My skin drastically changed once I got pregnant sort of from the very beginning. Starting around 7 weeks I started getting breakouts all over my cheeks and lower face which is where I get hormonal breakouts so, makes sense.
They were these inflamed/raised red bumps with nothing inside them, all over. Not the usual breakouts that I was used to at all. A lot of my pre-pregnancy skincare contained salicylic acid which is a no-no in pregnancy, so I quickly had to find other products that worked for my skin and didn't break me out. I've always been quite sensitive to products so I knew this would take me a while and a few trial and errors. My skin also got even more dry so I now lean towards hydration, hydration, hydration.
I sought out an aesthetician in Dubai who gave me mild soothing facials to help with the redness and inflammation and she turned me on to the brand Natura Bisse. That is where I started. I can't use it anymore because the smell takes me back to my nausea, even typing this is hard. lol.
Below are a list of products that I found really worked for my skin during pregnancy. The breakouts calmed down on their own at around month 5 likely due to my body adjusting to the hormonal changes, I don't think there was a magical product that did this as I've always known that breakouts come from within the body.
I went through a few different cleansers from Avene to Bioderma which were supposed to be great for breakout-prone/hormonal skin. But I found they were a bit too over-drying for me. Over drying the skin (even if you have oily breakouts) can make the breakouts much worse. You have to stay hydrated. I ended up giving them to Omar to use and decided to finally try out the Soy Cleanser which so many people rave about, now I see why. It is SO GENTLE but really leaves your face and pores feeling squeaky clean.
I'm on my third bottle of this cleanser and plan on continuing with it post-pregnancy, unless I end up needing a more medical grade cleanser in which case I will go back to the cleansing complex by iS Clinical.
For my list of holy grail (non-pregnancy) skincare products click here.
I alternate between these two toners. I've been mostly using the Peony Toner throughout pregnancy as it is specifically for brightening. After my breakouts I was left with quite a lot of scarring to deal with, I have olive skin and I scar SO easily. The Peony toner is wonderful to brighten and even out complexion and also has hyaluronic acid in it, great for hydrating the skin. Both are alcohol free and thus are not over-drying or harsh on the skin.
I love the texture of this serum, it absorbs so well into the skin without leaving any residue behind. Great as a natural serum to boost overall complexion.
I switched from my iS Clinical Pro Heal Serum to the Kora Organics as it is more natural and contains 12% Vitamin C. I love the texture of this serum and it absorbs so well leaving your skin feeling smooth and radiant. I need help with my scarring so a C serum is vital and this seems to be working really well so far as I'm not reacting negatively!
Sonya Dakar Omega 3 Serum (for dry/sensitive skin)
Obsessed with this Omega 3 serum, I use it right after the Kora Organics C serum (once it fully absorbs) and I use my Gua Sha to massage it into my skin as it has a more oily texture to it which I love. It smells divine.
From month 4-7 while dealing with the constant breakouts, all I was using on my skin was the soy cleanser and one of these creams, nothing else. I would wash my face with cold water in the morning and apply the rose cream (light), then cleanse my skin in the evening and apply the rose cream (definitely thicker and more of a night cream).
Because I knew my skin was going through changes I followed the less is more rule and stripped back my skincare routine big time which I found was the most effective way to deal with the breakouts.
I LOVE this brand because of how pure and natural it is, you can tell when you use it. It's so high quality and has such a rich/luscious texture. These creams are still the only ones I'll use during pregnancy because they truly are the BEST.
I only introduced toners and serums into my skincare starting week 25-ish once my skin cleared up and the breakouts stopped.
This has been my go to sunscreen during pregnancy because it is so light yet creamy. I got it to use when I was on holiday and wanted a more heavy duty sunscreen to protect my skin and ended up using it on the daily.
This is the only mask I've been using during pregnancy, it is super hydrating and leaves the skin soft and supple.
I use this once a week in the shower and it's really helped lift the darkness of my scarring and give me baby soft skin. It evens out any rough texture on the face. I find that it helps prevent breakouts by keeping the pores unclogged and clean!
I get dry lips when it gets colder anyway despite how much water I drink, during pregnancy this got a bit worse so here are the lip conditioners that REALLY helped with my chapped lips! I'm kind of obsessed with lip products, chapsticks, lip balms etc. These are my favourites.
This stuff is magic. I use it for everything! If I get any cuts or burns, any severe dry patches on my skin or body, it's incredible. I mainly use it on my lips every single night before sleeping and also before going outside in the cold. It really helps protect me from the dry/cold winter weather.
Smells divine and I'm obsessed with the texture.
I use the vanilla non-tinted one and its amazing. I love to use it as a gloss to finish off a make up look!
If you guys follow me on Instagram, you'll know that there are MANY days I go without wearing any make up at all. During pregnancy, especially when my skin was breaking out/scarring I felt I needed a little coverage to conceal some of the redness.
Anytime I have breakouts in general, I avoid make up because I like to give my skin a chance to heal without layering loads of heavy products on it for hours throughout the day. This is the first time I've had make up I feel comfortable using when I do have breakouts, because I know they won't make them worse!
I'm all about a no-make up make up look, I wanted to find non-pore-clogging, clean make up which I had yet to find - particularly a foundation and concealer which obviously are the most important as they go all over your face.
I had always heard RAVE reviews about Ilia make up but had never gotten around to trying it. It's a natural, vegan/cruelty free make up brand with skincare ingredients infused into the products which I loved.
Here are my favourites which I've been using pretty much the entire pregnancy with absolutely NO negative effects on my skin, also it looks so natural and makes you GLOW. Every time someone compliments my skin saying "oh you have the pregnancy glow!" I'm like no I think it's just Ilia!
I don't think I can ever use another foundation again in my life. Hands down the best one I've ever tried ever and I have tried so many over the years from La mer, Clarins, Bobbi Brown, Mac, Armani...a lot. It has a serum texture, blends so quickly using just your fingertips. Super lightweight but buildable if you want more coverage. I would highly recommend this if you're anything like me and like to look as though you don't have make up on, but you just look really fresh faced!
Similar texture as the foundation, not a heavy duty concealer but definitely does the trick of brightening my under eye area. I purchased in this shade which matches my skin tone for the days where I don't want to wear any foundation, but I think I'll be getting the shade lighter for when I do wear foundation!
I never wore mascara. Simply because it was always so difficult to remove and I didn't like rubbing my eyes every day for a few minutes to get the stuff off. I love how easily this applies and doesn't clump the lashes together. It also comes off VERY easily with make up wipes in 2 or 3 gentle swipes, unlike most other mascaras.
Current Shade: Forever
Perfect for a subtle tint of colour while still hydrating the lips.
Current Shade: All of Me
I love this as blush and eye shadow and even lip colour, it's so creamy and the colour options are amazing. Very easy to blend with your fingertips.