Are you a new mum and facing with skin problem? And are you looking for some tips to take care of your newborn skin?So, you have just had a baby. That amazing pregnancy glow that seems to bless so many women has disappeared and is replaced by eye bags and tired, dull skin. When you are up all night feeding and caring for a newborn, the last thing you can think about is your skin and looking after that as well. Chuck in those pesky hormones and you have got a recipe for a skin disaster – dry and discoloured patches, spots and a few extra fine lines are all par for the course in that hormonal postpartum period.
How To Look After New Mum and Baby Skin
In this article, we are going to look at a few of these issues and what you can do about them, as well as a few tips for looking after fragile newborn skin.
New Mum With New Skin
The first thing to remember when it comes to skin care is that natural is always better. Your skin is delicate, even more so after giving birth, so don’t start putting anything harsh on there. Do your research on products and look at skin care specialists such as Amaira skincare Australia before you start buying anything.
One of the most significant telltale signs that someone is a new mum is their puffy eyes. Late nights and dehydration (after all, who has time to sit down for a drink when caring for a newborn) show up first in our eyes in the form of puffiness, dark circles, and fine lines. The skin is much thinner here, so you need to take more care with this area of your face. To overcome this, make sure that you are drinking plenty of water – at least two litres a day, especially if you are breastfeeding. Look for a product containing antioxidants and vitamin C to protect and encourage the production of collagen in the skin. If you do get the chance to sit down and relax for five minutes, the good old cooled cucumber or teaspoon from the fridge over the eye trick will help reduce puffiness and bring back the sparkle.
Pigmentation is another skin problem that many new mums find themselves faced with. Darker patches of coloured skin on your face is a prevalent side effect of pregnancy, and it doesn’t necessarily stop when the baby is born. For up to six months after breastfeeding, your hormones can still play havoc with your skin, leading to these patches. Toners with an acid-base (not as scary as it sounds!) can help to remove the layers of dead skin cells. Be gentle and don’t scrub at them, and gently exfoliate once a week or so.
Spots are another common issue after birth. In the post-partum period, your body is producing more cortisol, which increases the production of oil in your skin, which in turn can lead to an outbreak of spots. Feeling run down and tired after birth can exacerbate this even further.
Try switching to a gentle, soap-free cleanser and steer clear of any oils, serums and thick, rich moisturisers as these can block pores even more. Use a light moisturiser designed for oily skin and use topical treatments that contain benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid to control breakouts.
It is essential that you keep yourself protected from the sun as well. We know the more severe effects it can have, but it can also lead to premature ageing of the skin, and no one wants that! A good quality SPF is essential, even on overcast or cloudy days.
Other things you can do to do to look after your skin include:
Taking makeup off before bed to avoid clogged pores. Yes, we know that makeup and a newborn baby is pretty much an oxymoron, but believe me, if you don’t take off even the smallest smidgen of makeup, your skin will suffer. Micellar waters don’t require any lathering or rinsing, which means they can be used really quickly and easily. They work by suspending micelle molecules in a soft water solution, and as you wipe a pad or cotton wool across your skin, the molecules attract and lift away any excess oils, dirt, and other impurities from the surface of the skin. When you do wear makeup, remember that your skin type (and complexion) may have changed since having a baby, and you may need to look at something that works with your ‘new’ skin. If you want a bit of light coverage without the hassle of applying foundation, look at some of the BB creams on the market. These hydrating formulas are lighter and gentler than regular foundation but help to conceal any imperfections on the skin.
Be mindful of your diet, even if it is tempting to reach for the coffee and cake after a night up and down with a newborn. What you put into your body has an effect on what the outside looks like, so as well as drinking plenty of water, eat plenty of foods containing natural antioxidants. These include leafy greens such as kale, broccoli and spinach as well as fruits (especially citrus fruit, berries and pineapple) and fish. These will not only help you look better but feel a lot better too.
Make sure any cloths or flannels that you use on your face are clean so that you don’t transfer bacteria to your face.
Newborn With New Healthy Skin
The skin of a newborn baby is incredibly delicate. For the duration of your pregnancy, they have been tucked away safely, protected from the outside environment. They are born with a layer of a white substance which is similar in texture to cheese. While it might not look very nice, don’t rush to wash this magical stuff off, as it has kept their skin safe and soft while in the womb. If you do want to remove it from their hair, use a soft brush.
Once you do decide to start giving your baby a bath, it is advised to start off with just, warm water. They don’t need anything else at this stage, apart from a gentle, fragrance-free moisturiser. If you do decide to use any soaps or bubble baths, make sure they are ones that are specially designed for babies and use as little as possible, as they can dry out skin. You don’t need to bath baby every day either, just once or twice a week is enough, and afterwards, pat their skin dry with a clean, soft towel. Make sure you pay particular attention to the folds in babies skin as well, as they can become sore if not dried properly. A gentle moisturiser will help to lock moisture in the skin and prevent it from drying out. Stay away from baby powder – experts say babies can inhale the powder into their lungs, which can cause damage. If you do decide to use it, sprinkle it into your hands first, well away from your baby, and ‘clap’ your hands together to remove any excess powder before applying to their skin.
Before using any products, check that they are free from fragrances and dyes. The skin of a newborn smells lovely enough as it is – they don’t need a heavy scent added to their bath or skincare routine. If it is brightly coloured or has a strong smell, it is more than likely jam-packed with chemicals, which you won’t want on their skin. You will also want to steer clear of anything containing phthalate or parabens – those are nasty ingredients and can be harmful. Baby bath products might not create as many bubbles or ‘suds’ as adult products, but they are still doing the job effectively. Keep an eye out for anything that is labelled as ‘hypoallergenic’, as this can be misleading. It might be less likely to cause an allergic reaction, but it does not necessarily mean it is any kinder to the skin.
Try to avoid using baby wipes for at least the first two to four weeks and use cotton wool and warm water to clean your baby in between nappy changes. If and when you do decide to use them, go for ones that are mild and free from perfume. Changes their nappy regularly as prolonged contact with urine or faeces can lead to soreness. You can use petroleum jelly as a protective barrier against nappy rash, and if it does occur, use a zinc based cream to treat it
Newborn babies should be kept entirely out of sunlight and covered with a wide-brimmed hat, as sunscreen is not suitable for those under 6 months. For older babies, use a sunblock containing titanium oxide or zinc oxide.
Baby oil shouldn’t be used as a moisturiser, as it isn’t absorbed into young skin particularly well. However, it is perfect for baby massage. If you haven’t tried baby massage, look up local groups that might offer a course in it. It is a lovely way to relax your baby and is a great bonding experience between mother (or father!) and child.
Some babies do need a little more help with their skin, particularly if they have eczema, nappy rash or dribble rash. If it gets too bad, speak to your doctor as they may need something medicated to help treat it.