Pregnancy glow, pregnancy mask, acne clears up, acne gets worse. If you are pregnant and confused don’t worry as like everything in life because we are all individuals our experience of both being pregnant and how our skin reacts is different for everyone. As far as what products you are actually allowed to use don’t worry as the truth is there are many high quality products on the market that can be safely used by women during pregnancy.
It does always amaze me though how I went from a hard partying drinker and smoker to a pregnant lady who refused to even put nailpolish on and checked every ingredient on skincare packaging because I felt completely responsible for my unborn child, and we are, but are we not completely responsible for ourselves outside of pregnancy too? Most of my friends are at the in between baby stage. This means they are thinking of having another one or waiting for little Johnny to get a bit older and try again so in my opinion its no harm during this time to look at the whole picture and think about the products you are using and indeed the food you are eating.
As our skin is highly absorbent and also our largest organ, we all need to think a little more carefully about the products we are using. The average woman absorbs over 2 kilograms of potentially toxic ingredients through her skin each year. This is why it’s so important to cut through the media myths and understand the truth behind safe skincare especially during pregnancy and use products of high quality that work.
You should avoid products containing salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or any of the retinoids when you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant. If necessary, try sulfur-based products to treat acne. Skincare products containing glycolic acid or alpha hydroxy acids are also safer options.
I recently returned from Paris where I was visiting Yonka skin care and met with director Catherine Muhlethaler. Yonka is a family run business that was started by her father in 1954. The passion behind the brand is extraordinary and if you have ever been into a Yonka spa you will recognize the incredibly beautiful aroma that is so unique to their products so I was interested to see if aromatic and essential oils are indeed safe during pregnancy?
Essential oils are extremely powerful herbal concentrates that have been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. These oils must be treated with respect but according to Catherine it’s the concentration of the oil that’s important. For example sage is considered dangerous during pregnancy but the concentration they use is so low that it is safe. Look for concentrations (less than 0.3%) of essential oils in skin care products on the face only or in rinse-off products such as shampoos and cleansers. It is suggested you avoid using essential oils on large areas of the body (over 10% of the body surface) during pregnancy and never apply essential oils undiluted directly on the skin.
Your skin will change throughout your pregnancy and you should change your products to suit the changes happening. The old saying prevention is better than cure really is true and because your skin is stretching so quickly sometimes you will need to moisturise a few times a day depending on how fast your bump is growing.
For preventing stretch marks,
Yon-Ka Huile Corps €50.00 is incredible. This triple action oil containing vitamin E allows the skin to stretch without marking. Huile Corps can be used every day until your trip to the hospital. The oil can be applied to damp skin or mixed with
Yon-Ka Lait Corps, €38.50 for a more luxurious feeling on the skin.
Because of the hormonal changes during pregnancy Catherine says you must be aware of the vitality of your skin so if your skin becomes dull and sad you must find the right ingredients to help it.
I use the The Yon-Ka Vital Defense (€47.50) its an amazing product and safe to use during pregnancy and is also the perfect environmental shield. It is specially formulated to combat damaging environmental factors that cause oxidative stress (pollution, smoking, and exposure to UV rays and climate variations). These are often factors we can’t control but they are important to think about. The vital defense is an intensely hydrating, luscious cream, which combines high-performance plant extracts that help the skin to preserve its youthfulness, so perfect for our cold winter months also.
The famous ‘pregnancy glow’ we hear so much about is caused by increased blood circulation throughout the body during pregnancy. When you are pregnant your body produces 50% more blood and this increase in causes your face to be brighter. Your body is also producing a fair amount of hormones that cause your oil glands to work in over drive, leaving your face shiny. Many women are more sensitive to skin irritation during pregnancy so it is wise to avoid ingredients that may be potentially irritation or drying such as alcohol based products and highly perfumed products.
I also suffered adult acne both before and during the second trimester of pregnancy and I found Image skincare products really helped. I had treatments with Laura murphy in Advanced laser light clinic www.advancedlaserlight.com using Image products and three of my favourite that are safe to use are:
The Hydrating Enzyme Mask – €38.00 which gently exfoliates the buildup of dull, dry skin. Nourishing Vitamins A, C, and E promote healthier, more radiant youthful skin and is paraben free.
The Iluma Intense Lightening Serum €45.00 is a lightweight, oil-free serum that treats skin discolorations and redness. Its a blend of botanical lighteners, vitamin C and grape seed extract gently reduces inflammation promoting a clear, fresh-looking complexion. It’s also paraben and 100% Hydroquinone free.
And finally their Prevention+ Daily Hydrating Moisturiser SPF 30 - €41.00 is a long-lasting, deep moisturizer for dry/dehydrated and sensitive/rosacea prone skin combined with a broad-spectrum high UVA/UVB sun protection. The sheer formula spreads easily and evenly without any residue. Enriched with a blend of anti-oxidants, vitamins and green tea as an anti-inflammatory.
After putting all this work into your skin during pregnancy it’s important not to neglect it once the baby is born and very often mums will need a healing cream and this is where Yon-Ka Crème 11 €39.50 is perfect. It’s a two in one soothing crème that evens the skin tone and quickly provides a comforting sensation of well-being.
For new moms that have some marking Yon-ka has two very powerful products that help to heal and repair the skin- PHYTO 152 €65.50 and GALBOL 190 €50.00. Both are excellent in stretch mark and scar reduction. Remarkable results can be seen with both products when mixed together.
PHYTO 152 is formulated with essential oils and rosemary, which is great for healing and firming the skin. I used it around the bust area especially after breast-feeding to help prevent sagging and it helped that its smells divine.
GALBOL 190 has 20 plant extracts that reinforce firming action and for ladies holding any fluid retention, Yon-Ka Creme 55, €50.00 is a fluid fighter which has climbing ivy a natural diuretic that helps to flush out excess fluid.
Finally for all the pregnant ladies out there, I have a brand new discovery literally just launched this week!!
It is a collection of luxury Body Butter Candles, designed by Marie Reynolds and Stephanie Collins to be used as a body oil when melted. They have created one called Purity, perfect for use during pregnancy (www.marstespa.com) €27.00 per 75g trinket candle. Each candle is a blend of Cosmetic Soy Wax, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Moroccan Argan Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil and Essential Oil blends. All ingredients have been chosen for their skin nourishing and healing properties for the mind, body and soul. To use simply light the candle 15 minutes prior to use, when a melt pool of the natural butters and oils have formed, extinguish the flame, leave for 30 seconds and apply the warmed oils to the skin. The Candles are 100% natural, with no parabens, sulphates or mineral oils and are in no way tested on animals. They are Deeply hydrating with vitamins A, B, E & F, are great for scar tissue and stretch marks, are Anti-inflammatory properties and have antioxidant properties.