Pregnant and Peeling – yay? nay?

 In Skin Care

Pregnancy can be a rough time for your skin with cycles of hormones dancing around in your bloodstream causing everything from hyper-pigmentation to acne. Normally, we would never hesitate to jump to a quick peel to address these issues quickly and effectively, but are they safe during pregnancy and lactation?

The general resounding answer is NO, but there are many different kinds of peels out there – classified by their active ingredients and depth. So, are they all banned during pregnancy? Not necessarily.

Keep in mind, you should never do anything without speaking to your OBGYN – although, your doctor will likely tell you that a superficial alpha-hydroxy or enzymatic peel is perfectly safe. They will also tell you to avoid anything deeper than a superficial peel, and to avoid certain ingredients including resorcinol, hydroquinone, salicylic acid, phenolic acids, etc.

Also, be aware that the natural acid or enzyme peel that you are used to getting great results from when not pregnant may not be as effective during pregnancy. Melasma (or temporary hormonally caused hyper-pigmentation) may even be visibly worsened after using a superficial peel during pregnancy. Hormonal fluctuations stimulate the immune system during gestation and frequently tell defense mechanisms (like our UV radiation defense mechanism) to fire more frequently to protect your unborn child.

In a case like this, the slower acting effects of ingredients that train the melanocyte to scale down production a bit are no match for the combination of hormones signaling these cells to release protective melanin. When we bring this undesired melanin closer to the surface to be cornified and sloughed away, hormonal signals will just keep the pigment coming underneath, darkening the visible spots. Don’t worry though, pregnancy related melasma is temporary and usually subsides on its own after birth.

The good news is that most Skin Fitness Therapy peels are gentle alpha-hydroxy and fruit enzyme blends. Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) already exist in our bloodstream as metabolites, and their concentration in Skin Fitness Therapy peels will not alter their blood concentration enough to cause any issues. This doesn’t mean, however, that you shouldn’t speak to your doctor first and review the ingredients in any peel you might be considering during your pregnancy. Pregnant women are more sensitive and may experience allergic reactions or sensitivities that have never been an issue before – stress on the body that we certainly want to avoid.

If you are considering either having or performing a peel on a client during a pregnancy, here are the options that are suitable to suggest having a doctor review:

Aqua Marine Peel with Caviar
Cranberry Enzyme Peel
Hyper-pigmentation Peel
Margarita Peel
Pumpkin Peel
Vitamin C Peel 30%

These peels are salicylic acid free – and like all Skin Fitness Therapy products, are free of resorcinol, hydroquinone, parabens, TCA, propylene glycol, and sodium laurel sulfates.

Happy mama = happy baby!

Stay safe, nourished and beautiful!

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