Healthy Living – Preparing for an Organic Pregnancy I

June 04, 2015 9 min read

Skincare Savvy Mother-To-Be

Some women plan for it for years, while to others, it comes as a pleasant surprise. It requires lots of preparation, thought, and research, from the doctor you select to the color of the nursery walls. Friends and family congratulate you as the excitement builds for the new arrival to finally get here. These are all fun, thrilling experiences for any expectant mother, yet a pregnancy can also come with many different bumps in the road. Lots of not-so-great memories might take hold of a woman during this crucial time. From acne and skin sensitivity that never occurred before, to morning sickness and aching backs. Just like every rose has its thorns, every mommy-to-be experiences some bumps along the way. Even though every pregnancy unfolds differently, there are a few things that every woman should know going in.

Every mother wants what is best for her children, and this often starts long before conception. Thus, it is always a good idea to have some ideas of what will work best for you. Of course, no one wants to put their child in danger with poisonous toxins or dangerous substances. This starts as soon as a woman knows she is pregnant. What kinds of foods and drinks will keep her body and baby nourished properly? What kinds of substances should she avoid? Of course, we advise using more natural methods of supplementing a pregnancy with proper nutrition and healthy habits, but even navigating the proper natural channels for such things can be difficult. As this is a two-part post, this article will focus namely on skincare options, and what will work best for your skin’s sensitivity during this time.

 

How Pregnancy Paints the Skin

First and foremost, many women notice changes in their facial skin, as those who did not previously have a problem with acne now have breakouts appearing all over their skin. Women who previously struggled with blemishes may find that their condition gets much worse. Sometimes, breakouts can even spread to chest and back. This is due to hormonal fluctuations, which cause the skin to produce more sebum. The results can be deep, painful, cystic blemishes that stick around stubbornly. Even worse? Most pregnant women’s skin becomes more sensitive, and therefore more susceptible to irritation. Thus, you cannot treat your acne with just any old skincare regimen without a reactive backlash.

Other facial changes include hyperpigmentation resulting in some areas of the face appearing more tan or sun exposed than others. These are also hormonal changes which occur because the skin produces more melanin during pregnancy. Dark splotches may appear on the nose, cheeks, and forehead. These occurrences are called melasma, and up to fifty percent of pregnant women will develop it. Blood vessels just beneath the skin’s surface may also become more noticeable, as the vessels begin to dilate throughout pregnancy. Dilation occurs since a pregnant woman’s body produces about fifty percent more blood than the average human. This can give the skin a spidery look from the pressure exerted due to the flow of blood, and may also provide the glowing skin that many people make comment about.

The skin on the rest of the body also exhibits a number of changes as well. Stretch marks may appear on the belly as a result of the skin stretching outward to hold the fetus. Statistics show that up to ninety percent of pregnant women will have stretch marks, making it a very common skin condition. They may also appear on the thighs as well, since weight gain is inevitable. As the breasts grow to carry enough milk, they will also form stretch marks. Stretch marks are not the only strange stripes that appear on a pregnant woman’s body. Linea nigra is another formation – the dark line that runs up the center of the growing belly. Everyone has one; however, it becomes more pronounced and obvious during pregnancy.

 

Things to Avoid

As your body changes, so does your skin, and you may find some of the above changes unsightly. Many women will turn to harsh skincare products in an attempt to diminish the appearance of these conditions. Unfortunately, harsh products will only make the condition worse by amplifying its severity and causing more irritation and sensitivity than originally experienced. You must utilize caution when approaching different skincare ingredients during the pregnancy. The last thing you want to do is to make your skin look worse, or to cause a reaction due to increased sensitivity. Remember, some ingredients can soak into your skin, and could absorb into your blood stream. This means that they will directly affect the fetus. Keep an eye out for the following ingredients to insure you are selecting safe skincare products.

 

Synthetic Chemicals

Whether you are pregnant or not, you should probably avoid the following ingredients at all costs regardless. However, this becomes of even higher importance once you start carrying a fetus in your womb, as these ingredients can absorb into the skin and affect the baby’s development from that point on. One such ingredient that may easily absorb into the bloodstream is beta hydroxy acid, also known as salicylic acid. It is commonly used in facial cleansers and toners that target acneic blemishes. So if you are looking at a conventional product for an acne solution, beware of this ingredient. It easily absorbs into the skin and has links to birth defects in children.

The next ingredient to stay away from are retinoids, or synthetic, topical versions of vitamin A. Retinoids are often used to combat both acne and the signs of aging, such as dark spots. It works to renew the layers of skin beneath the epidermis to provide a more youthful look, and to heal acne. However, they may cause harm if absorbed into the skin so that the fetus ingests it – especially when it is used to excess. Vitamin A in its natural form is necessary for a healthy pregnancy. But synthetic retinoids are characteristically dangerous for the average person’s skin in general, let alone for a pregnant woman.

DEA and DHA are also two ingredients that should be avoided whether pregnant or not. Also known as diethanolamine and dihydroxyacetone, these two ingredients are often used in products such as foaming soaps and cleansers. They generally work to keep a proper pH balance for the formula. However, they also have a tendency to illicit allergic reactions and may further your skin’s sensitivity. Additionally, these ingredients are known carcinogens, which means that they may contribute to the formation of cancerous cells and tumors. Learn more about synthetic chemicals to avoid by checking out our blog post ’25 Dangerous Chemicals Commonly Used in Cosmetics.’

 

A Gentler Approach to Some Botanicals

As wonderful as botanically based skincare is, there are some natural ingredients that can aggravate your newly sensitive skin. Recognizing which options cater to your need for gentle care can help you make better informed selections from your favorite face naturals products as well. We receive many questions from clients who either are currently pregnant or are thinking about becoming pregnant. Often, these women have concerns about keeping their skin naturally healthy and clear during the course of their pregnancy.

Due to the increased sensitivity during pregnancy, we recommend using extra gentle options to pamper your delicate skin and keep it glowing!  We generally do not recommend the Anti-Blemish line of products during pregnancy as these can be a bit too strong for our expectant mothers.  Your newly sensitive skin and heightened sense of smell may not tolerate Anti-Blemish products as well as you normally could. We have several options for the expectant mother better suited to her needs during pregnancy. For instance, our Rose Geranium hydrosol helps to balance excess oil production and quickly clear hormonal blemishes.  Plus, it’s free of irritating alcohol and extra essential oils.

Our Support Team is always happy to make individualized recommendations for our expectant and nursing mothers.  Feel free to email your questions and ask for options that cater to your specific needs.

 

Picture Perfect Skincare for Pregnancy

Even though the aforementioned ingredients are the main ones you will want to avoid, your sensitivity to smell may also drive you away from any kind of scented product in general. Thus, you may want to start making selections that have little to no aroma as a means of keeping your nose and skin happy. However, you still want products that will relieve skin problems that commonly occur from pregnancy, such as stretch marks, hormonal acne, and need for moisture. We have several suggestions from our web catalog that could help you maintain that pregnancy glow, rid your skin of imperfections, and keep you and your baby safe from potentially sensitizing, reactive, or even harmful ingredients.

First off, you need facial products that target the hormonal acne that comes as a result of hormone fluctuations during the pregnancy. Opt for the Hibiscus Facial Cleanser to wash your face with, as it contains very little scent, and does not leave behind any aroma once washed off. Plus, it targets the stubborn but sensitive acneic occurrences by nourishing them with amino acids. It has a light astringency that will not cause further irritation, but can decongest pores and cleanse the skin. Follow up with an ultra gentle toner, such as the Helichrysum Hydrosol or Chamomile Hydrosol. The Chamomile Hydrosol works best for drier skin types in need of some extra moisture and anti-inflammatory properties. Helichrysum Hydrosol will help with melasma by breaking up concentrated areas of melanin and brightening the skin, without bleaching or causing further sensitivity. Next, select either the Balance Daily Moisturizer or the Scent-Free Daily Moisturizer. Both of these products offer a light, moisturizing application that does not overpower or leave a thick film. If you have expressed extra sensitivity, then the Scent-Free Daily Moisturizer is the best option as it contains no smell.

As far as body products, you may experience sensitivity to smell with these as well. Thus, selecting unscented options may offer the best means of ensuring effective skincare without any reaction. Plus, since every woman’s pregnancy is different, you never know whether you will experience new sensitivities to essential oils or other scents that you did not have before your pregnancy. Luckily, you have lots of unscented options when you select products from us. Our Simply Smooth Body Cleanser, Oatmeal Honey Silk Bar Soap, and Unscented Bar Soap offer a full-bodied cleanse without essential oils or other aromatic botanical ingredients to cause further sensitivity. Follow up with our Simply Smooth Body Lotion or Unscented Body Butter, both of which are made from intensively hydrating ingredients that do not have any scent to linger and agitate your skin or nose. You can also include the Simply Shine Lip Balm in this collection. To combat the stretch marks that may occur on the belly and breasts, our Bloom Calming Organic Belly Balm makes a wonderful item to soothe and calm itching of the expanding belly, and lighten the appearance of marks.

For further reading on how to treat your hormonal acne, check out our blog post ‘Heal Hormonal Acne to Health,‘ which goes into detail about how hormonal acne occurs and why this product selection provides the best option for treating it. Don’t forget to include face naturals skincare products into your baby’s bathing routine for a safe alternative to most baby products available on the market. Opt for our Simply Smooth body cleanser and body lotion for a scent-free, gentle option that will work well with your baby’s delicate skin. These products will keep your baby’s skin clean, free of irritation, and hydrated just as well as commercial baby products, without the risk of exposure to toxic, sensitizing chemicals. You can also try our Sweet Cheeks Soothing Bottom Balm to keep control of difficult diaper rashes and other forms of sensitivity your infant may express.

 

From our Family to Yours

Make your family a face naturals family today, and join us in our healthy mission to educate about dangerous synthetic chemicals, and provide options for organic, botanical skincare made with individual skin types in mind. You can keep yourself and your children safe from toxins by using the products from our web catalog. Plus, discover a favorite product that works well for everyone, whether it is a body or facial product. Our Try-Me sizes make great gifts, and travel-friendly companions, so you can take a little piece of your friendly face naturals health anywhere you travel to. Keep an eye on our Twitter, Facebook, and GooglePlus for more updates on blog posts and products.

Create an account with us to become a member of the face naturals family today! You can enjoy fun benefits such as Reward Points, coupon codes, sale items, and great customer service. Still not sure where to start with your journey into naturally beautiful skincare? Contact us with information about your skin, what you wish to accomplish, and which of our products interest you. A friendly face naturals customer representative will provide you with some personalized recommendations and possibly even some reading material on how to manage your unique skin type. We cannot wait to help you get started on a healthier lifestyle and more positive journey, and are ready to hear from you today!

 

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