Pregnancy is an exciting time; filled with all the joy and anticipation of the arrival of a brand new tiny being.
But when it comes to caring for your skin and body, it’s not all about that mythical pregnancy ‘glow.’ With hormones in a constant state of flux, it’s easy for our skin to become upset, which can manifest itself in a whole host of ways, as blogger and ELEMIS Ambassador, Anneli Bush acknowledges,
"Lucky ladies get that well-known “pregnancy glow”, and although I have been told I have it at times (note: not all the time!) – in between a puffy face, sensitive skin, dullness and an uneven skin tone – my skin has definitely seen better days."
So, what can we do to keep our beauty and well-being regimes in check through pregnancy? Read on for our ultimate guide to taking care of your skin during this special time…
What happens to your skin during pregnancy?
The first step to taking care of your skin while expecting is to understand exactly what is happening to it - a feat that’s often easier said than done.
“During the 9 months of pregnancy, the face and body change daily in response to the demands made on the body by sharing it with another” explains Noella Gabriel, Co-Founder of ELEMIS. “The obvious change is that the skin can become extremely dry and, in some cases, flaky. Some women experience severe acne, while others develop sensitivity - issues far removed from the so-called ‘pregnancy glow.”
It’s not surprising to hear that during pregnancy, the condition of the skin changes considerably. “The body now has two heart beats and the baby is a priority for nourishment and replenishment” says Noella. “What once was available for the us is now allocated to the baby. This can cause the skin to become very dry, itchy and lacking in moisture and nutrients. Visually the appearance of the skin may be dull, lifeless and ashy in colour.”
How to deal with stretch marks
The number one issue surrounding pregnancy and skin has to be stretch marks. “Caused by drastic weight changes, including pregnancy, these lines are actually scarred dead tissue and can be very difficult to manage” explains Noella. However, a good bodycare ritual can help reduce their severity or the chances of them from forming in the first place. A true hero product, ELEMIS’ Japanese Camellia Oil is a great product to use through pregnancy, as it keeps the skin super hydrated, helping to improve elasticity over the bust, bump and bum, therefore supporting the body’s changes through pregnancy.
What not to use during pregnancy
With so much advice on what to avoid during pregnancy out there, it can be hard to know exactly what to do.
“Most essential oils are advised to be avoided during the 9 month journey” advises Noella. “Aroma is not always great for pregnant women - if a woman is experiencing extreme morning sickness, it can be one aroma too many.”
Below is a list of ELEMIS retail products we do not recommend for use during pregnancy:
- Body Enhancement Capsules
- Lime and Ginger Salt Glow
- Cellutox Active Body Concentrate
- Musclease Active Body Concentrate
- De-Stress Massage Oil
- Aching Muscle Super Soak
- Cellutox Herbal Bath Synergy
- Musclease Herbal Bath Synergy
- Life Elixirs Bath and Shower Oils - Calm, Clarity, Fortitude, Embrace and Sleep
The good news is, there are plenty of great products you can try - you may even find a new favourite. If you can’t live without Lime and Ginger Salt Glow, try the energising Devil’s Mint Body Scrub instead. If Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules are a key part of your daily routine, why not try the nutrient-dense Superfood Facial Oil? And if you rely on De-Stress Massage Oil after a long day, reach for the relaxing White Lotus and Lime Body Balm instead - it’s packed with rosehip seed oil, renowned for its ability to help settle sensitised skin.
Ways to deal with fatigue
If there’s one side effect that almost all women will experience at some point in their pregnancy, it’s fatigue. Your body is working double-time to care for both you and baby, so it’s important to listen to what it needs and take some time out for yourself. There’s never been a better time to practise a little self-care - especially when you’re battling swollen ankles or an aching back.
Instant Refreshing Gel is revered as a pregnancy essential, thanks to its ability to ease muscle tension. A multi-functional body reviver, its powerful blend of soothing Arnica and cooling Camphor and Menthol works wonders on tired temples, shoulders and legs.
Another hero product, Skin Nourishing Milk Bath is the perfect pick for a reviving bath session. The milk-protein formula conditions the skin with vitamins and minerals that may have become depleted throughout pregnancy. It will help targeted problem areas - think dry elbows, knees and heels - and can even be used on baby,
And if you’re in need of a real treat, book yourself in for the ELEMIS Peaceful Pregnancy Massage. Performed on a beanbag to support you and your bump, this specially developed spa treatment re-energises, stimulates circulation and targets body tone and texture. The result is that it helps induce sleep – proper, nurturing sleep that will help with that sluggish feeling you may experience when your body hasn’t been able to rest properly.
How to tackle pregnancy pigmentation
The hormonal fluxes associated with pregnancy may contribute to excess pigmentation. These brown spots occur when melanin, which is produced at the basal layer of the skin, becomes activated and over-stimulated.
ELEMIS’ White Brightening line is formulated with a unique complex of Daisy and Pea Extracts as well as encapsulated Vitamin C, helping to visibly reduce the appearance of dark spots, age spots and existing imperfections. Comprising a cleanser, serum, lotion and targeted corrector, it has been clinically proven to reduce the appearance of uneven pigmentation in just 28 days.
So by now we hope you understand a little more about the amazing changes your body and skin go through during these 9 special months. Making small tweaks to your beauty routine can have a really positive impact on the condition of your skin and comfort of your body. But don’t forget - the most important thing is to embrace the changes and enjoy every moment.