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What Can I Do to Hydrate My Face After Pregnancy?

Pregnancy hormones bring about all sorts of changes to a woman's body, including the skin. Cybele Fishman, an integrative dermatologist in New York City, says that while pregnancy may not always result in dry skin around the face, it can be an issue "if you get low thyroid while you are pregnant" or "if you live in a very dry climate, or in a cold climate and you have forced air heat that is un-humidified." Luckily, there are natural foods and products -- things Fishman prefers over the alternative, while also acknowledging that "you cannot live in a bubble" when it comes to products with chemicals -- that can gently hydrate your skin after pregnancy.

Water

Water is, naturally, a major factor in keeping your face -- as well as the rest of your body -- hydrated, says Fishman. "If you are dehydrated, your skin, being the biggest organ in your body, will likely reflect this internal dehydration." She adds that water isn’t the only thing needed to keep skin moisturized, but it should definitely be part of your daily intake.

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Fishman says she is a "big fan" of omega-3 fatty acids, including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Omega-3s "make up 15 percent of the skin's lipid bilayer," she explains, and are thus "key for locking in moisture and preventing water evaporation from the skin." Fishman points out that "most prenatal vitamins have DHA, which is important for a baby's brain development, but I recommend extra supplementation to get EPA, which is good for skin hydration.” Omega-3s can also be found in nuts, flaxseed oil and oily fishes like salmon.

Hyaluronic Acid

To combat dry skin, Cybil Solyn, an esthetician and owner of Solyn Skin Fitness Studio in Burbank, California, recommends serums loaded with hyaluronic acid. These products "mimic water hydration without added oil or weight," says Solyn. "Hyaluronic acid [is found] in lots of serums, but my personal favorites are Bioelements' Moisture x10, since it can be added into any skin care routine, and Epicuren's Moisture Surge, which can be cocktailed into nearly any moisturizer or serum you already own for an added hydration boost. I also like Biolements' Gel Therapy mask. It isn't a serum, but has a lot of hyaluronic acid in it. Many of my high-profile clients wear it overnight so their makeup glides on better before an event, or to look dewy and glowing for their time on camera."

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Shea Butter

For a rich moisturizing routine that can sooth dry, chapped skin, it’s hard to go wrong with the thick creaminess of shea butter. "My favorite brand is Neal's Yard Remedies," says Fishman. "It is what I sell in my office. For face, use the Frankincense Hydrating Cream or Wild Rose Beauty Balm. For body, there's an oat and calendula lotion, or, for real dry spots, the orange and geranium body butter."

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