by Liz Janowski (photo at 25 weeks)
With all the ways your body changes during pregnancy, it can be hard to feel your best. While people insist that I have a pregnancy “glow”, I mostly feel large and cranky. This is my second pregnancy, and I have the added fun (and joy) of being a Mom to a very busy toddler. For those of you who know our office well, you may have read my pregnancy beauty recommendations from my first pregnancy.
There are a few things you should definitely avoid: Botox, Retin-A/Retinol topicals, and Hydroquinone-based products – like the one’s we carry from Obagi. These are all my non-pregnancy/non-breast feeding staples, and I look forward to getting and using them again once my new little girl is weened. The reason to avoid these treatments and products when pregnant vary, but generally, they are considered no-nos. For example, Retin-A contains high levels of Vitamin A that could be absorbed into the blood stream and is therefore considered unsafe for a baby.
The safety of Botox has never been tested on pregnant or breast-feeding women – so no one really knows what effect it may have – but we all certainly don’t want to take risks with our little ones. The same is true of fillers – the clinical safety has never been studied, but you don’t want to take chances. And any physician will likely not inject Botox and filler on a pregnant woman.
Despite these limitations, we all want to feel beautiful when pregnant, and for me, I’ve found a few of our treatments to be key staples in helping me feel a little more “Earth Mother goddess” and a little less “exhausted pregnant, working Momma”!
Pregnancy and breast-feeding is a great time to focus on your overall skin health. I’ve been focusing on exfoliation, evening out my overall skin tone and color, and keeping my skin clear and healthy. And I am so lucky to manage a great team and office with access to things that can help me feel my best.
My go to’s have been:
(1) Chemical Peels: We have everything from mild to more intensive chemical peels available. Chemical peels may sound scary to the uninitiated, but they are actually a critical component to keeping skin healthy. Your skin cells need to turn-over (or exfoliate) regularly. Healthy skin turn-over keeps skin clear, firm, and healthy. Chemical peels are one of the world’s oldest beauty treatments – with evidence that Cleopatra did lactic (or milk based) peels. Peels encourage exfoliation, new collagen growth, and can even remove brown spots and clear up acne.
When pregnant, your skin (and body) are on a hormonal roller coaster – and this can mean breakouts. Keeping skin exfoliated, clean, and balanced can even out some of these concerns. Our master aesthetician can help put together the perfect formulation for your goals and concerns.
(2) IPL Photofacials: IPL Photofacials are another beauty staple. In fact, I just did one yesterday. When you are pregnant, you can have an increase in the pigment in your skin – meaning more dark spots or blotches. If severe, it can become melasma/chloasma. You absolutely want to work with a skilled aesthetician who understands the skin. Because you are having hormonal fluctuations that affect pigment in the skin, an IPL done by an untrained hand can make pigment issues worse.
IPL Photofacials are also a great skin-health maintenance treatment – and we recommend them three times a year for maintaining a youthful complexion. We all develop dark spots from sun exposure. An IPL treatment uses bright flashes of targeted light to bring the pigment up to the surface (thus the photofacial part). The spots then darken and flake off – leaving you with a more even complexion.
It is amazing how much pigment is “hiding” in your skin – and after my IPL treatment yesterday, I can see hundreds of previously less visible small and large dark spots and freckles emerging – which will then flake off in the next week or two.
(3) Sunscreen and Clarisonic: The sun is your skin’s number one enemy – year round. When pregnant, because of the hormonal fluctuations, your skin can be even more sun sensitive. You want to avoid sun exposure and wear a good, physical-block sunscreen with medical-grade level protection. Not only will this protect your skin from aging, but also from cancer risks.
You also want to keep your skin regularly cleansed, exfoliated, and clear by using a Clarisonic cleansing brush daily. The brush gently stimulates the skin and removes seven times more dirt and oil than using your hands alone.
(4) Hydra-Jet facials: I’ve been so fortunate to have the opportunity to try out our new Hydra-Jet facial a few times. It’s an amazing technology – new to the US – that uses water and oxygen to cleanse, exfoliate, and infuse the skin with nutrients. Our aesthetician can craft any custom formulation – for example – using Vitamin C to strengthen the skin, or Vitamin B to soothe and hydrate it. The hydra-jet can also do extractions of any pesky acne without causing any damage or irritation to the skin. The facial feels cooling and invigorating – which is great for me – as I tend to run hot when pregnant.
The Hydra-Jet facial can also be used for lymphatic drainage – which keeps the immune system healthy – and is a natural way to clean out toxins and keep your baby as healthy as possible.
Overall, I want all of our clients to feel their very best – and I encourage you to take good care of yourself while pregnant and breast-feeding. If we can help you feel more beautiful, we would be honored!*
*Results may vary from patient to patient based on program compliance and patient’s own commitment level
*Results may vary from patient to patient