Keep stretch marks and acne away during pregnancy

by Missy Jaramillo

Keep stretch marks and acne away during pregnancy

Your body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy, and you probably wish most of them would go away. For example, while it can be an amazing feeling to have a baby growing inside your body, you probably don't love love the added weight or stretch marks. You don't want to leave permanent marks on your skin, which is why you need to be especially stringent about your skincare routine while expecting.

If you've seen any shots of celeb moms at the beach following their pregnancies, many of them look as though they were never pregnant at all. To learn their secrets, Access Hollywood recently spoke to Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, a board certified OB/GYN in Beverly Hills, Calif. - home of the stars - who provided some tips on how to keep your skin looking great.

Beat stretch marks
The doctor explained that you experience an increase in hormones during pregnancy that can result in acne appearing on the face. She warned against using products that contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or any other retinoid, since they may not be safe for pregnant women. However, products that contain glycolic acid or alpha hydroxy should be fine to use during your pregnancy.

Of course, acne isn't the only skin issue many women experience during pregnancy. Stretch marks are also common problem.

"One of the most common skin problems resulting from pregnancy is stretch marks," Gilberg-Lenz told Access Hollywood. "In fact, nearly 90 percent of pregnant women develop them by their third trimester; most commonly on their breasts, stomach, buttocks, arms and thighs. While you may not be able to prevent stretch marks, there are products available to help improve their appearance."

Daily Glow recommends that you treat stretch marks as soon as possible, by applying whatever lotion you have chosen at the first sign of weight gain. Furthermore, you should eat a diet rich in vitamins that are good for your skin, like vitamin A, C and E. These can be found in many healthy fruits and vegetables, such as carrots and oranges, which are foods that you should consum​e anyway to help ensure a healthy pregnancy.

One product that many women use during their pregnancy is coco butter, which is an all-natural moisturizer that has been shown to be very good at keeping stretch marks at bay - as long as it's used regularly. You should massage coco butter on your skin a few times every day, since the product may help ward off stretch marks and the massaging will keep your circulation going. 

Eliminate the pregnancy mask
Gilberg-Lenz added that another common problem women experience during pregnancy with their skin is the "pregnancy mask," which refers to the skin on the face and body to darken. The actual name for this condition is called chloasma.To reduce the risk of having this happen to your skin, the doctor recommended that you drink plenty of water and always wear sunscreen on your face to make sure that sunlight doesn't cause it to darken further. 

If this continues to be a serious problem, then the National Center for Biotechnology Information recommends that you look into chemical peels or laser treatments. You should talk to your doctor or dermatologist to see if they have any recommendations for how to keep your skin clear, stretch-mark free and its natural color while you are expecting. 

Have you experience acne or stretch marks in the past? What did you do to help your skin return to normal? Share your skin-scare secrets here for other expectant mothers!