Besides all the happiness that it brings, pregnancy offers its own challenges to the future mom. Your entire body seems to be changing during the 9 months and you need to be physically and emotionally prepared. Skin is very sensitive during pregnancy and you may begin to notice changes that are caused by the blood circulation and hormonal shifts. Skin care is essential during pregnancy whether or not you have a sudden glow, uneven skin tone or pinkish streaks on your stomach. Here we offer you an insight into what’s happening to your skin and how to take good care of it.
Skin hydration and moisturizing
If you want to have a beautiful skin, hydration is very important. Drink at least 2 liters of water per day since this will not only detoxify your body, but it will also help in the prevention of cellulitis.
You need to pay attention to the skin care products that you use and read carefully the ingredients because they can be diffused in the bloodstream and cause a certain degree of damage to your baby. Generally speaking, they should not contain chemicals such as aluminium, silicium, sulfites or parabens. You can also opt for an organic skin care routine as this is healthier for you and your baby, but use products that are properly certified. Your skin stretches and tightens as your belly grows, which can cause uncomfortable dryness and itching. A good hydration can help alleviate these symptoms.
Common skin changes
Besides the extra care, your skin might experience some changes that require a special attention from your side. If you notice below changes, we offer you some tips on how to protect it.
During pregnancy, your blood circulation increases because the body produces 50% more blood. Also, the hormones cause the overwork of the oil glands. Both of these make your face brighter, especially during the second semester. Some people can even notice your pregnancy by the glow of your skin, so be prepared to smile and respond to congratulations. Since oil glands will secrete more oil during pregnancy, you can experience some unwanted pimple breakouts.
Here is what you can do if your face becomes too oily:
- Wash your face with a mild cleanser no more than twice a day in order to prevent overdrying. We recommend a glycerine-based or nonresidue facial cleanser
- Put on a face mask once a week to absorb excess oil. You can try natural ingredients, such as honey, which is high in Vitamin C and B and enzymes
- Eat a clean diet since this has a direct effect on your skin. You should limit your refined sugar, saturated fats or dairy products. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants and help nourish your skin (carrots, apples, blueberries, avocado, etc)
The elevated hormone levels during pregnancy trigger an increased pigmentation, which can cause some dark blotchy spots to appear on your face, most commonly on cheeks and forehead. Nearly 50-70% of pregnant women face this issue called ‘mask of pregnancy’, so if you are one of them, we suggest following below tips:
- Protect yourself with a sunscreen with at least SPF 15 as a daily routine. If you are directly exposed to UV light, such as when you go to the beach, use a sunblock of SPF30 or higher because otherwise, you risk the spots to get darker and not disappear so easily after pregnancy. You should use a chemical-free sunscreen and avoid as much as possible strong UV rays during hot summer days.
- Eat foods rich in folic acid, such as broccoli, beans, avocado or leafy greens
Maybe the most feared changes that can appear on your skin are the stretch marks since it’s difficult to get rid of them completely even after delivery. They are pinkish or reddish streaks that can appear on your abdomen and/or breasts. Here is what you can do to prevent them from appearing on your skin.
- Apply twice a day a body lotion special for pregnant women on hips, breasts, and abdomen or natural oils, such as almond, olive or lavender, starting from the second semester when the belly begins to grow. Insist more on the last semester, when the skin is exposed to a major stress
- Massage gently your skin while applying lotion/oils
- Eat healthy
Keep in mind that this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll not have stretch marks, but it’s worth trying. Even if it’s difficult to eliminate them completely after delivery, they usually fade and will not be as noticeable.
When it comes to make-up, remember that during pregnancy, less is more. Try to avoid products that contain retinol or salicylic acid and opt for make-up products that are non- comedogenic and hypoallergenic as, generally speaking, these are safe for pregnant women. Also, mineral-based products are considered to be safe as they remain on the skin.
Remember these tips for your daily skin care:
- Use a mild cleanser for your face
- Hydrate your skin
- Choose only products that are considered safe
- Eat healthy
- Drink a lot of water
- Avoid taking hot baths and showers
- Exercise to keep you fit
Most of the changes that the skin experiences during pregnancy are temporary. Without an adequate care, some of them may remain even after delivery. This is the reason why a healthy skin care routine is so important. You can seek expert help if you are not satisfied with your body after delivery, but remember that pregnancy brings the natural glow in every woman and with a bit of effort you can maintain it. If you are not sure about the products you are allowed to use (even if the ingredients are natural-based), you should always ask your dermatologist’s or obstetrician’s advice as you and your child’s safety come first.