Looking after your skin during pregnancy can make a big difference to both your comfort levels and confidence as pregnancy hormones and a changing body shape take their toll.
Stretch marks most commonly appear in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, especially on the stomach, breasts, hips, buttocks and thighs.
Up to 90% of pregnant women develop stretch marks during pregnancy due to rapid weight fluctuations that don’t give the skin enough time to adjust, causing internal tears in the skin tissue. Genetics and hormone levels can also play a role.
Treating stretch marks:
Celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Sienna Miller, Victoria Beckham, Natalie Portman, Tshedi Mholo and Cindy Nel all used Bio-Oil during their pregnancies to help prevent stretch marks.
Massage Bio-Oil into your skin twice a day from the third month of pregnancy. Massaging your skin will help to increase circulation and the nutrient supply to the skin, helping to keep it supple.
Itchy Dry Skin
Your skin can get very itchy and uncomfortable during pregnancy, especially around the breasts and stomach area where your skin stretches to accommodate your growing baby. “Massaging oil onto your breasts and tummy will moisturise your skin, soothe itchiness and help decrease the chance of stretch marks forming,” says Childbirth Educator, Lynne Bluff.
To relive the itching:
- Massage Bio-Oil into your skin or add a few drops of Bio-Oil to your bath.
- Use cool or lukewarm water to bath or shower in as hot water can dry out your skin.
- Avoid the heat. Rather stay inside or in the shade when you do have to go outside.
- Wear cool, loose clothing.
Uneven skin tone
Fluctuating hormone levels are responsible for producing more melanin during pregnancy which can lead to ‘the mask of pregnancy’ developing. This usually lasts for about three months until your hormones return to pre-pregnancy levels. For some women this mask doesn’t disappear completely after pregnancy.
Treating ‘pregnancy mask’:
Gently massage Bio-Oil into your skin twice a day to improve skin tone, avoid sun exposure and wear a 30SPF sunblock on your face every day.
Bio-Oil is highly effective for reducing the appearance of scarring, including post-operative Caesarean scars. User-trials conducted in the UK in 2002, found that 85% of the scars on 82 candidates showed an improvement in just four weeks.
Taking care of your C-Section scar:
Experts recommend taping with micro-pore tape as this supports the skin, reducing stress around the wound thereby lessening the scar tissue that forms. Plastic surgeon Dr Dirk Lazarus recommends taping your scar for up to a year after the birth of your baby. “We recommend using a few drops of Bio-Oil on top of the micro-pore tape (the tape is porous and will absorb the oil), and also massaging the oil into the scar when replacing the tape.”