Share your pregnancy skin hacks with me!
November 19, 2014 6:30 AM   Subscribe

I am 33, newly pregnant and most of my usual skin care products are not allowed (retin-a, green peels, botox etc) I am interested in purchasing one of the more expensive beauty lamps using Red LED lights (not hand held) but I would really like to hear some experiences before I shell out any big bucks. Any other pregnancy skin hacks are welcome! My budget is about $1300 a year... but I like to spend it on things that have visual longer lasting effects. Thanks in advance!
posted by catspajammies to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I have no experience with the Red LED lights, but I would caution you to think carefully about spending a lot of money right now. It is very common for your skin to go through lots of hormone-related changes during pregnancy and in the postpartum period. Whatever seems like it might be work well today could be totally irrelevant later in your pregnancy.
posted by chocotaco at 6:40 AM on November 19, 2014 [7 favorites]

I've heard that pregnancy itself is often awesome for skin, and also expensive and time consuming, so there's that :)

Maybe specify what the problems are with your skin? Acne?
posted by amtho at 6:44 AM on November 19, 2014

Response by poster: skin issues: nothing specific. Some spots. Mostly I use retin-a (for occasional acne and fine lines) and botox (for glabella and forehead)

I did, however, get very bad hyperpigmentation after using hormonal birth control- so I am a little bit worried about getting the pregnancy mask. At the moment I am using copious sunscreen and La Roche Mela-D anti-brown spot daily skincare.
posted by catspajammies at 6:48 AM on November 19, 2014

Spend 1/2 of your budget on frequent massages and your stress/skin/body will feel great.
posted by barnone at 7:00 AM on November 19, 2014 [5 favorites]

Not face-related but I loved this stuff so much that I buy it for every newly pregnant woman I'm friends with. My pregnancy skin was so dry that if I forgot it by midday I was itching my back against things like a bear on a tree, but this oil was so great that it felt like my skin was drinking it whenever I applied it. I know a lot of this part is genetic, but I used that stuff on my belly every day and night for all of my second and third trimesters and I got one stretch mark. One. And my baby was just shy of eight pounds and I'm only five foot one, so it's not like my skin didn't stretch out.
posted by SeedStitch at 7:27 AM on November 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Pregnancy itself cures my acne completely. If that's what you'd be buying the light for, I would definitely hold off. And I hugely second barnone - later in pregnancy spend the money on massages, pedicure, manicure etc, and just keep doing exactly what you're doing with the sunscreen. FYI I only use sunscreen where the active ingredient is zinc oxide, especially during pregnancy. It's unknown or controversial what harms might be caused by the typical active ingredients in sunscreen, but they are generally hormone disruptors and that isn't something I have felt like slathering on myself especially while pregnant (my hormones are messed up enough at baseline).
posted by treehorn+bunny at 7:48 AM on November 19, 2014

Oh and also get a really good cream to rub on your belly when it get big. I doubt the abilities of creams to prevent stretch marks, but having skin stretch so much feels itchy and strange, at least to me - and rubbing it with the pregnancy skin creams seems to help.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 7:49 AM on November 19, 2014

Best answer: Frownies apparently do work for the glabella, if used consistently. Some report that homemade apple cider vinegar and lemon juice toners (google for recipes - they're diluted) can help with some kinds of acne and possibly melasma. 2nd zinc sunscreen; to prevent breakouts, you can remove it more easily with an oil (like jojoba or olive) and then proceed with washing your face. This might be a time for manual vs chemical exfoliation - not 100% sure but it seems very likely that something like the Clarisonic would be safe (though might not use the toners right afterwards).
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:28 AM on November 19, 2014

Best answer: I like light therapy and I've found the Illumask thing that's $30 at the drugstore works great, just as well as the spa. I use it every 2-3 days, every day is too much and leaves my skin red. It's only supposed to be 30 uses but since I hate waste I looked up how to reset it online. If I continue to like it I will eventually invest in a non disposable one. $200 seems to be the sweet spot there for an led system you can expect to last many years.

Having said that some people report hyperpigmentation from light therapy so definitely start with the $30 option!

You can still exfoliate, just use manual methods. I don't like the clarisonic as I felt it roughed up my skin but there are gentler options, cellulose based etc.
posted by fshgrl at 10:57 AM on November 19, 2014

Best answer: Pregnancy is your skin hack, I've literally never had better skin. I do recommend Clinique's City Block SPF 40 (it has zinc) to protect against the "mask".
posted by Toddles at 11:04 AM on November 19, 2014

I only have very anecdotal evidence for this, but I swear that increasing the amount of fat in my diet has helped to prevent stretch marks. I used to get terrible angry marks from even 10 lb weight gains and losses, but last year I gained 40 lbs while pregnant and didn't get a single new one. My old diet was low fat diet because of 80s nutritional indoctrination, but now I am eating tons of avocados, nuts, olive oil, and fatty fish.

Like others in this thread pregnancy made me less acne prone, but only after I had some pretty bad breakouts in the first couple of months. So if your skin is acting up now it might magically get better on its own soon.
posted by insoluble uncertainty at 2:25 PM on November 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you everyone! I have learned a lot here and will save my pennies, enjoy pregnancy skin and moisturize my belly. And try the frownies!
posted by catspajammies at 11:50 AM on November 22, 2014

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