Pregnant women are beautiful. But you could also find that your skin changes during pregnancy. It may become blotchy, acne-prone and dry or oily. But now, thanks to make-up you don’t have to tolerate looking less than your best! Here are some quick-tips on how to look great and cover up your flaws during your pregnancy.
Flaw #1: “Ever since I got pregnant I’m plagued with acne on my face .” – Jolena, 32
Many women experience acne during pregnancy due to hormonal changes and increased oil production. While it might be difficult to avoid acne during pregnancy completely, there are natural ways to treat pimples and prevent future breakouts. (picture of Jessica Alba taken from here.)
A clean slate - Keep your skin clean. Wash with a mild, oil-free cleanser twice a day. After cleansing, gently pat your face dry with a towel and follow with an oil-free moisturizer if needed. Be sure to remove all make-up before going to bed. During the day, blot your skin with oil-absorbing sheets or paper to remove any excess oil.
Do not under any circumstance take prescription drugs like accutane, retin-a and tetracycline. According to the Organization of Teratology Information Services (OTIS), approximately 25-35% of infants born to women exposed to Accutane during the first trimester of pregnancy showed a pattern of birth defects. This pattern includes craniofacial defects, heart defects, and central nervous system defects. There also is an increased risk of miscarriage and infant death associated with use of Accutane during pregnancy.
A light hand – If you wear make-up, use products that are labelled non-comedogenic and water based instead of oil based. These sort of products won’t clog your pores. Also, apply sparingly. Remember, less is more. You don’t want to make your blemishes more obvious by layering on gunks of make-up!
The best thing to do is to enhance your best features. Line your eyes for a striking and dramatic approach, or go for a bold lipstick colour.
A fresh start - Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated. Also, including a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet can help with acne during pregnancy.
Flaw #2: “I have stretch marks on my arms and belly area and I’m too embarrassed to wear tank tops. I also have really dark circles under my eyes.” – Juanita, 29
Hetty, 27, mother of two, shared with us the one essential beauty product she could not live without during her pregnancy and how she dealt with her pregnancy flaws:
“The one beauty product I couldn’t live without during pregnancy was stretch mark cream for my expanding waistline. I applied my stretch mark cream daily after showers to keep my skin supple and prevent stretch marks.
I also had eye bags and tired-looking eyes whenever I was worn out. As I am working full-time, it was impossible to rest by napping in the day. I made sure I got lots of rest and went to bed early every night.”
Tan your hide – You can also use over the counter self-tanning spray to hide your stretch marks. Some self-tanners, which are available over the counter or at commercial spray-tanning booths, may be considered by women who desire tan skin while pregnant. Since UV exposure during pregnancy can result in chloasma, or dark patches on the face, self-tanners may be the best option for bronze skin.
Self tanning lotions generally are considered safe during pregnancy. The active ingredient, dihydroxyacetone, does not enter into the bloodstream.
Flaw #3: “The weather’s really humid now and I’m not sure about how much make-up to apply when going to work. What are the most basic make-up items that I should always have in my make-up bag?” – Lily, 33
Diana, 29 and a mother of two shared with us her top 5 make-up must-haves and how she prepares herself for work every day during pregnancy:
“I invest in black and white eye shadow, mascara, good pencil liner, liquid eyeliner and lip balm. In my line of work I deal with a lot of eye-contact, so I love playing up my eyes.
I also take the time to get ready every morning. When you are pregnant, you get tired quickly and sometimes you just don’t feel like taking a shower and doing yourself up in the morning. If you stick with the routine of showering, doing your hair, and doing your make-up in the mornings, you’ll feel much prettier throughout the day!”
Melt Away – In a climate like Singapore’s, the less fussy your make-up routine is the better. Not only is thick, ‘wayang’ like make-up passé, it also tends to melt away in our humid weather. Save yourself the hassle (and embarrassment!) by re-applying your make-up and just the light and easy way. Sweet and simple is the key!
Flaw #4: “I’m insecure about my looks now. How do I deal with all this changes that my body is going through?” Hui Min, 35
Natalia, 28 and mother of one wants all mothers to embrace their natural beauty:
“Motherhood has changed my perception of what being beautiful really means. My make-up regime is still the same. Only now in between brushes I’ll have to multi-task between rocking the cradle, feeding my baby or changing his diapers! But who said being super mum was easy?”
When asked about how she dealt with her flaws during pregnancy, Natalia shared:
“I rub anti-stretch mark cream on myself very often. To avoid pregnancy mask, I invested in a good sunscreen and tried to avoid frequent sun exposure. I also drank lots and lots of water to prevent water retention, and elevated my legs whenever I could!
Quick aside – Most of the women we queried also said that their make-up regime has not changed much during their pregnancy, and that they try to apply make-up as quickly as possible to save time so that they can spend more time focusing on their children.
Some additional tips for the mummies reading this:
- Tweeze or wax your eyebrows often so that your face looks neat and clean.
- Wear vivid colours to draw attention to your beautiful bulging bump, which is not always a bad thing!
- Putting bangles on both wrists creates wider dimensions around the belly, and they add the extra ‘oomph’ to your outfit!
- Accompany your great attitude with fabulous hair. As one of the first things other people see when they look at you, your hair can tell the story of your day or mood.
The most important tip is to always have a smile on your face and having a great start to the day starts with YOU! Remember, your bulging baby bump is your best accessory. Have confidence and realise that you are beautiful just the way you are – camouflaged or not!
Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful things a woman can ever experience in her life. Glowing and beaming on the inside with news of your pregnancy, it’s only fitting that those feelings are reflected on the outside as well – If you look good, you’ll feel good! Chances are your baby will probably feel the same way too!
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