Pregnancy and postpartum skin care is an important topic for many new and expecting moms. Pregnancy can bring about many changes in your body, both physically and emotionally. Oftentimes, this calls for changes in your daily routine, too, like stopping yourself from having that glass of your favorite wine or avoiding your usual cup of Joe.
However, some changes you experience while you’re expecting are skin-deep, literally. From stretch marks to acne, these skin changes can eventually take a toll on your confidence. Postpartum hormones can also play a role in affecting your skin. Use this pregnancy and postpartum skin care guide to help you reclaim your glowing skin after having a baby.
Skin Changes During Pregnancy
Breakouts are common during and after pregnancy, especially during the first and second trimester. This is because of an increase in androgens, commonly known as “male hormones,” but this isn’t necessarily correct. Androgens are hormones that help with reproduction and growth in both men and women. The difference, however, lies in the number of androgens produced, as men produce more of the hormone compared to women.
Becoming a mother is stressful, and this stress can make itself known through hyperpigmentation or melasma. While several factors can cause this, hormones are one of the main reasons for bodily changes during pregnancy. For instance, excess progesterone and estrogen can affect the pigmentation of your skin. This can cause dark patches or spots to develop on your skin. Excessive or constant sun exposure can also aggravate this skin condition, affecting your face, arms, legs, and even underarms. While these don’t have any adverse effects on your health, they can be annoying to see on your skin.
Pregnant women often experience weight fluctuation, and when you’re gaining and losing weight rapidly, your body mass puts pressure on your skin to stretch and allow more space. This sudden weight gain and weight loss can leave scar-like marks on the skin, which some find unsightly and can affect your self-esteem. Some may disappear over time, but others may not.
Whether or not you’re experiencing any lack of sleep, puffy eyes and dark circles are often a result of hormonal changes during your pregnancy. This is especially true after delivery, as your body expresses the exhaustion you feel through your eyes. Once you start taking care of your baby after delivery, you’ll find yourself going through a lot of sleepless nights too.
Getting Healthy and Glowing Skin Back After Giving Birth
Fortunately, these changes aren’t irreversible. Contrary to popular belief, you can enjoy mom hood while getting your pre-pregnancy glow back.
Stick to a Healthy Diet
A lot of skin problems are usually caused by a bad diet, and while you’re finally free from your diet restrictions, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should start stuffing yourself with all the bad food you missed out on while you were pregnant. You can have it from time to time, but controlling your intake of unhealthy food and sticking to a healthier diet can make taking care of your skin easier.
Ensure to include some leafy greens in your diet, like broccoli, spinach, cabbage, etc. Vegetables have a good amount of nutrients and antioxidants that help protect the skin and keep it healthy. Processed foods and refined sugar, on the other hand, can have adverse effects on your skin.
Don’t Forget to Cleanse
Getting good skin isn’t easy- you have to work for it. One of the simplest ways to help your skin get back to its pre-pregnancy glow is to keep it clean. Whatever your skincare routine may have been before your pregnancy, it’s important to slowly shift back into it after delivering your baby. Start by cleansing your skin at least twice a day using a mild cleanser, as your skin still may be sensitive due to pregnancy hormones. Doing this will clean any excess dirt and oil off your skin and avoid acne breakouts.
Keeping yourself hydrated is not only good for your general well-being, but it also helps your skin stay moisturized from the inside. Some skin issues are also sometimes caused by dehydration, so you must drink your 8 glasses of water daily to keep your skin healthy.
Dead skin can accumulate and block your pores, so it’s important to eliminate this dead skin by exfoliating with a gentle scrub that you can use once or twice a week. Try to avoid chemical exfoliants and consider investing in a good herbal scrub. Not only can exfoliating your skin help make it smoother, but it also improves your blood circulation.
Use Lightening Creams
After your pregnancy, you may find that some scars, dark patches, or dark spots take some time to disappear. Fortunately, you can help reduce any hyperpigmentation with skincare that has lightening ingredients. For instance, if you start to feel conscious about dark patches on your underarms, consider going for products that can effectively lighten your underarms. On the other hand, if you’re feeling bothered by dark spots on your skin, they are many over-the-counter skin creams and spot treatments that can help reduce their appearance.
Get Your Beauty Sleep
Whether it’s before, during, or after pregnancy, sleep is essential to maintain your skin and general well-being. When you’re sleeping, your body enters a “self-repair” state, allowing your body to regenerate skin cells, repair muscles, and rejuvenate your body to prepare you for the morning. And while it’s difficult to get those 8 hours when you’re taking care of your baby 24/7, lack of sleep can lead to more health problems and skin issues in the long run. Remember to get as much sleep as you can– your future self will thank you for it.
It’s entirely possible to establish a pregnancy and postpartum skin care routine as a new mom. While you’re bound to get busy with taking care of your newborn, it’s important to remember that you need just as much care as your bundle of joy does. Remember to take care of your skin and your general well-being after having your baby get that pre-pregnancy glow back on track.