When you first got pregnant you pictured yourself swanning around in flowing summer dresses, with glowing skin and shiny hair. You were going to be a fertility goddess, the most radiant you had ever been. Now, crouched by the toilet bowl, covered in pimples, oily hair and 10kg heavier, you wonder where that mysterious pregnancy glow is. Stretch marks, pigmentation, oily skin and dry patches - ah the bliss of womanhood. But, fear not - we are here to help.
Here are four of the most common pregnancy issues and their solutions as told by the team at Cedar + Stone:
Your hormones are all over the shop. An increase of estrogen, progesterone and the melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) during pregnancy can result in pigmentation of the skin. There’s also a very common condition called Melasma, or the ‘pregnancy mask’, which can bring frustrating discolouration to your nose, lips and forehead.
What can you do?
Be fussy about UV. Spend minimal time in the sun, don a big ol’ hat and don’t forget to slip, slop, slap with a 30+ natural facial sunscreen!
Unfortunately, extra-oily skin is very common during pregnancy. Your hormones and extra stress on your body results in a permanent state of oiliness … not ideal.
What you can do?
A clay mask can do wonders. Get excess oil under control by adding a mask treatment to your weekly routine; Bentonite clay does a brilliant job sucking up oil and is super healing for the skin. Our Bentonite + Turmeric Mask can be mixed with apple cider vinegar instead of water to go the extra mile in zapping the bacteria responsible for breakouts. The mask also helps in the pigmentation department; the clay lifts away the darker dead cells on blemishes skin, revealing new healthy skin below. Remember, with clay masks it's important not to let them fully dry to a hard cracked surface on your face as they will suck out too much moisture. Rinse off with warm water once the mask is about 50% dry so you get all the benefits and retain your skin's moisture. Also be sure to avoid oil-based makeup!
If your skin isn’t a puddle of oil, it might be a desert wasteland - not a drop of moisture in sight. Because your hormones fluctuate so much during pregnancy, dry and scaly skin on your face and body is common. Your skin’s hydrolipidic barrier - the protective layer of water, fat, and wax that forms on top of your skin - can weaken and form ‘holes’ in some places. Moisture evaporates more quickly through these ‘holes’ off the surface of your skin, leaving you dry, itchy and cracked. The extreme drop in your bodies hormones after giving birth can also result in dry and flaky skin being a lovely parting gift.
What can you do?
Drink plenty of water. We know, we know - you’ve heard it before. But, seriously, we’re not kidding. The more water you drink, the better. Using a humidifier and taking a warm oatmeal bath are other top tips. You may also need to change your cleanser to a more gentle, non-drying option. We recommend our Hemp + Rose foaming cleanser - it locks in moisture and is a little touch of luxury for your poor skin.
Stretch marks are almost inevitable as your body grows to accommodate another human. Your skin stretches in amazing ways during this process, leaving you with unwelcome reminders of this which can be semi-permanent. That’s why prevention is better than cure.
What you can do?
There are lots of ways you can lessen the appearance and amount of stretch marks. Massage your skin daily with a great body oil. Our Everything Oil is super nourishing with oils like avocado, almond, and olive and can be used all over the body and suits all skin types. Obviously pay attention to your bump, but don’t forget your hips, breast, butt and thighs.
The best piece of advice we can give you is this: ditch the toxins! Nothing is more beneficial to your skin (and your babe!) than going natural. There are a lot of nasties which you should be careful to avoid while pregnant. These include: parabens, formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, aluminum chloride, chemical sunscreens and dihydroxyacetone (DHA). Instead, try natural, plant based versions. Safer and more effective. You won’t regret it!