In just a few short days, we’ll welcome May! We’re devoting this month to all the moms and moms-to-be out there, who are working so hard to nurture and care for everyone around them. It’s time we showed them a little extra love, and not just on Mother’s Day.
This will be a special month for me, too! In case you haven’t already heard, I’m expecting my first this June -- a baby boy! The past eight months have been quite the adventure, and although I didn't have to worry about the safety of my skincare routine when I became pregnant, there have been plenty of shifts to accommodate - and support - my changing body.
I was recently featured over on Well Rounded, and am sharing some of the things that I’ve learned along the way...
How My Skincare Routine Has Changed
My skin -- which I usually understand and know how to control -- has thrown me many curve balls over the past eight months. Early in the first trimester, my skin began breaking out for the first time in years. I broke out along my chin and neck area (where hormones stand out most on the skin), and had to completely change my skincare focus for the first time in years. I multi-masked, spot-treated, and used balancing face oils rather than the super-moisturizing oils in my normal routine. Luckily, I was able to heal and regulate my skin fairly quickly. I feel grateful to have experienced this firsthand, and to be able to share my experience with customers and friends. My skin evened out in my second trimester, but the third trimester has greeted me with the driest skin and scalp I’ve ever had (to the point of having dry patches and itchiness) and I’m back to getting the occasional breakout again. Now I only use milk cleansers, hydrating toners, and much heavier oils to moisturize my face — plus heavier oils and scrubs for my body (which is stretching more by the minute)!
How I’m Finding Balance
Before starting my business, exercise and meditation were not optional for me -- I made to sure to include these practices daily. That dropped off for a while when I launched Follain in 2013, but during pregnancy exercise and meditation have become priorities again -- and that feels great! Spin classes and prenatal yoga have become my go-to’s. Ultimately, the biggest change to my wellness routine during pregnancy has been sleep; I’m getting way more sleep than I ever had before! The moment I became pregnant, I began feeling dysfunctional when I didn’t get eight hours of sleep. This has been a huge change for me, as I was able to function on much less sleep before.
Why Making Skincare Changes in Pregnancy is So Important
I still can’t believe – and have to remind myself daily – that I’m growing and nurturing another human being! While there are tons of things to think about (cleaning products to car seats), skincare should really be top of mind during pregnancy.
Health and safety. There’s little-to-no regulation of the beauty industry in the U.S. Unfortunately this means that everything from drugstore brands to department store brands usually contain some level of toxic ingredients. These ingredients are absorbed through our skin (our largest organ!) into our bloodstream, and can be helpful or harmful to us – and to the babies growing and developing inside of us! Because toxic beauty ingredients have been connected with everything from birth defects to uterine contractions (and many things between), it’s incredibly important to know our skincare ingredients. Of course, Follain believes that it’s important to use safe skincare all the time – not just during pregnancy – but this is an especially important time.
Self-care. With all the decisions, pending life and career changes it brings, pregnancy can sometimes be a stressful time. It also happens to be the time we need to be most careful about maintaining our calm, and emotional well-being. Kind of difficult to manage, if you ask me! The nice part is that many healthy skincare products can be used to help maintain that calm. Taking time for yourself with a bath soak and mask, or including aromatherapeutic body oils into your daily routine, can make a world of difference in your outlook and well-being. Taking a deep breath and appreciating the nutritional, functional, and aromatherapeutic properties of plant-derived skincare products can sometimes be the part of the product experience! I take a deep breath every time I apply my face oil now, and I’m convinced it makes the product (and me!) work better.
Skin maintenance. There’s no getting around skin changes during pregnancy. Some women will break out, some will get seriously dry skin, and others (like me) will experience both. Finding the “right” skincare products for your unique pregnancy skin can sometimes be tough, but it’s well worth it. Believe me, your skin doesn’t want to break out or get super dry. These break outs are cries for help. Angry pregnancy skin needs to be maintained and regulated, to prevent scarring, cracking, and fine line development. Given that our faces are what we present to the world – and our skin protects us in more ways than one – it’s important to maintain it during pregnancy and beyond!
Confidence and self expression. As our bodies change during pregnancy, sometimes a little (non-toxic) makeup can boost morale more than usual. As I grow bigger every day in this third trimester, I’ve found myself wearing more lip and eye color than ever before. At this point, I’ll take anything that makes me feel sexier and more confident, and I’m happy to be able to rest easy knowing that the products I’ve added in are safe for me and the baby.
Photos by Cambria Grace.