During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes several changes. Hormonal fluctuations wreak havoc on the skin during this period. Acne, urticaria, eczema and psoriasis tend to worsen during pregnancy. In this guide, we will cover 11 important skin care tips during pregnancy which will help you take care of your skin naturally and gently and, most importantly, without harming the baby.
1. Take a good look at the products you are using
Many products that are otherwise safe to use can be harmful during pregnancy. If you are concerned, talk to your doctor about which products to use and ones to stay away from. Most manufacturers specify on their labels whether their products are safe for use during pregnancy and you can safely use them without adverse side effects. Stay away from steroidal creams or skin lightening creams with hydroquinone which could get absorbed by the skin and may beharmful for baby.
2. Skin care during pregnancy for acne
Pregnancy triggers certain hormonal changes which cause your glands to secrete more oil. So you must use products that can take care of this excess sebum production. In particular, you might want to use toners and cleansers that can get rid of excess oil and keep acne at bay. Use a gentle cleanser without alcohol that can cleanse the oil away. Also use a toner containing natural ingredients like rose water, aloe vera or witch hazel to reduce oil and further unclog the pores. In case of very severe acne, you could use antibiotic creams with erythromycin, or clindamycin but avoid using Tretinoin or Retin-A which can harm the fetus. Talk to a dermatologist who can guide you for treating severe acne during pregnancy.
3. Treat stretch marks
One of the most common skin problems during pregnancy is appearance of stretch marks. Stretch marks arise due to weight changes which cause the skin to stretch. Stretch marks start appearing as early as the end of second trimester. Start using oils like Bio-Oil® which has very good results in preventing stretch marks. Use the oil twice a day to massage on the stomach and breasts. You can also use it for preventing skin hyper-pigmentation that arises due to pregnancy hormones.
4. Use sunscreen during the day
Pregnancy tends to make the skin extra sensitive to sun burns. So never forget to wear a gentle yet effective sunscreen. Most sunscreens from good brands are safe for use during pregnancy. You must choose one having SPF 20 or more.
5. Keep your body clean
Changing weight causes your skin to sweat more than usual. Do bathe daily with warm water and a mild soap to keep the skin clean. If your skin is very itchy, or you experience skin rashes like eczema, psoriasis or pruritic urticarial papules and plaques during pregnancy (PUPPP) (all of which are common skin problems during pregnancy), then you must avoid excess hot water and hot showers. Instead, soak in a warm bath with colloidal oatmeal powder to get rid of itchiness. You can also apply calamine lotion post bath to moisturize the skin and get rid of pregnancy urticaria.
6. Natural remedies to get rid of Melasma- mask of pregnancy
Melasma or mask of pregnancy is another common skin problem during pregnancy. It causes skin darkening, especially on the forehead, cheeks and around the nose and lips. Melasma can be easily treated with natural home remedies such as lemon juice, Aloe vera gel, apple cider vinegar, papaya extract, oatmeal, honey and cinnamon paste, nutmeg and milk paste and turmeric. You can also use a gentle homemade scrub containing Olive oil and brown sugar to scrub the face clean. Apply the juice all over the face and leave on for an hour. Wash off with warm water.
7. Moisturize often
Skin tends to become very dry during pregnancy. It is important to drink plenty of water to hydrate the skin from the inside; in addition, use gentle moisturizers several times a day on your hands, feet, stomach, chest etc. If you have inherently oily skin, go for non-oil based moisturizers. On the other hand, women with very dry skin must use non-comedogenic, oil based creams. Avoid heavy creams and lotions containing paraffin as these clog the skin pores and could worsen acne.
8. Natural remedies for Candida in pregnancy
Candida rashes are very common in pregnancy. The best remedy for treating Candida naturally during pregnancy is by reducing intake of sugary foods like cakes, cookies, and simple carbohydrates. Consume plenty of probiotic fermented foods like plain yogurt, miso etc.
9. Get plenty of sleep
Sleep reduces stress and keeps your cortisol levels in check. This, in turn, is reflected on the skin. When your body is well-rested, your skin will also glow with health.
Gentle exercise like walking and swimming are great during pregnancy and they help lymphatic drainage which throws the toxins out. Exercise can also regulate weight and prevent unhealthy weight gain during pregnancy.
11. Curb those cravings
It is a myth that you are eating for two. If you are experiencing unhealthy food cravings, talk to your doctor as there may be an underlying deficiency causing them. Focus on eating healthy foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Eat 4-6 small meals instead of 3 large meals. Drink tons of water and fresh fruit juices. Avoid sugary beverages and sodas. A healthy diet is one of the best natural skin care tips for pregnant women.
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12. Stay happy
Happiness reduces stress and also increases blood flow inside the body which then reflects in the form of glowing skin. So meditate when possible and smile and laugh a lot. After all; laughter is the best medicine, pregnant or not!
Use these skin care tips during pregnancy and see your skin glow!