Pregnancy is a period of transformation on all levels. It expands and challenges our physical bodies, as well as our emotional and psychological bodies. The hormonal ride is unlike any other we experience in life. It is a completely unique and fluctuating cocktail of chemical messengers serving to inform the body on how to safely carry, nourish, and birth another being. What a ride!
One of the most common by-products of pregnancy is symptomatic skin of all sorts. Whatever we tend to deal with when our hormones are fluctuating or our immune system is down, we’re likely to experience at some point during pregnancy. It just comes with the process of transformation, and it’s temporary.
With my first pregnancy, I had pretty symptomatic skin — it was still in a place of deeper healing from the previous years of cystic acne I had battled. While I didn’t experience much of that, my skin was still very delicate, imbalanced, scarred, and prone to breakouts. My skincare routine throughout that entire pregnancy was only washing with water, every few days doing a Manuka honey mask, and every night using Alchemy Universal Serum (sweet fact: Alchemy was doing such incredible work on my skin at this time, that this is when I first launched it into the world for you to use too). By my third trimester, my skin hadn’t been that clear in years. After I gave birth, I had a heavy dose of fear around my skin going back to being highly symptomatic, but the opposite actually happened — it kept healing on deeper and deeper levels.
I am always focused on less is more, and high quality over quantity in my self-care routines. With this pregnancy, I have kept things super simple, though not as simple as during my first pregnancy because I have been more focused on deeper nourishment and protection this time around, as opposed to simply managing constant breakouts. Overall in this pregnancy, my skin has been pretty tender and easily prone to irritation so I have been heavily dosing on Atone Hyaluronic Acid to keep hydrated. I live in a super high UV index climate so in order to prevent melasma / discoloration, I have also been relying on Clarity Vit C Skinfood and some sort of daily sunscreen situation. Thankfully I have only had one real zit that I can remember throughout this whole pregnancy. When that happens, I dose it up with drops of Alchemy throughout the day. Because of the sunscreen, I have been using a cleanser more often, whereas usually I’d use a cleanser maybe once per week. I’ve had to stop using Radiance Retinol until I’m done breastfeeding but very much look forward to returning to it — it was resurfacing my skin in quick and noticeable ways in the year that I was using it prior to pregnancy.
Here has been my pregnancy routine:
- Wash with tepid sink water
- Apply 2 pumps of Clarity Vit C
- Apply 5 drops of Alchemy
- Sunscreen (I’ve been liking Suntegrity or Marie Veronique)
- 3-4 days a week cleanse (I like Lesse Refining Cleanser and Marie Veronique Pure EO Free)
- Maybe once per week a Manuka honey mask (Activist 850+ is the absolute best!)
- Apply Atone
- Apply Alchemy
- I have been using Be Yummy Skinfood on my belly a few times per week and a simple health food store Shea Butter all over my body
Otherwise, taking care of my skin from the inside out is always equally as crucial — from consciously managing my stress levels and emotions to my diet. Stress plays a massive role in symptomatic skin, as it lowers our immune system and sets our nervous system into fight or flight mode (which is a hormonal concoction in itself that raises cortisol and estrogen). We need to take care of our immune and nervous systems daily, and a key way to do this is with diet. The nutrients we need to focus on during pregnancy are the same nutrients that keep the skin balanced and make it glow — iron, minerals, fats and fat soluble vitamins, vitamin A, protein… It is crucial to keep the blood sugar balanced during pregnancy for overall health, just as it is crucial to keep the blood sugar balanced in order to have balanced skin.
To get these vitamins in, in a whole food form, I have been having plenty of eggs (especially egg yolks), raw milk and kefir, butter and ghee, olive oil, liver once per week, steamed dark leafy greens, local and grass fed proteins. Fish has been super hard for me this pregnancy so I take a DHA omega supplement. I’m also enjoying tons of beans, soaked oatmeal, local starches like purple sweet potato and taro and squash, all the fruits and vegetables, ferments and pickles. I'm also drinking plenty of herbal infusions with Nettles, Oatstraw, Red Raspberry and Alfalfa. Truly, when I transitioned from vegan to an ancestral diet 3 years ago, my skin immediately took a turn for the better that helped catalyze its deeper and deeper healing. I know that happened because I was finally getting in those fat soluble vitamins that my body could actually make use of, my blood sugar balanced out, and my gut was healing which in turn just helps the whole body to function as it should. Balanced gut = balanced skin.
What skincare rituals do you rely on in pregnancy? I’d love to know <3