Other than a horrible bout of acne during my first trimester (which I quickly healed - phew!), I’m happy to report my pregnancy thus far has been smooth sailing with glowing skin thanks to five nightly self-care practices: foam rolling, applying skincare rich in vitamin a (betacarotene) and oleic acid, late-night protein snacks, daily body scrubbing and belly oil massages. Read on for how these practices have helped support my health and skin during pregnancy!
1. FOAM ROLLING Lower back, hip, butt pains and aches - welcome to pregnancy life, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be this way. During my second trimester, I developed mild sciatica pain; nerve pain felt in the right buttock and leg due to pressure on the nerve from the growing uterus. It was painful! And may or may not have been brought on by my insistence upon wearing four inch heels on New Year’s Eve while twenty weeks pregnant (oops). To combat this pain, I started doing five minutes of lower body foam rolling each night and the results have been life-changing. My pain is gone and my back and hips feel drastically more comfortable. Check out this video for a great sciatica foam rolling sequence.
2. VITAMIN A + OLEIC ACID Dry, itchy skin with patches of oily spots is common during pregnancy. But, I’ve found that using products containing oils rich in oleic acid (great for dry skin) and naturally occurring vitamin A in the betacarotene form (safe to use during pregnancy unlike retinoid vitamin A derivatives, which should be avoided while pregnant), my skin has found balance!
Here are a few products I’m loving:
May Lindstrom Pendulum Potion is a fabulous non-emulsifying (meaning: does not break down with just water, needs to be removed with a warm wash cloth or muslin cloth) oil cleanser. It’s rich in hydrating oils high in oleic fatty acids, like camellia, macadamia, and avocado; perfect for dry, dehydrated skin.
MV Skincare Rose Plus Booster has the ability to hydrate and brighten your complexion! I can’t get enough of this oil! The reparative rosehip oil in this serum is super high in vitamin A able to protect against UV damage, oxidative stress and speed wound healing so you’ll see reduced redness, fading of acne scars, and overall brightening! Typically, pure rosehip oil formulations overbalance my skin, but this one by MV Skincare blends linoleic rich rosehip oil with oleic rich camellia oil - giving it a balanced fatty acid profile perfect for sensitive skin types.
Odacite Wild Carrot Serum Concentrate. If you prefer a lightweight texture to your oils, opt for the MV Skincare Rose Plus Booster, but if you’re like me and love to layer lighter oils with richer oils, this carrot oil by Odacite will have you swooning. This oil offers the power of vitamin A from the carrot seed essential oil with healing vitamin E oil, able to support new skin cell growth and cell regeneration.
3. LATE NIGHT PROTEIN SNACKS Getting enough protein is vital while pregnant to help support the building of uterine tissue, fetal tissue and increasing blood supply. I’ve found that by eating a small snack before bedtime that’s high in protein, I sleep better at night and avoid waking up at odd hours - starving. Yogurt, paleo granola, berries, bee pollen and honey is my go-to snack of choice before bed. It’s high in protein, healthy fats, antioxidants and calcium!
4. BODY SCRUBBING Every night before bed I take a shower and scrub my whole body with an exfoliating mitt. This helps to combat dry, itchy skin and sets me up with the perfect canvas for applying body oils. Because let’s be real, no one wants stretch marks and if exfoliating and applying oil is one step towards prevention - count me in. Currently, I’ve been using Kahina Moroccan Rose Beldi Soap with my exfoliating mitt and loving it. This soap is rich in healing vitamin E and hydrating olive oil. I am obsessed with the way it deeply cleanses without drying out my skin like other soaps do.
5. BELLY OIL MASSAGES And finally, my last nightly self-care step is a good-ole belly oil massage. It’s a beautiful way to relax and connect with my growing baby in bed before heading to sleep. I’ll talk to her or imagine what I’ll teach her as I massage in the oil, and it’s always fun to feel her respond with little pokes and kicks. The Lina Hanson Global Baby Sensitive Skin oil is my go-to oil of choice during pregnancy. It feels decadent massaged into the skin, is pregnancy safe, and smells like fresh melon. Extra perks: this oil is gentle enough to use on babies to soothe dry skin and works as a great hydrating face cleanser!
Discover more beauty tips from Amy on her website www.bondenavant.com or on Instagram @bondenavant.