Postpartum skin. What a joy. It’s just crazy how much can change inside and outside of our bodies after bringing our little loves into the world. What incredible things we’re capable of, but sometimes we’re left wondering “what the heck happened to my body!?” It’s all part of the process and though it can be challenging to face at times, I am all about celebrating the journey rather than trying to hide that we’re on it.
One of the challenges I’ve personally faced after having my second daughter is the changes in my skin. I went through a few weeks of breakouts on my face (and body) and then super dry skin that seemed almost impossible to quench!
Part of this is inevitable as our bodies adjust to motherhood, post-pregnancy, breastfeeding and all of the hormonal fun that comes along with this season. I wanted to share a few things that I’ve focused on this time around and have really seen help during the postpartum journey. If I’m being honest, I feel like my skin has never looked so good!
My greatest recommendation to postpartum mamas (and to anyone, for that matter!) is to make sure to nourish your body daily in order to provide the building blocks and blood sugar support needed to create balance within your hormones. The hormone chaos that can occur for most women postpartum is enough to drive any woman mad!
Think tons of veggies (Lord knows we can all do some work here!) and some low-glycemic fruit (berries are my favorite choice) for your carbohydrates; protein from grass-fed, organic meat and poultry and wild fish; and healthy fats from sources like grass-fed butter or ghee, coconut and olive oils, nuts and seeds, avocado, and whole pastured eggs (don’t forget the yolk). Do your best to combine a protein and fat alongside a carbohydrate at each meal and snack.
Keep the sugar to a minimum as sugar can stress your body in many ways, affecting your delicate hormonal system. Stick to small amounts of raw honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar for coffee or baked goods. I’ve found that most women, myself included, need more carbs while breastfeeding in order to keep milk supply up so I recommend including properly prepared grains daily (sourdough, soaked oatmeal, sprouted rice, etc.), as tolerated.
The diet piece of the skin puzzle can be huge, but I know that as a new or even seasoned mama, it can be a challenge to make this happen. Let me just say that the effort you put in will pay off. I believe a nutrient-dense, real food diet is foundational to healthy skin.
Cod liver oil
One of the best ways to nourish your skin from the inside out and to ensure you (and baby!) are getting all those life giving omegas is with fermented cod liver oil. CLO is rich in omegas 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids which help give you supple looking skin as well as moisturize from the inside out. Literally. One of the tall tale signs of essential fatty acid deficiency is dry skin.
I notice my skin drying out when I’ve missed a few days of my CLO (I have a history of fatty acid deficiency...hello dieting days way back when!), it’s that effective for some people.
Cod liver oil is also rich in vitamin A which is involved in the production of new skin cells and collagen and can prevent premature aging.
My favorite source is Green Pasture’s Fermented Cod Liver Oil in cinnamon tingle! Take one to one and a half teaspoons daily.
Also make sure that you’re getting a variety of healthy fats from those real food sources with your meals!
Oh oil cleansing, how you’ve changed my skin! I started oil cleansing while I was pregnant and now—can’t stop, won’t stop!
Here’s what Primally Pure, my very favorite skin care company EVER, has to say about it, “Based on the scientific principle that like dissolves like, oil cleansing utilizes beneficial oils that penetrate deep into pores to dissolve grime and build-up. It’s the best way to purify + nourish the skin (natural oils are SO powerful in their ability to beautify and heal) while still keeping its natural moisture barrier in-tact. Oil cleansing works for all skin types when the correct oil ratios/types of oils are being used.”
I snagged their Cleansing Oil for dry skin and it took about a week or so for my skin to adjust (I had a few breakouts initially), but after that, I noticed a huge difference in my skin right away. Doing my little oil cleansing routine a few nights a week is like a little 3 minute spa treatment.
It’s recommended to oil cleanse daily however I usually do it every other day. It’s crazy that even more makeup comes off when I wipe with a warm towel even though I’ve already washed my face! Gross and so crazy.
I recommend Primally Pure Cleansing Oils––they have them for dry, normal and oily skin. You can use code “JUSTINE10” to snag 10% off your entire first order!
I use these soft little organic cotton towels to wipe away the oil. They’re perfect.
You can read all the oil cleansing how-to’s over on the PP Pure Life blog here!
Blue Tansy Beauty Cream
This item came as a surprise to me, though I’m not sure why since there’s not a single Primally Pure product I haven’t loved! The Blue Tansy Beauty Cream is this thick, emollient cream that is perfection for nourishing dry, inflamed skin.
When I found this little jar in my stash of non-toxic goodies post-baby, I started using it before bed daily. What stands out the most is how soft my skin is in the morning. It slowly absorbs into your skin and actually works to hydrate and soothe.
The ingredients are as clean as can be and that I can get on board with every time...one of the many reasons I adore Primally Pure! The blue tansy essential oil that gives this cream its beautiful blue hue is well known for its skin-loving properties and helps to soothe inflamed, irritated skin. The tallow is from grass-fed cows and let me tell you, it’s like God’s gift to our skin! The emu oil has anti-inflammatory properties, works to moisturize and soften fine lines and is great for skin conditions like eczema, acne and psoriasis.
Again, use code JUSTINE10 to get 10% off your entire initial Primally Pure purchase!
Are you laughing at this one!? I know, me too! But seriously, we all know sleep is important. With the sleep deprivation in the first weeks postpartum, my skin took a huge hit. I could see the lack of sleep under my eyes and my skin was dull. A far cry from the pregnancy glow!
My recommendation here is to sleep with intention. I could put my daughter down for bed and stay up with my husband for a few hours, watch a show or catch up on emails, but in the early weeks and months, I knew that if I did that, I’d be missing out on an extra hour or two of sleep and that is sooo needed.
Take all the opportunities you can to get extra sleep, especially in the early weeks and months when sleep is harder to come by. Nap during one of baby’s naps if you’re able, get to bed right when you put baby down for her evening feeding or have a family member or close friend hold your little one for an hour so you can try to catch up.
Every little bit counts!
All the water
If you look around online, you’ll realize there is not a lot of research to back the whole “water does wonders for you skin” thing. But if you think about it, every cell outside and inside of your body is made up largely of water. If water is missing or lacking, your cells will take a hit and struggle to detox effectively and function optimally.
Water is important for so many processes in the body, but one of the ones that stands out as it pertains to skin is detoxification. Think of water as a medium allowing your body to excrete junk within. I picture a river flowing and when the rain has been plentiful, that river runs smoothly and can carry lots of river creatures within it (ha follow along please!). If there’s been a draught, things don’t run through as smoothly, get stuck on the sides or have too little water to transport them at all.
I recommend drinking half of your body weight in ounces per day, adding more if you drink caffeinated bevvies or exercise. So if you weight 150 lbs, you’d shoot for 75 ounces of water daily, more if you have a cup of coffee or a sweaty workout. If you’re breastfeeding, I’d shoot for about 100 ounces daily.
So what have been some of the ways you’ve cared for your skin postpartum? Share in a comment below!
Share the skin love and send this post to a mama friend! I’m always so grateful when I hear women sharing my posts with their loved ones! Thank you for your support!
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