Skincare in Pregnancy
by Lula Braithwaite, founder of LoveLula.com, the organic skincare specialists
Your maternity skincare routine
Most women find the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy have an impact on their skin. How your skin changes will be unique to you; some women find their skin becomes drier, others suffer from oiliness or spots and sometimes skin becomes super sensitive. Your previous skincare routine may need adjusting to cater for your skin's changing needs.
Super Sensitive - If your skin starts reacting to everything you put on it use simple natural formulations which are fragrance free to calm and nourish your skin.
Dryness - Switch from a facial wash, which can strip much needed oils from your skin, to a cream or oil based cleanser. Treat your skin to nourishing facial oils and apply moisturiser more often, whenever your skin feels dry or in need of a drink.
Oily skin, spots and outbreaks - Use a balancing and purifying cleanser morning and night to help regulate sebum and keep your skin spotless. And treat yourself to a clay mask two or three times a week to deep cleanse pores and treat existing spots or outbreaks.
Tiredness and dull skin - Pregnancy places huge demands on your body and therefore your skin and can also affect your sleeping patterns leaving your skin looking tired or dull. Treat dull skin to regular gentle exfoliation to remove dead skin cells and help to stimulate your skin's circulation.
Your skin and the sun
Your skin becomes more sensitive to the sun during pregnancy. Over exposure can lead to patchiness, or hyper-pigmentation, especially around your nose and mouth as well as skin damage or burns. If you?re out and about in the sun make sure you apply a good sunscreen to exposed areas.
Essential oils & pregnancy
There's lots of conflicting and confusing advice about the use of essential oils during pregnancy. It is not recommended to use therapeutic concentrations of certain essential oils during pregnancy; these are the higher concentrations that an aromatherapist would use for example or if you are using pure essential oils at home.
However the concentrations of essential oils used in pre-prepared skincare products is generally safe (although it would be best to avoid products that market themselves as therapeutic aromatherapy body and bath oils or as anti cellulite treatments). If in doubt read the label but if you've used skincare products containing essential oils before you were pregnant there's no reason why you shouldn't continue to enjoy using them during your pregnancy too.
Synthetic Chemicals in Skincare Products
Research has shown that some of the ingredients used in the skincare products we use can be absorbed through our skin into our blood stream. Of these ingredients some are suspected to affect the foetus. Organisations such as the Women's Environmental Network , Friends of the Earth and Chemtrust provide information about synthetic ingredients used in skincare and cosmetic products. The Environmental Working Group produces a useful database of ingredients used in cosmetics with information about research findings on these ingredients www.cosmeticsdatabase.com. Using certified natural or organic skincare products can help you to avoid many synthetic ingredients.
Preventing Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are wavy stripes appearing on the abdomen, buttocks, breasts and thighs. They start out reddish in colour and gradually turn white. They are caused by rapid weight gain or growth and so are particularly common during pregnancy.
Can stretch marks be prevented? Well the answer is yes and no. To a certain extent your genes determine how likely you are to suffer from stretch marks. If your mother developed stretch marks during pregnancy then you are more likely to develop them as well.
Got any questions about skincare during pregnancy? For expert advice email firstname.lastname@example.org
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