How can I treat dry skin during pregnancy? Why do I have an itchy scalp? Why am I flaky all around? Can we just call it a ‘Dry Skin Pregnancy’ altogether?!
Oh, well…so many questions! Like if you had time to research all of this while you begin to mutate into a lizard during the sweet, sweet days of pregnancy.
Even though the obvious answer is to blame it on the hormones, learning a bit about what goes on on your body while you are pregnant can actually help you ‘keep it together-‘ skin flakes and all!
In this article, you’ll find all the main causes of dry skin during pregnancy, and what you can do to improve the look and health of your skin.
What’s Causing Your Dry Skin During Pregnancy?
According to this study, 90% of women experience complex skin changes both during and after pregnancy. This is caused by many physiological and metabolic shifts that occur during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Hyperpigmentation, stretch marks, and a wide array of dermatoses -skin diseases with no inflammation- are top of the list. But dry skin is not left behind as it’s one of the most common conditions pregnant ladies go through.
It’s Actually Possible To Have Acne And Dry Skin At The Same Time
It’s quite common that as a cause of hormonal changes, your oil glands produce more sebum, causing acne and oily skin. If you are not used to this and don’t have a proper skincare routine, you may fall into over-washing or over-applying astringent products. Beware! This can lead to dry, flaky skin in a heartbeat.
How To Fight Acne And Dry Skin During Your Pregnancy?
- Avoid overusing astringent products.
- Avoid washing your face many times a day. Even though your skin may feel tight and dry -but somehow oily at the same time- if you are washing it too often, you are actually removing its natural protective barrier (more on that on tip nr 2!)
- As annoying as it may be, there are products you should elude while pregnant. Although there are different opinions and approaches to this, always seek guidance from your doctor or dermatologist. For more information, you can read this study on the safety of skin care products during pregnancy.
- Use natural, organic oils. Coconut oil, for example, helps the skin retain its natural moisture and also fights bacteria, preventing acne outbreaks at the same time that keeps the skin hydrated.
- Wash your face with lukewarm water and pat-dry your skin -no rubbing, please!
Huge Hormonal Changes
You already know this, but during your pregnancy -and the postpartum period-, your hormones are working full time to get ‘the job done’ fast and steady. These hormonal swings can cause the skin’s protective layer, called Hydrolipic Barrier, to thin, fade or crumble. If your skin is not protected, its natural moisture evaporates, causing flaking, dry skin.
How To Prevent Hormonal Dry Skin?
There’s nothing you can do to ‘fix’ your hormonal ups and downs as this is just part of the process. This is of course, as long as you are not suffering from any severe condition -if that’s the case talk to your doctor ASAP!
So again, we’ll focus on helping you keep your skin as healthy and hydrated as possible.
- Design a set daily and weekly skincare routine. Use gentle, fragrance-free cleansing products. Exfoliate for a couple minutes once a week -not more- and apply a homemade mask, followed by a moisturizer.
- Avoid chemical moisturizers. Again, try to focus as much as possible on natural and organic ingredients.
- The secret is to use just tiny bits of high-quality ingredients. Almond oil, coconut oil, oats, probiotics yogurts, avocado, and honey -amongst many others- have amazing properties for your skin, and you can rest assure they are safe for your baby as well.
- Choose the right sunscreen that will protect you and your baby from sun exposure, plus helps keep your skin’s moisture levels.
Did you know you need to drink more water while pregnant? Staying hydrated can become a secret weapon to helping your organism -skin included- keep producing all the juice your bubs needs to grow strong and healthy inside your womb.
In other words, you need to drink water for 2 now! The benefits of drinking plenty of water while pregnant are countless! It increases the production of the protective tissue that surrounds your baby, the circulation of nutrients, improves digestion and encourages softer, more elastic skin.
How To Prevent Dehydration And Avoid Dry Skin During Pregnancy?
- Drink about 10, 8-ounces glasses of water, which is about 2.3 liters.
- Add lemons to your water. Lemon water stimulates digestion, gets rid of toxins, and its high levels of antioxidants prevent cell damage and promote healthy skin.
- Fruits and veggies are great because they contain high levels of water.
- Stay clear from caffeine -it goes without saying, but avoid tobacco and alcohol too!
- Make drinking water part of your routine, keep a filled water bottle always with you.
- Avoid feeling thirsty! Your urine should always be clear -if not, that may be an indicator of dehydration.
Changes In Your Diet And Exercise Routine
If you’ve ever done Yoga, you may know that when your instructor calls for inversions, a big change in your blood flow occurs. That’s called the ‘rejuvenating series,’ because of the glowy, healthy look in the skin as a result of this. This is an example of how exercise can impact not just your muscles and flexibility, but also the quality of your skin. When we exercise, we increase our blood flow and the cells in our body get nourished by oxygen, getting rid of toxins and stress.
As your belly gets bigger, of course, your routine, your blood flow, and even your metabolism will change as your body is using all its resources to grow your baby. This is why changes in your diet and fitness routine can impact the overall look of your skin.
How To Improve Dry Skin During Pregnancy By Eating Healthy And Exercising Daily
- Exercising 30 minutes a day stimulates blood circulation and levels of oxygen in your body. This also helps flushing toxins and accelerates cellular exchange. There are many different types of exercises pregnant women can do, but be mindful and always check with your doctor what’s best!
- Include good fats in your diet and fresh, unprocessed foods. Grass-fed beef, walnuts, chia seeds, fish with high levels of Omega-3s, and probiotic yogurts -which you can even include in your homemade facial masks!
- Take great care of your gut health! With all the things going on in your body during pregnancy, changes in your gut are expected. The thing is, by staying healthy and focused on a diet that nourishes your gut, you’ll also achieve better skin. Your body will be able to absorb nutrients and will keep bad bacteria in check. An absolute win-win!
Lack Of Sleep
More and more experts rave about how uber-important it is to get a good night’s sleep! And that also applies to keeping your skin elastic and hydrated. If you are suffering from insomnia during your pregnancy, don’t be surprised if your skin looks dry. Sleeping sets the body into a restorative mode, helping collagen production, cellular change and much, much more. Lack of sleep can also trigger stress responses. This lowers your skin’s natural defense barrier, leaving it exposed to external factors.
Avoiding Dry Skin During Pregnancy Due To Lack Of Sleep
- Stop staring at the screen before going to bed. Even though it’s tempting to fall asleep scrolling through your Facebook and Instagram, these ‘bad practices’ can heavily impact the quality of your rest.
- Create a sleeping routine. Even 1 night of bad sleep can show on your face’s dark circles around your eyes. Note how when you get a great night’s sleep your skin looks replenished, soft and glowy. Your routine can include a short meditation, a soft stretch, a lukewarm shower or bath, and a comfortable room.
- Avoid eating heavy meals before going to bed.
- Keep in mind there’s a direct relation between your skin’s health and your sleeping patterns. A first step would be to really value your rest -something hard to do in these modern times!
Getting Over it!
Naturally, everyday life seems to steer us away from all the healthy practices we shared in this article. It’s not your fault. It’s just the hectic routine modern life puts us through. So go easy on you and start with something small. Step by step, you’ll build up a healthy routine that will help your skin stay hydrated beyond pregnancy! Your skin is a reflection of things going on inside your body, so nourishing and appreciating will reveal you overall health.