So you’ve got a bun in the oven. What does that mean for your skin? You could soon be experiencing anything from a “pregnancy glow” to stretch marks and even skin eruptions. Here’s our full scoop on the skin care changes we recommend that Mamas-to-be incorporate into their beauty routine:
Be Super Selective About Your Beauty Products
We highly recommend cutting out products containing toxic chemicals, parabens and additives whether you are pregnant or not, however if you haven’t done so already now is the time. Your skin can absorb up to 60% of what you put on it, which means that any toxic ingredients in your beauty products are being absorbed directly into your blood stream and can also make their way into your baby’s blood supply and potentially negatively impact your growing baby. Ideally everything that you put on your skin including soaps, lotions, beauty products and makeup should be chemical-free, pure and organic.
Tend To Your Expanding Belly
Many new mamas complain about stretch marks across their belly. While there are great products out there that can help fade stretch marks, it’s much easier to prevent them from forming in the first place. So what can you do to make it through pregnancy to birth with little to no stretch marks? The answer is quite simple. Take impeccable care of your skin and give it the building blocks it needs to stretch easefully. For starters, eat foods that will help boost your skins elasticity. Incorporate collagen rich foods such as bone broth, gelatin, eggs, cod liver oil and other healthy oils in your daily diet. This will nourish your skin from the inside out and give your skin the nutrients it needs to improve its elasticity. In addition, make sure to drink plenty of water, which will help keep your body and skin adequately hydrated. Next, give your belly maximum moisture topically in order to support your skin as it stretches. The best way to do this is by using a highly emollient natural oil such as 100% pure Shea Butter or Cocoa Butter. Make a twice-daily belly massage part of your pregnancy self care routine. And finally, ensure that you are getting plenty of the key nutrients that help prevent the formation of stretch marks. These nutrients include zinc, which can be found in lamb, pumpkin seeds, eggs and whole grains and Vitamin C, which can be found in kale, bell peppers, broccoli and oranges.
Make Sure Your Diet is Squeaky Clean
What you eat is more important now than ever. First off, everything you consume being absorbed by your growing baby, which means that the foods you are consuming are either nourishing or potentially harming the little one developing inside of you. Second, since high amounts of vitamins, minerals and phyto-nutrients are being sent straight to your growing baby, your system is getting less of these nutrients than you typically would. If you aren’t getting enough nutrients that can easily impact the health and appearance of your skin. Combat this by eating a lot of fresh, nutrient-rich foods such as spinach, bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, berries, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and wild caught fish.
Combat Skin Eruptions
Acne is the most common skin problem among pregnant women and is caused by the secretion of oil induced by increased hormone fluctuations. The most common area for breakouts during pregnancy is around the mouth and chin. Avoid reaching for any harsh or acidic products to treat this pesky hormone-induced skin problem. Instead, treat your problem areas naturally using the following tips:
- Avoiding over washing your skin. Twice a day is plenty.
- Change your pillowcase often.
- Don’t use a harsh exfoliant. Instead use something gentle.
- Use a natural, simple toner to help absorb excess oil. Good options for this are rose water, apple cider vinegar or witch hazel.
- Make a spot treatment using one TBSP baking soda and 1 TBSP water.
- Combat stress and calm your hormones with relaxing activities such as a prenatal yoga class, massage, nap or walk in nature.
What About Essential Oils?
The use of essential oils during pregnancy is very controversial and there are a wide variety of options on the matter. According to Naturopathic Doctors, there are some essential oils that are safe to use in the 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy. These “safe” oils include lavender, Chamomile and Ylang Ylang, all of which help calm and soothe. There are also several essential oils which can cause contractions and should be avoided during pregnancy. Some these include Cinnamon, Rosemary, Clove and Clary Sage. For a complete list of essential oils to avoid we recommend that you consult your Naturopath or Physician.