Looking after your Skin in Pregnancy
When you’re pregnant, your skin, hair and body all change. Your skin can also be more sensitive than normal and eczema can be triggered as your hormone levels increase, so this may mean a new skincare regime is often needed.
What are normal skin changes during pregnancy?
The most common skin changes in pregnancy are:
•melasma: brown, clearly defined patches on the face, typically on the cheekbones and forehead.
•darkening of the nipples and external genitals (pubic area).
•darkening of existing moles.
•linea nigra: a dark line that appears on the abdomen, running straight down from the umbilicus (belly button).
•striae gravidarum (stretch marks of pregnancy): red lines or bands that can appear on the abdomen during pregnancy, or the breasts after breastfeeding, which later become white, smooth, shiny and flattened.
•veins on the skin can become more obvious.
•varicose (swollen) veins can appear on the legs.
•an increase in the number of skin tags (small, harmless skin outgrowths that occur especially on the neck, but can be found on any part of body).
•acne can worsen
What is good for your skin?
•Like the transfer of food nutrients, chemicals and nutrients from skin care products are absorbed by the mum’s skin and then transferred on to the yet unborn baby in the womb. And 60% of what we apply to our skin can be absorbed into our blood stream. That is why experts advise mums to choose healthy skin care products during pregnancy.
•Don’t forget your belly! As your stomach grows with your baby, you may find the skin gets itchy so be sure to keep it well moisturised. This will also help with the stretch marks. The best ones contain ingredients such as cocoa butter and shea butter.
•Any cosmetic product which contains essential oils should usually be avoided and is often labelled with a warning for pregnant woman.
•Pimples in the first part of your pregnancy are very common so avoid heavy creams and lotions and keep the skin fresh and clean.
•Drinking plenty of water and eating a sensible diet is good but it is of equal importance to our skin. Water keeps our skin hydrated and flushes out all those nasty toxins.
•Foot care – keep your feet smooth and well moisturised as you grow bigger your feet really bear the bunt and start to crack and ache.
•Exercise regularly and moderately during pregnancy will keep your blood flowing and endorphins, you will not only feel better but you will look better. It will help with water retention, weight gain and keep skin clear.
•Wearing make-up can be a great way to help you look your best when pregnant. A little foundation can cover blemishes, mascara can lift tired eyes and a hint of colour on your lips can stop you looking washed out. Your skin can become sensitive so a mineral based make-up range may suit you better at this time.
•During pregnancy your body becomes more sensitive to UVA so it is recommended not to sun bath as you can burn much easier.
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