Top summer pampering picks and fast fixes for busy mums and mums-to-be
During pregnancy, skin can become drier, duller and sometimes red and irritated (thanks to those pesky hormonal changes). Simple adjustments to your skin care regime will help address any new concerns that you have, during or after your pregnancy. Here to help is skin care expert and mother Bronwyn Conway,
A good skincare regime should include a moisturiser, an eye cream, a broad spectrum sun protection, an exfoliator and a mask. As there is such a surge of hormonal activity during pregnancy it is important to take extra care of your skin.
1. SPF is essential. During pregnancy sunscreen is very important as the skin is more prone to chloasma, otherwise known as 'pregnancy mask'. The sun protection contained in a moisturiser generally does not remain stable for long enough so a separate sunscreen is required. Try Image Skincare Prevention + range. These are great lightweight tinted and untinted sunscreens; perfect for the summer months when it's too hot for foundation.
2. A good skincare routine requires a cleanser for morning and night. In the morning I would recommend a glycolic cleanser followed by a moisturiser, an eye cream and a broad spectrum sun protection. At night, a milk cleanser will remove any make-up. Each routine should only take two minutes.
3. The skin needs to be exfoliated weekly. Follow this with a mask to improve skin texture and keep it hydrated. Guinot's Gommage Biologique, €46.50 and Masque Essentiel Nutrition Confort, €35.50 are nice gentle products that will suit even the most sensitive hormonal skin.
Whether you are planning to go away this summer or hoping to soak up the rays in your back garden, there are a number of ways to combat the heat during and after your pregnancy.
1. The texture of your hair is just another feature that can change during your pregnancy. Hair can become coarse and thick and, when hit with humidity, it can become dry and frizzy. Tackle it with a humidity spray such as Joico Flip Turn, €19.90. Spray it onto dry hair through the layers to help seal in the moisture.
2. Hot weather can cause your legs to swell, especially in the later stages of your pregnancy. This is where cooling foot creams come in. They relieve any tightness or discomfort and help put that zing back into your step. Prop your feet up and massage a cooling lotion into your swollen legs. The Body Shop have a great range of cooling products that includes a Peppermint Cooling Foot Spray, €9.95. Pop it in your bag to help heavy legs on the move.
3. Smudgy eye make-up we can live with but nothing is worse than seeing your perfectly applied foundation turn to dodgy patches of uneven colour, thanks to the summer sun. If you want to perk up your complexion or hide any blemishes try a light sheer compact such as Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Multi Colour Mariniere SPF15, €55. The two-shade compact brightens up your skin without leaving a cakey effect.
Scents that you loved pre-motherhood can often seem less desirable now for no good reason and for many this negative association never fades. This is completely normal so why not use it as an opportunity to treat yourself to a new perfume that you can use during and after your pregnancy. Some fresh yet subtle scents to look out for this summer include Davidoff Cool Waters Summer Seas, €61, and CK Eternity Summer, €45.70.
Acne, a string of sleepless nights and a host of other complaints can leave your skin feeling rubbish, during and after your pregnancy. Along with a good skin care routine, concealer can make even the stubbornest blemishes look better. Invest in one that is fast, easy to apply and targets your specific skin worries. So they may not banish the problems for good, but a little bit of smoke and mirrors won't hurt, will it?
1. Whether you are prone to dark circles under your eyes or you developed them during your pregnancy, chances are you won't find a cream that gets rid of them completely. But you can disguise them with a light creamy concealer. Opt for a long lasting liquid formula that is a similar shade to your natural skin tone. Try Clarins Instant Concealer, €25. It has a medium coverage and blends in easily into the skin. Another great option is Rimmel's Match Perfection Concealer, €7.99. The soft precision brush applicator makes for a quick and easy touch up.
2. Dark patches of skin, otherwise known as chloasma, can develop over your pregnancy most commonly down the nose and across the cheeks. They often fade but they can be frustrating. The best course of treatment is a high sun protection and a light colour correcting concealer that doesn't feel heavy the skin. Try Max Factor CC Colour Corrector Stick in The Reducer, €10.99. It neutralises the brown, red and grey tones that chloasma can bring and can be worn underneath or on top of your base.
3. Usually due to a hormonal change, new mothers are particularly vulnerable to acne. However, it should settle in a few months. Once you have mastered a good skin care regime, try a matte concealer to disguise any redness or blemishes. Coverage can be tricky as you want a concealer that covers blemishes but you don't want it to appear obvious. Rather than covering the pesky little bumps with a heavy amount of product, you need to soften the area and counteract the redness with a sheer light infusing concealer. The best are by Nars, Make Up For Ever and MAC.
During your pregnancy your hair can become thicker and fuller. Once you give birth or stop breastfeeding you may notice that these lovely extra locks will fall out. You can bulk up your hair with dry shampoo or a volumising powder but if you want long lasting results try Nioxin's 3D Styling range. Perfect for those in search of thicker locks, this range retains the hair's natural moisture, thickens the hair strands and adds shine without leaving a heavy product build up.