6 Common skin changes every pregnant woman needs to know about

So you know that radiant glow a lot of pregnant women tend to get? Yep, my cousin has it! In fact, I don't think her skin has ever looked this great. The girl doesn't even need to leave her house without a touch of makeup on because her face right now is as clear, bright and even as can be. The pregnancy somehow even managed to banish her manchas and dark circles.But here's something they don't tell you about pregnancy: Not everyone gets the glow and not everyone gets an incredibly flawless complexion. There are a few things every pregnant woman NEEDS to know about her skin!


Read more ¿Qué más?: The 5 Things pregnant women REALLY want to know

Take my Assistant Managing Editor for instance. Her skin looks great right now, but she claims that her first trimester all she had was breakouts and super serious sensitivity (not that any of us could tell). Honestly, who knew pregnancy could give you acne? But if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Your body is going through so many hormonal changes (especially during your first trimester) that when it comes to your skin anything is possible. Here are a few skin changes you might experience during pregnancy!

Break outs: Like I said, the hormonal changes you experience during pregnancy (especially during the first few months) can lead to breakouts. But you want to be careful what acne treatments you use. Most of them tend to contain salicylic acid and beta hydroxy acid which are usually no-nos for pregnant women. Try asking your doctor to prescribe you sulfur ones which tend to be safer. Or change up your skincare regimen and diet. Wash your face with a gentle formula like Cetaphil Skin Cleanser ($10). Look for oil-free moisturizers and try to avoid greasy, fried or sugary foods.

Sensitive skin: I know a  pregnant woman whose skin got SO sensitive it peeled off a little when she was removing a bandage. Stick to skincare and body products that are specifically targeted for sensitive skin. If you find yourself suffering from itchiness, or irritation, try Aveeno Skin Relief 24HR Moisturizing Lotion ($10).

Dark spots: Ever heard of the pregnancy mask? It's a form of hyperpigmentation women with olive or darker skin tones sometimes experience. The brownish or yellowish patches are seen mainly on the T-zone, think forehead, nose and chin. Dark spots can show up as well especially after acne. Why us Latinas? "Latinas suffer more from manchas because the color of our skin has more melanin than Caucasians," says Dr. Maria Rivas, Lubriderm's first Hispanic dermatologist. "The basis prevention is sunscreen. The sun is our worst enemy for uneven skin." Try SkinCeuticals Ultimate UV Defense 30 ($40).

Heat rash: I've heard of women experiencing pretty bad heat rashes during pregnancy too, especially during the warmer seasons. It's due to a combination an already overheated pregnancy body, excessive perspiration and the friction of skin rubbing against itself or against clothing. Most women I know get it around their breasts and on their inner thighs. Try applying baby powder to those areas to avoid friction.

Linea negra: You've probably never noticed this before, but most women have a very fine and light line running from below their belly button to the center of their pubic bone. Before pregnancy you could barely see it. But during the second trimester a lot of women notice the line becoming darker which is why it's called "linea negra." The darker your skin is the more noticeable it is. But don't worry, it goes away a few months after labor.

Hair growth: So you know how some women experience fuller hair during pregnancy? Don't freak out, but there's a downside to that. You could also develop more facial or body hair during that time too due to an increase in hormones called androgens. It doesn't happen to everyone though!

Image via Thinkstock

Topics: pregnancy problems