It’s been 6 months since you’ve had your baby and your glowing complexion has completely diminished. Not only is it gone, but your skin is now worse off than it was before becoming pregnant. Oh, the little joys of mommyhood! I’ll be explaining common problematic skin issues that even I, a new mom, have experienced and what I did to overcome these problems.
While it has been almost 2 years to the date since I had my little one, I am still dealing with ongoing skin issues. If there has been one major thing that I have learned from this experience, it’s that patience is SO important. Regaining your skin health is a process! So take a deep breath and stay focused on the end goal. Glowing skin. 🙂
1. Melasma aka the “Mask of Pregnancy” post-pregnancy
Cause: While there are multiple causes of melasma (some of it being due to genetics or UV exposure), during pregnancy, your elevated estrogen and progesterone levels combine to create discoloration that varies in color based on your natural skin tone.
What it looks like: Pigment discoloration that usually appears around the forehead, cheeks, eyes and sometimes around the mouth. This typically looks like a darkening of the skin on lighter-medium toned faces and lighter patches on darker toned faces.
Is it long-term? While some of the hyperpigmentation may fade post-delivery, the discoloration never completely goes away. It can be exacerbated by UV exposure…this is why sunscreen should be your best friend!
Treatment options: Make sure to always incorporate a good quality SPF into your daily routine through rain or shine. It should be no less than 30 SPF. (I recommend Obagi Sun Shield & Kypris Pot of Shade Heliotropic.) Keep in mind if you are working out or swimming, make sure to reapply your sunscreen every 2-3 hours.
Lasers, chemical peels, microneedling, and skincare products with hydroquinone (when you are done breastfeeding) are all effective options that may help to reduce the appearance of melasma. In order for any treatment to be effective, consistency is key. When treating melasma, it is important to keep in mind that the “one and done” mentality does not work. Since melasma never really goes away, multiple treatments (including maintenance treatments) may be required in order to keep the appearance of melasma at bay.
2. Hormonal acne post pregnancy
Cause: Constantly changing progesterone and estrogen levels lead to increased oil production and the likelihood of clogged pores.
What it looks like: Typically appears on the neck and lower area of the face and often times can vary between mild and severe. It often appears as raised red bumps & pustules that are painful to the touch.
Is it long-term? For some it will gradually disappear over time however, that is not the case for everyone. Some women are left with long term acne issues.
Treatment options: Cleansing the skin using an oil-free cleanser (I recommend Skin Medica’s AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser), using oil-free makeup products and refraining from touching your face are all important factors when it comes to treating hormonal acne. If possible, get a deep cleansing medical-grade facial on a consistent basis. (Javan’s Hydrafacial is a deep cleansing facial and leaves skin with a brighter appearance!) If you are experiencing acne that is very painful and persistent despite using over the counter products, visiting a medical professional is your best bet. For breakouts like these, using prescription medications that kill acne-breeding bacteria and unclog pores may be the most effective option.
4. Dry skin post-pregnancy
Cause: Hormonal changes can deplete the skin of lipids during and directly after pregnancy, therefore, leading to dry patches on the face.
What it looks like: Sections of dry, red and almost rubbery looking skin, on the nose, cheeks and around the mouth. Skin feels tight and looks patchy and textured under makeup.
Is it long-term? The sooner moisture & hydration is restored in the skin, the sooner your skin will return to normal.
Treatment options: Reduce dryness and inflammation by using mild non-irritant cleansers. (Obagi’s Gentle Cleanser works wonders) Also, make sure to use a high-quality moisturizer in the morning and at night before bed. Ingredients, such as Ceramide and Hyaluronic Acid, are a dry girl’s best friends. (Obagi’s Hydrate Luxe and Skin Medica’s HA Rejuvenating Hydrator does wonders for extremely dry skin) Not only will your skin feel more comfortable and softer, these products combined fight signs of aging. Who doesn’t want to look young forever?
Many products that are sold in the drug store contain lots of harmful additives. It’s imperative to always read the ingredient label to ensure whatever you’re purchasing is fragrance-free, additive-free and non-comedogenic. While you may pay more for high-quality products, the benefits for your skin far exceed the cost.
Whether you’re experiencing skin discoloration, acne, facial veins or dry skin, you are not alone. All of these skin conditions are common post-pregnancy. How you go about treating these issues can help to significantly reduce the appearance of them.
To help determine which treatments will best suit your needs, we recommend that you consult with a certified medical aesthetician who can help you create a customized treatment plan.
At Javan Anti-Aging & Wellness Institute our staff have been expertly trained to treat a wide array of skin conditions, including postpartum skin. Book your free consultation today and get back that amazing glow!