When you are pregnant, you need to rethink your skin care routine. This can feel frustrating as it can take a while to establish an effective skincare routine, only to have to start all over again when you become pregnant.
Changes in skin type
The hormones that are surging through us during pregnancy can be quite disruptive to our skin (as well as our moods!), so you may find that your skin doesn’t respond to products like it used to. Your skin may be much greasier than it was, or it may even seem drier and more thirsty. If you are suddenly sporting spots or your skin has developed an oily sheen, then you may want to switch your skincare range to something suitable for oily skin. This may mean you have to opt for skincare products aimed at teenagers. Whatever you do, try and opt for natural products where necessary.
Coconut oil is brilliant for soothing dry skin and taking away redness; it also smells lovely. Coconut oil can be used on your hair and body too, so you can make the most of a bottle.
I always think it’s nice for pregnant women to indulge themselves a little. Weight gain and the unpredictability of our pregnant bodies can make many women feel self-conscious and unattractive. Making sure your skin is glowing and feeling soft, is a great way to feel better about yourself.
Anti-ageing products tend to contain retinol, which you mustn’t use while pregnant. This means you’ll have to ditch your usual anti-ageing skincare routine for a full nine months if you favour products that contain retinol. There are plenty of natural and organic anti-ageing skincare products out there so have a shop around. You should also drink more water, eat plenty of fish (or omega 3s), iron and sources of protein and calcium. This diet will not only make your skin beautiful, but it is vital for your growing baby too.
You could also try some at home skin care remedies. In China, they blend freshly brewed white tea with green tea leaves to make a powerful face mask that is rich in antioxidants. In India, women ingest warm water with honey and grated ginger each morning. Ginger is known to boost collagen production, and honey is antibacterial. In Mexico, women combine sugar and lemon juice to make a refreshing scrub that gets rid of dead skin cells, makes your skin glow and means your moisturiser is more effective.
When pregnant it makes sense to be aware of what you eat. We wouldn’t drink toxic alcohol or inhale poisonous cigarette smoke during pregnancy, so why should we apply chemicals to our skin? Our skin is permeable, so some of what we apply to it will soak through to deeper layers. Avoiding chemicals while pregnant makes sense. This might mean that you could get adventurous and try out some kitchen cupboard recipes, or you might prefer to buy some natural skincare products instead.
Stretch marks are common in pregnancy; your bump grows at a staggering rate, and the rush of hormones can cause stretch marks too. The first thing to remember about stretch marks is that they are incredibly common, they should be worn like warrior stripes. They show that your body has miraculously grown a child. If we had to choose between a belly that was free from stretch marks and a baby, I’m sure the vast majority of moms would happily take the stretch marks.
If you are conscious of stretch marks, then keeping your bump nourished with a stretch mark cream is a lovely way to keep the skin soft, as well as bonding with your baby before they are even born. It is also lovely for partners to rub cream into the bump, especially as the bump gets bigger and you can feel the baby. You can buy cream that is specially made for bumps, making it safe and suitable. Cocoa butter is fabulous as it is so nourishing and also has a light fragrance (anything too perfumed may trigger morning sickness). It is best to avoid rubbing the bump in the first trimester. As the birth approaches, you may enjoy singing to the bump or talking to it while you rub it. You may even find that baby responds and pushes back with a determined foot or a friendly shoulder.
Hormones and the stretching of your skin can lead to pregnant women feeling itchy. It’s very common, in fact, around a quarter of pregnant ladies suffer from itchy skin at some point during their pregnancy. Although it is more commonly experienced over the bump and breasts, it can affect skin all over the body, and is most likely to kick in after you reach 23 weeks gestation.
Overly perfumed bath and shower products can cause itchiness. You may find that your skin is even more sensitive when you are pregnant, so you might want to opt for something without fragrance or something more natural.
As your skin stretches it will lose moisture, meaning the best way to soothe any itching is usually by applying something nourishing. Vitamin E can be soothing and will keep your skin hydrated. You can also add some oatmeal to your bath for a nourishing soak. If your itchiness doesn’t appear to be linked to dry skin and is accompanied by things such as dark coloured urine or pale stools, then you need to see your doctor as soon as possible.
It is important to remember that your skin is an organ, in fact, it’s the largest organ we have, and it is as important as your heart and your liver. It needs to be looked after. Keeping your skin nourished and soothed will make pregnancy a lot easier for you. Once your baby is born, you may need to stick with your pregnancy skincare regime for a while. Not only will the hormones still be flooding through your body, but it is important that your little one isn’t exposed to any chemicals. Close contact with your baby, especially skin-to-skin, could mean that they are subjected to harsh chemicals that will be difficult for their tiny bodies to break down. Keep your skincare as natural as possible. You may never return to your pre-pregnancy skincare, either because you fall in love with new products or because your skin has changed.
Nourishing your skin with the methods suggested here will help you to be the typical glowing woman that we associate with pregnancy, and you’ll soon find that you feel good in more ways than one.