If you hadn't experienced dry skin during pregnancy this summer, now that the weather is cooler and the heat is on, you may notice that your skin is more leathery, flaky, and thirsty.
Not only is dry skin irritating and unattractive, it's a sure sign that you're at risk for stretch marks that may last long after your pregnancy.
Safely Treat Dry Skin During Pregnancy
1. Moisturize Often
Find body lotions with safe ingredients that protect and promote your skin's natural hydration, and be sure to moisturize immediately after each bath or shower and before bed. Some body lotions have ingredients you may want to avoid during pregnancy such as soy, parabens, fragrance, urea, propylene glycol, mineral oil and other petroleum products (petroleum derivatives actually dry out skin, worsening the underlying condition). To help prevent unsightly stretch marks, you may want to follow up with stretch mark protection.
Check out: Earth Mama Body Butter, ($11.95, 4 oz), Moisture Me Body Toning Oil ($27, 6 oz)
2. Choose Your Soap Carefully
Soaps and most brands of body washes strip your skin of natural oils during cleansing, leaving your skin more dry as a result. Many popular brands contain sodium laureth sulfate, which is a chemical de-greasing agent made for cleaning engine oil from cars and planes and very drying to your skin and hair. During pregnancy, it’s best to use gentle, soap-free cleansers that protect your body’s natural oils.
Check out: Mandarin Creme Organic Body Wash ($16, 8 oz), Pampered Pregnancy Body Wash, ($15, 12 oz), Luxe Mama Lavender Vanilla Body Wash ($18, 8 oz), and Soothing Citrus Geranium Body Wash ($20, 8 oz)
3. Hydrate Naturally
For added skin hydration power in its most natural form, drink plenty of water every day along with eating moisture-rich fruits and vegetables. You may also want to use a humidifer to keep your skin well hydrated while you sleep.
4. Get a Daily Dose of DHA
Current conventional wisdom is that if there's one supplement every person should take for optimum health, it's an omega-3 fatty acid supplement (omega-3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA and ALA, for short). For pregnant women, an omega-3 fatty acid supplement can help promote your baby's healthy brain and skin development, along with protecting your skin from both dryness and stretch marks. If you aren't already taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement, start now.
Check out: Pregnancy Plus Omega 3 Prenatal Vitamin ($17.95, 30-day supply)
Eating plenty of vegetables, exercising (so long as your health care provider has okayed your physical fitness program) and getting enough rest at night are, of course, also tried-and-true beauty secrets to promote healthy skin.