An impending birth is a joy; however, pregnancy is not always a walk in the park, bringing its own special beauty and wellbeing concerns. We asked a team of experts to explain the key issues that can affect expectant mothers, and share their advice to overcome them.
“Pregnant women with darker skin are more prone to chloasma, and it is more likely to develop if it runs in the family. It can be triggered by hormonal changes during pregnancy that stimulate a temporary increase in the body’s production of melanin. I advise patients to protect their skin from the sun and to make an SPF product part of their routine, whether it’s sunny or not. Cover up outside, wear a sun hat and limit time in the sun between 10am and 12pm.”
Dr Sabrina Shah-Desai, Director, Perfect Eyes Ltd
“Stretch marks appear when the skin is being stretched faster than it is able to grow. If the skin is inelastic and less pliable, it creates scars within the dermis as the baby bump continues to grow and stretch the skin. Supple, elastic skin grows in sync with the baby bump and is less likely to have stretch marks.To help prevent their appearance, Science of Skin Stretch Mark Defence (RRP £24.99) is formulated to soothe and hydrate, helping to reduce the early signs of stretching such as dryness and tightness. If stretch marks do appear, Science of Skin Solution for Stretch Marks (RRP £39.99) can help minimise the appearance of stretch marks that are still symptomatic (red, sore and irritable). Our scientific formulation contains highly moisturising active ingredients and a special green tea extract called epigallocatechin gallate, which is scientifically proven to reduce the redness, thickness and appearance of scars.”
Dr Douglas McGeorge, Co-founder, Science of Skin
Palmer’s Stretch Marks range is the trusted range to keep skin beautiful and healthy throughout pregnancy. The formulations combine the benefits of pure cocoa butter, pure shea butter and vitamin E with Bio C-Elaste™, which helps pregnancy skin maintain its natural elasticity and moisture levels, to help reduce the appearance, size and severity of stretch marks. The range comprises Massage Cream for Stretch Marks (RRP £6.99), Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks (RRP £3.99) and Tummy Butter (£4.49). All products are hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, and paraben- and phthalate-free, making them suitable for all mums-to-be.
“Apply Payot Fresh Ultra Performance (RRP £28), a light, relaxing treatment that soothes fatigued, heavy legs, swollen ankles and tired feet. A little tip to try at night is to sit on side of the bed and lift your foot onto your knee, then massage for a minute or two to relieve swelling.”
Marie Therese Burke, National Educator, GA Distribution
“Mothers-to-be are becoming increasingly well informed about their beauty regime,” says Charlotte Vohtz, who founded Green People 20 years ago when her daughter was two. “Even those who don’t follow an organic lifestyle pre-pregnancy seem to make big changes once they discover they are pregnant, seeking out more natural choices.” Recommend the following switches for customers looking for more natural beauty basics:
Moisturiser: Choose coconut oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil or shea butter-based moisturisers, like Green People Vita Min Fix (RRP £17.50) for face or Kind Natured Deeply Nourishing Shea & Macadamia Body Lotion (RRP £5.99) for body
Sunscreen: Opt for a physical sunscreen like Avene High Protection Mineral Cream SPF50+ (RRP £13.50)
Deodorant: Natural options include Weleda Citrus Deodorant (£9.50)
Talc: Neal’s Yard Baby Powder (RRP £5) is talc-free and made with organic maize starch instead – safe for mum and baby
Anti-ageing and exfoliating: Switch from potent retinol-, vitamin,- salicylic acid- and AHA-based formulas to soothing plant-based ingredients like Green People Fruit Scrub (RRP £14)
Gel manicures: Nail polish won’t penetrate the nail, but it could be absorbed through the nail bed, and the UV lamp could damage tissue. Keep nails short and buff to a shine instead
Hair colouring: If the Duchess of Cambridge can take a break from colouring during pregnancy, we all can. Touch up regrowth with Color Wow Root Cover Up (RRP £28.50) – at least for the first trimester.
Giving birth is a major achievement, but then the shock of broken sleep, endless feeding and constant nappy changing sets in – no wonder the first few weeks of motherhood can pass in a blur! However, as Alison Canavan, model and author of Minding Mum says: “As a new mum, it’s important to check in with yourself regularly as your wellbeing is paramount – especially in the early days. ‘Me time’ is something that you must
schedule in, even if it’s just for five to ten minutes a day. Trust me, it’s the most selfless thing you can do!”
“We lose less hair than normal during pregnancy, which is why many women report hair becoming thicker than ever. Normally we lose 50-100 hairs a day – a couple of months after the pregnancy hormone surge, normal loss can drop by up to 75%. After giving birth, the sudden drop in hormones causes the hair that should have fallen out during pregnancy to suddenly enter the resting phase, which is why many women notice a rapid increase in hair lost in the brush and shower approximately two to three months later. If you breastfeed rather than bottle feed, the drop in hormone levels occurs more slowly so post-partum hair loss is more gradual. If your hair doesn’t return to its former state within 12-18 months of birth, it would be wise to investigate possible low iron, and ensure you raise your iron stores to an optimum level.”
Sally-Ann Tarver MIT.FTTS, Consultant Trichologist, The Cotswold Trichology Centre & Theradome GB
Fake awake with this five-minute look from top beauty journalist Grace Timothy of mum-face.com: “Fake fresh, glowy skin with NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser SPF30 (RRP £30) – applied over serum, it kicks butt. Use Collection Speedy Highlighter (RRP £3.99) across the cheekbones and brow bones, along with a shot of peachy pink blusher, and you’ve got that glow; I love MAC Powder Blush in Spellbinder (RRP £18.50). A strong brow looks groomed and is easy to pull off. I brush them up and then back down again with Benefit Gimme Brow (RRP £20). Sleek MakeUP Kohl Eyeliner Pencil in Gold (RRP £1.99) along the waterline will reflect light and sparkle to distract from any redness. I use a black liner like L’Oréal Paris Super Slim Eyeliner Intense Black (RRP £6.99) tight to the lashline on the top lid to add definition,
with loads of L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Lash Mascara (RRP £10.99).”
These staples are saviours for new mums and babies…
Water Wipes Baby Wipes (RRP £2.49): Made with water and grapefruit seed extract.
MOA The Green Balm (RRP £4.99): With yarrow and tea tree, it soothes bumps, bites, bruises, grazes; acts
as a cleanser; and soothes dry skin.
Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream (RRP £20): Beats the drying effect of constant hand washing.
Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm (RRP £12): Cracked nipples are agonising; improving breastfeeding technique can help, as can balms like this.
Deep Freeze Pain Relief Cold Patch and new Deep Freeze Pain Relief Cold Gel provide penetrating cooling therapy for back pain during pregnancy and beyond. As many as 98% of women will suffer from muscular back pain at some point during pregnancy1, according to research carried out on behalf of Deep Freeze, and new mums may also find that lifting and carrying their new baby takes its toll on their back muscles. Cold therapy works in two ways: it activates receptors in the skin, which send signals to the brain that dilute the pain, and it also causes the blood vessels to constrict, helping to limit inflammation. Deep Freeze Pain Relief Cold Patch (RRP from £1.65) gives fast-acting, lasting relief from muscular back pain, while Deep Freeze Pain Relief Cold Gel (RRP from £2.49) offers drug-free, fast-acting, soothing pain relief plus cold therapy, giving targeted relief at the site of pain. It can be used during pregnancy for muscular back pain.
1. One Poll March, 2013
Caring for your bundle of joy is made easier with a few simple steps and some chemical-light products.
“There’s no ‘one size fits all’ advice as to what age to start bathing your baby. Parents decide to start bathing when they feel their baby is ready and upon the advice of their midwife. Every baby is different and some
parents bathe their child within days of being born, while others wait a few months. We advise parents to use our products when they are comfortable and feel they need to add a product into the bathing routine. We are a natural brand formulated without ‘nasties’, irritants or synthetic fragrances. The Bloom and Blossom Baby Sleep Bedtime Wash (RRP £9.50) and Milk (RRP £12) are 99% naturally-derived and gentle on a baby’s skin.”
Julia Yule, Founder, Bloom and Blossom
A few baby bag essentials can solve common newborn issues, helping babies feel more comfortable:
Nappy rash: A chafing nappy in contact with urine and possibly yeast or germs can combine to create a painful red rash. A barrier cream spray like Boots Baby Nappy Rash Spray (RRP £2.99) means there is no need to rub sensitive areas
Massage me: Babies love the special bond of a massage from mama. Childs Farm Baby Massage Oil (RRP £7.99) is made with organic coconut oil
Cradle Cap: Babies may retain some of their mother’s hormones for several weeks after birth, which may make their glands produce more sebum, resulting in a scaly scalp. It can be treated with oil and a Kostkamm Wooden Baby Comb (RRP £11.59), which gently loosens flakes. If it’s inflamed or has spread to other parts of the body, like skin folds or the bottom, a visit to the GP is advised
Gunky eyes: Usually the result of a blocked tear duct, any discharge can be wiped away with a damp cotton ball
Mini mani: Those teeny nails can be soft but sharp. When baby is sleeping, trim with baby nail clippers or blunt scissors – or nibble them off!