Pregnancy and motherhood can really take a toll on your skin. So if you're looking for a little cosmetic pick-me-up, we're certainly in no position to judge. But is your fave facial procedure (ahem, Botox) actually safe for pregnancy? And what about its slightly less invasive cousins?
To help us make sense of what's safe for your pregnancy skin, we asked NYC Medical Aesthetician Cynthia Rivas to break down some of her mama customers' cosmetic faves. Here's what you can, can't and just plain shouldn't do to your skin during pregnancy.
What it is: The popular injectable drug Botox, made by a company called Allergan, contains botulinum toxin A. There are other manufacturers of botulinum toxin A, including Galderma, which makes a version called Dysort. Many doctors use both of these brands interchangeably.
What it does: Most people know that Botulinum toxin A reduces fine lines and wrinkles by inhibiting the communication between your nerve cell and your muscle, which paralyzes or weakens your muscle to prevent it from causing the wrinkling in your skin. However, it also has a number of medical uses. Because it can paralyze muscles, it's also a treatment for crossed eyes, excessive sweating, migraines, and a number of neuromuscular conditions.
Is it safe for pregnancy? Little research has been done on Botox's safety during pregnancy, and because of this, I highly recommend against it, especially if you're using it for cosmetic purposes. The same goes for Botox while breastfeeding. If you get Botox injections for other conditions, be sure to talk to your obstetrician about it as early as possible.
2. Dermalinfusion (or Diamond Glow)
What it is: This non-invasive skin treatment purifies, extracts and infuses treatment serums into the skin. The practitioner uses a small pen-shaped tool that essentially buffs, vacuums and then fills your pores with a treatment serum.
What it does: Dermalinfusion is highly effective in treating skin concerns like acne, rosacea, congestion, dullness, wrinkles, and pigmentation to name a few. It's great for all skin types and ethnicities.
Is it safe for pregnancy? Dermalinfusion is totally safe for pregnancy and actually great to address specific pregnancy skin concerns. The serum I love to use during pregnancy is Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C. It provides brightening, antioxidant protection for your skin and instant and long-term hydration. The serums to completely avoid during pregnancy are the pore clarifying serum, which contains salicylic acid.
What it is: Dermaplaning is a deep exfoliating treatment that removes dead skin cells using a sterile, scalpel-like blade.
What it does: Dermaplaning not only allows for better product penetration, but also removes the vellus hair or “peach fuzz" on your face. This creates an even skin tone and leaves your skin incredibly smooth. And don't worry: your hair will not grow back thicker like a beard! Vellus hair is different from terminal hair, which is found on the rest of the body. It cannot grow back thicker, longer, darker or faster when removed.
Is it safe for pregnancy? Dermaplaning is very low-risk and considered safe for pregnant people. Do watch out out for signs of infection, which happens rarely but is possible after the procedure. Keep the area clean and see your doctor if you have any concerns.
4. Laser hair removal
What is is: This medical procedure uses a concentrated beam of light to damage the hair follicles that produce unwanted body hair.
What it does: Laser hair removal is used to reduce or permanently remove unwanted hair growth.
Is it safe for pregnancy? There are no studies that evaluate the safety of Laser Hair Removal during pregnancy. Due to this, I would recommend against it. It is also important to understand that pregnancy hormones cause your skin to react differently to treatments than it did when you weren't pregnant. The heat and lights used in this treatment could cause complications in your skin like pigmentation, which is another reason I recommend against it.
5. Chemical Peels
What it is: For this treatment, a solution is applied to your skin to exfoliate and remove damaged outer layers. There's a wide range of peels available, from mild, at-home formulas, to deeper medical treatments.
What it does: Chemical peels can be helpful in treating acne and wrinkles, and stimulating collagen. They are also effective for exfoliation and brightening.
Is it safe for pregnancy? Not all chemical peels are safe during pregnancy. The only acids that I would recommend you to safely use are glycolic and lactic acid, which are both great in treating pigmentation, stimulating collagen and can help with breakouts. But you should avoid anything that contains salicylic acid, which can cause complications during pregnancy and even birth defects. And note: This includes Baby Foot and other viral foot peels, which contain a high concentration of salicylic acid.