“Feeling fat lasts nine months but the joy of becoming a mum lasts forever”
Pregnancy hormones bring about huge changes to almost every part of a woman’s body. The skin is more sensitive during pregnancy because of the different hormones – and all women react differently to a male or female baby. It is a good idea for mums-to-be to adjust their skincare routine accordingly. With just a few small changes to your routine, you can get the glow – and not the blow.
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions that may help.
– How do I take care of my face?
Some women find that their skin becomes oilier during pregnancy. It may help to use a high-quality, facial cleanser. Changing to a foundation for oily skin, or using loose powder will soak up oil and not irritate. It is also good to remember that skin cells turnover more quickly during pregnancy, so make sure you nourish and moisturise even more than usual.
– Can I continue to use my normal beauty products?
Check the products that you normally use. You may find that some products are unsuitable for skin while pregnant and switch to products that are suitable.
– What products should I avoid?
– BHA (Beta-hydroxy acid). It is found in products for treating acne, exfoliating creams and some anti-ageing products.
– Retinol. It’s a form of Vitamin A used to treat acne and anti-ageing.
– Parabens. A common preservative used in many skin care products.
– Hair removal cream. The chemicals may be absorbed into the skin so stick with shaving, waxing – or getting rid of it permanently with laser hair removal.
– Accutane. An oral treatment for acne should not be used at all during pregnancy because of the risk of serious birth defects.
– Spotty problem: What to do?
Acne is the number one skin problem during pregnancy, particularly around the mouth and chin. Sulphur based topical products, and those containing glycolic acid or alpha hydroxy acids are safe to use during pregnancy to clear up the problem.
– Bathing beauty?
Don’t spend ages in the bath as water dehydrates the skin and can leave it looking dull. Add some relaxing oils and use a body lotion to prevent dryness. Try to use shower or bath products with extra moisture, and are PH balanced.
– Skin Protection?
Pigmentation is a common problem in pregnancy – skin tans and burns much more easily. So, avoid the sun as much as possible, use products with UV filters, and make sure you pay special attention to your face and hands. Usually the pigmentation fades by itself, but if after two months it has not faded, consult a doctor who can treat the area with a laser.
– How to do the bump?
The abdomen is under a lot of pressure during pregnancy, so massaging the bump with oil or a cream moisturiser will help keep the skin supple in areas prone to stretch marks.
There is no proof that oils and moisturisers will prevent stretch marks – but it can’t hurt to apply creams with vitamin E, and there are now products containing peptides to stimulate collagen.
Weight control is the most important factor in avoiding stretch marks. Try to put on weight steadily rather than just ballooning. But make sure to eat well! Healthy skin is less likely to leave stretch marks.
– What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are scars formed as collagen separates in the skin. They are not painful, but may cause tingling or itching. Stretch marks occur in 50-90% of pregnant women. Mainly they appear on the lower abdomen – but also thighs, arms, breasts and buttocks. Stretch marks are more common at the end of pregnancy.
– What to do if I get stretch marks?
Treat them with a laser while they are still red – the earlier the better.
– My feet belong to King Kong
Feet get tired and swollen in pregnancy. A refreshing foot gel with menthol will really pep you up at the end of a long day and remind your husband of the joys of a relaxing foot massage.
There is no reason to “let yourself go” while expecting. It is a time when the miracle of life growing inside you will put you in touch with your body and make you stand back in awe at the same time.
You are a mother – and will be from now on, but you are all woman too!