• Savvy Derm Diva

Skin Care For the Expectant Mother

By Leighanne McGill, PA-C and Renata Block, MMS, PA-C


While we celebrate Mother's Day this month, we also celebrate the birth of spring! So, this month it is perfect that I am sharing skincare tips for moms-to-be. Because carrying precious cargo must be protected, even from skin care products, as we know, can get absorbed into the skin. You want to make sure you are using pregnancy safe products, and it is best to schedule an appointment with your Board-Certified Dermatologist to go over all of your products before you plan to conceive. In the meantime, here are the most popular treatment requests:

Did you know, up to 70% percent of pregnant women will experience melasma —  discoloration on the face called "the mask of pregnancy?" Increased tyrosinase activity during pregnancy causes the skin to hyper-pigment, thus worsening melasma. Products such as SkinMedica Lytera 2.0 Pigment Correcting Serum or ADAM Skin Brightening pads containing kojic acid WITHOUT hydroquinone are appropriate to help treat melasma while expecting.

Pregnancy causes increased activity of sebaceous glands, leading to acne. Azelaic acid is one of the few acne-fighting ingredients that is safe during this time. Azelaic acid is available over the counter, or in stronger preparations by prescription.

For over-the-counter skincare, Vanicream is an excellent option for pregnant women. Vanicream is free of fragrance, dyes, parabens, lanolin, and formaldehyde — ingredients that can be irritating for sensitive skin.

As always, I recommend seeking expert guidance for your skin during pregnancy, as there are many skin care ingredients not recommended while expecting. The goal is to provide evidence-based information on how to care for your skin during pregnancy and beyond!


Diva Tip: There are Over-the-Counter products that should not be used during pregnancy! Make sure you know what they are!


Ms. Leighanne McGill is a Board-Certified Physician Assistant specializing in dermatology. She practices at the Dermatology and Laser Center of Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Leighanne believes the highest quality of care and best patient outcomes occur when patients and providers make decisions together using evidence-based methods and treatments. Her passions include all areas of medical and cosmetic dermatology. Follow Leighanne on Instagram @LRMpaDerm and Tiktok @skininthegame


Renata Block is the creator of Savvy Derm Diva, an online resource for proper skin care. Diva Chronicles is a monthly column discussing everything skin! Make sure you follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! Need a dermatology consult? Please visit Advanced Dermatology & Aesthetic Medicine, LLC or Call/Text 847-802-9667 for a TeleDerm appointment. MUAH!💋

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