How to regain your sanity (and skin)
Congratulations on your new bundle(s) of joy! While you victoriously hold onto that small munchkin, all the nightmares of battling morning sickness, backaches, fatigue, diet control, water retention, hair loss and dry/itchy/oily/sensitive skin issues are finally over!
Er… … …is it really finally over?
OK… so that luminous glow that should have appeared during the nine months of pregnancy did not quite happen (sobs!)… But now that the bun is out of the oven, why are all the pre-natal nightmares are still plaguing us! Are these nightmares ever going to go away? Will we ever get our glowing skin back? Will our hair grow back? And ….will we ever get any normal sleep again??
**Note to guys: unless you are OK living out the rest of your life with 1 missing testicle, DO NOT reply any post-natal complaint with “awww… but you’ve got yourself a babieee…”**
Don’t lose hope! Hang in there! For while we do not have magical powers to make all your baby blues disappear, we do have some useful tips to help you get started:
1. Melasma or hyperpigmentation: (No) thanks to skyrocketing hormones, more than 50% of pregnant women develop a “pregnancy mask” also known as melasma or hyperpigmentation – the darkening of pigmentation around the cheeks and forehead.
Elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone trigger melanocytes, causing dark spots to appear on the skin. To prevent melasma, women should avoid the sun at all costs while pregnant and after giving birth. The sun’s ultraviolet rays cause melanocytes to produce the pigment melanin, which can cause melasma to develop. Keeping in mind that you should not have any cosmetic procedures done while pregnant or breastfeeding, you have to give the ést.lab LumiWhite Skincare Range products a try. They are formulated to work effectively against dark spots: the LumiWhite Exfoliating Scrub uses all-natural biodegradable exfoliating beads to remove dead skin cells; the LumiWhite Brightening Serum inhibits melanin formation and the LumiWhite Brightening Cream protects and brightens freshly resurfaced skin.
2. Hair Loss: During pregnancy, you can expect a full, luxurious head of hair due to the increase in the level of estrogen hormones during pregnancy. Estrogen causes hair to remain in the growing phase and stimulates the growth of your hair. About three to four months after childbirth, these hormones return to normal levels, which is why many new moms see noticeable hair loss after childbirth.
Do not fret! This hair loss is temporary and should return to normal within six to 12 months. To stimulate your hair follicles and promote new hair growth, try brushing your hair with a soft natural brush every morning and evening. Doing scalp massages can also increase blood flow circulation and reduce stress.
3. Acne: Elevated progesterone levels produced by the body to maintain a healthy uterine lining during pregnancy can cause increased secretion from oil glands, sebum buildup, and clogged pores.
Even those with glowing complexions during pregnancy can now experience major breakouts after giving birth. This is called post-gestational acne. Hormonal changes, fatigue and the stress that comes with your new responsibility can also take a toll on your skin. It is important to be extra gentle with your skin so you should use a mild facial cleanser suitable for sensitive skin. Cleanse your face twice a day with Estetica’s ést.lab ActivCalm Gentle Hydrating Cleansing Mousse to deep cleanse your pores and then apply a water-based moisturizer like the ActivCalm Anti-Stress Hydra Cream to safely balance your skin’s natural oils.
4. Water retention: Water weight gain is a common side effect of pregnancy, especially during the last few months.
During pregnancy, the body produces higher-than-normal levels of the hormone progesterone which causes the body to retain both sodium and water. Simultaneously, the expanding uterus restricts blood flow to the lower part of your body, resulting in swollen ankles and calves. Although you may be eager to ditch the extra pounds, getting rid of water retention takes time.
You can go the denial route like Melissa McCarthy:
Or… you can exercise regularly. Moderate exercise moves your body and legs, which reduces swelling in your feet. Try brisk-walking with your baby in the stroller or go for a swim (your hubby can hold the fort for 30 min!). It is also important to limit your intake of caffeinated beverages and to stay hydrated all the time. Drink a glass of water after you feed your baby and carry a water bottle with you always. Remember that the extra weight does not go away automatically after childbirth but with a healthy diet and lifestyle in mind, you will get back in shape in time to come.
5. Panda eyes and eye bags: Who knew a little burrito can cause so much sleep deprivation in your life?
Exhaustion and water retention can lead to under-eye pouches while poor blood circulation results in dark under-eye circles. ést.lab’s Eye Care Range uses nourishing ingredients like Myoxinol LS 9736, SYN-HYCAN and Eyeseryl to help hydrate the eye area, reduce puffiness and appearance of fine lines. The ést.lab OptimaLift A+ Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream is specially formulated to reduce crow’s feet, improve elasticity and combat signs of ageing around the eye contours while ést.lab’s OptimaLift A+ Multi-Repair Eye Essence is packed with a composition of luxurious and powerful clinically proven active ingredients for the whole shebang – it reduces the appearance of eye bags, dark eye circles and wrinkles. For that 20 minute relaxing me-time that you so deserved, apply the ést.lab OptimaLift A+ Eye Contour Mask that is made from organic bio-cellulose material that restores that youthful radiance around the eye contours.
Even though your life is now changed forever the moment you became a parent, the stresses of the first weeks of your newborn won’t last forever. As Elizabeth Stone puts it: “Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body” It is normal to feel anxious for your little one but remember to find the laughter and joy in caring for your baby! If your baby hasn’t settled yet, rest assured he/she soon will. Most importantly, enjoying pockets of time to relax and pamper your skin is crucial for your overall well-being. Remember – a happy mother makes a happy baby!
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