Guest Author - Samantha Jackson
The minute you find out you're pregnant, you begin to take the all-important steps of protecting your child. You suddenly become aware of the foods you eat and the chemicals around your home. And, during this time women begin to glow and look radiant and luscious. Well, that should say most women.
There is no doubt pregnancy will leave the lucky ones looking beautiful, but for other women, dealing with all the hormonal changes and activity the opposite might be true and their once beautiful skin is now blotchy and discolored. Without a doubt, acne, especially during the first trimester, is the number one problem pregnancy causes. And, you might be surprised to find that many of the skin care products you have relied on for years are no longer effective or safe to use.
But, don't worry, with a few simple changes you can protect your child and rejuvenate your skin. It can be amazing to think about the things people lather, spray or spread on their body and most have no clue what ingredients these products contain. Today, most products are full of man-made chemicals, so the first thing you want to do is read the label.
Try to avoid ingredients such as lead, accutaine, retinol A, benzoyl peroxide, sodium laurel sulfate and hydrocortisone. If you can't pronounce it, don't use it. Your skin is your largest organ and anything you lather or spread on can be absorbed into your system, and thatís not healthy for you or your child.
You can fight acne with witch hazel and a little baking soda. Baking soda will gently exfoliate those dead skin cells and leaving it feeling soft and smooth and witch hazel is an excellent astringent.
If you have the time wash with a few ground almonds mixed with honey or yogurt. This will cleanse your face, prevent acne breakouts and leave your skin glowing and smooth. Simply leave the mixture on for five to ten minutes and rinse.
Extra virgin olive oil is a great and inexpensive moisturizer. It works well as a standalone moisturizer but for extra benefits mix it with a little gel from an aloe vera plant. Coconut oil is another great and natural moisturizer. Coconut oil can be used as a facial and stomach moisturizer. It will soften your skin and help prevent stretch marks.
As your baby grows your skin is pulled and stretched as well. You can prevent or reduce stretch marks by using natural butters or oils. Massaging oils such as Jojoba or vitamin E oil into your skin will provide additional much needed moisture and keep those purplish lines from appearing. If you happen to have a few that sneak in, continue to use the oil after the baby is born. Shea butter works well also and its unique properties are effective in reducing or healing scars.
The most important thing to remember is that beauty starts from the inside. Be sure your diet is full of fresh fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of water. A diet rich in antioxidants and getting enough rest is your best weapon against a variety of skin conditions.