Gorgeous Skin – The True Craving Of A Mom-To-Be
Once upon a time, old ladies could tell a woman she’s pregnant simply by looking at the glow on her face. Every mom-to-be has a different skin story to tell. Let’s find out more about skincare for expectant mothers.
As much as you would want to flaunt a flawless radiant face during your pregnancy – one that would reflect the joy you are feeling within – it is not always possible. Added to that are the many restrictions you have about beauty or aesthetic treatments that you can try and products that you can use. Does that mean you give up on your dream of being a glowing mom-to-be? Certainly not! Special times call for special measures. We get Celebrity Cosmetic Dermatologist Dr Renita Rajan, Chief Consultant at RENDER Skin & Hair Clinics, to give us a lowdown on skincare for expectant mothers.
Care and concerns
The three major concerns during pregnancy are skin pigmentation, dryness and stretch marks. Some women develop new acne, and a very small percentage even experience some specific skin conditions, what we call as dermatosis of pregnancy, which may necessitate specific skin treatment.
Pregnancy hormones are pigmenting hormones, so skin darkening is a common process – especially in certain specific areas like the neck, underarms, abdomen etc. Facial pigmentation called melasma can make its debut in some women. Dryness is also very persistent and requires consistent moisturisation.
In a very safe mode, it is best to avoid in-clinic treatments, which are device-based, such as lasers. Simple chemical peels (without retinols or phenols), and procedures like extraction of comedones and Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra or DPN (a type of skin growth) removal may be considered under your dermatologist’s guidance. Care should be taken to minimise the use of topical anaesthetic.
Be product aware
The easiest way to switch to safe skincare is to simply take up baby range skin care products, especially those that are newborn safe. You can continue this well into the delivery and nursing period as well and simply share the products with your baby when they are here.
Look specifically for products that are free of endocrine disruptors, for example, use silicone-free, physical sunscreens instead of chemical sunscreens, opt for paraben-free leave-on products, etc. Preferably use short-contact products for exfoliation over leave-on toners.
A minimalistic routine is more than enough for this phase.
- A baby range body wash, followed through with a baby range body moisturiser. The water temperature needs to be lukewarm.
- A pH-balanced baby bar for washing the face – follow through with a zinc-based mineral sunscreen.
- Minimal use of make-up products is okay
Evening time care:
- Moisturise the face and massage the body with a moisturizer, too.
- Moisturise the body again, preferably after using a wet towel to moisten the skin first. Massage the abdomen with the moisturiser for a few minutes.
- For the face, a hyaluronic acid-based, fragrance-free moisturiser is recommended.
- You can do a weekly or twice weekly exfoliation with a lactic acid-based, short-contact exfoliator, after the first trimester.
Overall, minimise the use of fragrances, high-coloured cosmetics and leave-on toners.
Dealing with stretch marks
Stretch marks are a very big concern indeed. But this may not happen to everyone. So, people usually think that these are preventable but that there are certain factors which decide who goes on to develop stretch marks.
- Women who get pregnant at a younger age
- Women whose moms/ sisters have a history of having stretch marks during their pregnancy
- Women who put on more kilos than average during their pregnancy
- Those who had a higher pre-pregnancy BMI than average
- A large birth weight baby
- Twin pregnancies
All of the above are risk factors for developing stretch marks. There is very little proof that there are safe applications that work during pregnancy. But what works is massaging the abdomen – there is some data to show that massaging the abdominal skin can help prevent stretch marks to a certain extent.
Post-delivery, there are multiple safe options to manage stretch marks, which can be easily done even during the nursing period. Three months post-delivery is a good time to start core strengthening workouts and also a good time to start treating stretch marks. Radiofrequency-based treatments do a very good job of lifting the sagging abdominal skin and work effectively on stretch marks.
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