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By Anna Snowden, PA-C, Christie Clinic’s Department of Dermatology
There are many questions that come with pregnancy and becoming a new parent, including sun protection. Anna Snowden, PA-C, shares her summer skin tips for moms-to be and children. Anna is a certified Physician Assistant in the Department of Dermatology at Christie Clinic. As a new mom and a dermatology provider, she knows the importance of sun safety for her and her family.
What acne treatment is safe during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, your skin goes through many changes. You might experience oilier skin due to increase in activity of sebaceous glands. Even though you might have a “go to” acne treatment, it might not be safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding. We recommend washing your face with a gentle cleanser twice daily in addition to using a non-comedogenic moisturizer (won’t clog your pores).
It is important to note that anything we put on the face gets absorbed into the skin and can affect the baby. If you are questioning a certain product, it is best to ask your Dermatologist for recommendations. Over the counter ingredients that should be avoided during pregnancy include retinols and retinoids, as well as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. If a gentle skin care routine is not providing the results you want or you have a history of acne, there are safe prescription medications that can be used during this time.
Are cosmetic treatments safe during pregnancy?
There are limited cosmetic treatments and products that can be used while pregnant. It is safe to use a Vitamin C serum to help with dark spots and protect the skin from oxidative stress. We strongly recommend holding off on cosmetic treatments, such as neurotoxins, fillers, lasers, chemical peels or other facials during the duration of your pregnancy. Consult with your primary care provider before receiving any cosmetic treatments.
What sunscreen should I use?
- Broad spectrum sunscreen SPF 30 or higher (protects against UVA and UVB rays)
- For sensitive skin, look for sunscreens that contain zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide, as these ingredients help reflect light off the surface of the skin, much like a mirror.
- Recommendations for infants 6 months of age and older: Blue Lizard, Vanicream, CeraVe hydrating mineral sunscreen
How often should sunscreen be applied?
Apply sunscreen every 2 hours, after being in water or after sweating. If possible, avoid exposing babies under 6 months of age to direct sunlight as it is not recommended to apply sunscreen on infants under 6 months of age. It is recommended to dress children in sun protective clothing, sun glasses and a floppy sun hat and stay in the shade. For toddlers, schedule outdoor play time before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. We want to avoid the midday sun because that is when the sun’s rays are the strongest and most harmful to our skin. For added protection, look for special clothing that is marked with an ultraviolet protection factor of 30 or more.
Christie Clinic Department of Dermatology carries a variety of SPF products from advanced skincare brands.
Mention this article at your next visit to receive 10% off gift cards to the Cosmetic Center during the month of May.