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A pregnancy-safe guide to skincare with Melissa Gladding of FaceTime Skin Clinic

A pregnancy-safe guide to skincare with Melissa Gladding of FaceTime Skin Clinic

“What skincare can I use when pregnant?” It’s a question posed to beauty therapists on a regular basis. As most skincare trials cannot be conducted on pregnant women, there are a lack of products marketed as “safe” to use, making navigating a skincare routine during pregnancy overwhelming for clients. However, being pregnant doesn’t take skincare out of the equation – it just requires an expert’s guidance.

During pregnancy, hormone fluctuations can wreak havoc on the skin, manifesting as breakouts, dryness, pigmentation, or the full trifecta. What’s more, skin may not be as tolerant of ingredients as it usually would, therefore one’s typical skincare routine may require some gentle tweaking.

ProCollective sought out the expertise of Melissa Gladding, director of FaceTime Skin Clinic, to get her insights on a pregnancy-safe skincare routine.

ProCollective (PC): What are some of the skin changes you observe in clients during and/or post pregnancy? 

Melissa: Skin can be unpredictable when governed by fluctuating hormones. Some lucky ladies get the golden ticket and glow unbelievably throughout their pregnancy but for most that’s not the reality. We see a lot of hormonal breakouts or in more severe cases acne, particularly tracking around the jawline area. Usually, it presents as blind pimples and a fair amount of inflammation. The other common skin change we see is pigmentation, in particular the more deep-set type, melasma. We also see a lot of impaired barriers with associated dryness and redness.

Melissa Gladding, FaceTime Skin Clinic

PC: What tweaks do you recommend expectant mothers make to their skincare routine?

Melissa: As each skin and its condition is so different, we always suggest coming in for a skin consultation in order to give a personalised recommendation. However, a few no brainers that we would put almost anyone going through skin changes on would be the below.

Melasma: Introducing tissue brighteners and tyrosinase inhibitors. These are found in my two pregnancy favourites, DMK Melanotech Drops and Osmosis Perfection, which both can be layered under existing moisturisers. 

Hormonal acne: Using a pregnancy-safe vitamin A serum. I love the Osmosis retinaldehyde serum Clarify, which is loaded with anti-acne and calming ingredients.

Dryness and/or reactive skin: Focusing on the skin barrier, repairing, and calming inflammation. We would recommend introducing Osmosis Rescue as a serum to rapidly repair and calm and using it under Herbal Pigment and Herb & Mineral Mist from DMK – these two products are bioidentical to our skins own lipid barrier and help to increase hydration levels and comfort. The Pigment Oil and Rescue are also brilliant for keeping pigment at bay.

As all issues are internally driven, supplements are also an integral part of a skincare routine. I recommend DMK EFA Ultra, The Beauty Chef Deep Collagen, and Osmosis Regenerate.

PC: What ingredients should be avoided during pregnancy?

Melissa: High dose salicylic acid, most forms of vitamin A, and hydroquinone would be some of the key ones, although there are many more – it depends on the dosage. Some ingredients are not deemed safe but also not confirmed unsafe so as a precaution there are lots of ingredients that we would avoid as a precaution. 

PC: Are there any alternatives to the above ingredients you’d recommend?

Instead of salicylic acid, opt for another pregnancy safe acid such as glycolic and lactic acid (found is DMK micro peel) or even investigate digesting enzymes such as Papain (found in Osmosis Polish). Bakuchiol is a gentler plant-based alternative to vitamin A, which has the same effect on the skin yet it’s totally safe to use during pregnancy. Medik8 has one called Bakuchiol Peptides. For a pregnancy safe alternative to hydroquinone, I love kojic acid and azelaic acid.

PC: How can mums-to-be check their skincare is safe to use during pregnancy?

Melissa: The easiest way is to ask the professionals. Book in for a skin consultation at one of our clinics as well as check with your LMC or doctor. 

PC: What are your go-to pregnancy-safe skincare products?


DMK Melanotech Drops (anti pigment pre-serum)

DMK Herbal Pigment Oil 

Osmosis Polish (brightening enzyme exfoliator and mask in one)

Osmosis Clarify or Correct (retinaldehyde serum)

Sothys Hydra Plumping Mask 

Coola Organic SPF30 Full Spectrum 360° Sun Silk Drops

Medik8 C-Tetra Luxe Serum 

Osmosis Rescue

Then, my go-to pregnancy-safe treatments are;

FaceTime Factor 4 Facial 

DMK Signature Enzyme Facial 

Osmosis Medi Facial with infusion 

Healite Light Lounge 

When treating pregnant clients, always recommend they consult their physician for a final opinion.