Yesterday a new family member joined the Kader clan, namely my little niece Minoe! In honor of that very special event, I would like to do a post on pregnancy skincare. This is also one of the most requested posts to date, so for all of you waiting, thank you, you have been ever so patient.
I've done a post on pregnancy and acne previously, so I wont cover that here.
During pregnancy, alterations of hormones - mainly progesterone and estrogen, encourage many skin changes such as "flushing" or the famous "pregnancy glow" due to increase in core temperature and water retention, which (up to a certain point) gives a plump and youthful complexion. Although estrogen is a great antiager for us women folk, increasing collagen formation, and preventing wrinkles, it also makes skin more prone to pigmentation changes, and the much feared melasma situation, dreaded by pregnant ladies and dermatologists both. After acne and stretch-marks, pigmentation issues are the most common pregnancy related skin concern.
So what to do? I'll tell you.
1. Keep out of the sun. Or wear really high SPF with a really big hat when you are out. Women with darker skin tones are naturally more prone to issues with pigmentation.
Look for Zink-Oxide in your sunscreen, very stable UVA/UVB filter, and very good for you and your baby. I like SkinCeuticals sheer mineral radiance.
2. Fight acne, aging and pigmentation spots by including azelaic acid in your skin care regiment. This acid is great at fighting acne bacteria, reduce inflammation and lighten skin where necessary. Very multipurpose, very cool ingredient. Can be found in 20% formulation in the cream Skinoren per doctor prescription in Sweden and Norway. Best used at night.
3. Give me an A, give me an O, give me an X, AOX! I always preach the use of antioxidants in skincare, green tea and vitamin C are great stretch mark fighting ingredients, as well as skin lightening, antiaging and protective. Opt for a antioxidant serum under sunscreen during the day.
4. Fight Stretch marks now, they are so much harder to get rid of later. Although Stretch marks are mostly genetic, you can actively combat them by using creams and oils daily. Opt for lotions containing glycolic acid. This is the only completely safe alternative to retinols or salicylic acid during pregnancy.
5. Eat healthy. Those of you who know me, know that I always talk skin AND diet, never either or. We are becoming more and more aware of the effects of food on skin, and and so eating natural, fresh foods will always promote beauty, and reduce inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, eczema and rosacea - conditions that often experience flares during pregnancy.
6. Move. Regular movement like walks, mommy-yoga or the equivalent will reduce stress levels, and promote well-being that for sure will make you feel better about life, and look even more radiant. Stress influences skin function on many levels, and always for the worse, so keeping levels low will be great both for you and for baby.
So there you have it! My best, easy and effective skincare tips during pregnancy.
What's you best pregnancy skincare tip? I'm always interested to know about your favorite products!