Nay or Bae: Practices That New Mothers Must Avoid And Include In Their Skincare Routine

Maintaining a consistent skincare routine, including cleansing, moisturizing, and gentle exfoliation, can help rejuvenate and nourish the skin

New mothers should avoid skincare products containing harmful ingredients such as retinoids, salicylic acid, and certain essential oils

New mothers must be cautious about their skincare routine to ensure both their well-being and the safety of their baby. Firstly, it’s essential to avoid skincare products containing harmful ingredients such as retinoids, salicylic acid, and certain essential oils. Instead, opt for gentle and natural products suitable for sensitive skin. Adequate hydration through drinking water and using moisturizers is crucial to maintain skin health. Sun protection is vital, so wearing sunscreen and protective clothing is recommended. Additionally, maintaining a consistent skincare routine, including cleansing, moisturizing, and gentle exfoliation, can help rejuvenate and nourish the skin.

Dr Rashmi Shetty, Cosmetic Dermatologist, Ra Skin & Aesthetics, Mumbai & Hyderabad, says, “Through a woman’s pregnancy, the good hormones are at their peak as they need to be passed on to the growing human inside them. However, post birth, all of these hormones plummet. In addition to this, through labor and childbirth, the body too goes through a lot of stress resulting in visible changes in the skin and hair.”

“When it comes to breastfeeding, using proper skincare products is essential to maintain your skin and at the same time ensuring your baby is safe,” feels Dr Batul, Dermatologist, Founder & Medical Director – The Bombay Skin Clinic.

7 Practices New Mothers Should Stick By:

  1. Supplementation
    While some mothers may be skeptical on the effect of supplementation on account of breastfeeding, it is important to consider supplements for better skin and hair and also, overall health. “Right after childbirth, our body becomes vulnerable and supplementation is one of the most effective ways to boost up the nutrient levels in our body,” adds Shetty.
  2. Moisturization
    Use of ample moisturizer is extremely important to keep the face and skin lubricated and hydrated. “During pregnancy, the stomach, breasts and the bottom tend to grow in size leading to stretch marks post childbirth. Moisturisation will help tackle these stretch marks better retrieving your skin’s original glory. Night creams are equally important as they aid the skin’s rejuvenation process through the night,” states Shetty.
  3. Mild actives
    If you were worried about using actives during your pregnancy, re-introducing mild ones such as niacinamide or glycolic acid back into your skincare routine post childbirth is absolutely fine.
  4. Vitamin C
    “Vitamin C works to decrease hyperpigmentation which is common in pregnancy due to hormones and is safe to use,” adds Dr Patel.
  5. Glycerin
    Works as an excellent moisturising ingredient.
  6. Physical sunscreens containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide
    Provides protection against sun tan, burns, etc.
  7. Azelaic acid
    “A molecule that works not only on acne and acne marks, but also on pigmentation,” states Dr Patel.

3 ingredients that new mothers must avoid:

  1. Retinol
    “Retinol is an antioxidant, which means it protects your skin from free radical damage. It also stimulates collagen leading to firmer, plumpier skin. Lastly, it reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. While research is still underway, preliminary studies do not recommend the use of oral retinol during pregnancy as it could cause birth defects. Hence, better to be safe than sorry,” states Dr Patel.
  2. Salicylic acid
    This ingredient is commonly used to treat acne but must be avoided by those breastfeeding as it could lead to your baby contracting Reye’s syndrome.
  3. Hydroquinone
    Dr Patel opines, “Hydroquinone is a powerful pigment reducer but there isn’t enough research to deem it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Hence, it would be wise to avoid its use.”

3 Practices to avoid include:

  1. Extremely hot baths
    “Post childbirth, extremely hot water baths are not recommended as they could dilate the blood vessels which could lead to dizziness,” says Dr Shetty.
  2. Scalp Massages
    Due to fluctuating hormones and nutrients in the body, excess scalp massages could worsen your hair conditions.
  3. Scrubbing/Over-exfoliation
    “It is recommended to stay away from scrubs and exfoliants for a while as they could lead to further dehydration of the skin and cause irritation and redness,” feels Dr Shetty.

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