An expert’s guide to treating your pregnancy skincare and postpartum woes like acne, hair fall and stretch marks—safely

Letting little humans play house for nine months creates a new set of norms, including skin care during pregnancy. Suddenly, your growing belly paves the way for unwanted tummy rubs and unexpected glow! All sorts of problems arise. Playing with guinea pigs on the new skin care products that hit the market on a daily basis seems harmless. But babies quickly absorb what you put into their bodies and apply it to their hair and skin, so think twice. Two experts discuss the dos and don’ts of pregnancy skin care and postpartum beauty, and how to incorporate a more holistic approach into your daily routine.


During pregnancy and postpartum, female hormones change significantly, affecting the quality of skin and hair. “Most women enjoy a flawless glowing skin, but some may experience hyperpigmentation and dullness. There are,” said Jamuna Pai, Ph.D., cosmetic physician and founder of SkinLab. “The same goes for hair, which for some people really adds shine and volume. However, some women often encounter frizz along with thinning and breakage. “It can have a reaction,” she says.

So do you sit back and watch your skin and hair deteriorate, or are there baby-safe alternatives to treating your ailments? Dr. Harshana Bijlani, MD, presents alternatives.

Pregnancy and postpartum beauty diary

acne breakouts, scars

Avoid: Hydroquinone for oral and topical vitamin A+ marks such as retinol, retinyl palmitate, retinoic acid, adapalene, tazarotene, tretinoin

“Acne during pregnancy can occur due to hormonal changes. Use a face wash that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Or use an antibiotic cream containing clindamycin. For Mark, creams containing vitamin C, niacinamide, glycolic acid, and lactic acid are all safe alternatives that can be used during pregnancy. Another very safe ingredient is azelaic acid, which can be used for both acne and marks.

stretch marks

Avoid: Topical preparations of the vitamin A family

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