Skin Problems During Pregnancy: How to Deal

pregnancy skin issues

Pregnancy and the hormones related to pregnancy can cause skin problems during pregnancy.  Unfortunately, these hormones affect everyone differently and while one mom may have that gorgeous pregnancy glow another might suffer with melasma (mask of pregnancy), breakouts, eczema and more.  You might be wondering what is safe to use and what should be avoided.  Beth Bialko, Global Curriculum Developer at the International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica, breaks down the most common Skin Problems During Pregnancy and how to address ever-changing skin during this special time.

Melasma (also known as the “Mask of Pregnancy”) is the most common change in skin and characterized by hyperpigmentation usually found on the chin, upper lip, cheeks, nose, and forehead.

o   DO exfoliate and apply SPF daily when trying to minimize melasma. Pregnancy-safe ingredients for hyperpigmentation include Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Vitamin C and Oligopeptides.

o   DO use a physical sunscreen like Super Sensitive Shield SPF30 that will keep heat off the skin by reflecting the sun’s rays.

o   DON’T use Hydroquinone, a common ingredient in lightening products, as 35%-45% of it is systemically absorbed following topical use and its safety during pregnancy has not been confirmed.

Breakouts and excess oil production can be caused by overactive sebaceous glands during pregnancy.

o   DON’T use Retinoids, as studies have shown that high doses of Vitamin A during pregnancy can be harmful to an unborn child. Salicylic Acid should also be avoided, as it is part of the aspirin family and it is unsure how much is absorbed into the bloodstream when applied topically.

o   DO look for products with Niacinamide to combat congested pores. Reach for new Charcoal Rescue Masque with Activated Binchotan Charcoal to draw out impurities and accelerate skin renewal.

o   CONSIDER Benzoyl Peroxide, which in concentrations under 5% is safe for pregnant women and also works well as a spot treatment.

Stretch marks occur in almost 90% of pregnancies (usually in the third trimester) and cannot be prevented or cured.

o   DO moisturize with Hyaluronic Acid found in UltraRich Body Cream to keep skin hydrated and lessen their appearance.

o   DO exercise and eat healthy during pregnancy. While genetics and weight gain play heavier roles in the development of stretch marks, an active and nourishing lifestyle will keep mom and baby happy.

Eczema, Atopic Dermatitis, and Rosacea, whether a new or pre-existing skin condition, can be triggered by pregnancy.

o   DON’T use products with artificial colors and fragrances, as they are common irritants and can exacerbate these skin conditions.

o   DO choose ingredients like Oatmeal and Lavender to safely calm and soothe sensitive skin. A restorative moisturizer like Barrier Repair will hydrate and shield skin from environmental and internal triggers.

ban Total refresh cooling body cloths

ban Total refresh cooling body cloths
Lately, I’ve been walking to work.  The weather wasn’t so awful and I felt like it was decent exercise, so why not?  Right?  The only downside was that I would bundle up and then I would sweat a little on the way.  So for a little bit, I was doing a little wash up at work and applying some more antiperspirant.  Then, I got an email about ban Total refresh cooling body cloths, I was like oh this is perfect.  So I tried them out and let me tell you, they are great.  If you work out, walk, or just like to freshen up after a long day of work the ban Total Refresh Cooling body cloths are perfect for you.

I love that the wipes leave your skin feeling silky and barely have a scent.  I tried the Restore scent which is described as a light powder scent, light is accurate.  There is hardly any scent, which is perfect because the goal is to freshen up not mask sweat with a scent.  The wipe itself is cool but it doesn’t really make my skin feel cool, I feel more refreshed than cool and that’s perfectly fine with me.  I have pretty sensitive skin and this did not irritate my skin at all, another score!  I’m a fan of these wipes and I would recommend them to anyone who needs a mid-day refresh.

Find these in your local drugstore or get a bundle pack from Ban Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths (Bundle of 3) 10-count. 1 Enliven, 1 Invigorate, and 1 Restore.

Grace & Stella Foot Peeling Mask Review

So I’ve been sitting on the Grace & Stella co. Luxurious Foot Peeling Mask for a while now.  Now, you guys all know I’m not stranger to foot peeling masks, that’s exactly why I waited until the cooler weather where my feet would be covered before trying this to write the review.  Here’s how the Grace & Stella Foot Peeling Mask works:  you soak your feet, then dry them well, apply the booties, wait 1 hour then rinse your feet.  The peeling should start around day 4 and to get even better results it’s suggested that you soak your feet in warm water for about 10 minutes a day.
I decided to just let the water collect while I took my shower, that way I my feet would be “soaking” at the same time.  I really have to use my time wisely because I don’t have much ‘free’ time at all.  Anyway, after I showered I gave my feet a little extra scrubbing and then rinsed and dried well.  One thing I like about the Grace & Stella Luxurious Foot Peeling Mask is that the little baggies that you put your feet into feel nice.  The are a thicker white plastic which is nice compared to the clear plastic that other companies give you.  I put the baggies on my feet, put a pair of socks over it and laid down in bed.  I set my alarm for 1 hour because I knew I would fall asleep.  When the alarm went off, I threw my feet into the tub and rinsed everything off, dried well and went back to sleep.

Right on key, around day 3-4 my feet started peeling!  The skin underneath was super soft and smooth.  I’ve used another foot peeling mask before but the Grace & Stella Foot Peeling Mask is the only one that peeled the skin between my toes and the tops of my feet, giving me a complete peeling experience.  I’m super glad I did not use this mask during the summer months!  I only recommend you use this when your feet will be safely tucked away in socks and shoes because the peeling part isn’t pretty.  Now is the perfect time to work on your feet, getting them summer ready and the Grace & Stella Foot Peeling Mask is the perfect way to get the ball rolling!

X-Mas Wish List: Ninja Coffee Bar

ninja coffee barI have to have my coffee, every single day without fail.  So when I saw the infomercial for the Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer I wanted it!  It’s being marketed as multi-use coffee machine that can do it all, a travel cup, iced coffee, half carafe or full carafe.  My favorite part is that you can use your own coffee grounds so it eliminates the need to keep on buying K-Cups (those things are expensive!)  It also looks like it’s not that big and will not take up too much space on the counter.  Hopefully, we will be in our new home sooner than later so I’m sure we will be having lots of company and visitors so it would be nice to be able to offer yummy coffee drinks to our guests.

ninja coffee bar

In the summer months I love a great iced coffee and with the Ninja Coffee Bar you can make a fabulous iced coffee right at home.  The Ninja Coffee Bar is at the top of my Christmas Wish list!  Especially because it’ll help me be a fabulous barista at home since it comes with a 40 recipe book that teaches you how to make specialty drinks too.  Imagine the amount of money you will actually save by making your own coffee drinks at home?  Plus, you can control the amount of sugar, cream, and extras.  I’m hoping the hubs reads this post because this is just what I want for Christmas this year.  When I was watching the infomercial featuring Sofia Vergara (who claims the coffee is as good as traditional Colombian coffee) I was like a kids looking at the Toys R Us Christmas catalog for the first time!

Where to buy? is always a great option, it’s my favorite place to shop especially since I have Amazon Prime which gives you free 2 day shipping. Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

Beauty Sleep: Why you need it

beauty sleep

Written for Beauty Blvd. by Naomi J. Shaw

When you get enough sleep, you wake up feeling good and energetic. But it’s also really healthy for your skin, helping it to stay luxuriously soft and beautiful.  There’s a reason why it’s called Beauty Sleep!

Sleep SOS: What Happens to Your Skin When You Don’t Sleep

When you don’t get enough sleep, it shows on your skin in a variety of unappealing ways. In a study of sleep-deprived people, researchers found that a lack of sleep shows up on our facial features, with the eyes, skin and mouth being features most often displaying a need for sleep. For instance, you might suffer red, swollen eyes, dark under-eye circles, pale skin, wrinkles, a droopy mouth, and hanging eyelids.

But what’s really happening in your body to cause these symptoms and reveal that you were burning the midnight oil instead of turning in for the night? When you don’t get enough sleep:

  • You miss out on skin cell regeneration that happens while you sleep. In fact, skin cells regenerate at a faster speed during the night than day.
  • You miss out on your skin having more hydration because skin recovers moisture from the body while you sleep. This is important because it allows your skin to be more moisturized, which means that lines and wrinkles also get smoothed out.
  • You increase your body’s inflammation, which breaks down collagen and the body’s natural production of hyaluronic acid. These give your skin its firm and elastic appearance.
  • You don’t experience an increase in growth hormones that repair damaged cells. So, those little repairs that don’t happen on a regular basis end up displaying signs of ageing on your face.
  • You put your skin at greater risk of sun exposure. Research has found that not getting good sleep results in skin that ages faster than it should but it can also have less ability to repair itself after sun exposure. Although you can use skin brightening products to help keep your skin’s melanin under control and give you more radiant skin if UV exposure has resulted in pigmentation, sleep needs to be part of your clear and gorgeous skin routine.

Set Your Clock for Beauty Sleep
It’s not always easy to achieve good sleep and if you battle with it, you might fear that you’re going to be stuck with skin that looks dull or older than it should. But that’s not true. There are many ways in which you can encourage better quality sleep every night. It’s really about making some positive lifestyle changes.
These include:

  • Avoiding Stimulating Food and Drink
    If you have alcohol, caffeinated drinks, or protein foods late at night, these can all cause you to stay up when you really want to get to bed. The reason is because alcohol and caffeine stimulate your nervous system while protein takes long for the body to digest. The result? Instead of slowing down, your body is being accelerated!
  • Switching Off
    Research has found that up to 80 per cent of people find it tougher to get to sleep because of staring at screens, such as those of phones and e-readers. Light from these screens inhibits the melanin hormone which produces sleep. If you read or check your emails just before bedtime, try to do these techno tasks earlier in the evening so that you switch off all devices at least an hour or two before bed.
  • Choose Calming Colors
    Having soothing, relaxing colors in your bedroom is important to encourage feelings of relaxation. Whatever colors are associated with tranquility for you should be in your bedroom décor so that you will feel serene when you step inside at the end of the day.
  • Set an Alarm to Get to Bed
    Our bodies run on routines, so train your body to want sleep at a certain time by going to bed at the same time every night. You should also set an alarm to wake you up at the same time in the mornings as oversleeping can result in less sleep later on. Sticking to a sleep schedule will help you achieve quality sleep.
  • De-Stress Before Heading Under the Duvet
    Stress can keep you up at night, plus it has various negative effects on your skin. When cortisol, the stress hormone, is in high quantities in the body, it causes inflammation that shows up as oily skin, clogged pores, and breakouts. Stress also causes you to frown more, which can lead to permanent lines. Meditation and deep breathing are wonderful and easy ways in which to eliminate stressful thoughts and relax your skin. Make sure you do these activities before bed, which will promote sleep.

Having healthy, youthful skin depends on getting enough sleep, so start following lifestyle habits that will help you sleep your way to beautiful skin.