With the plethora of reasons for women having sensitive skin, one of the most exciting and life changing is having a baby. Some moms-to-be score the beauty lottery during pregnancy; their locks grow thick and luxurious, nails grow quicker and stronger and then there’s the famous ‘glow.’ With others, the news isn’t as bright and normally great skin becomes oily and acne-prone. Treatment isn’t as simple as grabbing something from your beauty stash. Favourite products may not be safe to use during pregnancy and products with baby friendly ingredients are required. So, whether you have sensitive skin or you’re a mom-to-be, baby yourself with the best beauty choices from our beauty experts.
Thank those busy hormones for changing the texture, colour and oil levels of your skin. There’s not any one change a pregnant woman can expect. “It varies,” says Dr. Benjamin Barankin, a Toronto dermatologist and medical director, Toronto Dermatology Centre(torontodermatologycentre.com). “Some women notice more, less or the same amount of acne, eczema, psoriasis or other skin conditions.” Other women experience skin that is highly reactive and sensitive to products they normally use. Dr. Barankin suggests using mild cleansers like1 Cetaphil, and fragrance-free creams.
When hormones turn normal skin into oily skin, a pregnant woman who hasn’t had a breakout in years may find her skin reliving its teenage years. Salicylic acid is a common ingredient found in preparations formulated for oily skin, but high percentages are not safe for moms-to-be to use on a long-term basis. It can be used occasionally on small areas of the face in concentrations less than 2%. A healthier alternative is benzoyl peroxide or alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA).
Along with your glow, there may be a shine from the extra skin oils. Tame the slick with a specialty product like2 NeoStrata Oil Free Matifying Fluid applied with absorbent Microsponge spheres. Wear it as a base to extend the staying power of your makeup. Try a foundation like3 Vichy Laboratoires Normateint Anti-Imperfection Foundation, designed to tackle skin problems on two fronts: oiliness and hyper-pigmentation. Skip foundation with retinol or salicylic acid. An excellent safe alternative is a minerals-only makeup powder.
Be extra diligent about taking off makeup at the end of the day. Clean skin is less prone to acne flare-ups. When your feet ache and you can’t bear standing at the sink, try this effective shortcut: use pre-moistened wipes, like4 L’Oréal Paris Micro Smoothing Cleansing Towelettes, or 5Pond’s Cleansing and Exfoliating Towelettes. Tuck a pack in your nightstand to wipe away makeup in bed.
Dr. Barankin points out that 90% of pregnant women have hyper-pigmentation around the nipples/areolae, neck, and armpits, while moles and freckles may become bigger and darker. Melasma, also called ‘the mask of pregnancy,’ is common. Dark spots can appear on the face (especially the cheeks).
They’re caused by changes in the hormone melanin, affecting pigmentation. Prevention is key, so protect skin with a good sunscreen containing physical sun block ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
Try6 Cliniderm Gentle Protective Lotion SPF 45 to stop dark areas from getting darker in the sun. To treat existing dark spots, ask your dermatologist for a safe fading cream. Or use7 La Roche-Posay Mela-D Serum, which uses glycolic and kojic acid. Fortunately, these dark areas will often disappear within three months of the baby’s birth.
You may have to put the brakes on your anti-aging skin care routine temporarily. Some of the more powerful, topically applied ingredients can reach the blood stream.
Many products in this group contain retinol and tretinol, derivatives of Vitamin A, and are not recommended for pregnant women. Though there isn’t definitive research linking topical Vitamin A and danger to an unborn child, doctors are being cautious. So while you’re pregnant, play it safe and use sunscreen as the optimal way to stave off wrinkles due to sun damage.
As skin around the belly stretches to make room for growing baby, stretch marks and itchiness are concerns. Conquer itch with topical steroids and pamper skin with gentle cleansers and lotions. 9Vaseline Intensive Rescue Clinical Therapy Lotion, clinically proven to moisturize persistently dry skin, is rich in humectants, like glycerin, that bind and lock water molecules to skin. To keep skin moist start with gentle body wash10 NIVEA Diamond Touch Shower Cream Oil.
Stretch marks are a dreaded problem for 90% of Caucasian women. These microscopic tears under the skin result in pink and white lines primarily on the abdomen and some other areas of the body. Hormonal changes cause the skin to become thinner and more prone to those tears.
It’s difficult to stop them but you can help keep the skin on the abdomen supple with11 St. Ives Replenishing Mineral Therapy Nourishing Body Crème. Eat well to avoid putting on body weight too quickly. After pregnancy, stretch marks will fade but may not disappear completely.
Minor skin changes won’t mar your enjoyment of this special time in your life, with these simple changes to your skin care regimen. What everyone will notice is your smile and the radiant glow that says you are joyous to welcome a new member to your family. Enjoy! H&L
|Sensitive Skin Beauty Secrets – Canadian Health & Lifestyle|