“Do I need to change my skincare routine now that I am pregnant?” For most this question will pop into your mind at some stage during pregnancy, whether it is before your next facial, eyebrow wax appointment; or when you start to suddenly breakout or have a dry skin episode. Pregnancy and early motherhood can wreak havoc on your face and body skin thanks to all the hormones flooding your system.
Do I need to change the products I use?
If the products you are using are unmedicated and still working for you, then there is no need to switch up your products. However, if you are using any products high in vitamin A (Retinol) or the products are medicated for your particular skin condition, it is best to check in with your doctor if your skincare products are not harmful and still safe to use during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Most women experience a variety of changes during pregnancy and early motherhood, which necessitates a change in the products they use. It is recommended to switch to products that are gentler on the skin. With the emphasis on gentle.
It is recommended to change from harsh soaps that can dry out the skin and cause breakouts, to nourishing or cream-based products, which do not strip the face and body of moisture. Ensure that you use a good facial moisturiser that balances your skin’s natural oils and nourishes your skin. Look for day creams that contain hyaluronic acid (a natural water retainer) that draws moisture to the skin and locks it in for a fresher, younger appearance. Invest in a good body oil or body butter to nourish your body’s skin, before you start expanding in your pregnancy, this will help reduce the impact of the harsh changes to your body, for example stretch marks and dryness.
And remember your sunscreen! Sunny, rainy, summer or winter – the importance of applying sunscreen cannot be overstated – especially during pregnancy as your risk for developing hyper-pigmentation spots is very high. Even though these pigmentation patches are harmless (check with a doctor or pharmacist if unsure), they can appear on your face and can be hard to cover up if they are somewhere that bothers you. Exposure to the sun is not the only cause of these dark marks, but it can worsen or increase the likelihood of these marks’ appearance. There are various treatments available, including pigmentation serums, creams or laser treatment, however all of them take a long time to reduce the dark marks or can be very costly. Prevention is better than the cure when it comes to hyper-pigmentation.
Keeping a facial mist or hydrating essence on hand, at your desk or in your handbag, is an easy way to freshen you up in the afternoon. Spray a few refreshing spritzes onto the face for a quick lift and onto your arms in the summer, to cool and hydrate.
Adding a lovely serum or facial oil to your routine, or switching to a gentler formulation, is also a fantastic way to easily bring the motherhood “glow” back to your face, when you are feeling otherwise out of sorts or tired.
Body skin care is just as important during pregnancy. A good body oil or body butter is essential for your stretching tummy skin, applying daily helps keep the skin supple and can help relieve the itch associated with your growing belly. Remember to take care of the rest of your body too!
What about motherhood?
It can take up to a year for your hormones to settle after giving birth, be patient with yourself, your body and your skin. You may find that raising a tiny baby, together with the sleep deprivation and lack of quality time for yourself, is no longer accommodating of your “7 step night skincare regime”. Find quality products that pack a punch in one (or two) easy steps – quality skincare that is easy to use for you as a mother, while still caring for your skin as best as you can. There is plenty of time to go back to an elaborate regime on the days you have extra time for yourself or once your little one has grown.
What about body care during motherhood?
It is strange to say that as mothers, we neglect the biggest part of our body – our skin. We take good care of parts of it – our face, our hands and our feet (sometimes) – but the rest, we don’t take care of it as we should… During pregnancy we religiously slather on oil or body butter on our bellies, mainly to calm the itch, but it felt good to be taking a little extra care of yourself.
As a mom everything needs to be quick and convenient. There are plenty of good body creams on the market that come with handy pump dispensers. Keep your favourite one where you get dressed, so that you can quickly moisturise just before dressing – it is amazing the difference this can make in your mood and confidence.
Continue to take care of yourself, being a mom is a superpower! You owe it to yourself to take care of you as best as you can, so that you can be the best mommy you can be.