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Do My Skincare Needs Change Postpartum?

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There are times throughout our lives when our skin can become stressed out and upset, usually due to our changes in hormones. Puberty is the time when we might first develop oily or acne prone skin, and then having our periods and going through the menopause can also cause our skin to react differently.

Pregnancy, post pregnancy and breastfeeding can all also influence how our skin behaves, and is again down to hormonal control.

In this article:

How Might My Skin Change After Giving Birth?
Common Postpartum Skin Issues
Will My Skin Change When I’m Breastfeeding?
What’s Safe to Use on My Skin When I’m Breastfeeding?
What’s Definitely Not Safe to Use on My Skin When I’m Breatsfeeding?
Caring For Your Postpartum Skin and Whilst Breastfeeding

As we (hopefully) reassured you in our article, Skincare While Pregnant - Do I Need to Do Anything Differently?, the majority of skin issues and troubles you experienced during your pregnancy will disappear in the weeks and months after giving birth.

However, there are some skin conditions that can become worse or even appear for the first time, after you’ve given birth. This again is down to your hormones and can affect women who are breastfeeding or who have chosen not to breastfeed or who cannot.

So let’s take a look at how breastfeeding and a postpartum body can affect our skin. 

How Might My Skin Change After Giving Birth?

You may have spent your entire pregnancy completely glowing with radiant, healthy, plump skin. (Lucky you!) But now, you’re experiencing a definite loss of the glow. How cruel! How can it be, that once it’s all over, it’snow that your skin decides to become all contrary.

This is down to our old foe, our hormones. After pregnancy, the rise in hormones we’ve previously experienced, does fall back to pre pregnancy levels. But this isn’t immediate, it takes time and can also be a bit of an up and down process itself. 

Common Postpartum Skin Issues 

Due to this dramatic fall in hormone levels, our skin can find everything confusing and whilst it works out what’s happening, can break out into spots, redness or sensitivities.

Often, during pregnancy our skin can actually look better, since our levels of the collagen boosting, skin plumping hormone estrogen are high. Also, progesterone levels are high, which opens up the blood vessels, allowing for more blood flow.

If you’ve read our article Skincare While Pregnant - Do I Need to Do Anything Differently?, you’ll know that these issues can cause our skin to react badly. But equally, they can boost the vibrancy of our skin. (Hormones huh, we never can predict the contrary little things.)

Then, after birth when these hormones drop, our skin can become acne prone, oily and inflamed. Postpartum acne is therefore more common than you’d think, even if you’ve never experienced acne before. 

Postpartum Acne

Acne prone skin after giving birth, or postpartum acne, is, yep, you’ve guessed it, caused by a fluctuation in hormone levels and will likely stick around until these pesky hormones have settled down.

Plus, let’s not forget, becoming a mum or having another child is stressful. Long term, sustained stress can lead to an increase in levels of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is our stress hormone and helps the body decide whether to fight or flight.

But cortisol can also lead to an increase in sebum, the wax like substance naturally secreted by the skin to help protect it. An increase in sebum leads to oily skin, blocked pores and acne spots.

Looking after our skin with skin loving, nourishing but gentle skincare products is therefore key at this stage in our lives. 

Itching and Redness

Even the biggest stars suffer with skin problems related to pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. Chrissy Teigen, absolute beaut, posted about her facial rash that appeared after giving birth back in 2016.

When our hormone levels drop, the skin’s natural barrier can become weaker, allowing irritants and pollutants in. This can lead to the rash that Chrissy, and many of you, suffered or are suffering.

Sensitive Skin 

For the same reasons, our postpartum skin can become ultra sensitive to the things that we’ve never been sensitive to before.

So, it's important to get our skincare right, so that we can keep our focus on recovering from the birth of our child, and getting used to being a new mum. But more about skincare in a moment… 

Will My Skin Change When I’m Breastfeeding? 

Any changes that you experience in your skin after you’ve given birth will settle down, but if you’re breastfeeding, it can take longer to feel like you’ve taken back control over your skin.

Breastfeeding itself causes our hormones to go a little haywire, and you may notice that your skin doesn’t return to your normal until a few months after you’ve stopped nursing.

Sore and cracked nipples aside, the skin on our face can also become more  acne prone or oily, causing blocked pores and irritated skin. It can be tempting to reach for the medicated skin creams and acne treatments, but some cannot be used whilst you’re breastfeeding. 

What’s Safe to Use on My Skin When I’m Breastfeeding? 

All the skincare products that you were using during your pregnancy are perfectly safe to continue using if you’re now breastfeeding.

You may find that due to all the reasons we’ve outlined above, that your skin has different needs now that you’ve had your baby and you’re busy nursing your little one.

We developed our skincare range to suit the needs of all skin types, especially those experiencing acne prone, oily, dry, sensitive or simply stressed out skin. Our hero ingredient is our uniquely alkalising silica salt complex that nourishes deep down in the lower layers of skin.

Our fans can't believe the transformation, and we’d love you to join them in treating your skin. Our products encourage healthy cell regeneration and hydration, helping you to get your glow back!

There’s no fancy 12 step regimes or anything complicated about our products. So if you’re busy adjusting to life as a new mum, you can take skincare worries out of the equation. Simply cleanse and moisturise, and add in a toner and a weekly face mask if you want to. 

What’s Definitely Not Safe to Use on My Skin When I’m Breastfeeding? 

Similarly, all the skincare products and ingredients that aren’t advised for use during pregnancy, are also best avoided when you’re breastfeeding.

This is because some skincare ingredients can be absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream and cross the placenta when you’re pregnant. They can also be transported into your breast milk, and some of these ingredients can be dangerous for a young baby.

Skincare products containing retinol, certain antibiotics and Isotretinoin are all unsuitable for use when you’re breastfeeding.

If you have a skin condition such as acne that’s becoming problematic, then speak to your midwife or GP before using any skincare products or treatments that you’re unsure about. 

Caring For Your Postpartum Skin and Whilst Breastfeeding

Whatever normal skin means for you, we promise that eventually all of your hormonal ups and downs and all of the emotional and skin ups and downs this causes, will end. Everything will balance out and your skin will feel like your own again.

Check out our range of skin loving skincare products. They’re suitable for all skin types, at whatever life stage you’re at, and truly do make a significant difference to the health and appearance of your skin.

Finally, congratulations on your new little family member! Sometimes, we just need some time to breathe, snuggle and forget about our skin and all the other concerns for a while. So enjoy, you’ve 100% got this.


Hannah de Gruchy BSc(Hons)

About Author

Hannah de Gruchy is a freelancer writer who specialises in health and wellness. She has a keen interest in the biology of skin and loves using her words to help separate the real science of skincare from the pseudoscience of some skincare brands. Hannah has a degree in Human Biology and many years’ experience working in laboratories around London. Using this experience, Hannah enjoys turning complex science into interesting, engaging and easy to digest pieces to read. In her spare time, Hannah runs, practices yoga and loves cooking plant based foods.

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