From stretchmarks to irritation, your skin changes a lot during pregnancy and after giving birth – here are the natural skincare ingredients that can help
Your body goes through big changes during pregnancy and after birth, so it’ll come as no surprise that your skin will feel different too. If you’re looking at your toiletries to make sure they’re suitable for mums-to-be, keep an eye out for products containing these safe, natural ingredients. Goodbye harsh chemicals, hello super naturals!
Aloe vera juice
You might have used aloe vera before in after-sun products, but its soothing properties can work wonders for your skin beyond the odd patch of sunburn. It’s a natural emollient (AKA moisturiser) and can soothe the itchiness that happens when the skin on your tummy starts stretching.
Try: Soaper Duper Lemon Body Wash featuring aloe vera juice
This oil from Morocco has twice as much vitamin E as olive oil and is packed with essential fatty acids and antioxidants. You can often find it in hair care products, but try it in a body cream to soften skin and reduce scarring. Some new mums also swear by ordinary coconut oil.
There’s no sure-fire way to prevent stretchmarks, but experts do recommend good hydration to keep skin supple and stretchy. If you’re using a stretchmark product, chances are it’ll contain cocoa butter – a rich, natural moisturiser made from cocoa beans.
Shea butter comes from tree nuts and, like cocoa butter, is really moisturising – you’ll often find the two together in products for dry skin. Shea butter also has natural anti-inflammatory properties, which can help with the itching associated with skin stretching.
Colloidal oatmeal can be used to treat a range of skin irritations. The fats in oats help to restore the skin’s barrier to stop it losing water, which prevents moisture loss. Oats also contain anti-inflammatories and antioxidants too.
Green tea extract
Those pesky pregnancy hormones increase blood flow, which can make skin red and blotchy. To combat redness, look for antioxidant products with ingredients like soothing green tea extract.
Turmeric is the latest superfood on the block. It’s only recommended sparingly as a spice or seasoning during pregnancy (so avoid concentrated supplements), but you don’t need to eat it to reap the benefits – when used on the skin, the deep-orange spice is a powerful antiseptic and has anti-inflammatory properties too.
Sweet almond oil
Sweet almond oil is a great emollient and often used to soften the skin and sooth dry, irritated areas. Unlike some other essential oils that aren’t safe to use during pregnancy, it’s fine to use throughout.
Try: Soaper Duper Zesty Lemon body lotion featuring sweet almond oil
Not just for drizzling on salad, olive oil can also help support the natural skin barrier, locking in moisture and keeping it smooth and moisturised. If you’re thinking about doing a perineal massage in the last six weeks of pregnancy, olive oil is a good choice of natural, vegetable-based massage oil (as is sweet almond oil, as mentioned above).
Like this? Find out more about understanding the ingredients in your family toiletries.