How to Care for Your Skin During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time of change for your skin. It needs to stretch in certain places, and hormonal changes brought about by the pregnancy will affect it, so you need to take extra care that your skin remains in good condition.
These simple tips should help you to emerge from pregnancy with great-looking skin.
Around the fourth month you are likely to develop fine, pink lines called stretch marks on your abdomen, buttocks, thighs and arms.
These occur deep in the dermal layer, so massaging creams into the skin can only help minimize their appearance.
The ability of the skin to cope with this stretching is genetically influenced and there is little you can do to change how your body manages it. If your mother and grandmother developed stretch marks, in all likelihood you will too. However, regular massaging with almond oil will lubricate the skin and make it more supple, which can help it to cope with the unbelievable amount of stretching that pregnancy requires.
Foods high in vitamin B6, such as lean poultry, oily fish and sweet potatoes, and fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C, encourage the natural production of elastin and collagen. These boost the skin's elasticity, making a return to a pre-pregnancy state easier. Although stretch marks are permanent, they will eventually fade from pink to a translucent, silvery tone that is less noticeable.
Because the food you eat is nourishing both yourself and your baby, it's important to eat healthily during pregnancy. If you don't, it will show in your skin.
Vitamin A is an important vitamin for skin health. It is present in dark green or golden vegetables, so go for spinach, carrots and pumpkin. Munching raw carrots may also help counteract nausea during the pregnancy. Eat foods rich in zinc as well, such as seafood.
Vitamin B6, found in bananas, will protect against breakouts due to hormonal changes, while niacin will help stop your skin drying out. Dry skin makes stretch marks worse, so avoid it as much as possible. Niacin-rich foods include chicken, liver and mushrooms, although you should only eat liver occasionally during pregnancy.
Foods rich in vitamin C help the skin to look fresh and glowing, as well as helping elasticity. Most vegetables and fruits contain some vitamin C, but especially good sources are citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables, strawberries and papayas.
Vitamin E is sometimes called the 'skin vitamin' because it delays aging and aids blood circulation. This helps in the renewal of skin cells which is especially important during times of major bodily changes such as pregnancy. Nuts, seeds and avocados are good sources of vitamin E.
Pregnancy is an exciting time, but you do have to take special care of your skin if you want it look healthy and glowing after your baby is born. These simple tips should help you to come through the pregnancy with radiant skin.