Your beauty routine during pregnancy
Adapting your beauty routine for your hard-working pregnant body will help you feel good and stay radiant throughout.
A beautiful side effect of being an expectant mother is the glorious pregnancy glow, but every woman’s complexion reacts differently to the shift in hormones in this first trimester. Some may ‘glow’ with a newfound radiance, while others may battle breakouts or extra-sensitive, dry skin – and many may find they have a mixture of both! Your best strategy is to keep to a simple skin routine, cleansing and moisturising daily with gentle formulas that are best suited to your skin’s current condition.
Steer away from prescription and over-the-counter anti-ageing products with vitamin A derivatives such as retinol to avoid any potential harm to baby.
If you do suffer form breakouts help keep skin clear and radiant by exfoliating with an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) product and spot-treatment gel containing benzoyl peroxide or natural ingredients like tea tree oil.
If you’re vomiting, protect your teeth by smearing them with toothpaste and rinsing with water afterwards rather than brushing them as stomach acid can cause some of your tooth enamel to dissolve.
Fast-growing hair (all over) and nails that need clipping every day are other factors that might affect your beauty routine. During pregnancy your hair growth cycle and resting cycle is extended due to high levels of hormones, so the good news is that you are highly likely to enjoy lustrous, fast-growing hair.
When it comes to colouring your hair, there is no evidence to show that chemical dye has an effect on the foetus. However, if you’re concerned, ask your hairdresser to avoid the dye touching your scalp by opting for highlights, or try and ammonia-free hair colour. If you colour your own hair, wear gloves and open the windows for plenty of ventilation.
The hair growth elsewhere may be just as plentiful! As your belly grows, shaving in the shower, where ti’s too easy to lose your balance – is a big no-no. Try using an electric razor, or, as long as you’re not experiencing overly sensitive skin, consider heading the to beautician to be waxed.
Sometimes, nails that grow too quickly can be thin and weak so help them to stay strong by wearing gloves when your hands are in water, and keeping them shorter so they’re less likely to snag (easier to manage when baby comes along too). It’s fine to varnish your nails – but choose quality nail polished that are free from DBP, toluene and formaldehyde – and use them in a well ventilated are to you’re not breathing in the fumes.
Although some women seem to be genetically more susceptible to stretchmarks, they are very normal in pregnancy and happen when stretching causes a rupture in the skin’s support structure. Feeding your skin with a nourishing body oil or cream twice a day will help the skin stay supple as it expands, and may, with a bit of luck, help to reduce the potential for stretchmarks. Pay extra attention to your tummy, hips and thighs, and don’t forget your breasts to help maintain their skin tone and firmness as they enlarge.
As you hit the third trimester, give yourself a chance to slow down and really pamper yourself by taking care of your body. Soothe pregnancy aches and pains with a lovely, warm bath – making sure the water is tepid, not hot, so you don’t overheat. Swap heavily scented bath products (which may irritate ‘down there’ and make the bath slippery) for gentle, hydrating bath milks and powders that will leave itchy, dry skin soft and comforted.
Help to relieve swollen, heavy legs and ankles by putting your feet up to help drainage of your legs, and by applying a soothing gel or mist product to cool down the skin. Special support stockings can help bring some relief too.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, enlist your partner for a little massage to help you relax and unwind. Massaging with a diluted aromatherapy oil will have the added benefit of soothing your senses, but be aware that some oils such as jasmine, rosemary and clary sage have been found to trigger contractions, so check with your midwife or doctor first.
Thought you were done with blushing and breakouts? Think again. Between wild weather and even wilder hormones, your skin could be showing the strain. Rachel Ramsay has some gentle solutions to calm and soothe.
5 minute makeover
It can be hard to find ‘me’ time when you’re a mum, but make-up artist and mum-of-one Evana Patterson shows how you can look fabulous in as little as five minutes.