Dr. Arora from @thefacebible answers all your burning postpartum skincare questions. Keep reading to learn how to get your glow back and keep that skincare on fleek.
Ah, pregnancy. Those simpler days of glistening skin and flowing baby hormones. The pregnancy glow isn’t a myth- it’s not just a compliment people pay to make you feel better about your hot flushes and clammy forehead. When we’re pregnant, our bodies produce an abundance of hormones including oestrogen, progesterone and beta HCG. Combined with increased blood volume, these hormones are the miracle ingredients for glowing skin.
These hormones plummet as we enter the postpartum phase. This drop in hormones is often the culprit behind several common skin complaints for new mums. We get our children and the laws of nature take away the pretty skin hormones. Yep, we can’t have it all, babe. Or can we?
Dr. Arora is a GP and Aesthetic Doctor. As well as being a total boss babe, Dr. Arora is a fountain of knowledge on all things skincare related, so we had to recruit her as a NESSPERT to answer your postpartum skincare questions.
DR.Arora answers all your postpartum skincare questions
Warrior Mum: How can I treat postpartum acne?
Dr. Arora: Postpartum acne is really common. Let’s begin with what causes it. Postpartum acne is likely due to a change in hormones, which leads to excess oil production. This oil can get trapped in your pores, causing congested skin and eventually surface acne.
Ensure you have a good skincare routine in place. If your skin is oily, you should use a gel-based cleanser. Follow it up with a good toner. Now, if you’re not breastfeeding, you can opt for something salicylic or benzoyl peroxide based. There’s no evidence to suggest these are harmful ingredients when breastfeeding, but there is a question mark over it. To be on the safe side, opt for something gentler in your breastfeeding phase. Azelaic acid is naturally-derived and safe to use. La Roche Posay offers some great options.
Be consistent with your skincare routine, making sure you’re cleansing and toning your face every morning and night. After you’re out of the postpartum period and have finished breastfeeding, you can go in with more clinical options such as chemical peels, if you’re still having trouble.
Warrior Mum: Why is my skin red and blotchy and how can I get rid of it?
Dr. Arora: Hyperpigmentation on the skin after giving birth is called Melasma. You might also know it as the pregnancy mask or spider veins. This is also a result of the diminishing hormones, and can also be exacerbated by the sun’s rays.
To protect your skin from further pigmentation, use SPF even when in doors. Go for a broad spectrum SPF 50, with a UV rating of 4-5. If it covers infrared rays, even better, as they can worsen Melasma.
As for tackling the redness that’s already there, you can get a prescription grade product like
hydroquinone 2-4% to lighten the hyperpigmentation. For darker or more sensitive skin, natural lightening agents like kojic acid and arbutin may be helpful, as hydroquinone might be a little harsh. Be cautious about using laser treatment for Melasma, as the heat can make it worse.
Warrior Mum: How can I treat Post-Pregnancy Dermatitis?
Dr. Arora: Post-Pregnancy Dermatitis comes out as red patchy skin on the face, that itches, flakes or becomes irritated. Treat your skin gently. Use a gentle cleanser and moisturiser that will help repair skin’s barrier, something like Cetaphil- really clean and soothing.Treatments for rosacea might be helpful because of the similarities in the skin’s blood flow.
Warrior Mum: Do postpartum varicose veins last forever?
Dr. Arora: Fortunately for most new mums, they will lighten or disappear within 3-6 months of giving birth. In the meantime, you can use creams to reduce their surface appearance, but be aware that this won’t eliminate them. If they don’t go away after this time, you can seek real treatment for varicose veins with your Aesthetic Doctor, which will involve laser treatment.
Warrior Mum: How can I tackle loose skin and stretch-marks?
Dr. Arora: Prevention is key to reducing loose skin and stretch-marks after pregnancy. Use a good moisturising agent when pregnant. You’ll want to keep your skin hydrated to improve elasticity, so be sure to drink plenty of water, too. Think about your diet. Eating a healthy balanced diet packed full of vitamins will also help keep your skin thick and bouncy.
To reduce the appearance of stretch-marks, use an oily topical treatment. Nessa’s Scar Saviour is a great option, boosted with naturally-derived butters and oils.
Warrior Mum: Can I do anything to improve dark under eye circles and puffiness?
Dr. Arora: Getting a good amount of rest is the best treatment for under eye issues, but I know that’s easier said than done as a new parent. Try to get in adequate rest where you can. Try napping when your baby naps.
Be sure to use an eye cream formulated specifically for your eyes. The skin around our eyes is thinner than the rest of our face, so we don’t want to pack it with heavy products.
For eye puffiness, you’ll want to maximise lymphatic drainage under the eye area. Doing something as simple as lifting your head slightly when sleeping can aid this. Use two pillows to prop your head up a little and let those toxins flow out. Salt retention can also cause inflammation, so you may want to think about reducing salt in your diet.
Another great home remedy is popping tea bags under your eyes. It’s an old one but a good one.
Stay positive, warrior mums
Your skin will improve with these strong skincare tips. For Dr. Arora’s general recommendations on best practice skincare for new mums, head over to our NESSPERT series on Instagram or YouTube.
We hope your skincare game is forever strong,
NESSA and Dr. Arora