Not long after I fell pregnant, I noticed instant (and negative) changes to my skin and hair. “It’s completely normal” people told me, which didn’t necessarily make it okay when one spends a lot of time (& money!) on looking after their skin.
My skin became sensitive, noticed by a burning sensation feeling from a variety of beauty products I’d been using for a long time – cleansers, scrubs, masks and creams. Not long after receiving a “plus sign” on a pregnancy test my skin became dull, prone to breakouts and from the start it’s a constant battle against tiredness, sickness and a lack of energy – which inevitably becomes apparent in our skin (well for some of us it does…).
The books, apps and websites all promise us the all over “glow” as well as thick and glossy hair – but that promise doesn’t always deliver.
I wasn’t *too* strict about beauty products and their ingredients in pregnancy and I didn’t ditch everything I used/owned – I didn’t want to drastically switch to 100% organic/natural/parafen-free/fragrance-free products, but I did try a few new products which I genuinely fell in love with, and here I want to share with you some of my favourites which I’ll definitely use again next time (if there is a next time). Some I’m continuing to use now even without being pregnant.
Starting with one of my favourite brands, bareMinerals. Well renowned for their mineral makeup which I’ve been using for 15 years now, I was lucky enough to try some of the brand’s skincare last year and it’s fabulous!
I was not too keen to use oil on my (prone to greasy) face, but this ultra-light product creates a milky formula that gently cleans the face of makeup and daily grime.
I love this serum, and not being a fan of serums (I hate layering my skin too much) this product creates an instant radiance. I sometimes wore this on its own as a lightweight moisturiser, especially during the summer when my skin needed no added product. (But not forgetting to wear an SPF too). I still use this product daily even now, it’s full of goodness.
Ordinarily, a cream like this would be too heavy for my skin type, but this moisturiser feels so luxurious on the skin, making my “pregnancy skin” feel super soft and plump. I used this as a night cream mainly, but also on days when I wasn’t wearing makeup when I could give my skin a really good quench of thirst.
Love love love this! I found in pregnancy that wearing make up was never as flawless and matt as before, and as I was pregnant through the warmest months, battling with the elements of the sun and city pollution, I actually gave up the foundation and stuck with this AMAZING tinted moisturiser – a BB, a CC and a tinted moisturiser all in one! I got the coverage as well as a dose of hydration from this product. LOVE!
Next. Time to battle stretch marks! My choice? Elemis.
Elemis’s Japanese Camellia Body Oil Blend is a beautiful and nourishing body oil safe for use in pregnancy.
We’re advised to steer clear of aromatherapy oils in pregnancy, but this is specifically created using plant collagen which helps to prevent stretch marks and nourish the skin – the perfect product for a blossoming bump! (Not forgetting to use it on your back, thighs and boobies too!).
If it’s good enough for Victoria Beckham then it’s good enough for us too!
I found this body oil absorbs quickly in to the skin, meaning we can get dressed shortly after application, day and night.
Next up for me is the Burt’s Bees range. I have become obsessed with the Burt’s Bees brand – I was fortunate enough to receive the Mama Bee products to try and I loved them all but these two I had to pick out as my favourites…
The Mama Bee Belly Butter is a luxurious cream that nourishes your bump and is also great to use after pregnancy too to help your tummy feel soft, smooth and moisturised. I used to layer this over the top of the Elemis oil, or alternate the two products. They’re both wonderful. This product contains cocoa, shea and joboba butters leaving skin silky smooth – I love it – and it’s also fragrance free too.
The Mama Bee Leg & Foot Cream is a must have for any pregnant woman. I couldn’t do without this amazing product during my pregnancy – especially in those hot summer months when my feet were really swollen. The peppermint oil and rosemary extracts soothe and soften tired feet and legs. This product is genuinely heavenly!
The best application method is to relax on the sofa and get someone to massage it on to your feet and calves for you. 😉
And whilst I’m writing about Burt’s Bees, I HIGHLY recommend their Baby Bee line for your little one. IT IS AMAZING! I’ve recently started using product on my baby – which may sound scary using product on such new and gentile skin – but their products are made from natural ingredients and they leave my bubba’s skin super smooth (and smelling lovely). The Shampoo & Wash and the Original Lotion are my favourites from the range. So far we haven’t had any dry skin or a single nappy rash!
Next up, a lightweight moisturiser for the rest of my body…
No frills, cheap and cheerful, good ol’ Nivea to save the day for my out-of-the-norm sensitivity.
My skin became dry all over and their sensitive body lotion is mild and PH neutral meaning it was kind to my skin when it became irritated in early pregnancy. I used this all over my body to keep my skin hydrated and soft. It also smells lovely (Nivea products always remind me of holidays!) and it doesn’t leaves a greasy residue afterwards.
Now for my hair – my already thin hair that showed no signs of becoming thick or fuller was in drastic need of attention.
I was given Percy & Reed to try. I’ve used their products before but not their shampoos or conditioners…
After just a few washes from using the Percy & Reed Really Rather Radiant Divine Shine Shampoo and the Percy & Reed Really Rather Radiant Divine Shine Conditioner, my hair went from lacking lustre to lots of gloss and shine – with thanks to the vitamin E and raspberry oil they contain.
It’s only natural to change our beauty regime during pregnancy, to accommodate those temporary changes (or glitches), to our skin and hair.
Whether, like me, your skin becomes sensitive, or you choose to avoid anti-ageing products containing vitamin A/retinoids, or you decide to use products that are fragrance free, there are so many options and alternatives available to us during those up and down trimesters.
Generally speaking, *most* products available to us over the counter are safe to use in pregnancy but if you’re unsure always speak to the professional selling you the products or contact your preferred brand’s customer service department. When we’re pregnant it’s always recommended to double check!
Finally – if you are pregnant reading this, big congratulations. 🙂