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Motherhood brings many changes to one’s lifestyle, body, and skin. The combination of a lack of sleep and hormonal fluctuations post-pregnancy can cause acne, puffy and dark under-eye circles, melasma, and dull skin. Maintaining a balanced diet and skincare routine as well as avoiding potential irritants, will aid in the transition from pregnancy to postpartum

Postpartum Changes

Almost immediately after the delivery of the placenta, the body stops producing progesterone and may not begin until the next menstrual cycle. Despite progesterone levels falling off, prolactin levels remain high, which causes an imbalance. Prolactin are the hormones responsible for milk production, and are very high after childbirth. High levels of prolactin are drying to the body and cause acne breakouts and dull skin.  

The key to treating hormonal acne breakouts is balancing the skin. This should be done both internally with the food you eat, and topically with appropriate treatments and products.

Your diet should be as anti-inflammatory as possible, filled with fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, fish, nuts, and healthy oils. Eliminate certain acne triggers, like dairy and sugars, and drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.

Treatments & Products for New Mothers 

In the Studios, I perform purifying treatments, mild water peels and extractions to handle breakouts. When it comes to products, a proper toner is key, it keeps your skin’s pH level in check and makes everything that follows it more effective. I am a big proponent of LED therapy and blue light is antibacterial and great for acne treatment. Serums and masks that target acneic skin should follow. And there are great spot treatments that are gentle on the skin.

Puffy, dark under-eye circles are a telltale sign of lack of sleep. And as a new mother, chances are, you have them. There are great products that can reduce inflammation, brighten, and tighten this delicate area. 

Melasma, or “Pregnancy Mask,” is the appearance of brownish spots on the face. These are a result of hormonal influxes during pregnancy. After childbirth, most women experience these spots naturally fading and becoming invisible, but some may stick around. Prolonged sun exposure will darken the spots, so it is important to avoid the sun as much as possible and use sunscreen.

While retinoids and chemical peels are used on melasma, I prefer a gentler approach. I like to treat it with microneedling, combined with a brightening treatment. Microneedling creates microchannels in the skin, so the product you follow it with penetrates much more deeply and is more effective.

As the body continues to readjust after delivery, changes continue to occur. Following childbirth, the skin is very sensitive. Stay away from the sun which can burn more easily and harsh detergents which can irritate the skin.