Bump(er) beauty treats for all seasons

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201412-pregnancy-birth

Pregnancy remains among the most complex phases of life a human being can undergo. But just because your body is changing does not mean your beauty regimen has to completely go out of the window. Re-awaken the diva in you with these beauty tips and treats in ways that will leave you relaxed, refreshed and feeling beautiful.

FACE

Ashy skin...

Among the first things to be thrown out of whack during pregnancy are your hormones. You can thank them for those mood swings, morning sickness and yes, ashy skin. Take to rinsing your face with plain lukewarm water. Avoid hot water, fragrant or alcohol-based soaps. Use gentle cleansers with ingredients like honey or green tea but restrict it to twice a day to reduce irritation. Put that moisturiser to work by applying it regularly. A key ingredient to look out for is olive or sesame oil.

Beauty treat: Play your look up by using a tinted moisturiser as opposed to going for full on make-up. A touch of colour from your favourite shade of lipstick or gloss won’t hurt either.

Acne…

As far as you know, acne, mercifully, was just a passing phase during puberty…or so you thought. Now you’re pregnant and the little critters are back with a vengeance. Make use of a mild soap or cleanser but do not over-wash your face as this strips it of its natural oils, prompting more to be produced. Switch your moisturiser to coconut oil and apply a thin layer at least once a day as it has a detoxifying effect. Use a gentle scrub with ingredients such as green tree extract twice a week.

Beauty treat: No matter your skin type, powder is easiest to apply, lasts the longest and helps to control shine. So powder away.

SKIN

Stretch marks…

Stretch marks occur as a result of weight gain and the skin being stretched as your bump grows. Unfortunately since your underlying skin is also being stretched it is difficult to nip them all in the bud. As far as research goes, though some women swear by it, it is yet to be proven that cocoa or shea butter can banish them forever during pregnancy. So what’s the point you ask? The belly can get dry and itchy from stretching. So lather on those butter oils and massage your way to a relaxed, supple skin. If you’re among the lucky few, the pesky stripes may avoid you after all.

Beauty treat:Try petroleum jelly on elbows, knees, and heels to heal very dry skin. As a bonus curl up with your partner and have him massage a little oil on your bump. It will not only help bond you with the baby but with your man as well. Wink.

HANDS AND FEET

Swollen hands and feet…

Swollen extremities or oedema are a sure way to make one feel pudgy and ugly. Varicose veins or protruding blood vessels found mostly at the back of the legs as a result of extra blood produced during pregnancy can also be quite the eyesore. While the best way to control these include a balanced diet and exercise, you can treat yourself by simply putting your feet up. Pile on the relaxation by indulging in a relaxing foot or hand soak with cooling elements such as menthol, eucalyptus or peppermint oil. Cypress oil is good for circulation while lavender and chamomile oil may ease your discomfort.

Beauty treat: Treat yourself to a mani-pedi and your favourite shade of nail polish.

If uncomfortable, skip the nail polish but tell your beautician to ease up on the foot massage as it can lead to contractions. Invest in an array of designs of leggings, stockings, maxi skirts and dresses to avoid curious eyes staring at those varicose veins. Just because you can’t show off your legs does not mean you cannot dress them up!

Published in December 2014

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