It’s safe to say, pregnancy is often a jam-packed nine month period for all expecting mothers. Prior to pregnancy, I prized myself on washing and moisturising my face on a daily basis and having a regular scheduled pamper night, once a week. In fact, when I was elbow deep in paperwork or assessing elderly fragile skin, a small part of my brain would be planning, scheduling and assessing my next pamper night.
However, that would all change when discovering Baby O’Chunky would be making his grand entrance into the world. My once established evening skin care routine became not only a bitterly sweet distant memory as I spent a majority of the first four months of pregnancy, lying on my bathroom floor crying or crawling to the toilet. Alongside, now resembling one of the main characters from Planet of the Apes due to my antenatal depression and anxiety becoming uncontrollable; I experienced a rather significant rough patch resulting in a rapidly dwindling self-confidence/esteem further leading to a declined mental health and wellbeing and no care for skincare.
Over the past two or so months, I’ve developed a morning and evening routine that fits in nicely between antenatal appointments and the unrelenting urge to deep clean and ‘nest’. As a result, I’ve seen a dramatic change within my skin and appearance (no thanks to those raging hormones of mine). But also, a happier and more positive frame of mind and mental wellbeing because I am actively taking a few more minutes to pampering myself and further working on improving my mental health and wellbeing. Speaking of which, here’s how my pregnancy skin care routine is shaping up….
Morning & Evening Skincare Products
Simple Kind to Skin Vital Vitamin Foaming Cleanser: This cleanser has been a go-to product since discovering it by accident. I love this product because one pump cleans my entire face and neck. By applying to a damp face, I use my cellular sponge in circular movements from the base of my neck to hairline and sweep my ring fingers under my eyes, before rinsing with cold water. By using my ring fingers, I’m preventing the sensitive skin from being tugged and microscopically tearing which can potentially lead to aggravating my sensitive skin. Which, thankfully I have never experienced with this foaming cleanser.
Simple Kind to Skin Soothing Facial Toner: I accidentally stumbled across this toner when I started my first degree at University and have been a loyal re-purchaser ever since. Even after several years of using and repurchasing this toner, I’m not 100% sure as to why I love it so much. In fact, I have a spare bottle in my vanity unit at all times and carry around the legitimate fear of it being discontinued. But I’m sure it stems from the fact, the ingredients include Pro-Vitamin B5, Chamomile, Witch Hazel and Allantoin and my skin never having an irritated break out due to using it.
Olay Moisturising Cream: I’ve said it previously in another beauty related blog post and I will say it again, Olay’s Moisturising Cream is my A L L T I M E favourite moisturising cream, hands down. I don’t think my love for the product stems from the knowledge of it being tried, tested and repurchased by my Mum, Grandmother and Great Grandmother for many a generation. But rather, the immense enjoyment I often tend to get when I plop a finger into the thick, rich and buttery-soft cream before dabbing it across my face and neck in delicious fat, little creamy blobs.
With my skin not getting any younger as I slowly creep my way towards another decade, I am loving this more and more as it doesn’t sit in any lines, wrinkles or laughter marks I may/may not have. Also, it should be taken into the account, how fast Olay’s moisturising cream sinks into my skin and the smooth finish I get when running my fingers underneath my eyes. Only downside is: I can’t think of enough excuses to slather my skin in this gorgeous product.
Palmers Coconut Oil Body Lotion: One of things I’ve come to notice during my entire pregnancy is how unpredictably dry, itchy and patchy my skin has become. As a result of my fluctuating skin condition, I’ve resorted to refilling a small empty moisturiser container with Palmer’s coconut oil body lotion and apply it when my skin becomes itchy. One of the many great things I have come to notice over the years of using Palmer’s coconut oil body lotion is how fast absorbing it is. I don’t experience the typical greasy residue left behind unlike some other products I’ve tried in the past and the coconut-y scent leaves me feeling as if I’ve just jetted off for a mini weekend getaway to Fiji. When all I’ve done is stepped out of my bathroom. It has been one of my religiously used products throughout my entire pregnancy.
Bio Oil Body Oil: Although I’ve heard many positive reviews about the use of Bio Oil during pregnancy, I considered myself pretty fortunate to not have any stretch marks until I hit the later stage of 32 weeks of pregnancy. When I had a consultation with my doctor about using the liquid from Vitamin E capsules, my fabulous doctor recommended using Bio Oil. Since implementing Bio Oil into my morning and evening skin care routine, I’ve discovered how bloody amazing this product is.
In the morning, I tend to leisurely apply it to my stomach with circular motions from my belly button outwards to my ribcage to my hips. Without feeling guilty, I apply a few more drops near my right hip where I have stretch marks and spend an additional five minutes rubbing it into my skin. However with my evening skin care routine, I’m thoroughly exhausted and in immense pain (gotta love those damn Braxton hicks!)… I’ve resorted to asking Mr. Darcy to rub my stomach with Bio Oil.
Mr. Darcy’s routine is a little different to mine as he applies it from underneath my bust line and works his way downwards and outwards. During this time, I feel utterly pampered and relaxed because Mr. Darcy finds all of my tension and massages the areas causing pain. Plus, it seems like he’s the only one who can settle our unruly child at night. With Bio Oil becoming a regular part of my skin care routine, I’ve noticed a few things relating to the area above my right hip no longer being internally itchy and I haven’t cried once due to experiencing pain caused by said itchiness. Secondly, the redness of my stretch marks have faded to a pinkish hue and no longer feel like keloid scaring as they’ve become flushed with the skin.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Night Concentrate Facial Cream: Recently introducing Neutrogena’s hydro boost night concentrate facial cream into my evening skin care routine, I have noticed a subtle changes over the past month or so. One thing I like about this evening facial cream is the fact it contains beads enriched with Vitamin E and has Hyaluronic Acid, Olive Extract and Ionic Mineral complexes.
Which not only enhances my skin whilst reducing any fine, tiny lines I may/may not have (I don’t own a magnifying glass so therefore cannot tell nor care); but it leaves my skin feeling and looking hydrated. So when it comes time to waking up the next morning, my face appears plump and dewy while the rest of me resembles a corpse, thanks to the suffocating Australian summer humidity.
Pampering Evening Skincare Products
Garnier Pure Active Intensive 3 in 1 Charcoal Anti-Blackhead Wash, Scrub & Mask: I have been using this off and on for the past two or so months, when I notice my skin needs some additional TLC or I need an excuse to simply unwind and relax with an episode or four of CSI and a face mask. Whether it’s considered a pro or a con, the packaging states to leave Pure Active Intensive 3 in 1 Charcoal Anti-Blackhead Wash, Scrub & Mask on for five minutes (if using it as a face mask) and yet, I often tend to find myself extending the time for another 30 or so minutes until it has efficiently dried and I feel like it has done the job properly. The only downside I’ve experienced with this product is when applying it to my skin with my fingers, I often tend to get the product around and under my fingernails and find it painstakingly slow/painful to remove due to the grainy texture of the product.
C Lab & Co Coffee Scrub (travel pack): Normally at the end of the working week when I find myself needing to spend an extra couple of minutes in the shower, I tend to pull out C Lab & Co’s coffee scrub. Although it’s said to target cellulite, stretch marks and any other skin imperfections, I tend to focus on my ever-growing abdomen, breasts as well as targeting my upper thighs as I have stretch marks from puberty.
Once having applied the coffee scrub and rubbing my body in medium-sized circular movements, I switch off the shower and open a window as the smell of the coffee grounds and almond oil can be slightly overwhelming in a confined space and sometimes, suffocating. While answering emails or responding to missed text messages in my shower, I stand there for a few good minutes or until I have completed and sent my last reply before washing the scrub off.
Speaking of confined spaces, I would highly recommend using C Lab & Co’s coffee scrub in a bath tub if applicable. Because when it comes times to rinsing and removing the coffee grains, it’s tedious, difficult and time-consuming to say the least. By using it in the bath and having a plastic cup/jug on standby, it will save your time and won’t ruin your pampering experience.
For my pregnancy skin care routine or have recently added to the ever-growing and dynamically changing list. At the end of the day, I’ve discovered I am reluctant to part ways with my holy grail favourites and definitely spend a majority of my remaining days, looking for any excuse to pamper myself before Baby O’Chunky arrives. With that, bringing another change to my life and skincare routine.