The Skin Woes Of Mothers & How To Combat Them

May 9, 2017

Bringing children into the world is a beautiful thing that can wreck havoc on your skin

Oh, how I love this month! The sun is shining, the weather is warmer, and the most celebrated day for Mothers is approaching.  And you know what…you deserve to shine!  Although you may be ready for some much needed pampering and relaxation, your skin may not be on the same “I am special” page as you.  Whether it be discoloration or darkening of your skin, oiliness or excessive dryness, or (ugh) acne, here are a few recommendations on how to combat motherhood skin troubles that I have found to be very effective over the years.

Mask Of Pregnancy

What it is

Also referred to as melasma and chloasma, this is when dark splotchy spots to appear on your face, most commonly on your forehead and cheeks as a result of increased pigmentation.

When you become pregnant your body produces more hormones ( testosterone, progesterone, cortisol), which causes an increase in pigmentation.  Nearly 50% of pregnant women show some signs of the “mask of pregnancy”.

What you can do

To help minimize the look of your “mask of pregnancy”, here is my no-fuss, super simple 3 step philosophy along with a few tips and tricks to keep your skin looking and feeling its best.  

First, start a skincare routine that includes a cleanser with stimulating, nourishing, and healing ingredients to provide a realm of benefits for your complexion.  Stimulating ingredients include Eucalyptus, Menthol, Spearmint, Peppermint, Rosemary to name a few. While nourishing ingredients include shea butter, mango butter, avocado butter, and healing ingredients might be Aloe, Chamomile, and herbal extracts and oils.  My all-time favorite cleanser and client favorite is Kasnoff’s Stimulating Cleansing Paste which offers a soufflé-like pop of minty freshness on the skin (and sense!).

Nighttime is when your body is regenerating cells, so it is important to do a proper cleansing, no matter how tired you are.  I realize new mothers have little time for yourself (I’ve been there!), but take the 5-10 minutes for yourself, and I promise you will look and feel better for yourself and everyone around you.  

I like to use a clean washcloth that acts as a physical “exfoliant” to make sure I remove every part of “the day” from my skin.  Dead skin cells, dirt and oil, will tend to build up on the pigmented areas of skin and make it look darker.  A light exfoliation with the wash cloth will polish away sunscreen, makeup (if you got it on), and let’s face it, baby gook.  And if you really want to go crazy, leave your cleanser on for 1 minute and let the ingredients really do their job.  

Now, it’s time for some Nourishment.  During the time you are nursing, you will most definitely want to avoid traditional lightening ingredients such as Kojic acid, Hydroquinone, Retinols and Retin-A.  Look for natural brightening ingredients such as Cucumber and Liquorice extract, and antioxidants like Vitamins A (not to be confused with retinoids), C & E to help prevent oxidation of the skin by environmental pollutants (i.e. free radicals).  

Think of it like putting lemon juice on an apple to keep it from darkening when exposed to the air; the same thing happens to the skin cells when exposed to environmental aggressors.  

If you already suffering from pigmentation disorders, antioxidants and natural lighteners are imperative to maintaining a healthy complexion.  My favorite way to naturally brighten and hydrate the complexion is Kasnoff’s Brightening Night Cream.  It contains jojoba, avocado, and shea butter in addition to Liquorice Arnica, Salomon’s Seal, Cypress Nut and Malt Extracts to inhibit blotchiness and promote micro-circulation.

Finally, SPF is very important rain or shine, inside or out.  You are vulnerable to UV damage even if you are near a window such as  driving or under fluorescent lights (!), so put that sunscreen on every day. Honestly, the easiest way is to simply use a moisturizer in the morning containing SPF. Kasnoff Skincare offers 3 SPF Moisturizers for whatever skin area you wish to focus on. 

95% of Kasnoff Cosmetic foundations, primers, and tints contain SPF for a reason. No matter how little or how much makeup you wish to wear, every layer should offer protection from sun damage.

Pregnancy Glow

What it is

When you are pregnant, your body produces 50% more blood, resulting in more blood circulation through your body.  This increase in blood circulation causes your face to be brighter and give you that “glow”, but it can also cause oil glands to work in overdrive, leaving your face shiny.

What you can do

Cleanse twice every night; this simple step does wonders for the skin! Hence the reason this has been my #1 recommendation for the past twenty years for every single person I have ever treated. During the day, wear oil-free formulas that won’t clog or adversely affect glands and for areas that are of particular concern (think T zone), simply blot with a tissue to remove excess shine.  

Pimple Breakouts & Acne

What it is

Unfortunately, if you already have a problem with acne, your acne may become more irritated during pregnancy (some have had the pleasure of acne clearing up so if you are one of them, hooray!).  Due to the extra hormones pulsing through your body telling every and any part to “do more!”, your oil glands will start to -you guessed it- secrete more oil.

What you can do

Keep a strict cleansing routine (two times at night, remember?)! Since you skin is changing, it is good to analyze if your current or post-pregnancy cleanser still works for you.  Talk with a skincare specialist (I am always here for a free consultation), or pick up a simple over-the-counter face soap you think matches your skin’s current needs. Just remember, you are more sensitive to smells now so use a fragrance free soap to avoid nausea. Cleanse your face every night and morning (essentially every 12 hours) but no more, since over washing can cause skin to become dry.

If you like a toner, use a natural astringent (witch hazel or a mild blend of tea tree oil and water are my favorites) to remove any remaining oil. Stay away from any acne medicated astringents (think glycolic and salicylic acid); they may contain acne medicine that is not recommended for pregnant women. Wait…does this mean chemical peels are a no-go during pregnancy? Yes, I am afraid so, ladies!

As always, maintain a facial regimen (but do realize you may need to increase or decrease your appointments depending on your skin’s changes). I recommend Diamond Peel Microdermabrasion to all soon-to-be and new moms as it safely and painlessly removes dead cells and debris while increasing circulation and lymphatic drainage and thus, reducing inflammation in overactive skin.

This thing called parenthood is a bumpy ride.  But no matter what skin woes we encounter along the way, it is SO worth it…right?

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!

Until next time ~

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