Love the skin you’re in
I have never been one for routine. Whether it is taking daily vitamins, or a full skincare routine, prior to pregnancy I did the absolute minimum when it came to beauty routine – not something to be proud of.
Falling pregnant makes you take stock a bit – of yourself, general health and wellbeing, and also allowing yourself to start getting into the mindset of thinking about caring for the little person you’re growing inside.
That said, When I feel pregnant, I started paying a lot more attention to my skin and my body. Each of us know our body best. I have areas of concern, but also conditions like pigmentation that commonly occur with people of my ethnicity that I was very conscious of. Based on my family and the women in it, I had a fair idea of where I may be more prone to weight gain, and knew that like anything in life being proactive is always better than reactive.
I started with making a mental note of potential concerns.
2. Weight gain and retention particularly around the tummy, hips, buttocks
3. Stretch marks
4. Loss of muscle tone
The combat plan.
I split my routine into day and night as I’m sure many of you do, as your needs change depending on the time of day.
1. My fab friend, who also happens to be an amazing makeup artist – Angelique Turner – is always on my case about hydration. Granted, I am a very bad water drinker, but I figured building any program for a better overall wellbeing would start with that. After all, you’re unlikely to have a preggo glow if you’re a dried-out prune inside.
2. I’m an outdoor ‘kinda gal’ but loving the sun and spending loads of time working and running around in it is pretty brutal on the skin – particularly my face. I noticed quite early on in my pregnancy that I was getting light shade changes on my cheeks, and knowing that pigmentation is not only genetic but a common symptom of pregnancy, I did panic and went into immediate overdrive on sun protiection. This is probably something I should have been doing all along! So, at any time of day, I have a good layer of sun protection on, even if not all over my body, it was definitely on my face. My foundation from MAC contains a mild SPF of 15, so at night I don’t worry as much.
3. Stretch marks – The two words associated with pregnancy I feared the most! Again, there are a million different products and suggestions on how to prevent, manage, and treat stretch marks and many cannot be proven 100%. I read up about a lot of it, and spoke to my gynae about her recommendations. Coming back to my skin color, olive toned skin does stretch and scar quite easily, and I couldn’t tell you at this stage if my methods are successful yet or not, but my skin feels really good and I don’t see any visible signs of stretching.
Scratching growing skin can leave scars too – I go through preiods of being very itchy around the tummy and have been warned not to scratch, but simply to apply another layer of any of the products I’ve been using. I’ve done this, and it does bring relief from the itch immediately.
- Bio Oil on the belly, breasts, sides (between armpits and thighs), buttocks, hips and upper thigh
- Palmers Cocoa Butter Stretch Mark cream everywhere else on the body (not face)
- I allow the oil to dry before putting on clothes and even in the Dubai heat so far I’ve not had a problem with the consistency of the oil. If you do find it too thick – you could apply the Palmers cream all over.
- I wash twice a day with Dermalogica Clearing Skin Wash. Some people have said it’s very active for long term use, however, Andrew and I use it and we find it suits our skin and the multi-climate travels we do very well. As with anything – it’s best to check with a specialist first.
- Once clean and dry, I spray on rosewater from a spritzer – this can be done at any time of the day and is really refreshing. There are so many on the market and most brands are perfectly fine with such a simple product
- I then apply my sunscreen, which is the Dermalogica brand but anything with a SPF of 50 and above is good I’d say. Often I mix my Dermalogica sunscreen with my moisturizer – the Chanel Hydra Beauty Gel Crème. I cannot handle heavy or greasy moisturizers, and find this one from Chanel light yet hydrating.
Be good to your skin. It is going to represent you for a very long time – Linden Taylor.
- I switch the Bio Oil with pure Almond oil and cover the same areas (basically everything between the breast and the thighs). Almond oil is sold at most pharmacies and is super cheap. I don’t use it during the day as it is a fair bit thicker than Bio Oil and does take a little bit longer to soak in.
- Bio Oil takes over from The Palmers Stretch Mark Cream after dark and I use it on my arms and legs. From cats, laser hair removal burns and generally being quite active I have a few scratches and marks that can’t be oil treated during the day. This is where the Bio Oil helps to work its magic at night.
- I follow the same wash and spritz routine as I do in the morning, followed by the Kiehl’s Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate, then a drop or two of the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I sometimes may leave out the Midnight Recovery if I’m feeling too oily from that day, but you could just reduce the drop size and pat a touch of it on.
My nightly go to products
Other body products I love:
1. Lucas’ Paw Paw Ointment – After discovering this Australian secret weapon my life has changed (dramatic, but true). This ointment works for everything from dry lips to insect bites, injuries, burns and more. Everyone should have a tube!
2. Great bath salts/fizz balls – Lush does wonderful smelling bath bombs which are so much fun and smell amazing for soaks in the tub.
4. Good sunscreen and/or tanning oil – I do like the Nivea tanning oil range
5. Dry brush – Particularly during pregnancy, dry brushing is so important to fight back against orange peel. My friend and pilates instructor, Amba, got me a neat and handy one and all you need to do is use it (dry) as soon as you get into the shower – making small, firm circles all over to promote circulation.
Dry brush in circular motions and do gentle body exfoliation every fortnight
I loved receiving messages from so many of you requesting this skincare piece. If there is anything else you’d like to know about pregnancy, preparation or anything lifestyle related to reach out on email, Instagram or via comments – I do love reading all your notes.
Take care of your skin, and if you’re pregnant, then your baby bump too!
I’m into my last 10 weeks and just getting so excited to meet our little man.