There are not many times in life when your body feels truly alien to you. Pregnancy changes everything. From the hair on top of your head to your swollen ankles, everything you once knew is now different. And your skin, oh your skin.
But before we get to that, meet Dara Kennedy. Dara is an entrepreneur and mom of two, and released her first beauty product in second grade—morning dew collected and lovingly packaged into jam jars. And while that effort wasn’t a blockbuster success (harvesting proved to be a challenge), she didn’t let that dim her obsession with skincare.
After years of working with beauty giants like Elizabeth Arden, Soap & Glory, and Living Proof, she’s turned what was once her hobby—helping friends and family get carded into their 30’s and 40’s—into Ayla Beauty.
Ayla Beauty delivers personalized, well-informed guidance from the brand’s founders, (as well as world leaders in dermatology, haircare, and nutrition) to help you have actual fun finding effective and non-toxic skincare.
We spoke to Dara about the four most common pregnancy skin concerns. She shares her insights and favorite solutions:
Concern #1: Which products are safe?
Dara: Pregnancy is a natural time to shift to healthier, cleaner beauty products. There are a lot of commonly used ingredients that you want to avoid, if possible. This list is incredibly helpful.
Whatever guide you use, it should be simple and backed by good research and credible resources. If you don’t have the time or inclination to comb through ingredient lists, just shop at a place you trust for a good selection of clean, effective products and straight answers on product safety.
Concern #2: How do I keep my skin clear?
Dara: One of the most common skin conditions to pop up during pregnancy is acne. Unfortunately, most of the usual treatment options (like salicylic acid and retinol) are off limits for those who are pregnant or nursing.
To keep skin clear, you can use an exfoliating wash, choose moisturizers that are non-comedogenic, and when you get breakouts, opt for a spot treatment that doesn’t contain those off-limits ingredients.
My favorite during pregnancy is The Organic Pharmacy’s Blemish Gel.
Concern #3: My skin is so sensitive...
Dara: During pregnancy, skin can be a little more sensitive than usual, so the products you used on a regular basis pre-pregnancy might seem to irritate you all of a sudden. If you experience redness or sensitivity, look for non-foaming cleansers and serums or moisturizers that have redness relieving capabilities.
Concern #4: My skin care routine feels complicated...
Dara: While there are some great, high-powered ingredients that I like to recommend during pregnancy (vitamin C, for example), in general, I think of this as a good time to scale back your skincare routine and baby your skin a little.
Just use one power serum in your routine, for instance, or look for products that contain fewer ingredients. Many women get a natural glow during pregnancy — if that happens to you, just enjoy it. There will be plenty of time to up your skin care regimen later!