There are a lot of things not to like about being pregnant, but skin concerns don’t have to be one of them. If you’re chasing that illusive ‘pregnant glow’, it really pays to have help from the experts.
We chatted to Amelia Gartner, managing director of Cedar + Stone – the brand behind your new favourite plant-based skincare products – about some of the things you can do if you’re pregnant, but not glowing.
Why does our skin tend to change or become more problematic when we’re pregnant? Is it permanent?!
Growing a bub is hard work, and it sends your hormones a little haywire – to say the least. Due to the huge influx of hormones going through your body and the redirection of your body’s nutrients towards helping grow another human, our skin can often suffer. You will generally find that your skin changes through each trimester. In the first trimester, many will often see increases in oil production, acne and dull-looking patches, while in the second trimester you might finally be feeling that fantastic pregnant glow. Then, the third trimester might throw you right back into dark patches of skin, oily hair and skin tags. These skin conditions are often not permanent and will generally clear up once you have given birth, but there are many natural things we can do along the way to ensure we are keeping these problems at bay.
What are some ways that women can address changes in their skin tone that result from pregnancy?
The increase of estrogen, progesterone and the melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) during pregnancy can result in pigmentation of the skin, an increase in oil production and dry itchy patches. Melasma (also known as “mask of pregnancy”) is a condition which can also occur as a result of hormonal irregularities, creating skin discolouration, especially around the nose, upper lip and forehead. Sun plays a large part here, so make sure you are applying a great mineral sunscreen to your face and any exposed skin every day, as the UV will most often make these dark patches of skin worst.
What should a woman whose skin has suddenly become very oily keep in mind? Are there any tips to control or reduce excessive oil?
Super oily skin and breakouts are common while pregnant, so get excess oil under control by adding a mask treatment to your weekly routine. Bentonite clay does a brilliant job of sucking up oil and healing the skin, and 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, as the clay lifts away the darker dead cells on blemishes skin to reveal new healthy skin below.
Avoid using oil-based makeup as it will only worsen your oil situation, and ensure you thoroughly cleanse away all make up each night before bed. Apply a light moisturiser before bed to ensure your skin stays hydrated – if your skin dries out it will overcompensate with more oil production.
Similarly, what should women who suddenly experience dry skin do?
When hormone levels fluctuate, you may begin to look slightly more reptilian than radiant. This is because 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, and moisture will evaporate more quickly through these ‘holes’ off the surface of your skin, leaving you dry, itchy and cracked. You may need to switch up your regular cleanser to a super gentle, non-drying option to keep moisture locked in. Our Hemp + Rose Foaming Cleanser is rich in Omegas revealing beautifully cleansed skin without that icky dried out feeling other foaming cleansers can leave behind.
Also, drinking plenty of water and using a humidifier at night will help relieve dry skin and so will soaking in a warm oatmeal bath. Apply a hydrating facial serum and a nourishing moisturiser day and night to lock in moisturise in the skin.
Beyond facial concerns, what are some other ways that our skin changes during pregnancy?
One thing you might not be prepared for during pregnancy is feeling like you’re reverting back to your teenage years with out of control hormonal acne. Whilst pregnant, our bodies begin to produce higher levels of hormones called androgens, which can often prompt the sebaceous glands in our skin to get bigger and boost production of an oily substance called sebum which causes breakouts. Ensure you have a strict three step skincare regime that you use morning and night – cleanse away excess impurities, apply a toner to further wipe away dead skin cells and apply a moisturiser to seal and hydrate the skin.
What are some effective treatments for stretch marks? Are there any ingredients in particular that do wonders?
We’re yet to meet anyone who is a raving fan of stretch marks and prevention is definitely better than cure. Long, thin stretch marks are the result of your skin rapidly expanding, so calm the potential fierceness by making it a daily habit to massage your skin with a great body oil. Our Everything Oil is super nourishing with oils like avocado, almond, and olive, can be used all over the body and suits all skin types. It’s not just about showing your bump love – pay attention to everywhere that’s getting larger, including boobs, hips, butt, and thighs.
What impact can toxins have on our skin and general health when we’re pregnant?
If you’re not already onboard the natural skincare wagon, pregnancy is a time to jump (or waddle) on. A bunch of nasty chemical ingredients you should avoid while pregnant can be found in many skin care products, and don’t forget to also begin ridding your house of toxic products – look at the cleaning and laundry products you are using and switch to any of the fantastic, nasties-free products now on the market.
Toxins to avoid in your skincare include parabens, formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, aluminium chloride, chemical sunscreens and dihydroxyacetone (DHA). Read the ingredient list carefully and swap any of your current products filled with toxins for a safe, plant-based version. They do an even better job. We promise!
At the end of the day, remember that being a mum is everything – lay the right foundations for your family by starting to use all-natural products in your household and start seeing the amazing benefits immediately.
Want to jump onto the natural skincare bandwagon? Cedar + Stone are giving away one of their Bentonite + Turmeric Masks, one Everything Oil and one Hemp + Rose Foaming Cleanser to a lucky haven reader! Competition closes Sunday October 28 and only the winner will be notified. Good luck!