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Jan 13, 2015

My Pregnancy Skincare Routine

While I've been blessed thus far with a generally complication free pregnancy, I have had occasional struggles with my complexion. Either this was just more of an issue during the first trimester or I have finally figured out the right combination of products for my skin, because my face has been more or less clear of blemishes for the past few weeks. Several people have complimented me on my "glow," which I attribute at least in part to my new beauty regimen. Check out my favorite pregnancy skincare products below!

1. One of the most important things for preventing skin issues is thoroughly removing makeup. I really like these cleaning wipes because they remove everything, even stubborn eye makeup, they are ultra moisturizing, and they smell fantastic.

2. During my first trimester I talked to my doctor about how to prevent breakouts and he mentioned that keeping my skin cool would help, because bacteria tend to thrive more in warmer environments. I was a little hesitant to put anything cold on my face, especially since I was feeling chilly all the time anyway, but I found these cooling face masks that seem to do the trick without making me feel unbearably cold.  These would be especially great if you were pregnant during the summer.

3. Another method I use to prevent breakouts is exfoliation. My doctor warned against using anything too harsh that might exacerbate the issues I was already having, Plus, I had to steer clear from anything containing certain additives that are not recommended for pregnant women, such as salicylic acid or Retin-A (more on this later), so I decided to try Burt's Bees Facial Scrub. It smells amazing and leaves my face feeling super soft. It is gentle enough on my skin that I could use it every day and contains all natural ingredients.

4. and 5. I have continued to use the same daily cleanser and night cream that I used before I became pregnant. Cetaphil is the best; I've been using it for years and I have no intention of changing. I've tried several varieties of Burt's Bees Night Cream, and the Intense Hydration Cream with Clary Sage is my favorite of all. So far this winter I have had no issues with dry skin patches on my face, which is something I normally struggle with, and I attribute that in large part to my new night cream.

6. I've also continued using my go-to tinted moisturizer on a daily basis in lieu of foundation. I'm generally not a huge foundation fan and I've found during my pregnancy that I really don't need heavy coverage. Plus, I like that my tinted moisturizer is broad spectrum SPF 20.

7. I'm just starting to show, so I'm just beginning to experience the itching that comes along with your skin stretching to cover an ever expanding belly. Of course I had to buy Burt's Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter (note: Burt's Bees is not sponsoring this post, I just really love their products). It is extremely rich and moisturizing.

8. This isn't really pregnancy related, but while I'm on the subject of things that are really moisturizing, I just want to say that this is the BEST hand cream. If your hands get really dry during the winter (and really, whose don't?) this stuff will pretty much get them back to normal within one or two applications. Plus, it is inexpensive and readily available at most drug stores.

There are some general "best practices" that can help your skin as well, like making sure that anything that touches your face is cleaned regularly (towels, pillowcases, etc.) and also trying to keep your hands off of your face (which is really tough for me). After you already have a breakout though, your options get a bit more limited.

Prior to pregnancy, I relied on products containing salicylic acid or Retin-A to treat occasional breakouts. These products are not safe during pregnancy (especially Retin-A, which is derived from vitamin A, high amounts of which have been shown to cause birth defects). I was still trying to find some alternative for treating my occasional blemishes when someone suggested I use apple cider vinegar as a toner. Normally, I wouldn't try just anything on my face, but apple cider vinegar is something that I generally keep on hand, so I gave it a shot and it seems to actually work. Don't apply it straight out of the bottle; you should dilute with water to prevent irritation. You can read full instructions on how to make your own apple cider vinegar toner here.

I hope this little overview of my skincare routine is helpful to any pregnant ladies out there or anyone else looking for more natural ways to prevent and treat breakouts! I'm happy with my new pregnancy skincare routine, but there is always room for improvement, so please share your favorite tips and products in the comments!

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