How Hormonal Changes During Pregnancy Impact Skin


How Hormonal Changes During Pregnancy Impact Skin

By Dr. Nadine Khoury ND

Dr. Nadine Khoury was recently interviewed by Entertainment Tonight. She had lots of great trips for skin health predominantly during pregnancy but these tips are good for all.

What exactly is the pregnancy glow?

Increased circulation, vascularization and transfer of nutrients because of an increase in progesterone and estrogen. Increased oil production because of increased progesterone production.

How do hormonal changes during pregnancy affect our skin?

The boost in estrogen helps boosts circulation to the skin, increases collagen production makes your hair grow and makes it stronger.

Progesterone increases sebum production and lubricates the skin. Although progesterone helps to maintain the pregnancy and makes us less prone to miscarriages, progesterone can also cause us to look puffy and develop acne. In this case add a fiber supplement which would be helpful to help bind the hormones and clean them out of the body.

Also, sebum or oil production increases because of more progesterone during a pregnancy. Acne can also be due to too much testosterone.

During a pregnancy the demands on the thyroid increase and thyroid hormone production should increase. Commonly, the thyroid does not respond as optimally as it should pushing pregnant patients into a hypothyroid state which can manifest as very dry skin. Dry and itchy skin can happen because of shift in your immune system.

A natural increase in melanin causes hyperpigmentation darkened skin areas especially in the face: pregnancy mask or melasma or dark line that goes up the belly.

What changes can we make to our skin care routines to accommodate these changes?

I do not have any affiliation with these companies but I recommend them as they work well in clinical practice.


-modulating glucosides: reduces the looks of redness, of itching and of irritation, while helping to target stinging sensations, support hydration, integrity of the skin barrier and general dermal repair. Support dermal endogenous components.

-superoxide dismutase: neutralizes damage and signs of ageing that can be induced by the Superoxide molecule. Acts against oxidative stress, water loss and the look of inflammation. out-competing the ongoing and very damaging effect of superoxide in cells. Use is as a toner; good transporting agent.

-Pregnancy reduces stomach acid: use chewable, plant based, digestive enzymes.

-Ditch gluten


Wear sunscreen: look for an active ingredient called zinc oxide: provides UVA and UVB protection. Many will only protect you against UVB (skin burning), UVA protection is important for skin damage photoaging, wrinkles, photodamage. Zinc oxide is not a chemical sunscreen, it is considered a mineral or physical sunscreen (falls in the physical sunscreen category).


Look for products with:

Niacinamide: reduce blemishes and congestion in the skin.

Zinc: balances sebum secretion.

The Abnormal Beauty Company has a niacinamide and zinc cream (10% niacinamide). This is a great product and


Look for Hyaluronic acid:  water-based hydration and helps skin surface look plump, elastic, comfortable and uniform. Hyaluronic Acid (HA) can attract up to 1,000 times its weight in water. 

What do you recommend for people breaking out during pregnancy?

·       Niacinamide and zinc.

·       Ditch inflammatory foods such as dairy and gluten

·       Copper amino isolate for cell repair: to repair skin cells at acne lesion 

·       Great exfoliator: Juice beauty-1 minute and then next time 2 minutes: fruit enzymes very potent-so work your way up.

·       Zyderma gentle foaming cleanser: cleanses impurities from the skin without stripping the lipid  barrier. While leaving the skin’s protective barrier intact.

·       TATA harper: clarifying cleanser specifically designed for blemish-prone skin.

What are some of your best skin care tips during pregnancy?

·       Make sure your body has the nutrients what it needs for healthy skin:

·       Vitamin E (in mixed tocopherol form): reduces the complications of pregnancy, fights off free radicals in the skin that cause again and wrinkles, supports skin elasticity, reduces hyperpigmentation in the skin, antioxidant. Decreases redness. Decreases the appearance of scars.

·       Therapeutic grade, third party tested, Prenatal with biochemically active vitamins that bioavailable and bioabsorbable that are at the right therapeutic dose with iron. NFH: nutritional fundamentals for health, Thorne.

·       Probiotic very important for acne, hormonal balance, bowel regularity: if you have acne- high dose probiotic (500 billion CFU).

·       B12 2000mcg just as important as folate to reduce developmental complications: suck on the lozenge, let is dissolve in your mouth for appropriate absorption-ask your Doctor for testing  to understand which dose is right dose is for you.

·       Minerals: cal:mag

·       Phosphatidylcholine is a phospholipid contained in eggs: supports formation the baby’s neurodevelopment and prevents mommy brain because it helps mothers break down fats which can become inflammatory and supports the production of breast milk.

·       Aids in skin regeneration, keeps the skin supple and hydrated and supports the barrier function of the skin.

·       Vitamin D: therapeutic/prescription dose 5000IU per day (do not take this dose on your own)-get tested with your Doctor to see what the right dose is for you.

·       Therapeutic dose of Folate: not folic acid (folate is the activated form), taking too much inactive folic acid build up in the blood and can become problematic.

Celebs swear by Coconut Oil – what is your take on this ‘pregnancy go-to’ product?

Yes I would highly recommend Coconut oil: rub it all over the belly on the perineum 8 weeks prior to your due date to prepare for labour.

Other skin conditions:

-Psoriasis: gluten and dairy free and milk thistle

-Eczema: gluten and dairy free

Visit your Naturopathic Doctor:

-8 weeks prior to pregnancy for a thorough check-in and then 4-6 weeks after pregnancy to prevent post-partum issues and tackle any imbalances early on.

-Hypothyroidism will cause: acne

-Post-partum depression: slow and steady progression

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