By: Dr. Loretta Lanphier, ND, CN, HHP, CH
Pregnancy is a time of rapid change in a woman’s body. Hormonal fluctuations during this time affect her from head to toe, and it is a particularly stressful time for the skin. In order to keep her body in optimal shape, future moms would be wise to make a few adjustments in their skin care regimen. Pregnancy necessitates a bit of extra tender loving care for the skin.
The Pregnancy Skin Care Routine
Skin tends to be very dry during pregnancy. It is crucial to use cleansing products that are gentle and free from toxic chemicals. Using a quality cleanser and rinsing carefully with warm (not hot) water will go far toward keeping the skin supple and preventing additional dryness. Wash no more than twice daily, as excessive cleansing can contribute to dry skin as well.
Acne can be a big problem during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. Products containing organic ingredients, such as Purely Ageless from Oasis Advanced Wellness or Hydra-Tone™, would prove most helpful at dealing with these added blemishes.
Most obstetricians do not recommend using prescription acne medications, topical retinoids, or products containing salicylic acid while pregnant. While these ingredients have not been specifically linked to birth defects, their safety has not been proven conclusively either. It is probably best to err on the side of caution and avoid the use of these products.
A good moisturizer is essential for a woman’s skin during pregnancy. The use of a quality, natural moisturizer is a good idea all the time, but it can be particularly helpful while pregnant. Even after the pregnancy is over, hormonal changes may linger and continue to cause dryer than normal skin. Purely Ageless is an excellent overall choice to meet all your moisturizing needs.
An all-natural sunscreen is a critical part of any skin care routine, and it becomes even more crucial during pregnancy. Increased hormone levels associated with pregnancy cause the production of excess pigment cells, which can result in facial blotchiness, sometimes referred to as “the mask of pregnancy.” In addition to protecting your skin from ultraviolet rays, a high quality natural sunscreen product such as UV Natural will also prevent or minimize discoloration. Choose one with minimum SPF of 15, and use it every day, as a regular part of your skin care routine. This is especially important if you plan on being in the direct sun during a good part of the day, but sunscreen should be worn daily, regardless. Many moisturizing products include sunscreen in their formula, and a combination product can save time and money; however, be careful as many of these products contain harmful and toxic ingredients.
If you choose to use cosmetics during pregnancy, it’s essential that you go organic. It’s best to keep your makeup to a minimum to avoid the “runny-messy” look, as during pregnancy, it seems your face can become sweaty and greasy at a moment’s notice. I recommend a small amount of organic foundation to cover potential dark circles around your eyes and blemishes, and this will help even out your skin tone too. Avoid eyeliner, and go with waterproof mascara instead. An organic lip balm is also a good idea. A mineral powder can help minimize shine, or you can look on this as a positive, and bask in the “glow” of pregnancy as part of the natural look of a mom-to-be.
Pregnancy Skin Care Products
One of the first things a pregnant woman should do is double check the ingredients in the skin care products she is using. Some of these products may contain components that are particularly dangerous during pregnancy. Others may simply be too harsh for delicate pregnant skin. If you are not sure about any product or ingredient, stop using it until you’ve had a chance to discuss it with your health care provider.
For the Feet
Your feet work extra hard during pregnancy, and sore, swollen feet are not uncommon. A soothing, relaxing massage with essential oils will relieve a lot of that stress. Your spouse can help, or you can do it yourself (for as long as you can reach your feet!)
For the Belly
Your abdominal skin is also exposed to extra stress during pregnancy. Massaging your belly daily with an organic moisturizing product will help you to relax and feel calmer, and it will also keep the skin more elastic and less prone to stretch marks.
For the Nails
Some women struggle with dry, brittle nails while pregnant, while others are able to keep them long and luxurious throughout. Whatever your needs, there are many natural products available that can help you to manage your nails.
Pregnancy Skin Care Tips
Pamper Yourself: Give yourself lots of extra TLC while pregnant, and make use of the many natural, organic products available to help you relax and feel at ease. Splurge on some extra specialty and massage products. You are worth it, and you should take advantage
About the Author
Loretta Lanphier, ND, CN, HHP, CH is a Doctor of Naturopath, Clinical Nutritionist, Holistic Health Practitioner and Clinical Herbalist in Houston, TX and Founder / CEO of Oasis Advanced Wellness. Under her leadership, Oasis Advanced Wellness is known and respected as one of the leading companies in providing safe and clean hi-tech natural health and wellness solutions. Because of the need for high-end natural and organic skin care products, Dr. Lanphier has developed Lanique Organics, an all-natural skin-care line which promotes natural health for the skin.