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As hormonal changes take over your body and excitement builds for a new little one, it’s likely your skin is reacting with anticipation, too. While some women experience a healthy glow, you may not be so lucky. Exfoliating can help bring out your natural pregnancy glow, though. “Using an exfoliator twice a week will help slough off dead skin cells, allowing creams to penetrate the skin,” says Nadine Brown, skin care specialist and owner of Mrs. Brown’s Bath Bakery in Tucson, Arizona. “Exfoliates help to lighten dark spots and help make skin appear smoother and less blotchy.” If your skin is dry, peeling or blotchy, it’s time to break down those dead skin cells with exfoliation and some well-deserved pampering.
Sweeten up your skin care routine during pregnancy with sugar scrubs and deep cleansing to safely exfoliate. A microdermabrasion treatment is one of the best ways to clear your skin of dry, flaky skin and battle common breakouts. Simply purchase a microdermabrasion home kit, spread on your favorite scrub and let the bristles exfoliate your skin. Or, let a professional dote on you with a professional microdermabrasion treatment at the spa – you deserve some royal treatment. Microdermabrasian can help brighten and smooth your skin, regardless if it is dry or oily. “Microdermabrasion is one of the best natural remedies,” says Brown. “Using a sugar scrub can work wonders.” If your skin is sensitive, it is best to consult with a dermatologist or physician before treatment. Some doctors advise against the procedure, though most say it's not the process itself but the products used during or after it that may cause concern.
Brush away those imperfections caused by hormonal changes with an exfoliating brush and a rigorous beauty regimen once or twice a week. Before exfoliating or applying lotion, it's important to evaluate your skin type with a dermatologist. Some women may have extra sensitive skin during pregnancy and exfoliating, moisturizing and cleansing can irritate the skin if not performed correctly.
If your skin is up for it, using an exfoliating brush correctly is key to bringing back that glorious glow. Begin by getting the bristles of the exfoliating brush wet in the tub or shower, recommends Brown. Squirt bath and body wash onto the bristles to produce suds to get a good lather going. Rub the exfoliating brush over the body to slough off the dry skin cells. Don’t forget your knees, elbows, heels and any other rough spots. Keep rubbing gently until skin is tingling, says Brown. A quick rinse and a sensitive pat down and you’re ready to slather on body cream or lotion to trap the moisture in your skin after exfoliating -- just make sure whatever products you are using are safe for use during pregnancy.
Since your skin is changing and unpredictable during pregnancy, a gentle approach may be the best route. Try exfoliating with products that use a gentle exfoliating agent, such as jojoba beads, which are round and smooth, suggests Tamara Green, esthetician and owner of Servello Herbal Body Essentials in Portland, Oregon. “Exfoliators that have ground seeds could be too harsh for sensitive skin and might increase the melasma or hyperpigmentation,” she says. “Steer clear of alpha hydroxy acids, such as glycol acid, as they can seep into the bloodstream and are not healthy for the fetus.”
Using an exfoliating brush or soft cloth, gently let the jojoba beads work off dead skin cells for a smooth result. “Exfoliating the skin on a weekly basis ensures proper skin cell renewal and helps the moisturizers and serums to fully penetrate the skin and in return perform at peak capacity,” says Green.
Take a break from your daily routine and give your mind, body and skin a rest with exfoliating masks designed to refresh and moisturize your skin. A clay mask will give you a healthy glow and a few minutes to yourself once or twice a week. Simply apply the mask to clean skin, and let it penetrate your face, knees, elbows and drier areas of the skin for 10 to 15 minutes, says Green. Rinse thoroughly but gently with a washcloth to reveal a new layer of rejuvenated skin.