How to deal with postpartum skin or acne
While there are many things women expect during or after pregnancy, significant changes in their skin isn’t always one. Though, it happens. Boy, does it happen. And it’s not always such a welcomed change, particularly if you’ve just experienced nine months of serious baby glow.
Postpartum skin changes are due to shifts that happen with your hormones, and can last for up to a year before your skin starts feeling like its normal self again. After giving birth, you experience a dramatic drop in hormones like estrogen, and in turn this can lead to an array of (unwanted!) skin concerns like dryness, acne, red patches and a whole host of other not-so-fun skin dramas. To demystify what postpartum skin may bring on, we’re giving you the rundown on what you can expect when you’re not expecting anymore. Buckle up!
Dehydrated, lucklustre, flaky skin? (Thanks, baby.) After months of serious baby glow, it often happens that postpartum skin goes in the other direction. If you’re a new mum who is breastfeeding, your body is delivering as many nutrients to your baby as possible, and in turn, little is left for you and your skin. This is where the dryness begins, a sign that your body is experiencing some nutrient loss.
What to do: Be gentle when it comes to cleansing, and refrain from using harsh soaps or cleansers on the skin so as to avoid stripping the skin and exacerbating dryness. Also, incorporate products into your skincare routine that have particularly nourishing and hydrating ingredients, like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide which will help to get your glow back.
You walk into pregnancy with normal, well-behaved skin and you walk out with irritated, reactive skin. Sound familiar? With hormones running high, the skin can become sensitive and prone to flare-ups, resulting in an itchy, red, patchy appearance. The unavoidable lack of sleep sadly doesn't help, either, and this combination of factors can mean your skin becomes out of balance. When this happens, you need to tread with caution when it comes to your skincare and keeping inflamed skin at bay.
What to do: It’s all about calming things down and keeping your skin nourished during this time. Building your skin’s oil and water levels back up again is key to helping it become stronger and healthier, which in turn can have a flow on effect to other skin concerns you may be dealing with. Opt for ingredients like manuka honey and green tea which are particularly calming, in addition to a nourishing, gentle moisturiser in your routine. Also, steer clear of anything too active!
We know that after giving birth your hormones produce significantly less estrogen and progesterone, and this in turn can manifest into breakouts, blemishes and acne. Not so delightful, we know. The fluctuation in your hormones can lead to increased sebum production and clogged pores, so it’s normal to expect a few postpartum spots popping up – though this doesn’t make them less annoying.
What to do: Consider incorporating gentle actives like lactic acid, or other ingredients that work to exfoliate dead skin and unclog pores into your routine. A spot treatment can also work wonders, targeting particular areas of concern. Our Honey Shots Clearing Gel is a great option that’s pregnancy and breastfeeding safe, so you can banish those breakouts without further irritating the skin.
Another unfriendly postpartum skin concern may be pigmentation, which are dark spots that pop up around the face – particularly the cheeks, lips and forehead. This can be caused again, by the fluctuating hormone levels that control the enzyme process in the skin (which is what activates pigmentation). The bad news is this can commonly result in melasma and dark patches. The good news is, it will start to fade (though it may take some time!).
What to do: Aside from the waiting game, gentle actives (lactic acid, salicylic acid or other gentle exfoliants) can help to reduce the appearance of pigmentation. These ingredients help to very gently exfoliate the skin by removing dead skin cells and supporting the cell turnover process, which should aid in treating pigmentation so you can be on your way to brighter, glowier skin again.