During pregnancy, a female thinks a lot about the ingredients present in the beauty products in use. Many beauty products contain certain ingredients that are not considered safe to be used during pregnancy.
Glycolic acid is one of them.
What Is Glycolic Acid?
Glycolic acid is a skincare product that is naturally found in sugarcane, it is a common type of alpha hydroxyl acid.(1) It has a skin penetrating property, which is why it is used in skincare products and chemical peels that are used in the treatment of wrinkles, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation.(2)
Alpha Hydroxy acids have exfoliating properties. Those who want a faster skin turnover chose the products with this ingredient.
Uses Of Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid is effective in exfoliating the skin. It also reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles which comes as a person, age.
Glycolic acid also treats hyperpigmentation and acne scars. It reacts with the upper layers of the skin and dissolves lipids that bind to the dead skin cells. This clears the pores and reduces acne.
It is also known to lighten the skin as it inhibits tyrosinase and suppresses the production of melanin.(2)
Glycolic acid is present in skin creams, lotion, serums, and peels.
All this makes products containing glycolic acid popular with many people.
Is Glycolic Acid Safe During Pregnancy?
The American College of Obstetrician and Gynecologist (ACOG), approves the usage of over-the-counter topical creams containing glycolic acid by pregnant females, as a minimal amount is absorbed in the bloodstream, which is considered safe.(3, 4)
A study shows some adverse effects of glycolic acid on the fetus of rats when exposed to 300-600mg of glycolic acid daily.(5) This dosage is much higher than used by humans.
Scientists maintain that systemic absorption should not be a factor and say glycolic acid can be a much safer choice during pregnancy than other products such as retinoid and high doses of salicylic acid.
Make sure to look at the label while buying the jar of glycolic acid cream. Stick to the products containing 10 percent concentration of glycolic acid.
Also, consult your gynecologist on the safety of using glycolic acid during pregnancy. Skin sensitivity changes during pregnancy, it may turn sensitive even if you were previously using the same product.
Side Effects Of Using Glycolic Acid During Pregnancy
There are no studies done to evaluate the effect of using glycolic acid during pregnancy as the researchers are hesitant to include pregnant people in their clinical trials.(6)
How Does Glycolic Acid Help In Skin Issues During Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, someone is just as likely to fight pimple as other times. Lack of sleep can be one reason.
10 percent glycolic acid which is considered a safe concentration to be used during pregnancy can speed up the turnover of skin cells that might otherwise pile up on the face making it look dry and dull.
It can help treat acne and help you maintain the pregnancy glow.
Alternative Ways To Deal With Acne During Pregnancy
There are other safer alternatives that can be used to treat acne during pregnancy.
Mild cleanser and lukewarm water can be used to wash the face twice daily.
An oily scalp can also cause acne. For those with one, should wash their hair daily or keep hair away from their face.
Never pick, squeeze or tweeze the pimples
Avoid oil-based cosmetics
Acne can be painful, but never overdo the usage of any product that is meant to clear them up. If, despite of using an anti-acne product, the pimples are still present consult a dermatologist to resolve the condition.
Acne during or immediately after pregnancy are driven by hormonal change and gets resolved even without treatment.
Also, using glycolic acid containing products during pregnancy is fine. But before trying any new products it is good to consult your OB-GYN too.