There is nothing my skin likes more than pregnancy. KIDDING. Oh how I jest. There are SO many things my skin likes much, much more than pregnancy. Just off the top of my head I can name at least 5; facials, sleep, regular steam sessions, salt water and sleep.
While things could be worse all those lovely hormones rushing around, getting all up in my face, loosening ligaments and making backs ache, also make skin behave erratically. I’m talking dry patches and funky colour changes on your face. Stretch marks on your belly. Cellulite on your thighs. A general lack-luste appearance that whispers; ‘I’m 31 weeks pregnant and not sleeping well. I also have a toddler. Feed me coffee. And cake’. Really, we should be given some kind of medal and possibly a parade for surviving with our wits and sense of humour intact.
And it’s not just the preggies amongst us who may be suffering. I have at least 3.7 friends who have complained about suffering the same kind of skin ailments I’m suffering, without the whole ‘knocked up’ thing. I blame the change in seasons, daylight savings ending and the rain. In all seriousness though, the change of seasons can (and does) impact your skin, especially temperature fluctuations and elements like wind and sudden cold snaps (or random humid heat waves).
I posted a few weeks ago HERE about pregnancy skincare, specifically managing breakouts and inflammation safely, and the underlying message was all about the ‘M’ word (management). Just like the the powerlessness we have surrounding the weather, there’s not always a lot that can be done when a certain little womb dweller is still calling the shots, but you can try and manage the worst of it. Today is all about the quick fixes for a bunch of the usual suspects that seem to come calling during pregnancy and as the seasons start to change (I’ve suffered all of these in the past couple of months.. In fact, I may just be suffering at least 1 RIGHT NOW)
PROBLEM: You’ve got a single, hideous pimple
SOLUTION: Invest in a paper bag (KIDDING!) Track down a concealer stick. The thick, creamy formulation is specifically designed for covering imperfections. Use clean, warm fingers to gently ‘press’ the concealer onto and around the offending spot, making sure to blend out the edges (the heat from your fingers will help with that). I use Rimmel Hide The Blemish Cover Stick, $10.50
PROBLEM: The change in season has made your body dry, itchy and more lizard than human (preggie gals may find their bump gets unbearably uncomfortable)
SOLUTION: Have your considered only leaving the house in a onesie? Not an option? Get yourself into a body oil infused warm bath as soon as possible. Simply spike the water with a capful of oil and soak away that lizard-like hide. If you don’t have a bath, try applying your chosen body oil straight out of the shower while your skin is still damp. An oil is far more intensive than a body cream and warm, damp skin will help the product absorb quickly and effectively. If you’re REALLY dry, try ‘locking’ in the oil by lathering a body cream over the top. Double moisturisation action stations! I love Gaia Belly Oil, $17.95
PROBLEM: A lack of sleep has left bags so deep that they should be called crevices, under your eyes.
SOLUTION: A full 8 hours sleep. A ha ha ha what a hilarious thought for anyone pregnant or with a child. Damage control is your best option. You want to get yourself an illuminating, under eye concealer like L’Oréal Paris Lumi Maqique Concealer, $27.95, and apply it in a triangle, stretching from one corner, down and up to the other corner, under your eye. Don’t bring it right up to the lash/water line as it’ll only smudge and run. The shadow is lower (and deeper) than that, hence the need for the triangle.
PROBLEM: Your face has had a hissy fit and EVERYTHING you try and put on it is making it redder, itchier and angrier.
SOLUTION: You’re suffering from a case of ‘Princess Face’, an ailment that occurs when your face suddenly decides it cannot handle a single second more of what ever it is you’re slathering it in. I’ve suffered the ailment numerous times over the years (hazard of my ex profession as a beauty writer) and you’ve got two solutions. One, scream ‘TOUGHEN UP PRINCESS’ at your reflection and keep on keeping on (not my general recommendation) or two, scale riiiiight back and go into ‘soothe and control mode’. Scaling back means forgoing anything remotely abrasive or harsh and sticking to a single, damage repairing product like Rosehip Oil (I like both Trilogy and Kosmea Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil $24.95). If your cleanser is anything other than creamy and exceptionally gentle, shelve it for a day or two and use a soft face washer soaked in warm water, to metaphorically scrub up at the end of the day.
PROBLEM: Your skin is as flat and lifeless as roadkill (think a complete lack of colour and life and potentially patches of missing fur..).
SOLUTION: Unlike roadkill, your skin CAN be salvaged and brought back to life. The bonus? It’s relatively quick and easy to achieve. Start with a brightening/rejuvenating face mask (check out my recommendations HERE) to get things moving at a cellular level then kick things up a notch with a creamy pink blush on the apples of your cheeks.