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Nnenna Okoye: Expecting Mums, Say Hello to Amazing Skin No Matter What with these Simple Tips!



Nnenna Okoye - BellaNaija - November2015Pregnancy is an exciting time for the mothers-to-be. You’re expecting a bundle of joy for you and your significant other and it is a very exciting and and beautiful time.

However, it can being many challenged for the woman and her baby’s health.

Most pregnant women are bombarded with legions of suggestions and opinions regarding what to eat, what medicines to take or not to, and even how to lose pregnancy weight after the birth of the baby. One aspect of pregnancy I know women also face is what skincare products are safe for them to use, and how they can avoid one of the most common skin issue during pregnancy – acne.

Pregnancy can be a very tricky stage for your skin. Although people talk about women getting the “pregnancy glow”, no one tells you how it can be followed by some serious issue with your skin. I’ve noticed that the skin starts to feel more oily or dry than before.

Today, I’ll be helping out with this. I’ll be sharing some of my favourite ingredients as well as those to avoid. Since most of our skincare products are absorbed into the body via the skin, it is very important that pregnant women should know which products they can use and which should be avoided.

I remember with my first pregnancy, I had Melasma (darkening of the skin during pregnancy). During this time I noticed that the skin on my neck had turned black. I was tempted to try some lightening creams to brighten up the area, but thank goodness, after doing some research, I found out I couldn’t use anything. The only things I could use on my neck at the time was shea butter and coconut oil, which I used till the very end to help with the darkening.

However, with my 2nd one, I was more prepared for any skincare emergency that came up. I know all women are different and their pregnancy symptoms also vary, but I believe you could learn a thing or two from my skincare routine during pregnancy.

During that time, I tried my best to always stay out of the sun, and I used a body lotion that had SPF in it. I also ensured I scrubbed my body once a week and applied a mixture of avocado oil, shea butter and coconut oil to my growing tummy.

Prenatal pills are super important and I took mine regularly, and tried to rest as much as possible. I cleansed my face daily with a green tea face wash, used a charcoal mask once a week, scrubbed my face weekly with a natural microdermabrasion scrub from Origins, and also used a basic vitamin C face cream from Body Shop. These products not only  helped with the darkening of my skin, but it was way better then the first time. The results were so great, I was the only one who could see it after a while.

Here are a few ingredients that all mothers-to-be need to stay away from;
Hydroquinone: This ingredient is very harmful to you and your unborn bundle of joy. It is found mostly in skin lightening products.
Retin A or Retinoids: Any product that contains Retin should be avoided during pregnancy. Pregnant women should also be aware that the ingredient is often listed in different ways in various products such as Retinol in night cream, and Retin A in serum. It is also added in my favorite Clinican line of anti-aging skin care products.
– Hydroxy Acids: Most acne creams and pimple spot medications include hydroxy acids.

Ingredients that are safe for mothers-to-be;
– Licorice extract
Green tea
– Niacinimide (vitamin B3)
– Shea butter
Coconut oil

If you are currently pregnant and are experiencing breakouts, not to worry. In most cases, the acne disappears within the 2nd or third trimester. No matter how difficult your skin is now, it won’t last forever. And just think of how great your skin will look when you give birth – you’ll have that “mother glow”.


Share what tips you or people around you used during pregnancy for better looking skin.

My name is Nnenna Okoye and I am the editor of Youtopia Beauty. Welcome to my little spot on the internet! Needless to say, I am a beauty addict who loves trying out new products every now and then to satisfy my beauty appetite. I enjoy talking endlessly about fabulous beauty finds & tips! I am obsessed with skincaremakeup and I love shopping. My blog is the equivalent of that friend who always knows where to find the latest products and  which products actually work. This is me just trying to share my insider knowledge and tips with readers and writing my honest product reviews. My goal is to influence women everywhere on easy ways to boost not only their beauty but also their confidence. I promise to leave no stone unturned.


  1. Cindy

    December 24, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    You made a great point. I wish someone would have told me when I was pregnant. But I just want to point out something. Just because a product is natural does not mean it’s safe. Because we can’t measure the safe doses for it to be therapeutic. Excess of something can lead to toxicity. My suggestion is to ask a Doctors if a product is safe to use. Also I want to mention that alot of natural products can also interact with medications or increase the effects of the medication.

  2. Unimpressed

    December 24, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    When you say you are going to give people tips on something i expect something succinct.
    Madam your tips are terribly general! What help have you offered here apart from what not to do? I used charcoal mask, green tea wash… No mention of product names or how to come across these products. I will still have to go online and find these things? Next time try and outline each ‘tip’ and write something more on each one the way you did for the donts list. I think most Nigerian women know shea butter and natural oils are good but as you are testifying about your skin regimen, something more detailed would have been expected and appreciated. This is MY opinion about your write up. Didn’t do much for me

    • Nnenna

      January 4, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      I can’t talk about the products here because it will be considered an advert. You can ask me if you want me to be specific.

  3. Msfunmibi

    December 24, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Thank you for this article

  4. Abdullahi Wada

    December 25, 2015 at 1:06 am

    I’ll definitely show this to my wife.

  5. Niyoola

    December 25, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Green Tea is a no-no-no when pregnant. It inhibits absorption of Folic Acid and other necessary B vitamins.
    You may have chloasma with 1 pregnancy and not have with the other; your skin regimen definitely didn’t prevent anything.

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