Postpartum is a very stressful period as you have to worry about caring for the baby, recovery from delivery, going back to work, getting your body and groove back…then add skin issues …it can all get overwhelming.
Some of the skin issues women experience during this period include; stretch marks, melasma, acne, PIH, skin tags, spider veins, dry skin (to mention a few). The solution to each issue is unique and while some are cross-cutting, others require special attention.
I will speak on each one and the solution
1. Stretch Marks: they say it’s genetic but I personally believe prevention is better than cure. I had stretch marks on my hip long before pregnancy but sheabutter and oil mix helped prevent getting new ones. Keep using your sheabutter even after pregnancy as there might be a bit a weight gain/loss post pregnancy. Tretinoin and Argan oil have been known to also help some women with NEWLY FORMED stretch marks and you can also see a dermatologist or esthetician for microneedling or laser to reduce the appearance. Know that the earlier you treat, the better the chances of success.
2. Acne: the usual acne regimen; a good cleanser, salicylic acid toner, niacinamide or azelaic acid serum, moisturiser and sunscreen. You may need to hold off on the retinoids if you are breastfeeding.
3. Melasma/PIH: melasma, known as the mask of pregnancy and usually on the face, neck and chest. A combo of acids…as single products or combination can help. Can be a toner or serum or both. Good options are Vitamin c serums (Obagi, ZO, Urban skin Rx, Paula’s choice, Timeless), multi acid toners e.g. P50, Tarte, DDG, multi acid serums like Jan Marini, PCA skin or you may mix and match single ingredient ones like GOW azelaic acid and GOW niacinamide or mandelic. Sunday Riley Good Genes is also a great option. Be on the lookout for products with arbutin, licorice extract, kojic acid but honestly once you are done breastfeeding, get a peel for stubborn pigmentation. Sunscreen is also non-negotiable. Find one you always want to wear be it chemical or physical.
For body pigmentation,lotions like Alpha 12% glycolic lotion, Amlactin and Palmers Eventone are very helpful. Urban Skin Rx also has a new body pigmentation range.
4. Skin tags and spider veins: see an esthetician or dermatologist for removal
5. Dry skin: hyaluronic acid is your friend. Avoid harsh skincare products.
Points to Note
1. Every postpartum journey is different, continue taking your prenatal vitamins for at least 3 months to help with energy levels and hair loss which you may or may not get.
2. Go for walks as soon as you can, trust me, it helps
3. Treat each skin issue accordingly and see an expert when you need to as treatments might be necessary
4. Be consistent as much as you can
5. Whatever skin issue you developed during pregnancy, know it built up over 9 months so patience is key. Don’t be tempted by a quick fix which may be full of harmful ingredients.
Hope this helps
Any postpartum mamas? Share how you tackled post pregnancy skin issues.
Till next time