Watch my Pregnancy Skincare Routine video here!
Ever since I announced my pregnancy I've been asked lots of questions about my skincare routine and whether it has changed in anyway. To tell the truth, it has and as I reach the second half of my pregnancy I feel like I've finally got a handle on which products work best for my changing skin. I found myself going back to the basics and really limiting it down to very few things that have stood to me over time. Less is definitely more when it comes to my skin right now...in the beginning of my pregnancy I broke out terribly with hormonal acne and instead of cutting down on products I frantically loaded my face with all kinds of lotions & potions I could get my hands on. Now I realise that was a huge mistake, and as I started to break it down to a select few my skin improved. So here are my pregnancy skincare essentials:
Step One: Exfoliate
An important step whether you're pregnant or not is to exfoliate your skin. I do this weekly, and St. Ives Apricot Scrub has always been a favourite of mine however now I use a more gentle formula which is suited to all skin types, is oil-free and doesn't contain salicylic acid. This is also available in an even gentler version for sensitive/dry skin. My skin type is combination/oily but since pregnancy I have been getting dry patches as well.
Step Two: Cleanse
Nivea Visage Daily Essentials Refreshing Facial Wash Gel has always been the best cleanser for my skin. It's super cheap yet for some reason it works miles better than any other more expensive brand I've tried. I go back to it everytime, and use it twice daily -- in the morning and once again at night after removing my makeup.
Step Three: Spot Control
This will only apply to those of you that do suffer with hormonal acne (or any kind of acne for that matter!). I have been given the thumbs up by my doctor to use benzoyl peroxide but I know that there are differing opinions out there so please get the okay from your doctor first if you are pregnant! However I've been told that PanOxyl in Level 5 is totally fine to use on my skin...so long as I'm not slathering it on or ingesting it, lol! This is only to be used once a day (I prefer night-time) and in very tiny amounts as it is quite harsh. I apply this only to the areas that need it. (In my case right now, that's around the chin, cheeks and jaw area).
Step Four: Moisturise
Again like with the cleanser, this is a basic staple in my skincare routine. The Nivea Visage Daily Essentials Light Moisturising Day Cream has an SPF 15 and is light enough to use on even the oiliest areas of my face (T-zone). I apply this twice daily, with a slightly thicker amount at night after the benzoyl peroxide.
Step Five: Prime the Skin
This is something I've only started doing since pregnancy. I use The Body Shop's Vitamin C Skin Reviver once daily, before I apply my makeup. It has two benefits: a) it refines pores and makes for a much smoother and nicer makeup application and b) it has light-reflecting properties which claim to warm up the skin giving it a "glow". Whether this is true or not, I have gotten lots of lovely compliments ever since getting pregnant about my "glowing skin" and even if I don't necessarily see it myself I like to think this product has something to do with it :)
Step Six: Removing Makeup
Every night I remove my makeup with Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes. These are the best cleansing wipes in my opinion and have even won an award for being the UK's Number 1 favourite. I've tried and tested a couple of different wipes out there including Nivea & Johnson's but I always go back to this one. They remove everything, always stay wet and never dry out. They are also super gentle and have no fragrance or harsh chemicals. And of course, they're very affordable too! Cleansing wipes are totally fine to use if you cleanse/wash your face afterwards, just make sure you do that because it really makes a difference!
Of course, I couldn't end this post without mentioning the dreaded pregnancy side-effect: stretch marks. Now I am certainly no expert on this seeing as I don't have any myself and have been lucky enough not to have gotten any yet but usually they do occur during the last part of pregnancy. Many people will argue that stretch marks are genetic and therefore, if you're predisposed to them you will get them no matter how many creams & oils you use. I happen to think that there are still steps you can take to prevent them as much as possible. My first favourite is Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks with Vitamin E, Collagen and Elastin. This dries so quickly into the skin, it's not too pasty and is easy to rub in. It smells horrible but I believe it does the job! The second product I've come to love is Bio-Oil. I actually like the smell of this and it is said to help fade stretch marks too so will definitely come in handy if I do get any! I prefer using this at night, like any oil -- I don't like the way they feel on my skin under clothes.
Some other tips for preventing stretch marks are to drink lots of water (something I'm awful at so didn't even include this tip in the video!) and also make sure you start early on. What I mean by this is to start applying stretch mark lotion/oil even before you get pregnant, or when you're trying to conceive. I began stretch mark prevention right when we decided we wanted a baby! I have also heard it's very important to keep up your routine in the weeks and months after you give birth because sometimes stretch marks can occur then too!
I hope these tips will help you and that you got some insight into what I use on my skin everyday! I am by no means an expert, so please feel free to share your pregnancy skincare tips too :)