Pregnancy: my skincare routine while waiting for baby

Those nine months of waiting are full of wonder and joy, but can also spring a few unpleasant surprises on your face and body. So while you concentrate on getting everything ready for your new arrival, spare some time to prepare yourself too, with our guide to the changes you can expect, and what you can do about them.

Switch up your skincare products

Hormone changes during pregnancy can make your skin more sensitive, dry and fragile. To remedy this, swap your scented shower gels and bubble bath for cleansing soap bars, soap-free shower gels or washing oils that cleanse the skin without attacking its protective hydrolipidic film.  To prevent the appearance of redness and irritation, moisturise generously every day from head to toe with a hypoallergenic skincare product, or one that's specially formulated for sensitive skin. For the face, choose an anti-redness product, which will reduce disruption of the microcirculation. If your skin still feels tight, apply a soothing mask. But leave the scrubs and other exfoliants in the cabinet; they will be too aggressive.  During the second trimester of pregnancy, you may experience the gift of increased perspiration, so switch to a long-lasting deodorant, but one formulated without alcohol and antibacterial
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Adopt some new habits

From the fifth month of pregnancy, stretch marks may start appearing on your stomach, thighs, buttocks and breasts. These are caused by weight gain and the increased secretion of cortisol, a hormone that destroys collagen fibres. Every day, from the first month of pregnancy until the baby is four months old, massage your skin with an anti-stretch-mark cream to promote localised microcirculation and to help the skin to stretch and gently tighten again.  Around the fourth month of pregnancy, liver spots can start to crop up on the cheeks and the forehead. These are caused by hormonal changes, but are aggravated by exposure to the sun, so as soon as you put your nose outside the door, smother it with an SPF30 sun cream. If you're lucky, the spots may gradually disappear in time, but they can remain after the birth of your baby so a sunscreen is essential.  Finally, to lighten your heavy and swollen legs, use a cool gel or a soothing de-puffing spray, which will boost the activity of the blood vessels. And avoid using hot wax hair removal products and return to your faithful friend, the razor.
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