Pregnancy can change your body drastically — and of course cause discomfort at times. While you’re going through all the changes and challenges, you may start to feel less like yourself — and like you just want a little pampering.

It’s very important to give your body the care it needs for both yourself and for baby. It’s also important to know which methods of self-care are the safest and which to avoid.

Facials can be a relaxing and beneficial method of self-care when you’re pregnant, as long as they’re done the right way. Here’s what you need to know.

Facials are safe for expecting mothers, but not all services that are offered by an aesthetician may be safe.

Skin is extra sensitive during pregnancy, so you may need to save the more intense treatments for after your due date.

What facials are safe during pregnancy?

  • Deep cleansing facials. These are basic facials that include things such as exfoliation, masks, and moisturizing. Deep cleansing facials are safe and can do wonders in reducing your oil levels.
  • Oxygen facials. These facials can help increase blood circulation and plump out any fine lines or wrinkles in your skin.
  • Hydrating facials. Collagen, elastin, and water are used in these facials to hydrate, moisturize, and cleanse the skin.

Looking for more info about at-home facials? Check out these homemade facial scrubs that are safe and effective during pregnancy.

The following facial treatments should be avoided during pregnancy:

  • Microdermabrasion. This may lead to irritation, breakouts, or scarring of your skin, which is more sensitive during these 9 months.
  • Retinoids. These are made from vitamin A and are a type of teratogen, meaning that they may cause developmental problems in the baby. These include craniofacial, heart, and nervous system abnormalities. It’s important to discontinue the use of retinoids if you’re pregnant or trying to be.
  • Chemical peels. Check with a doctor or professional beforehand if you get chemical peels for acne normally. While you’re pregnant, these peels may harm your ultra-sensitive skin. Your doctor can point you to other treatment methods for the time being.

There are some chemicals found in many facial products that aren’t necessarily approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means that the FDA doesn’t need to make sure a product is safe before the manufacturer puts it on the market.

You’ll want to avoid using products that include:

It’s not always easy remembering which things are OK and not OK during pregnancy, especially with all the other restrictions. Ask a doctor if you have questions regarding specific products or chemicals.

Facials can be a great way to relax and pamper yourself during pregnancy. Most procedures are safe, but it’s important to know of any risks that may cause you skin irritation or even harm the baby.

Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about alternative medications or treatment options if you’re pregnant.