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Pregnancy is a unique experience for each woman. Some say they never felt better! Whereas others strongly disagree, suffering from morning sickness, fatigue and mood swings. Regardless of your physical and/or emotional state during pregnancy, it is a good idea to care for and pamper yourself as you prepare for your ‘bundle of joy’ to arrive. This includes skin care, which begs the question, ‘what skin care products can you use when pregnant’?
What natural skin care products can you use during pregnancy? The answer to this question is a simple one – natural products, free of chemicals or synthetics. With natural products, there is less risk of irritation or potential toxic side effects, both to expectant mothers and their unborn babies. Natural products are not only safer for the user but for the environment as well.
Let’s explore in more detail why natural skin care is the way to go for expectant mothers. We will also discuss the best products to use during pregnancy as well as some skin care tips that really work. So, if you are ready to learn how to get healthy, glowing skin naturally, then let’s get started!
The Importance of Natural Skin Care
Natural skin care is gaining popularity at rapid rate. The growing interest in organic products is at an all-time high. Studies have shown that over eight hundred toxic ingredients have been found in skin care products, with seven hundred related to acute toxic reactions and three hundred linked to developmental abnormalities! This statistic alone is why you should use only natural products during pregnancy.
The Best Natural Skin Care Products
- Aloe Vera. This is a wonder product! Good for anything from skin irritation to sunburn relief, it is also a great moisturizer and often used to treat acne, which can flare-up during pregnancy. It contains antioxidants (such as Vitamin A and C) and enzymes that are highly beneficial to skin health.
- Almond oil. This oil is great for moisturizing dry skin. It is rich in Vitamin A and E, which not only keep skin cells nourished but also protect against UV damage. Pregnant women can apply it to their stomachs to minimize stretch marks.
- Coconut oil. A personal favorite! This delightful oil works wonders, not only on the skin but in the hair as well. Rich in micronutrients, it can be applied to all skin areas, including the face and lips, to soften and smooth. Another great solution for stretch marks during or after pregnancy.
- Olive oil. This oil prevents oxidation. It stops free radicals, which damage skin cells and contribute to skin cancer, in its tracks! Try applying it to the skin after sun exposure. Rich in Vitamin E and polyphenols, it is another great choice for preventing and/or reducing stretch marks on pregnant women.
- Shea Butter. This creamy delight is rich in fatty acids and vitamins, which make it an excellent natural skin moisturizer. It also has anti-inflammatory and healing properties that improve skin health and condition. It is safe for pregnant women to use on the body or the face.
Beauty Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy
There are specific ingredients in skin care products that can contain harmful toxic chemicals. The ones to avoid using when pregnant include:
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Butyl paraben
- Methyl paraben
- Phenols (Study shows that exposure to Phenols and especially Parabens during pregnancy may disrupt the growth of male infants during fetal growth and the first years of life.)
- Diethanolamine (DEA)
- Monoethanolamine (MEA)
- Triethanolamine (TEA)
- Artificial Coloring
- Polyethylene Glycol
- Butylene Glycol
- Sodium laurel sulfate
- Sodium laureth sulfate
- Triclosan (found in anti-bacterial products) The American Chemistry Society has reported that pregnant woman and fetuses face potential health risks.
- Mineral oil
The above products are often found in facial skin care products, such as cleansers, toners and moisturizers. They tend to strip the skin of natural oils while alkalinizing its PH level. As a result, skin is left exposed to free radicals (essentially chemicals) and is often dry, tight, wrinkled and irritated.
Just as a side note, be aware of any skin care products that may include ‘Ethoxylation’. This is not an ingredient but rather a process. It can be added to soaps or cleansers and research has shown that it is highly carcinogenic. This has potential cancer-causing effects and should be avoided at all cost by pregnant women.
Why Natural Skin Care Products are better?
Natural skin care products are not only better for you (and your unborn child) but they are also safer for the environment. With a little research and smart shopping, you can find skin care products that maintain both a healthy body and a healthy planet! Be sure to check the label for the following:
- Free of preservatives
- Free of chemicals
- Free of irritants
- Free of dyes
- Free of perfumes
- Non-allergenic or hypo-allergenic
- Formulated using all-natural and/or organic ingredients
- Free of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s)
- Not tested on animals
The Best Skin Care Routine when You are Pregnant
As an expectant mom, you can have healthy, glowing skin without the pricey cosmetic brands that are often advertised in magazines or on television. For a complete skin care regime, try the following:
Cleanse (Step One)
It is important not to strip the natural, protective oils in the skin when cleansing. Look for natural soaps or facial washes that are free of dyes, parabens and fragrances. There are a number to choose from on the market today, however, organic coconut oil on its own is a wonderful skin cleanser for pregnant women.
Exfoliate (Step Two)
Exfoliating the skin removes dead surface cells and allows oxygen and nourishing ingredients to penetrate dermal layers. It is likely you already have the necessary facial scrub ingredients on-hand in your kitchen! Simply mix some white sugar, mashed strawberries and olive oil together forming a paste and apply to wet skin in a circular motion. Be sure to rinse thoroughly with warm water.
Tone (Step Three)
Toners are great for deep-cleaning and remove excess oil from the skin. They also unclog the pores and make it easier for moisturizers to absorb deep-down. For an effective and safe toner try mixing four parts water with one part apple cider vinegar. Apply to the skin with a cotton ball and proceed with a moisturizer.
Moisturize (Step Four)
Moisturizing the skin is essential to keeping it soft, smooth and healthy-looking. Natural oils such as almond, coconut and olive are a great, natural alternative to high-priced cosmetic brands. Look for creams containing these oils (that organic and/or vegan) or simply apply the oil on its own.
How important is Health to Skin Care
On a related topic, healthy skin comes from within. And pregnant women especially should be focussed on nourishing their bodies. Foods rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, biotin (Vitamin B7) and Vitamins A, C, E and K will support healthy tissue regeneration and make skin glow with vitality and health!
Foods to incorporate into your daily diet when pregnant (that will naturally sustain skin health) include whole grains, fruits like grapefruit, apples and berries and vegetables such as spinach, kale and avocado. These will help ensure the wellness of your body, both inside and out!
Natural Beauty Tips for Pregnant Women
There are some simple tips and tricks to looking and feeling good during pregnancy. And believe me, they work! Start by indulging in the most natural element possible. It is the true secret to healthy, beautiful skin – water! Drinking lots of water when pregnant not only helps alleviate morning sickness, heartburn and indigestion, but it also works wonders for the skin.
Drinking at least eight cups of water per day will rid both the body and the skin of toxins. This will make your skin positively glow! Lack of hydration makes the skin dry, tight and flaky, which makes it more prone to lines and wrinkles. So moms-to-be, drink as much water as you can, both for your skin and your overall health!
Other skin care tips that work during pregnancy include using a good sunscreen, as hormonal changes lead to increased sun-sensitivity. Just be sure to use ones without dyes or perfumes and preferably containing zinc oxide. As well, try applying aloe vera to the face for blemishes. Once again, hormones can cause acne to flare-up and due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, aloe vera is a great topical solution.
In conclusion, pregnant women need to be aware of the skin care products they use in order to avoid a potentially toxic reaction, which could affect their health and possibly the health of their unborn child. With the growing awareness of natural products and their benefits (to both the individual using them and the environment), expectant mothers need not sacrifice beauty for global responsibility.
Natural skin care products are safe, affordable and easily available at most local health food stores. And, best of all, they work wonderfully well! So go ahead ladies, pamper yourselves with some natural skin care products today…you definitely deserve it!