Being a new mom is probably one of the most rewarding things you can experience in life. But let’s be honest, it can also be incredibly stressful. Sleep deprivation, hormonal fluctuations, and stress, there is just so much new moms have to deal with. It’s no surprise that there isn’t much spare time to prioritize skincare, even though there are numerous postpartum skin conditions that you might be struggling with. But by following some of our skin care tips for new moms, you can have healthy, clear, and glowing skin — even with a new baby.
Why Postpartum Skin Needs Extra Care
I have to make one thing clear: Postpartum skin care needs and regular skin care needs are tremendously different. As I've already explained, your whole body is going through significant changes. In addition to that, it's also not advised to use certain skincare ingredients that would've otherwise helped your condition. All of the hormonal fluctuations, stress, and increased water demand due to breastfeeding can lead to skin issues such as:
The hormonal changes that every woman goes through during pregnancy can lead to the formation of dark patches on the cheeks, nose, and forehead. This condition is also known as melasma or "pregnancy mask". And while melasma will usually fade on its own, it can take up to a year for the patches to become completely unnoticeable. But if your skin is frequently exposed to UV rays, and you're not using any type of sun protection, the hyperpigmentation will likely worsen.
As you probably already know, hormonal imbalances can trigger acne. That's why we experience breakouts during puberty, or while we're on our menstrual cycles. That's why it comes as no surprise that pregnancy can trigger acne as well. Sometimes, the zits can even worsen after giving birth. Your schedule is overfilled, you don't have enough time to do an elaborate skincare routine, and you're still not allowed to use acne-fighting ingredients, such as vitamin A derivatives.
If you decide to breastfeed after giving birth, you'll probably also notice how your skin is dryer than usual. That's because breastfeeding increases your water needs, and a lot of women aren't even aware of that. Make sure you stay hydrated and drink appropriate amounts of liquids. On the other hand, some women could also experience increased oil production, due to hormonal fluctuations.
Skin Care Tips for New Moms
What better skin care tips for new moms could I give you than to keep things simple and be gentle with yourself? Being responsible for a new human being is stressful enough, and there is no reason to put even more pressure on yourself by expecting to have the skin you had before being pregnant. All of these changes won't last forever, and your skin will bounce back eventually. But if you want to speed up the process, and give your skin some extra TLC, then here are a few skincare ingredients that you can incorporate.
If you want a versatile product, then azelaic acid could be an amazing addition to your skincare routine. When it comes to skincare tips for new moms, I know that every woman is looking for easy and attainable products to add to their routine. And azelaic acid is just what you're looking for because this skincare ingredient is a true miracle worker when it comes to multiple different skin conditions. It promotes cell turnover, which means that it gently exfoliates the skin and promotes new, healthy skin growth. It will tackle all of your main problems - hyperpigmentation and acne, while also hydrating the skin.
The lack of estrogen while breastfeeding can lead to a lack of moisture in the skin. One of the best ways to combat this is by adding a humectant into your skincare routine. Humectants are molecules that attract water, which means they will make your skin look hydrated, plump, and glowing. One of the best-known and widely available humectants is hyaluronic acid. It can be found in numerous skincare products, such as serums, moisturizers, and even cleansers.
If you're looking for a skincare product that will target multiple of your skincare concerns at the same time, then consider adding a vitamin C serum into your routine. Vitamin C serums will help fade your dark spots, and moisturize your skin, and since this is also a strong antioxidant, vitamin C will also protect your complexion from oxidative stress and boost the effectiveness of your sunscreen. Apply a vitamin C serum each morning as the first step in your skincare routine, or mix it with hyaluronic acid for some extra moisture benefits.
SPF is your BFF, no matter what. But it's especially important to regularly wear sunscreen if you've recently given birth. As I've already explained, skin conditions such as hyperpigmentation can worsen if your skin is regularly exposed to UV rays without any type of protection. Your skin is also more sensitive than it would normally be, which means it's also more likely to get burnt. That's why you have to make sure you're wearing at least an SPF 30 or higher.
Ingredients to Avoid
Just like some ingredients could work wonders on postpartum skin, there are also a few that every woman that is pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid. The reason why is pretty straightforward - they could harm your baby. According to the Infant Risk Center at Texas Tech University, skincare ingredients such as retinol, salicylic acid, and hydroquinone are contraindicated during pregnancy as they are known to cause birth defects. And while there isn't any research done on the effects of these medications during breastfeeding, most doctors still do not recommend using them even then.
Bottom Line - Skin Care Tips for New Moms
New moms face numerous different challenges. From learning how to balance having a baby, working, cooking and cleaning, or just making it through everyday life, there isn't too much time left to care for our skin. But who says that skincare has to be something overly complicated? All you need is a few effective products that feature the right skincare ingredients for you. Just remember to be gentle and consistent, and you'll notice significant differences in no time at all.
But remember that the state of your skin also depends on your lifestyle, and that is more important than any other skin care tip for new moms out there. So even before incorporating any new products, make sure you're staying hydrated, getting enough rest, and eating a healthy diet. By being your best and healthiest self, you will also be able to show up for your baby in the most productive way possible.