How to Take Care of Your Skin Post Pregnancy
Pregnancy and delivery are the events that can change a woman’s body completely. You want your skin to be as soft as your baby’s bottom, but it can take a few months for your weight and hormones to stabilize. You may have irritated skin, itchy stretch marks and loose skin on your tum.
To restore your skin, a regular beauty regime in the first three months works wonders. Follow our expert advice to find your new mummy glow. Read out on how to take care of your skin post pregnancy.
Skin can become dry, patchy and red after birth, so look for unscented, soothing products to moisturize and restore your glow. Skincare products designed for treating rosacea can help heal non-specific dermatitis; they regulate excessive blood flow to your skin’s top layers. Cleanse your skin morning and night and apply a natural, rich moisturiser, with ingredients such as shea, jojoba seed oil and grape seed oil to reinforce the skin’s own barrier.
Raised progesterone levels during pregnancy can enlarge your pores and cause sebum build-up, clogging your skin. Treat angry spots with calming products that contain plant-based ingredients, such as chamomile and lavender. These will help to balance the skin’s natural oils, while deep-cleaning the pores. Products containing sulfur, a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredient, will also promote healing. If you’re still breastfeeding, avoid products containing more potent ingredients, such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, which are often used in pharmaceutical acne treatment.
Massage your skin to promote cell regeneration. Use rosehip essential oil to treat sagging skin: it’s rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, and will help stimulate collagen, to restore skin elasticity. Exercising (as soon as it’s safe) is also important – your skin needs muscle mass to give it tone. If you slim down too quickly after giving birth, without building muscle, it could leave you with sagging skin around your tummy and hips. By exercising, there’s no need to reduce your calories, which can be dangerous to your baby’s health while you’re breastfeeding.
During pregnancy, your skin is forced to stretch in a short space of time. Moisturizing your bump can help keep skin elastic, but stretch marks still affect 80 per cent of women. They appear when fibres in the middle layer of your skin break, leaving behind tiny tears. Be disciplined and moisturise your skin after birth: it’s best to treat stretch marks early, before they turn from purple to silver. Shea butter, cocoa butter and wheat germ oil are all beneficial when massaged deep into the affected area.
Elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone during and after pregnancy will make your skin more sensitive to the sun and can also make it grow darker. This condition is called melasma – and an estimated 50% of women notice this change in skin colour, which can appear around the mouth, on the cheeks and forehead. To prevent it, protect your skin from the sun at all times. The sun’s ultraviolet rays increase your melanin, so existing freckles may darken, or patches of hyper-pigmentation may appear. Wearing a sun protection cream with both UVA and UVB filters will help, and skin-lightening products may also be useful.
Pressure in your veins increases due to hormonal changes, weight gain and an increase in blood circulation. As a result, you may have noticed small, reddish ‘spidery’ veins, also known as thread veins, appearing on your face, chest, tummy and legs. In some cases, swollen blood vessels improve within three to six months after delivery, but stubborn spider veins stick around. Laser therapy gently heats the small veins, causing the vessel walls to collapse and then disappear in the following weeks. Scelerotherapy is also effective: a fine needle is used to inject a painless solution into the vein to close it. Topical treatments are ineffective for treating spider veins, but keeping your skin nourished and using a body concealer will help.
Additional Beauty Tips to Boost Your Post-Baby Body
- Have something to look forward to each week, such as a haircut, manicure, pedicure or facial; or treat yourself to a new beauty product.
- Book a spa treatment. Massage is great for treating aches and pains and soothing your emotions, too. Some ‘me time’ will help you to recharge.
- Ask your partner to rub your shoulders or massage your feet. This will also help you to reconnect.
Pick beauty products containing uplifting ingredients, such as essential oils of lemongrass, neroli, geranium, lavender, marjoram and chamomile.