While some women are lucky enough to experience that pregnancy glow from the get-go, there are many who aren’t so lucky. Raging hormones, cravings for food you may have never been interested in before and your changing shape can present a few skin challenges during pregnancy. But don’t despair, there are things you can do to restore your glow.
This is a tricky one, it can be a great thing for some and an unhappy pregnancy side effect for others. Between 50 and 70 percent of women experience changes in skin tone during pregnancy. Women with darker skin are more prone to it, but paler skin tones experience it too. To counteract it try eating a diet rich in folic acid, include foods such as leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, citrus, beans, peas, avocado, seeds and nuts; and don’t forget to take your daily prenatal vitamin.
Also be sure to use sunscreen daily, even during winter, as UV can darken patches and make them less likely to fade quickly after the birth. Also, Vitamin C is a safe way to brighten your skin – try using a Vitamin C infused serum to support your skin health.
It’s those pesky hormones again! Some women find their skin gets more oily in pregnancy resulting in spots and blackheads. Wash your face twice daily using a pH balanced cleanser. Follow up with a oil based moisturiser to balance the natural oils in your skin. Be sure to avoid topical retinoids (such as Retin-A or Differin) or salicylic acid as their safety in pregnancy hasn’t been been tested so best to err on the side of caution. Try to cut out refined sugar and refined grains and opt for whole grains, lots of fresh fruit and veggies and natural fats.
While we all want to avoid stretch marks, the truth of it is that around 75 percent of us end up with some form of post-pregnancy stretch marks. It’s mostly caused by genetics but it can be caused by sudden weight gain or loss. Beware of creams and potions that claim to get rid of your stretch marks, these generally don’t work.
You’re better off using almond oil, olive oil or coconut oils as these oils are closer to the natural oils that your skin produces. Regular exercise, a healthy diet and even a regular massage may help, but if you’re genetically predisposed to them you probably won’t escape them completely. But the good news is, they fade over time and you’ll be so busy looking after your baby, you’ll probably forget they’re even there.