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How to make sure you stay blooming beautiful
during your pregnancy, and beyond

Royal baby number 2 due in April and we all know even Kate Middleton has been forced to battle her own pregnancy induced side effects. If simply the demands of being pregnant weren’t enough for your body to deal with, now you have to face a host of skin problems that may arise throughout your pregnancy and into motherhood.

So how do you handle the issues that hormones and a growing bump may bring? Flavio Refrigeri, Founder and Director of Clinica Fiore Skin Medica, based in Covent Garden, enlightens mums and mums-to-be on just what to expect when you’re expecting, and how fluctuating hormones, stress and lack of sleep can all effect your complexion when you are a new mother, right when you have limited time to give it any TLC.

“With so many changes happening inside your body when you’re pregnant or a new mother, it is no surprise that they are seen on the outside as well”, explains Flavio. “Hormonal changes can bring on the pregnancy glow, where you gleam with good health, it can also exacerbate issues such as adult acne, melasma, and under eye dark circles and of course the puffiness lack of sleep brings. I have listed out the main skin issues pregnancy and parenthood brings, and more importantly, how you can aid and recover your skin so it looks its best, long term.”

1. Melasma
Nearly 50% of pregnant women deal with melasma, or usually referred as the ‘mask of pregnancy’. A form of hyperpigmentation which usually effects the forehead, chin, cheeks and upper lip, ncreased hormone levels in oestrogen and progesterone in the blood are stimulated by the hormones to produce more of the brown pigment (melanin) in the skin. Usually fading after the birth, studies have found a link between folic acid deficiency and hyperpigmentation; so try to increase your folic acid intake by consuming leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits.

If you find that your pigmentation issues aren’t naturally remedied after the birth, you can have treatments via your dermatologist or skin specialist such as a Fraxel Treatment. This revolutionary treatment delivers remarkable results with fast recovery, so you can quickly return to your child or work, with renewed skin and confidence.

Think of your skin as a digital photo that is delicately touched up one spot at a time. Fraxel treatment, likewise, affects a fraction of tissue at a time with thousands of microscopic columns – each just one-tenth the diameter of a hair follicle. Then your body takes care of the rest. The columns stimulate a natural healing process that works from the inside out replacing damaged tissue with younger, smoother, healthier skin, restoring pigmented lesions, discolouration and uneven pigmentation and melasma (mask of pregnancy).
Fraxel Treatment prices start from £200. ( FOR SMALL AREA – £500 FULL FACE )

Avoid the sun during this time in your life; make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen, as the sun intensifies the melanin production which leads to noticeable pigmentation.

2. Adult Acne
Hormonal acne doesn’t just effect teenagers, hormones flooding the body during pregnancy and after the birth, increases the skin’s production of natural oils, prompting the sebaceous glands in your skin to get bigger and boost production of an oily substance called sebum. So whether you are prone to the odd spot or two anyway, try to combat any approaching acne by prepping your skin with the following tips:

– Wash your face twice a day with a mild soap or cleanser
– Avoid scrubbing your face with cloths, as you will strip away the natural oils and only encourage the production of excess oil, leading to irritated, problematic skin
– Choose oil free beauty products and cosmetics
– Pat skin dry
– If acne is extreme, consult with a skin therapist who can advise you on what products to use to help your skin condition

While you may have to put up with some new blemishes, as you circulate more blood and retain more water you may also find that your complexion is more radiant than ever before.

3. Lack of sleep
Whether bump is in the way, or baby is keeping you up all hours, unless you are blessed with a dream baby that sleeps through the night, it is likely you are lacking in much needed skin recovering sleep.

When you skimp on sleep, it shows in your face, dark under eye bags, and lackluster sagging skin. It’s easier said than done to say try to get 6-8 hours sleep, as there are many factors that stop you having a full block of rest at this time of your life.
To combat puffy, tired eyes, try these quick and easy home remedies such as applying cold cucumber slices or chilled teabags for 10 minutes periodically to sooth and refresh.

Or counteract dull, tired skin with regular facials, make sure you have one hour every now and then to really treat your skin, and have some much needed downtime.
A firm favourite treatment of Kate Middleton, the Oxygen Facial Therapy, available at Clinica Fiore Skin Medica, uses oxygen applied direct to the skin, targeting the deepest cell layer which plays an important role in converting nutrients and vital substances into energy, intensifying the formation of collagen in the skin, which normally happens as you sleep, filling in lines and wrinkles and giving a smoother complexion.

Oxygen Facial Therapy is a course of 6 treatments performed over the course of 6 weeks. After the 6 week programme, 1 treatment per month is essential to keep the effect of the therapy alive.

4. Itchy Skin
Affecting almost a quarter of pregnant women, itchy skin can be blamed on hormones, or stretching skin. A common, but extremely irritating condition of pregnancy, Flavio offers his skin salving tips on how to avoid and aid itchy skin as you near your due date.

– Moisturise your skin well, preferably with unperfumed products
– Avoid hot baths and showers, as this will dry out already dehydrated skin even more, it might be tempting to sink into a hot bath at the end of the day, but if you are going to perhaps add a spoonful of hydrating coconut oil, but be careful getting out of the bath as this may cause slippage
– Heat effects itchiness, so wear loose clothing and keep out of the sun
– Soak a cloth in warm milk and bathe the skin to sooth the itch, or try calamine lotion as a simple treatment

“At Clinica Fiore Skin Medica, we want to ensure you feel body beautiful and cater treatments for everyone. Our bespoke service encourages people to learn about their skin, what treatments would optimise their beauty regime and look. So whether you’re pregnant, or a new parent, we have treatments and expert information from our team to help you look and feel amazing throughout this special time in your life.” – Flavio Refrigeri