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OBGYN Interview: What to Expect (From Your Skin) When You're Expecting

With Mother's Day on our minds, our own Erica Bartoloni spoke to #realJECTclient and real-life OBGYN, Dr. Kristin DiGregorio about the field, how she unplugs, and the best beauty tips she learned from her grandmother––plus, her safe skincare recommendations for expecting moms.

You have built a hugely successful career with a loyal following. What inspired you to get into medicine, specifically obstetrics?

Thank you so much! I decided to go into medicine because I am a person who loves to find solutions to problems. Being in medicine allows you to do that every day while helping people, which makes it even better. My mom also went back to school to become a PA when I was growing up. I saw her become so passionate about medicine and it rubbed off, it helped that she worked in the ER and it all sounded so exciting. I chose OBGYN because it is a mix of both surgery and primary care. I am able to treat a variety of conditions and still work in a very fast paced environment that allows me to use my hands. I love that I am able to see patients through all stages of life and navigate the changes with them. I am extremely passionate about women's health and helping women find their voice to have autonomy of their body both at the doctor as well as in their everyday lives.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I think the most rewarding part of this job is to be there for my patients' best days as well as worst days. This job has very high highs and very low lows. It is an extreme privilege to be the person your patients share the most intimate portions of their lives with and it is beyond incredible to have your patients trust you to bring their children into the world. 

Being such a successful doctor, when do you have time to decompress and what are your methods of self care?

I really try to carve out time to decompress, it is important because that is what keeps me motivated and decreases burn out so I am able to continue to be the best  physician I can! I try to spend time everyday with my husband that is screen free so we are able to actually talk to each other. I also am very into spinning. Through my Peloton I am able to connect with many of my girlfriends from medical school as well as other female physicians around the country. It's an amazing community and is good for my body too, especially because being an OBGYN is such a physical job.

What are your beauty rituals and where did you learn them?

My grandma, who lived to 92 and was beautiful until the day she died, believed in a good eye cream and a good face wash which subsequently rubbed off on me! I've been using an undereye cream since 25. Those are the cornerstones of my beauty rituals. I don't wear much makeup, especially now during the pandemic so taking care of the skin underneath is the most important! For me a very thick hand cream is very important as well due to constant hand washing, hand sanitizer and scrubbing for surgery

What questions are you most often asked regarding skincare and self care by pregnant women and new moms?

Overwhelmingly, pregnant women and new moms most often ask about what ingredients in skin products are safe to use especially because salicylic acid and retinols have not been deemed safe to use in pregnancy so patients want to know what they can put on their skin. In terms of self care, I get a lot of questions surrounding manicures/pedicures, Botox and waxing.

What do you typically recommend to newly pregnant women or new moms in terms of self care, given that their approved ingredient list is so limited?

Some of the biggest complaints my patients have during pregnancy is acne due to surging hormones as well as abnormal pigmentation (melasma).

For acne: pregnant patients can use tea tree oil and a gentle face wash like Cetaphil to keep away bacteria while keeping the skin hydrated.
For spot treatment: I often recommend the hydrocolloid pimple patches (not salicylic acid) which will help absorb fluid from the pimple as well as keep it covered to decrease picking.
For dark spots: patients are able to use a Vitamin C serum. I generally will ask patients to show me what they are using if they have questions so I can look at the label. 

Kristin DiGregorio OBGYN

Krisin DiGregorio, DO, FACOG