During pregnancy, women may experience a variety of changes in their skin, including acne, inflammation, and hyperpigmentation. These skin issues can make expecting moms feel overwhelmed and make them try skincare products they have never used before. However, pregnant women are often advised to avoid certain ingredients in their makeup and skincare products, such as retinoids and hydroquinone. What about one of the most common topical acids found in skincare products- Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)? Are they safe for pregnancy?
Worry no more! In this post, we will try to provide expert opinions on all your questions regarding AHAs in pregnancy skincare.
What Are Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)?
AHAs are naturally occurring acids derived from a variety of sources, including fruits, milk, and sugarcane. There are several different types of alpha hydroxy acids. Some of the most common AHAs used in skin care products include glycolic acid, lactic acid, and citric acid. These acids are used in skin care products as chemical exfoliants, as they work by gently exfoliating the top layer of the skin to get rid of dead skin cells.
Are Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) Safe During Pregnancy?
Yes, AHAs are generally considered safe for use in skincare during pregnancy. However, it is important to follow the recommended usage instructions. This is because improper use of AHAs can increase the risk of skin irritation, redness, and dryness, which can be uncomfortable for pregnant women.
Since the safety of using AHAs during pregnancy is not well-studied, sticking to topical use of AHAs at low concentrations is recommended for pregnant women.
Benefits of Using AHAs in Pregnancy Skincare?
You already know that AHAs are safe for pregnancy skincare. The topical use of AHAs can be beneficial for several reasons-
Reduced fine lines and wrinkles: AHAs in skin care products help easily remove dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. The final result is healthy-looking skin with fewer fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots.
Reduced risks of acne: While pregnant, many women experience unwanted acne breakouts due to hormonal changes. AHAs can help to reduce clogged pores, reducing the risk of breakouts.
Improved skin tone and texture: AHAs are helpful for boosting collagen production, repairing sun-damaged skin, and improving uneven skin tone. AHAs can also help improve the overall appearance of the skin by reducing the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
Expert Tips for Using AHAs in Pregnancy?
If you are pregnant and are considering using skincare products that contain AHAs, try to follow these expert-recommended tips:
- The concentration of AHAs in skincare products should be less than 10%. Look for products with lower concentrations of AHAs, such as glycolic acid.
- No matter how much you love a skincare product with AHAs, use it in moderation, ideally no more than twice a week.
- Stay concerned about the overuse of chemical peels. Remember that there are safer alternatives, for example, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and Vitamin C-based serums and creams.
- To check the compatibility of a new skincare product with your skin, always run a patch test of new products before using them on a larger area of the skin.
- When using skin products with AHAs, try to avoid sun tanning indoors or outdoors.
Like pregnancy, results from using AHAs may vary from person to person. It is also important to note that regular use of AHAs can increase the skin’s sensitivity to UV rays from the sun, resulting in hyperpigmentation. Hence a pregnancy-safe sunscreen with at least SPF 30 should be applied to the exposed skin areas during the summer season.
The Bottom Line
Remember that you’re not the only one asking questions about all these skincare ingredients. These thoughts are common among pregnant women.
Instead of getting paranoid with all the information you find on the internet, be knowledgeable of the risks and make the necessary adjustments to your pregnancy skincare routine. Taking this step is important to ensure the healthy development of your baby. But it doesn’t mean you have to ditch all of your favorite skincare products; it’s more about finding safer alternatives. Who knows, you might end up loving some of these pregnancy-safe skincare products more than your current ones.