I’m on the last few weeks of my pregnancy, and I must say that I’ve gotten quite used to this little person living inside me over the last 9 months. It’s strange to think that it will soon be over! Even through all the morning sickness, uncomfortable nights, and constant bathroom breaks – I’ve grown to love adjusting my life for her already. It goes without saying that there are certain things you can’t eat, drink or do while pregnant – but there are even certain beauty routines that require adjusting. Read below for my pregnancy beauty tips – both do’s and don’ts for mummas-to-be. Of course, speak to your doctor first, but these are just some tidbits that I’m living by while pregnant. Make sure to leave me a comment if you have some further advice you think I need to know!
Body brushing with a natural bristle brush has long been in vogue, but the health benefits for your body are huge and are thought to be beneficial for your baby too. From improving your circulation to draining your lymphatic system, body-brushing every day – even if just for 60 seconds – can help with of healthy-body basics for both mum and baby. By stimulating the lymphatic system, it’s great for detoxing the body, and also invigorates the skin. I do this every morning!
There’s a reason so many mums rave about how oiling your belly bump (and thighs and boobs and anything else that’s going to grow) can help lessen or prevent stretch marks, so get to oiling if that’s a concern of yours (it doesn’t need to be by the way, there’s also a reason lots of people find stretch marks beautiful – they’re marks of your journey and the amazing things your body can do!). I love this one with camellia oil – it smells heavenly, and I believe has helped me avoid any stretch marks thus far.
Avoid Certain Chemicals
Our skin is the largest organ of our body and is highly porous, meaning the things we slather on our face and body are actually getting into our bloodstream – and then into our baby’s. There are certain chemicals that you definitely want to avoid sharing with your baby while pregnant – in particular retinoids (used for treating wrinkles, acne and stretch marks) can be harmful to your baby, and when taken in oral form cause birth defects. Another one to look out for is salicylic acid, which is very common in acne-treating beauty products. With this though it’s probably sufficient to limit it to products containing 1-2% salicylic acid and monitor how often you use it as the real harm comes if you ingest it or use too much. You could swap it out for glycolic acid, which is totally harmless to use during pregnancy (I love this overnight serum).
Toxin-Free Manis & Pedis
Swap out your normal mani-pedi for baby-safe products and polishes – certain nail varnishes contain nasty chemicals like formaldehyde (which can have reproductive and developmental side effects for mum and baby), so opt for 5 Free, 7 Free, 8 Free or 9 Free nail polishes (these ones remove a certain number of the harmful chemicals). My personal favorite brand is Butter London.
Since I’ve not been able to partake in my favorite cocktails, I’ve found another vice – massages! I’ve been indulging myself in pre-natal massages every few weeks during my pregnancy, and the benefits are huge. From reducing joint pain and back pain, to relieving stress and improving sleep – massages have been a godsend. Make sure when you’re pregnant to get pre-natal specific massages, as they’re safer for the baby. Believe it or not, some pressure points are known to cause early labor, so it takes a knowledgeable masseuse to avoid those areas.
This has also been a much-needed indulgence during my pregnancy. Facials help keep my skin clear and bright, while also being so peaceful and relaxing. Make sure to talk to your facialist- while some products and procedures are banned, you can have more things done than you think, such as a lactic peel. Kate Somerville and Angela Caglia are some of my favorite places to get facials in LA.
Mind Your Hairdye
Opt for highlights over a full-head of dye – techniques that color the ends of your hair or color selectively are safest as they don’t require any dye to sit on the scalp. The chemicals in hair dye are quite strong, and can also get into your bloodstream. It’s also worth checking with you hairdresser to make sure that their dye is ammonia-free.
Stick to self-tan creams and lotions rather than spray-tans as the effects of inhaling the spray are unknown. Even then it’s still worth reading the labels as some fake-tanners may include carcinogens like parabens and phthalates (which are potentially harmful to baby). Again, the more natural the product, the better. Clarins, Avène and St. Tropez are all good options. I even get a monthly toxin-free spray tan – do some research and check out local spray tan companies to see if they offer organic options.
Fillers & Botox
Although they are fine when done by professionals, these are a bit of a gray area during pregnancy. While they may not necessarily harm your baby, no studies have proved them to be safe yet, so it may be wise to err on the side of caution and avoid them altogether.
Due to heightened sensitivity during pregnancy, you’re more likely to experience irritation from eyelash glue. Not only is that horribly uncomfortable, but the adhesive usually contains a generic form of accutane, which is known to potentially cause birth defects. On the other hand, if the glue is applied properly then it ought to only sit on your lashes rather than the skin. Again, it’s a judgment call on how cautious you want to be.