Most women experience a “pregnancy glow” while they're rocking a baby bump. But the aftermath of giving birth can wreak havoc on your previously flawless skin. “Hormonal changes can lead to skin issues such as acne, dry patches, eczema, or chloasma,” says Laura Ann Conroy, Director of Spa Training and Innovation for Bliss Spas. “After you have the baby, you may experience skin issues due to stress, lack of rest, and diet. We see a lot of women with skin issues after giving birth.”
But you don't necessarily need to spend a small fortune to get your body back into balance. Instead, Conroy recommends you stock your medicine cabinet with a few essential skincare products and tools to help rehabilitate your skin to its pre-pregnancy condition.
Here are five of her favorite at-home fixes:
1. Dry, Flaky Skin “For dry patches on your body, make sure to exfoliate regularly and drink plenty of water. Daily dry brushing will help exfoliate, increase circulation, and move lymphatic fluid. Using a scrub once or twice a week will help keep your skin soft and smooth. Bliss Hot Salt Scrub with eucalyptus and rosemary smells amazing and makes your skin feel fresh and clean. Remember to always moisturize after you exfoliate!”
2. Stretch Marks “Stretch marks may fade but they never really go away. Some topical creams can help to firm and tighten the skin to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.”
3. Melasma “If you have experienced melasma during your pregnancy, it may take time to fade or never really go away. You can use products that lighten and exfoliate the skin. Some people opt for strong chemical peels administered by a healthcare professional. Others go the gentler route. Daily glycolic peels can help lighten the skin and topical products with hydroquinone aid in the process. For mild, dark spots, Bliss Incred-i-peel is a great daily glycolic peel that lightens and brightens the skin. The key is to continue using the product because daily peels lighten over time. Keep in mind that dark spots live in the deeper layers of skin, so sometimes as you exfoliate the top layers of skin, these spots can appear darker before they lighten up. The brown patches that develop are exacerbated by the sun so it's important to always use sunscreen.”
4. Acne “For acne, always speak to a healthcare professional about what medications or products you should use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Stress, lack of sleep, diet, and skincare can affect your skin after you give birth. Our lifestyle habits often suffer when we have a little one to care for. While you may not have a lot of me time at first, make sure to at least take time out for good evening skincare. Do a thorough cleanse, tone, and use your favorite serum and moisturizer. I recommend Bliss Clog Dissolving Cleanser at night. It has gentle enzymes that will exfoliate and thoroughly cleanse your skin. Follow with our Triple Oxygen Line of serum, eye cream, and Exglowsion cream.”
5. Dark Circles “For those puffy, dark circles after a night of little sleep, use the Triple Oxygen Eye Masks. If you keep them in the refrigerator, they feel amazing and help even more with the puffiness. Or try using cold tea bags to sooth and reduce puffy, tired eyes.”