Congratulations to all of our clients’ who have fallen pregnant. Mary and I couldn’t be happier for you. I thought that I would take a bit of time and share some information along with some helpful tips that will support your skin during the next 9 months as your body’s anatomy undergoes significant changes that may have an impact on your skin.
Avoid direct sun exposure on your face! Why? Pregnancy has a significant impact on your hormones and causes a major increase in progesterone, with the placenta turning out 10-20X higher than what is normally experienced during a regular menstruation cycle. Progesterone increases the activity of the Melanin-Stimulating-Hormone (MSH) which triggers the melanocyte (pigment cell) to produce significant amounts of melanin which can result in pigmentation disorders. Estrogen when out of balance can also give rise to pigmentation so if you are experiencing signs of pigmentation during your pregnancy, and you know you’re staying out of the sun, don’t panic. Once the cause has been removed IE your baby, the skin should return to ‘normal’ if you have not overexposed your pigment cells to significant amounts of ultraviolet radiation during this time. What can you do? Consult with your Corneotherapist about updating your prescription and adding in tyrosinase inhibitors that can slow down the transfer of melanin within the skin as well as wearing sunscreen, polarised sunglasses and solar barrier hats and clothing to protect you. We recommended solbari.com.au
Why am I experiencing acne during my pregnancy? Answer: Some woman experience beautiful skin during their pregnancy, while others have the complete opposite. You must understand every cell in the skin has hormone receptors and these particular receptors or ‘docking stations’ as I call them may be having a sensitivity and/or intolerance to the overabundance of progesterone that is being bestowed upon them; altering the quality and quantity of your sebaceous secretions (oil) and inflicting poor corneocyte compaction which can lead to congested and acneic skin. What can you do? This is rather challenging as it is an intrinsic factor, however, one can most definitely support their skin with physiological skincare preparations, 5a Reductase inhibitors (consult with your Corneotherapist) and enzymatic exfoliation instead of ablating the skin with products and/or modalities that compromise skin barrier defence and make acne worse! Take our word for it; don’t have ANY microdermabrasions or chemical peels. Consulting with a Naturopathic Practitioner is also advised during this time to support your hormones.
What can I do about stretch marks? Answer: Daily massage with skin nurturing substances such as our dermaviduals Body Lotion and Wheat Germ Oil can really help to improve the elasticity of the skin as the dermis (collagen layer) begins to stretch as your anatomy changes. Dermaviduals products are absolutely safe to use during your pregnancy (including their Vitamin A) because it’s an encapsulated, physiological form that our body naturally makes naturally and will do no harm to the developing fetus. Whatever you decide to use, DON’T use Bio-Oil. We have the INCI of this product and it’s a toxic bottle of poison to the health of you and your baby. Did you know skin absorbs 60% of what you put on it? There is, in fact, an ingredient called BHT which has been shown to damage fertility while also containing a blood-changing poison which can start homolysis (destruction of red blood cells). Please, speak to a Corneotherapist before unknowingly applying this toxic product and to consult further about what can be done to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
Taking good quality Omega 3 supplements to support your skin and its oil production is of utmost importance as this can help to reduce the appearance of acne and improve lipid-dryness as your developing baby takes all of your oil! Did you know that your brain absorbs 70% of the good fats that you ingest on a daily basis but only a small percentage goes towards your skin? The reason being is because skin, despite being the largest organ of the body, is the LAST to receive nutrients once all of your other major hard-working organs such as your brain, heart, kidneys and liver have selfishly taken them all! The problem is our western modern diet is driven by Omega 6 which is triggering a lot of cellular inflammation and aggravating hormones which can cause different grades of acne to surge. Good quality Omega 3 will improve oil viscosity to ensure that it’s free flowing rather than being thick and sluggish – think gear and oil change! Skin requires EFAs such as Omega 3 which helps to reduce fast-trans epidermal water loss by improving ceramide formation. This has a knock-on effect within the skin by improving enzyme activity and cell-to-cell cohesion by working to reduce inflammation of the innate immune systems and improving the appearance of acne. Consulting with a Naturopathic Practitioner during this time is non-negotiable.
Increase your water intake! When you’re pregnant, you need more water than the average person in order to form amniotic fluid, produce extra blood, build new tissue, carry nutrients, enhance digestion, and flush out wastes and toxins. For every 25kg, you MUST drink 1L however; when you’re pregnant this number is going to increase! Lacking in free flowing water within the epidermis (outer layer of skin) will reduce skin barrier defence and promote a myriad of cutaneous problems such as lipid-dryness, build-up of redundant skin cells and contribute to congested, acneic skin and unwanted inflammation. Did you know that lacking in water can lead to fluid retention? Oddly enough, fluid retention can result from not drinking enough, because your body will hang on to more fluid if it senses it’s becoming dehydrated! Moral of the story, drink more water.
Written by Kai Atkinson (Practicing Corneotherapist)