After giving birth your body needs to recover from the massive changes it went through during the pregnancy.
While some things heal fairly quickly, some will take longer because of the hormonal tornado that happened in your system. And, although now it became just a hurricane, it’s still a strong wind of hormones that has effect on your physical as well as mental state.
On many occasions your skin is the first one to take the hit. If you’re breastfeeding for longer, your acne can get worse due to the hormonal imbalance.
I was struggling with some bad acne at the end of my pregnancy and long after I gave birth to my little one.
Thankfully, I found my remedies and today I’ll share tips with you on how to improve your skin condition. In this post I’m gonna reveal some ‘tricks’ for a postpartum acne treatment.
Why acne attacked you (again)?
I’m sure, if you’ever struggled with acne before, you know very well how the acne develops: the excessive sebum mixed with dead cells clogs your pores which makes it a perfect environment for bacteria to multiply and create an inflammation.
So what or who is to blame? Is it your fault or it’s something you have no control over?
Well, it’s both. If we’re talking about long-term adult acne in general, it’s best to visit a dermatologist or a beautician for a special treatment. But if we’re talking about postpartum acne (of a non-severe type), it’s likely it will disappear at some point and there are ways you can treat it at home.
So apart from the hormonal imbalance mentioned before, the other cause of pimples popping on your skin might be:
– dehydration- it’s very important for your skin’s health, especially during breastfeeding. If your skin is not hydrated enough it loses its moisture and elasticity, which in turn gives the opportunity for toxins to enter your system (from here developing acne is just a matter of time).
– wrong diet- quite simply, if you’re eating unhealthy food or junk food it will only trigger your condition. In this case you would be the one responsible for your acne. After all, we are what we eat.
-bad skin care- you might not cleanse your face properly for the night. Leaving dirt on your skin creates a perfect environment for bacteria to thrive.
-stress and sleep deprivation- it’s not to be underestimated in frankly any health conditions. Your body responds with all kind of inflammation when it’s trying to fight back the stress hormones and acne is one of them.
-tendency to breakouts- if you had acne as a teenager or you had bigger issues with it while pregnant, it’s likely that you simply are one of those people who naturally produce more sebum. If that’s the case, you’re more likely to struggle with acne during your postpartum period (or as long as you’re breastfeeding). What could also increase the risks are certain hormone-related conditions (such as olycystic ovary syndrome).
How can you naturally improve your skin condition?
- Stay hydrated- drink at least 2 litres of water daily (that’s about 10 glasses); for breastfeeding mums I’d suggest increasing this number to 3 litres. Keep doing it daily and watch how your skin changes!
- Eat healthy, well-balanced diet. Whatever you were eating during your pregnancy (assuming it was good food), continue having now. Try to avoid processed, spicy and fried food; limiting dairy products will also benefit your skin.
- Remove your make up properly. Your night skin-routine is super important in keeping your skin in a good condition. In my opinion, the best brand for oily, acne-prone skin is La Roche Posay. They have a great face wash that you should use first, follow with a toner or micellar water. Finish with a good moisturising face cream (this one is good for the night and day time, it hydrates your skin deeply without being greasy).
- Relax. I’m aware it’s almost impossible when having a baby around but try to get a good night sleep and find a way to relax on a daily basis. Whether it’s a book, movie or short meditation, do whatever calms you down.
- Don’t touch those pimples. Squeezing and picking on them will only make it worse as it leads to spreading the acne and scarring (I know it’s a hard part, I’m still fighting this bad habit myself!).
What else can you do to reduce the break outs if you’re still breastfeeding?
- Drink water with lemon. Vitamin C should become your best friend not only during pregnancy but forever!It will not only help to improve your skin appearance but also strengthen your immune system and general health condition. Take a half of lemon, squeeze it into a glass (use a manual lemon squeezer to make your life easier) and pour some warm water. You can also add a vitamin C powder and mix it all together. If you drink it every day (mornings before breakfast is the best time), you should soon see the improvement- the skin gets brighter and the tone of it visibly evens out. Plus, you won’t catch a flu so easily anymore!
- Serum with vitamin C. As mentioned above, vitamin C does wonders, especially when put directly on your face. This serum also contains retinol, hylauronic acid, salicylic acid and niacinamide. All of those ingredients are perfect for problematic skin, they have anti-aging properties and will provide in-depth hydration. I use it in my morning routine, just before applying my face moisturiser. If you combine it with drinking lemon water, you’ll get the best results; you should see a clear improvement after couple of weeks.
- Salicylic acid cream. It unclogs pores, helps fight inflammation and removes blackheads. This cream can also help you to reduce any acne scars that you may have. Note, the salicylic acid generally is quite strong and, if you have a sensitive skin, it may dry out your skin; that’s why it’s best to use it only once a day (or every other day if you’re very sensitive).Put the salicylic acid cream directly on the spots, preferably for the night (this way the pimples will get dried out and won’t develop any further); then make sure you put a deeply hydrating cream on your face.
- I’m really in love with this Clinique face cream because of its gel consistency- it’s so rich but absorbs quickly; your skin stays hydrated for a really long time- you can use for the night as well as a primer for make-up.
- Face mask. A must-have to close your skin care cycle. For acne- prone skin the best option would be charcoal and clay mask. Charcoal helps to draw impurities from the skin by absorbing toxins and bacteria. This peel-off mask will be especially great for removing blackheads. Another great ingredient to look for in a mask for problematic skin is pink clay. It not only detoxifies but also minimises the appearance of pores. This Australian Pink Clay mask is my absolute favourite- though it’s pricey I promise you’ll see the difference after just one use! Your face looks brighter and feels well hydrated. As a bonus, it comes with a brush:) Use it once or twice a week for best results.
- Blackhead remover. This very good and quite simple device works like a little vacuum and will kind of ‘suck’ those annoying blackheads and dirt out of your face. Although it won’t remove your blackheads completely (at least not the ones that lie deeper in your skin), it does a pretty good job with the blackheads that gather on the surface. Just remember to follow the guidelines- use a steam on your face first to open up your pores and only then start using the vacuum. Also, don’t overdo it- make sure you don’t suck on one place for too long (to avoid bruising) and use milder suction on your cheeks (your skin is more sensitive on that area); it’s best to do this no more than once a week.
*** According to my research (and my experience), all mentioned methods are safe for breastfeeding and shouldn’t affect your baby in any way. However, many of the ingredients in acne-prone skin products were not tested for long term effects on breastfeeding babies, so it’s always good to speak with your dermatologist or a GP before using any new skin care product.
That’s all from me for today.
I really hope my ‘miracle’ products will help you to get rid of the postpartum acne and get back your glowing skin.
If you know any good and safe products (or natural methods) for improving your skin condition, please share it with us in the comments below.
Take care mamas and continue to be fabulous:)