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Friday, May 9, 2014

skin care during pregnancy

I know from some friends and by now also from myself, that the skin changes a lot during pregancy. I think most of it is connected to the hormonal changes, but  there could be additional reasons, too.

Well, in the third trimester, one reason should be rather obvious. Your skin is stretched to the limit, and therefore you might end up with stretchmarks and the skin will be hyper sensitive  all over your bump. I am not there yet and I might write more about this another time, but for now, it is about skin care in general. You might have dark spots, you might have itchy skin, dry skin and maybe more. 

Currently I try to avoid that my skin dries out. Before pregnancy I never had a problem with that, and therefore I am pretty sure that my skin problems are hormone related. And some of it might just be from the stretched skin.

At the moment my problems are more about dry and itchy skin. Itchy, because it keeps drying out faster than I can apply lotion. If it is too dry, it flakes. Since other women surely have other problems and some might have allergies which add to skin problems, this is a very difficult topic. The only real advice that I can give here at all, is to go and ask your doctor what is safe, what is right to use and what not to do. 
Nevertheless, I tried to collect some general ideas that I stick to or have heard from friends and family, because they should not cause problems and might help you.

So, what could you do, to help your skin?

1. There are lots of lotions that you could use to counter dry and itchy skin. At the moment I prefer those without any kind of scent, because I am still reacting to certain kinds of smell. I don't suffer from nausea, but that changes instantly with some smells and they are not all food-related. That's why I go for non-perfumed products at the moment. 

1.1 As far as I know, lotions with vitamin E are good to help minimize stretchmarks.

1.1.1 My mom used olive oil to prevent and minimize stretchmarks and it helped her a lot!

1.2 Talking about moisturizer, lotions which are rich in shea and coconut butter are good against stretchmarks, too. And I think they are healthier than the artificial products, where chemical substances might pass the skin barrier and reach baby. 

2. Oil is good. Like lotion, it is great to rub it all over the bump. Oh wait, even better, let your partner do that ... in the bedroom, with some lit candles, soft music. Well, if your partner is not in the mood for the complete event, at least let him rub in the oil.

3. I am not good at chemistry, but I would stay away from those products that contain salicylic acid (e.g. in peeling lotion)  and from  those with retinoids (e.g. in antiaging lotion). Maybe they are supposed to be safe, but both substances are said to have negative effects on unborn babies. They were linked to miscarriages, which means I would never ever touch that stuff.

4. Drink enough! I know, this will just lead to loo-racing, but enough fluids are too important, not only for your skin.

5. Eat healthy. As a result you might put on weight slower and that again is good, because you might get around some of the stretchmarks, because your skin has more time to adapt. 

6. I'd suggest whatever you want to put onto your skin, ask your doctor about it first. The last thing you might want are allergic reactions during your pregnancy.

7. I don't suffer from melasma, but a friend of mine says that sunscreen works against that.

8. Since we are getting closer to the really warm weather and mommies-to-be might have some places where the skin is chafing, e.g. the skin fold between breast and belly, or where the thighs rub against each other, here's one idea: those spots need to be kept dry. Those areas might get inflamed if they are red and wet for a longer period of time and they will be smelly then, too. In the end this might lead to infections and they should definitely be treated before giving birth. To keep those areas dry I'd use talc, just like you would do for sports.

9. Get enough quality sleep! It's good for your skin, but even better for you and baby in general.

skin care fun-section

A man dressed in a suit comes up to the front porch of house juggling a clipboard, some papers, and a briefcase. He knocks on the door and it's answered by a middle-aged man, "Mornin' stranger, what can I do for ya?"
"Well sir, I represent Schneller, Barnum, and Holtz. We're paid by private companies to canvas thousands of consumers like yourself for feedback on their products. Today we're soliciting comments on Vaseline petroleum jelly. Would you have time to answer just a couple of questions?"
"I don't see how a couple of questions could hurt, fire away, young man," says the homeowner.
Looking down at his clipboard, the survey-taker asks, "Okay...first, you do use Vaseline, correct?".
"Yes Sir, for as long as I can remember."
"Great, now what exactly do you use it for?" replies the survey-taker with his pen poised over his clipboard, ready to record the answer.
"Let's see.....we use it for dry skin, chapped lips, and sex."
The well-dressed man stops writing abruptly. He looks around, leans forward and in a low voice says, "We pride ourselves in being very thorough sir. I know how you'd use Vaseline for dry skin and chapped lips. But would you mind telling me how you use it for sex?"
"No problem," the homeowner says in a whisper, "we put it on our bedroom doorknob." The survey-taker gets a strange look on his face and takes a step backwards before the homeowner continues, "It keeps the kids out."

Have a nice weekend, everybody :)


  1. Olive oil is the most versatile household substance ever! Not only is it great for cooking, but I use it to wash my face, heal dry skin, take off my makeup, etc... Also, coconut oil is great, but, as with any oil, you really need to massage it into skin.

  2. Autumn, that's so true, olive oil is great, just like coconut oil. I love them both. I have had it that when I used it to clean my face, I got hungry and wanted pizza or salad with olive oil. :)



  3. These are all great ideas. If you're feeling crafty and want to avoid chemicals, it is really easy to make your own body butter with ingredients from If you ate interested, I can give you the link to the tutorial :-)

    1. Hi River, yes please, I'd love to do that. I have made my own soap in the past, but that's about it, and I never thought further than that. I'd really love to give it a try.



    2. Hi Nina,
      The Web site is listed below. It is run by an incredible woman named Merissa, and there are recipes for tons of food and body products. I hope you like it :-)

    3. Hi River, thank you for the link, I love this, because there are really good ideas. I'll definitely try some of them.



  4. Great ideas Nina. I have heard olive oil and coconut butter are good for stretchmarks.


    1. Hi Roz, my mom said that about olive oil too, and even though I hope that maybe I won't have too many stretchmarks from baby, I want to work against them. If I get them, then hopefully with baby's brother or sister :) (planning ahead :) )




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