When you're pregnant, you seem to emanate a radiant glow. But even the loveliest complexion can use a little extra pampering -- especially during the summer months. Between the sun, chlorine, sweat, and your fluctuating hormones, your skin can begin to look less than radiant if you don't treat it with care. Try these tips for healthy, soft, and clean skin -- and let your pregnancy glow shine through!
1. Cleanse: Clean skin is beautiful skin. It's important to keep your skin cleansed of sweat, dirt, and oil to prevent clogged pores and a dull appearance. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser every morning and night, followed by a quick sweep with toner on a cotton pad. Also, wash your face after activities such as exercising, cleaning the house, gardening, or any other dirty or physically exerting activity, or one that requires the use of sunscreen.
2. Exfoliate: Does your skin seem dull? It could be the buildup of dead skin cells, sunscreen, makeup, or oils. Exfoliation, which is done with a mild scrub or by using a cream containing fruit acids, is a good way to get that glow back to the surface by revealing the fresh, new skin underneath. If you choose a scrub, try not to scrub too hard or your skin will look ruddy. Gentle pressure is all you need to help the scrubbing granules in an exfoliant do their work. If you use a fruit-acid cream or gel, don't overdo it. Follow the product instructions to prevent skin irritation.
3. Refresh: If you don't have time to wash your face, or just want to get rid of that "tired" look, use an astringent to refresh and clean your skin. Try witch hazel on a cotton pad. Or fill a spray bottle with one part alcohol to six parts water, and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Close your eyes and lightly spritz your face. You'll feel invigorated and your face will show it!
4. Moisturize: Keeping your skin moisturized is very important. Even if your skin is oilier than usual because of the summer heat and pregnancy hormones, you should use an oil-free moisturizer to replace the moisture that's stripped when you cleanse your face. Also, you'll need a moisturizer to even out your skin tone if you have "combination skin" -- skin that's oily in some parts and drier in others. Apply moisturizer to your face after each cleansing. Look for products that are hypoallergenic, because many skin types become very sensitive with the changes of pregnancy.
5. Protect: One of the most critical thing you can do to keep your skin healthy, younger looking, and evenly toned is to wear sunscreen every day. This is especially true when you're pregnant because your skin might be more sensitive and prone to burning. If you tend to have breakouts or skin irritations, look for oil-free or extra-gentle sunscreens especially formulated for facial skin.
6. Soothe: If you've overdone your exposure to the sun, soothe your skin with aloe vera gel or cocoa butter cream. These ingredients coat the skin with soothing moisture and are very gentle. Opt for fragrance-free formulations to minimize the possibility of further skin irritation.
7. Enhance: Just because you're minimizing sun exposure doesn't mean you can't get that sun-kissed look. Enhance your pregnancy glow with a shimmery bronzer -- a sheer cream or gel that's used like a foundation and easily washed off. Use a tester to select a shade that's just a bit darker than your natural skin tone. After evenly applying a light layer of bronzer, lightly dust some rosy blush on the apples of your cheeks, and you'll look like you've been having fun in the sun!
8. Powder: Glow looks great, but grease doesn't! With the mercury rising, you're bound to sweat. If you have oily skin then you might be prone to more breakouts. Keep a translucent pressed powder compact on hand, and blot your skin frequently with a powder puff or tissue tipped in powder to absorb extra sweat and oil. You'll look fresh and it'll help keep breakouts under control.
9. Nourish: The stress of summer and pregnancy can do a real number on your skin. But you can fight back by nourishing your skin with a relaxing facial mask. Buy a botanical mask for normal skin, a mud mask for oily skin, or an avocado mask for dry skin. Or for all skin types, here's an easy mask you can make at home: Simply mix 1/2 cup of oatmeal with warm water and a tablespoon of honey. Apply liberally to your face, avoiding the eye area. Sit back and relax for 10 minutes and rinse well. Your skin will feel soft and fresh!
10. Pamper: Your skin will feel and look fantastic if you make it a point to pamper it once a week. Give yourself a home spa treatment by gently cleansing your face, then steaming it over a bowl of hot water with lavender and rose leaves or your favorite fragrant tea, for five minutes (just use a towel draped over the back of your head while leaning over the bowl to trap the steam from the hot water). Next, splash with cold water and apply some toner and moisturizer. Your pores will be deep-down clean, and you'll look and feel relaxed!
The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.