When your body is working overtime providing for two, taking time out for a little maternal self-care is an important task that’s often overlooked. Swati Basu Das shows mums-to-be how to shine with that pregnancy glow.
Whether you’re expecting or not, there’s something to be said for a fresh-faced glow – though, women in the throes of their third trimester may feel more frazzled than fresh. But there’s no denying that pregnancy – and all its glorious hormones – has a profound physiological effect on our skin. Known as that fabled ‘pregnancy glow’, it’s a sudden flush that naturally makes your skin shine.
The cause of this graceful radiance that was once proclaimed as a century-old myth? The steady release of increased levels of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone that cause the glands in our face to secrete more oil during the months of pregnancy, coupled with increased blood volume which adds a pink ‘glow’.
But this flush isn’t the only mark that gestation can leave– from an ever-growing baby bump that stacks on those extra kilos, to acne breakouts and stretch marks, our skin is a tell-tale barometer of our pregnancy journey.
And while most of us are familiar with this concept of ‘pregnancy glow’, it’s important to note that it can also be taken one step further via hormonal upheavals that can increase pigmentation and cause conditions such as melasma and chloasma. Also known as the ‘mask of pregnancy’ this hyperpigmentation which can spread across the cheeks and nose due to increased levels of hormones coupled with sun exposure – and can give your face a distinctive blotchiness.
The good and bad news? This ‘mask of pregnancy’ fades once the baby is delivered…but so too does that healthy ‘pregnancy glow’. Our overall skin health to begin with can, oftentimes, be indicative of whether or not it has the ability to ‘glow’ or become lackluster once pregnancy occurs. That’s why it’s important to maintain a consistent skincare routine, before, during and after pregnancy – switching to pregnancy-safe formulas during those bulging nine months that will help you look your best with baby-on-board.
Stay consistent with your skincare routine
Without a doubt, bodily changes during pregnancy take a toll on the skin – as it has a tendency to become more sensitive towards pollutants and UV rays. This is why it’s so important to sill remain consistent with your routine during pregnancy. Regular cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing is key to help you stay radiant. Baby-safe products for sensitive skin are best suited for mums-to-be – we love Honest Hydrogel cream for dry skin, which helps hydrate and retain skin’s natural moisture; and Honest Magic Gel-to-Milk Cleanser helps remove impurities without drying your skin further.
Boost your skin’s elasticity
Keeping your skin hydrated and well-moisturised is essential not only to prevent loss of water, but to also soothe that itchy sensation as your skin stretches and expands during pregnancy. Hydration, on the other hand, helps increase your skin’s water content so that it remains supple. A good moisturizer, applied after hydrating your skin, helps seal in moisture. Mustela Soothing Moisturizing Balm and Ultimate Hydration Bundle are both good options for expectant mums – both contain natural ingredients such as avocado peptides and ceramides, and their non-greasy formulas are fast-absorbing and pregnancy-safe.
Treat stretch marks
Earning your ‘tiger stripes’ is a reality of pregnancy, as stretch marks can appear anywhere on the body where the skin expands rapidly to make room for your growing baby.
Treating them is an integral part of your skincare routine during pregnancy. Both Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks and Mustela Stretch Mark Prevention Cream and Oil can help minimise these scars and fine lines – though it’s important to note they won’t make them disappear completely. Only time can fade them fully.
Certain beauty and skincare products that we may already be using regularly can contain compounds or additives that are harmful during pregnancy.
Try to stay away from using those products that contain:
• Salicylic acid
• Synthetic fragrance
• Petrolatum or petroleum jelly
• Formaldehyde donors
Editor’s Note: This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please seek the advice of a medical expert if you have any questions regarding a health issue.
(*All products mentioned available on Amazon.)