Pregnancy draws on all resources from the body to enable the unborn child to develop into a healthy, bouncing baby. The skin during pregnancy also has immense changes ranging from breakouts, pigmentation, dehydration and oily conditions.
The baby’s growth increases blood supply which in turn increases oil production, one of the reasons why sometimes acne can make an appearance. Avoid Retinols at all costs while in this fragile state, Retinols are Vitamin A derivatives and are named in many different forms here are some of them to keep an eye out to avoid: Differin (adapelene), retin-A, renova, tretinoin, retinoic acid, retinol, retinyl linoleate, retinyl palmitate, tazorac and avage, tazarotene. The MRL FACE Pro Vitamin A is great alternative it is non inflammatory and works with the skin and safe to use.
Another common condition is increased pigmentation, receptors to the melanocyte cell are stimulated by increased hormones that can present the ‘pregnancy mask’ – pigmentation across the forehead and cheeks.
Using an SPF daily can help to avoid further darkening and using a mild vitamin C product like Elixir would be great to help combat free radical attack and also help managing pigmentation. With hormonal factors contributing to pigmentation the only thing you can really do is to maintain and try to keep it under control with appropriate protection. Once the baby is born and breast-feeding has ceased, you can then work out a skin care program with your aesthetician to target and even out skin tone with results driven active ingredients .
Dehydration and general dryness of the skin (dehydration and dry skin are two different conditions – Dry skin is the lack of oil in the skin, dehydration is the lack of moisture in the skin) Anoint is the perfect product to maintain skin health, restoring its natural vitality. Optimised for normal to dry skin types including sensitive, it combats dull looking skin and aims to smooth, tones, brightens and even out complexion leaving a rejuvenated and vibrant glow. The immediate use of these products instantly makes you feel nurtured and pampered! Anoint is also great used throughout the pregnancy to prevent stretch marks.
Sensitivity is another problem that may arise during this time of huge changes. The skin may have a ‘sub-cutaneaus reaction’ to some ingredients that usually are fine on your skin. If your skin is sensitive, use calming, hydrating products that have an anti-inflammatory action.
The trimester stages in pregnancy can cause the following:
First trimester the skin can become dehydrated and breakouts may occur. At this time the body is literally drawing on all resources for the rapid development of the fetus. The skin and hair may be dull and lack luster, lips could dry and crack.
Eat foods that are abundant in essential fatty acids, for sickness eat ginger very slowly – I used to boil ginger in milk and sip before bed it used to do the trick!
Start using a blended mixture of ground seeds – pumpkin, sunflower and linseed ground into a powder and sprinkled on salads, yoghurt or cereal it’s a great way to bring essential nutrients into the demanding needs of your body. Invest in a nutri-bullet! the quickest and easiest way to get nutrients into your body, especially if you are not great with nutrition.
Second trimester the sense of taste and smell change, so what may be a favorite aroma may now make you bulk! Sub cutaneous reactions to the skin causes sensitivity, just be mindful and err on the side of caution!
Third trimester is when you start to ‘bloom’. The body starts to benefit from increased blood and oxygen. Skin literally glows, hair is thicker. Pamper and indulge at this point, look after the skin you are in, for the abdomen look at rubbing vitamin E capsules (snip capsules to release the contents) into the skin.
Professional treatments are something I highly recommend, although there are some treatments contra-indicated, you can at least have a skin consultation to help you on your skin journey throughout your pregnancy. Emotional responses are another thing to look at, with the emotional roller coaster set on some high and lows not only from the surge in hormones but also from fear and anxiety, visualization and relaxing treatments are something are worth investing in, after all a calm mother is a calm baby. Pregnancy massages will help ease any stress and the Bowen Technique is amazing to alleviate any pelvic strain or lower back ache.
It is all worth it in the end.. nine months of housing one of life’s miracles.