industry, I knew what I could no longer use in my routine- GOODBYE 0.25% Encapsulated Retinol Serum. This is one of my favourite serums, and let me tell you, writing this at 36 weeks pregnant I have sure missed it!!
You see, Retinol AKA Vitamin A plays a vital role in fetal development, which means high levels of retinol may interfere with this and 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. Prescription Tretinoin is also a no no.
Everyone is different, so 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 OR it may not. Always seek advice from a skincare expert or your OB/GP. A VERY handy tool to use is the Saint Louve Skin Prescription Quiz, a quiz that asks you 15 very specific questions on your current skin and will tailor your routine to you accordingly.
During the first trimester, I had a sudden influx on nausea from 7 weeks onwards. This meant I couldn’t eat what I normally would eat/drink- including my daily collagen supplement. With a reduction in fresh vegetables and water intake I noticed a deterioration in my skin's appearance. I stopped using my 0.25% Encapsulated Retinol Serum but increased the use of my 12% AHA BHA Exfoliating Serum to every second night. NOTE: I have an oily skin type and my skin can handle this amount, some people may not, always start 2 nights per week and increase as tolerated. The Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids in this serum really helped with some of the random hormonal break outs I was experiencing this trimester as well as gave my skin a brighter appearance, even though I wasn’t feeling it on the outside. Of course, I never missed an application of my Vitamin B3, B5 & Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum, this was a godsend for that instant hydration boost I needed and provided all day hydration. I heavily handed used 3 pumps AM & PM.
My focus this trimester was hydration and spot treatments.
They don’t call this trimester the easiest most enjoyable trimester for no reason, as soon as I turned 14 weeks, immediately my nausea resolved. I was very fortunate I know. This meant I could start my collagen supplement again (YAY) as well as some more wholesome food habits and of course, increased water intake. Increasing your H2O has SUCH a powerful impact on your skin and shouldn’t be taken for granted. Everyone tells your this is the trimester your skin is glowing due to all the increase blood flow. I am not sure I completely noticed this, but we will go with it!! They also tell you that your hair grows like crazy, for me I felt the opposite BUT, nonetheless, I was happy to be growing my baby and not feeling nauseous.
My skincare routine included:
Vitamin B3, B5, Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum (3 pumps)
15% Vitamin C Lustrum Serum (2 pumps)
Vitamin B3, B5, Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum (3 pumps)
12% AHA/BHA Exfoliating Serum (2 pumps every second night)
Beauty Sleep (whilst I can, always on a silk pillowcase)
My focus this trimester was still hydration and skin brightening.
Welcome to the last 3 months! What a ride. By now I was so tired in the evenings that the thought of removing my makeup at night gave me chills. BUT, I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t so the skincare routine continued. This trimester I started to notice an increase of pigmentation on my face in the way of freckles. I do have quite a few freckles which had mostly faded over the years from using cosmeceutical skincare and having skin treatments like IPL and chemical peels. With the increase of Estrogen and Progesterone in my body is very normal to experience darker pigmentation and skin condition called “Melasma” or the “Pregnancy Mask”. The exact cause of melasma is unknown, but it can be triggered by factors like:
- Increased levels of progesterone and melanocyte stimulating hormone that increases melanocyte levels causing hyperpigmentation
- Uncontrolled sunlight exposure
- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
- Genetic predisposition
- A family history of melasma can increase the risk of acquiring it, especially when exposed to sunlight and taking birth control pills
Luckily for me, I formulated our 15% Vitamin C Lustrum Serum with a HUGE amount of skin brighteners as well as pigment blocking ingredients. Pigment Blockers are otherwise known as “Tyrosinase Inhibitors” and these types of ingredients help to protect your skin from forming hyperpigmentation. Often hyperpigmentation is underlying and shows up later in life or during sudden hormonal changes like pregnancy and menopause. You can prevent this with the use of pigment blockers. Example of pigment blockers are: Vitamin C, Ferulic Acid, Bearberry Leaf Extract + Arbutin. Hear me speak to this here.
The high performing advanced formula of the 15% Vitamin C Lustrum Serum rapidly evens the skin tone, lightens the appearance of dark spots & hyperpigmentation, boosts radiance & reduces the appearance of fine lines. With a bonus peptide to visually increase the firmness of the skin.
My focus this trimester was reducing pigmentation and preventing further dark spots.
Pregnancy for me, has been an ever-evolving journey, especially being my first time. Taking care of myself, my body and my skin has been so enjoyable.
Knowing that Saint Louve products are SAFE to use during pregnancy gives me reassurance and have had a massive impact on how I have felt over the last 9 months.
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