How to take care of Postpartum Skin

Just as pregnancy sets off a cascade of changes in your skin, so can the postpartum period. Again, the main culprit is hormones!

We know that pregnancy causes a surge in certain hormones. Similarly, when a person gives birth, there is another hormonal shake up. Most significant is estrogen, which is high during pregnancy but significantly plummets post-birth.

As estrogen stimulates the production of collagen, elastin and Hyaluronic Acid – components in the skin that keep it plump and firm – postpartum skin tends to be dry and tired looking. Of course, the lack of sleep from nursing a newborn doesn’t help either!

Some women experience adult acne in the postpartum period. This is typically due to changing stress levels, which can be both physical and emotional. Stress causes a surge in the hormone cortisol, which in turn causes our oil glands to go into overdrive.

Also, it’s likely, and not surprising, that our skincare routine may become neglected in those early months. Skincare multi-taskers are key to healthy skin in the postpartum period.

Like with pregnancy, if you’re breastfeeding, there are some ingredients you’ll need to avoid.

Firstly, Retinoids, such as Retinol, which is used to firm and smooth the skin, should not be used. Salicylic Acid, which is commonly used to clear breakouts, should also be avoided in concentrations above 2%.

The good news is that there are other ingredients you can use if you’re breastfeeding. For example, Vitamin C, which has a firming and brightening effect on the skin, and Peptides, that help to firm the skin by stimulating collagen production.

For breakouts, Sulphur and Niacinamide are both considered breastfeeding and pregnancy safe. They work together to gently clear the skin by helping clear pores, reduce breakout causing bacteria and control excess oil.

Content courtesy of Dermalogica Australia