Pregnancy is a special time in every woman’s life. The arrival of a new born warrants taking good care of your physical and emotional health. It is the time of happiness, joy, pampering yourselves but it also has its challenges, the ever-changing mood swings, hormonal changes, dietary changes and the worst, morning sickness. To add to this, the skincare woes.
Pregnancy calls for a change in our skin care routine. A lot of women find that their skin and hair concerns get resolved naturally after the first trimester and their skin looks radiant. However, for a lot of them it is the reverse; itchy skin, acne flare-ups, pigmentation issues (pregnancy mask) known as melasma. Though temporary, these can be quite upsetting to the new moms to be.
Luckily, skincare during pregnancy is not that difficult. Here are few solutions that help you deal with your concerns.
Ways to deal with skin problems during pregnancy
This mostly happens due to due to an increase in the hormones called androgens. This type of acne mostly appears during the first and second trimester. Post-partum acne is temporary and will clear up once the hormones are back to normal. But for those who want to get rid of it, there are few natural and safe ways to get rid of them or reduce their appearance.
This is a particularly important step before applying any face mask or product on your skin. An oatmeal-cucumber scrub is a great and natural way to get rid of the dead skin layer and unclog the pores.
Honey has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Cleanse your face thoroughly and apply honey to the face and leave it on for 15 mins at least. Rinse off with warm water. It is soothing o the skin and leaves your skin look fresh and supple.
[Baking Soda and juice of lemon are also safe alternatives to deal with acne. However, people with sensitive skin type should avoid using these as it might tend to irritate your skin and increase redness]. For the others:
Mix a small amount of baking soda with water and use it as spot treatment. Once dried, wash it off.
Mix lemon juice with chilled cucumber juice (is high in silica which strengthens the connective tissues) and apply it all over the face. Wash it off with normal water.
For oily skin types:
Bentonite clay is an excellent option. Mix clay with water and apply it on to a thoroughly cleansed face. Leave it on for 15 mins and wash off and immediately moisturise your face.
This is common when there are hormonal fluctuations in the body. Women mostly experience pigmentation in the form of brown patches on their forehead, cheeks, neck, and armpits. This is known as chloasma or melasma, a kind of hyperpigmentation due to excessive production of melanin.
Also, many women notice a dark line that runs from the umbilicus to the pubis. This is called the linea nigra. In fact, we all have a white line running down from the abdomen called linea alba. During pregnancy, this line darkens, and it is seen that it normally returns to its actual appearance after delivery.
It is one of the best and safest ingredients commonly used to tackle pigmentation issues. Turmeric can be mixed with curd, cucumber juice or honey depending on your skin type. People with sensitive skin should not leave the mask on for more than 10 mins initially.
Exfoliate your skin prior to the application for better results.
Apart from turmeric, rice powder, potato juice, tomato juice and mint are popularly known to lessen the pigmentation.
During these days, it is imperative to use sunscreen not only when you are stepping out but also indoors. Sunscreen also helps keeping fine lines and photoaging at bay.
- Stretch Marks
Now this one is a bummer. There are many products available in the market which claim to erase the stretch marks. However, there is no concrete solution to this problem. We can reduce the appearance by using essential oils such as Rosehip or Neroli mixed with Jojoba or Coconut oil. Shea butter with Vit E oil/capsule is also a popular choice for the same. All of these ingredients deeply moisturise and strengthen the skin and reduce the appearance of these masks.
- Itchy Skin
It is common to experience some itchiness during pregnancy, especially on the stomach. The best way to deal with it is by applying almond oil, aloe vera gel, and coconut oil as they are great skin soothing agents, and they keep the skin supple and well nourished.
Few rules to bear in mind during pregnancy
- Maintain your skincare routine. You might not be in a mood for it, but your skin will thank you later. You can opt for organic products if you feel more comfortable.
- Do not skip sunscreen. It is important now more than ever!
- Moisturise frequently. Skin tends to become drier during pregnancy. Pay special attention to areas like the knees, elbows, nipples.
- Try avoiding any new skin treatments during these days. If you feel like indulging or pampering yourselves, opt for a soothing facial; but here too do not try and experiment with something new.
If you are a person used to skin creams and night repair serums, there are certain chemicals/ingredients you might want to avoid.
What to avoid
- Salicylic acid (can use if less than 2%)
- Oxybenzone (mostly found in sunscreens)
- Formaldehyde (found in certain nail paints. Certain hair treatments too contain the same)
- DHA (Dihydroxyacetone)- mostly found in tanning sprays
- Benzoyl Peroxide- mostly found in anti-acne creams and gels.
Ingredients that are safe
- Vit C
- Lactic Acid
- Zinc oxide
- Titanium Dioxide
- Hyaluronic Acid (a great moisturizing agent)
- Niacinamide (good option for lightening pigmentation and reduce inflammation)
- Azelaic acid- mostly found in anti-acne creams. It also helps deal with pigmentation
And most importantly, please do not stress. Eat healthy, exercise moderately and try to stay happy. Avoid processed food. Remember to keep yourself well hydrated. Drink lots of water and fresh juices. They not only keep you healthy from the inside, but they also work wonders for your skin.