It was a pleasure to chat to Inlight Beauty recently after trialling their beautiful Skincare Essential Set. Here are my answers to some frequently asked questions about pregnancy skincare:
1) Your skin can become more sensitive and dry during pregnancy – can a regular skincare routine help with this?
There are many skin changes during pregnancy but the most common are additional pigmentation, dryness and stretch marks. There are no clinical guidelines for a pregnancy skincare routine, but anecdotally I think it makes a difference to the skin's appearance and also how you feel. Taking time every day to yourself is very important at any time in life, but especially during pregnancy and the postnatal period. Many mums attend to everyone else before themselves, but you can only be the best version of you when you spend time on you! So however you choose to do this make sure you do take time out. You deserve to feel good in your own skin.
2) In your opinion, is it important to try and choose natural and organic products during this precious time?
I always tell expectant mums to be mindful of what they are putting into their body during pregnancy – and I don’t just mean food and drink here. You need to protect yourself as much as possible from things like stress and chemical exposure. I tell mums-to-be to try and draw an imaginary sacred circle around themselves, and to cut down on the things – or even sometimes people – that do not support their wellbeing. It’s also a good idea to opt for truly natural and organic products to reduce exposure to harsh chemicals, pesticides and herbicides. This may not be affordable to all women but, where possible, opt for organic.
3) Does massaging the bump/body help to bond pre-birth?
Yes! Massaging and talking to your baby is great for bonding. Studies show it enhances fetal brain development too. Chat and stroke away!
4) Stretch marks are common when your body is making space for your baby; in your opinion should mums use products to help their skin elasticity?
Stretch marks are normal for most women that have had babies. The problem is that we have all been sold the wrong idea of what is 'normal', and then feel self conscious when we get things like stretch marks or cellulite. Looking after your skin and using the right products on your stretch marks (should they appear) can help improve the elasticity of the skin. Good hydration can also help with this.
5) Water retention is common during pregnancy, especially in the last months – is massage advised to help combat this? What kind?
Yes! Massage is great during pregnancy and it can really help with swollen ankles and feet as well as pregnancy skincare. I tell all mamas to get their birth partner on the foot and leg massages in the evening. It’s a great way of winding down before bed and also ensuring you are being looked after and cared for. Touch is a great comfort in labour too, so if you’ve been massaged throughout your pregnancy by your birth partner it will be even more of a comfort during labour as you associate it with down time and relaxation.
6) Are there certain aromas/oils you advise in using during labour to create a calming environment?
Not all hospitals advocate aromatherapy during labour but many are starting to, and some are also investing in training midwives to become competent in aromatherapy. Personally I have done the training and am a great believer in the power of smell to create a calmer atmosphere. I have been using essential oils during my pregnancy and will undoubtedly be using them throughout my own labour too.
7) As we know, a baby's newborn skin does not need any products or soaps applied to it. Can you tell us a bit more why this is and when it is OK and actually beneficial to use things such as baby oils to moisturise? What products should we look out for?
In the womb a baby has been in a controlled environment in amniotic fluid and their skin is a product of that environment at birth. The skin is the human body’s largest organ and is a major defence mechanism. It regulates temperature, acts as a barrier to infection, balances water and electrolytes, stores fat and helps humans to stay warm in the cold. A newborn's skin is around five times more absorbent than ours, so anything you rub on your baby’s skin will be absorbed quickly. Babies are not born with mature skin that functions like ours; it takes at least four weeks to build up natural enzymes that help to develop a protective barrier.
Thereafter it is very important to consider what to use on a baby’s skin. When introducing moisturisers, opting for truly natural and organic products is a good idea. To find certified organic products, there are five European certification bodies who’ve developed the Cosmetics Organic Standard (COSMOS). This is to try and standardise organic standards around the world. To get a COSMOS certification for a product it has to meet strict criteria with guaranteed organic ingredients. They have high standards.
8) Being a new mum can be an emotional rollercoaster – what are your 3 top tips for any new mum?
9) In your opinion, what are the best, practical gifts for a new mum/new baby?
A hot meal for mum and her partner and a little box of self-care goodies! Maybe some hand cream, facial or hair oil. It is a good idea to get some little treats just for mum; new babies get lots of clothes, gifts, cuddles and cooing but mum needs recognition too!
Head over to https://inlightbeauty.co.uk/ for more information