Guest post from Cat Tatman and Mary Butler, Co-founders and owners of Intelligent Elixirs skincare.

Pregnancy brings about many changes in our bodies, lifestyle and often times our skin. Two common issues are acne and hyperpigmentation. Pregnancy also includes new dos and don’ts, which can present a challenge when trying to find products to address these skin conditions. The good news is there are a lot of simple, clean ingredients you can use to help address the changes.  

The Skin Change

Hormonal Acne:  Because there is an increase in the activity of androgen hormones during pregnancy the skin produces more sebum, which can clog pores and ultimately leads to inflammation and breakouts.

Hyperpigmentation / Melasma: The dark spots, or hyperpigmentation many develop during pregnancy is known as melasma. It’s often referred to as a ‘pregnancy mask’ and is caused by hormonal increases, including pregnancy and oral contraceptives.  It typically appears as flat, large brown patches on cheeks, forehead, upper lip and jawline.

The Fix

Ingredients you can find in your kitchen:

  • Raw Honey Face Wash For Acne: Raw honey has antibacterial benefits for healing and has natural enzymes and probiotics, about a teaspoon should be enough for face and neck. You could also add a little lemon juice to help clean pores (only a bit ½ tsp. – too much can dry and irritate the skin). If you happen to have some lavender essential oil around the house you can also add a few drops to your blend, lavender is anti-microbial, soothing and balancing.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Toner For Acne: Unfiltered apple cider vinegar – 1 part apple cider vinegar to 3 parts distilled water.  Apple cider vinegar has naturally occurring alpha hydroxyl acids to help clarify the skin.
  • Kiwi, Honey and Yogurt Clarifying & Brightening Masque: Kiwi’s are nutrient rich and packed with Vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and natural skin brightener.  Yogurt has natural AHA’s to clarify and rejuvenate the skin, while the raw honey also helps clarify, soothe and heal. Combine about a tablespoon of yogurt, teaspoon of honey and ½ a kiwi fruit (inside only, no skin), then mash together.  Apply to skin with gentle circular motions, leave on for about 15 minutes and remove with warm water.

Product Recommendations:

  • 15% Vitamin C Anti-aging Serum: Vitamin C is action packed!  It’s a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, which helps protect and brighten the skin and also calm acne.  An additional bonus, it helps protect, repair and promote collagen synthesis.  When evaluating Vitamin C products we recommend looking for one that uses L-ascorbic Acid, as this is the natural form of Vitamin C that the skin can recognize and utilize to promote collagen. Additionally look for a Vitamin C that is at least 10% L-ascorbic Acid.
  • Citrus Facial Scrub: Exfoliating 2-3 times a week is very beneficial to help remove excess skin and debris from the surface of the skin, which will help with breakouts, promote cellular turnover and enhance the absorption of other products being used. Look for clean ingredients that are gentle yet effective, such as Apple Fruit Extract, which helps detoxify the skin, and Honeysuckle Flower Extract which serves as an antibacterial agent.
  • Brightening Serum: Given the name of this product, yes there are ingredients to help prevent and brightens dark spots and also PIH (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation that can occur from breakouts). Specific ingredients derived from plant extracts, such as the blend in Alpaflor Gigawhite, help suppress melanin production and keep skin looking luminous. But a brightening serum is also a great multi-tasker – look for  Niacinamide in the product, which is beneficial for brightening, but also reduces inflammation to help with breakouts.  

When possible, incorporate regular facials with a skin care professional into your schedule. These are beneficial to add to a daily skin care regimen as acne and hyperpigmentation can be very stubborn and take time and consistency to treat. We also always recommend checking with your physician when considering new products and treatments.

Cat Tatman and Mary Butler have always been passionate about creating quality products that nourish and foster healthy, youthful skin. With a combined 36 years of industry experience in professional skincare development they were inspired to create a product line for the consumer marketplace that performs on the same level as professional products, but with ingredients that are clean, clinical and cruelty-free. They have capitalized on the benefits of topical Vitamin C, combined with scientifically proven ingredients, bringing consumers cutting-edge accessible skincare.