Pregnancy can cause changes in our skin - some of which are welcome, and others not so much. Many women report having increased skin sensitivity in pregnancy, or may experience breakouts, red patches, dry patches or the condition called chloasma whereby a mask-like pigmentation appears on the face. Some women also experience the onset of rosacea during pregnancy, which may or may not disappear after birth. These changes are often due to the hormonal changes that are taking place in your body. Skin breakouts may also be the result of feeling tired and somewhat rundown, especially if your sleep has been broken or inconsistent.
You may find that your usual creams and lotions may react differently on your skin now that you are expecting, or that you have become more sensitive to their fragrances and perhaps find them overpowering and even nauseating - even though you may have used them for years without any issue. This may require a review of your skin care routine to include products that contain ingredients to which your skin (and your pregnancy) will respond more positively.
It is very important to be aware of which products and ingredients you are putting on your skin, and never more so than when you are pregnant. This is because many chemical constituents and various molecules of skincare products can pass through the skin’s barrier, reach the bloodstream, and can also cross the placental barrier to be apparent in the baby’s bloodstream and amniotic fluid.
I recommend the following:
Essential oils that are beneficial for skin treatments are many, but my favourite ones are: Frankincense, roman chamomile, lavender, rose, mandarin and geranium. They can stimulate cell renewal, improve blood flow to the area, can be anti-inflammatory, improve the appearance of wrinkles and scars, and smell absolutely gorgeous. They are also worlds apart in terms of scent quality from the artificially constructed synthetic fragrances found in perfumes and mainstream cosemetics.
Remember that essential oils must ALWAYS be diluted in a carrier oil (like any of the ones mentioned above) before being applied to the skin. Here is a beautifully balancing facial oil for evening use, that will help to calm and restore, and nourish both your skin and your mind:
30mls Apricot Oil
2 drops Frankincense essential oil
1 drop Lavender essential oil
1 drop Geranium essential oil
2 drops Mandarin essential oil
Using clean fingers, apply about 5mls of your blend all over your face and neck using slow sweeping strokes, and massage in for about 4 minutes, until all the oil has been absorbed.
(You can store the remainder of your blend in a dark coloured glass bottle or jar for use at another time. Keep it away from direct heat and light.)
I hope you like this facial oil blend for pregnancy skin changes - I’d love to hear how you get on with it. I have included a whole chapter on how to treat all aspects of pregnant skin from hormonal breakouts, to rosacea and dry skin in my book AromaBump - the Belly Bible for Aromatherapy in Pregnancy. You can get it on Amazon here: amzn.to/2tjHar7
Lisa Heeney is a professional aromatherapist who specialises in pregnancy. She is the author of 'AromaBump - The Belly Bible for Aromatherapy in Pregnancy', and has developed a range of beautiful body products to support women throughout their pregnancies.