The Pregnancy Skincare Habits I’m Going To Be Keeping…

pregnancy skincare

The last of my pregnancy skincare posts, now – I’ve safely delivered Baby Number Two (a gorgeous boy) and so am no longer pregnant, and I just wanted to get these features out there before they became completely outdated and irrelevant! You can read my post on safe pregnancy skincare here, if you missed that one.

I’ve been very lucky in that my skin was quite wonderful throughout both of my pregnancies, save for the first couple of months (which are notoriously dodgy anyway, due to mad hormones and feeling ill and not eating normally and so on). The photographs on this page were taken four days before I gave birth, so I was thirty-nine weeks pregnant, and you can hopefully see how well-behaved my face was being!

Now I know that you could dismiss this entire post and give “pregnancy hormones” all of the credit for my glowing, clear complexion, but I genuinely don’t think that would be either fair or accurate. Because I think that the initial hormonal changes actually make my skin worse and then things level out in the second and third trimesters – I am convinced that it’s all of the little skincare habits I tend to adopt that make the most difference.

Here are some of the skincare habits I adopt during pregnancy that I believe make a considerable difference to my face – I’m really trying to hang on to these little changes, because I love that fresh-faced, blemish-free, even-toned pregnancy glow!

Alcohol. I realise that “not drinking too much alcohol” isn’t a skincare habit, per se, but it’s definitely a biggie for me – I haven’t had a proper drink (ie, been tipsy) in about two and a half years now and my skin is definitely brighter and healthier-looking for it. I don’t think that I have a wonderful tolerance for alcohol – I used to suffer with massively disproportionate hangovers! – and so it only takes a couple of glasses of red wine for me to look like a hag the next day. I’m not saying I’m never going to drink again (HAHA chance would be a fine thing) but I’ve definitely broken that cycle of regular evening…self-medication. My skin has far less off days, my dark circles are less pronounced and I’m sure that the redness I used to get around my nose and on my chin has greatly diminished.

SPF. I’m rather haphazard with my SPF use in the non-summer UK months – if I’m outdoors or on holiday then I slather it on like there’s no tomorrow, but otherwise I rely on the incidental sort of coverage you get from BB creams or what have you. However when pregnant, I get paranoid about the increased risk of pigmentation patches and spots and so if I was out and about I always used an SPF. (Latest find – and I love this – is the BareMinerals Prep Step, here.) I think that as a result my skin is more even in tone after pregnancy. Yes, it’s paler, and I do like a bit of a sunkissed hue, but it’s nothing that a spot of Hylamide Glow can’t fix.

pregnancy skincare

Antioxidants. Continuing with my pigmentation paranoia: I like to add an antioxidant into my routine as an extra layer of protection against the environment and UV rays. I use a serum high in antioxidants and just slip it on before moisturiser or SPF. Paula’s Choice do a good one here, I also like this from Caudalie a lot and if you’ve got a load of cash to flash then look to SkinCeuticals and Zelens for state-of-the-art skin protection.

Gentle Products. My skin is usually more sensitive during pregnant and so I step away, mostly, from daily use of acid exfoliants. I think that there’s a massive temptation to overuse acids and I’ve realised from years of experimentation that they are better (for me, at least) used just once or twice a week. I know that some people like the drastic results and don’t mind the fallout (reactions, peeling, spots, etc) that can happen with very active products, but I’m all for keeping my skin on an even keel. I’ve found that treating it kindly gets great results – I like a strong mask or peel or overnight treatment, but I’ve learnt to dial it all down a bit. (I like the FAB pads for non-drastic acid exfoliation, and also Pai do an AHA mask that doesn’t make your face fall off, if you want gentle-but-effective.)

Oils. I use far more oils (both cleansing and moisturising) during pregnancy, and it’s a little ritual I’d like to keep. Though I now have far less time to do a “routine”, it’s nice just to spend a few minutes massaging the skin and getting the circulation going. There are dozens and dozens of amazing face oils, but I like the L’Oreal Rebalancing Oil for temperamental/spotty skin days, MV Organic Skincare Rose Booster for calming down temperamental and dry, tight skin and Darphin’s little bottles of oil as a proper treat after having a bath. The Tangerine one is an all-time favourite.

What’s not so good about my skin during pregnancy? It feels dry, tight and my fine lines are definitely more visible. I have to battle really hard to keep my skin (and body) hydrated, which is a theme that seems to continue post-partum and during the breastfeeding months, hence the oils added in (above) and my obsession with thirst-quenching creams and lotions. I’ve linked to a few mega-moisturiser recommendations below…

READ MORE: The Best Moisturisers for Very Dry Skin

READ MORE: Beauty Products for Dehydrated Skin

© 2017 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. *Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer. A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.

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15 Comments

  1. Becky
    February 27, 2017 / 4:15 pm

    The alcohol part is really interesting. I definitely think, even if i only drink two glasses of wine, i can really tell it in my face the next morning. My skin looks patchy and i have darker circles under my eyes. Quite unfair really.

  2. February 27, 2017 / 4:56 pm

    The only thing I’ve really changed during pregnancy is not using retinol and I am definitely bringing that back once this baby comes out! I’m lucky that my skin doesn’t go wild and is pretty much the same as it was before pregnancy.

    Blush & Pearls by Angela

  3. Alex P
    February 27, 2017 / 7:57 pm

    Really interesting article, Ruth. I’ve drastically cut down on the amount of booze I drink over the last few months – I used to think nothing of sipping a glass of prosecco or three on a week day, but now barely drink anything – and I’ve noticed a huge difference to my skin. Gone are the sore, bumpy spots along my jawline, and the crusty, dry patches that tended to pop up at the sides of my mouth. Couldn’t recommend it highly enough for someone who’s tried everything to improve their skin – except ditching the vino. Quick question though: have you tried the Body Shop’s Skin Defence SPF? I’ve heard good things and it’s a little lighter on the wallet than the BareMinerals. Also, is there a more affordable antioxidant serum option that you can recommend? X

    • Jules
      February 28, 2017 / 4:35 pm

      Hi Alex, I use the Body Shop Skin Defence SPF and it really is amazing, super light and comfortable and it doesn’t feel like SPF at all but really protects against the sun (I used it in NZ). I used to use Zelens which is super expensive but I genuinely prefer the Body Shop one for being not at all glunky. I know you asked Ruth not me, but am such a fan of the body Shop one I couldn’t help comment! Have a fab day everyone x

      • Alex
        February 28, 2017 / 10:18 pm

        Thanks Jules, I’ll definitely have to give that one a whirl! x

        • Heather
          March 4, 2017 / 11:17 am

          I use the body shop spf too and it’s really lightweight. Soaks in great and doesn’t impact wearing foundation over it like a lot of spfs do. Plus the price is pretty good!x

  4. February 27, 2017 / 8:40 pm

    I’m only starting to realize how much alcohol affects my skin, especially, as you said, when it comes to dark circles and redness (on the cheeks)! Definitely need to incorporate more antioxidant into my skincare routine as well :)

    http://fannyanddailybeauty.com

  5. February 27, 2017 / 11:07 pm

    Your skin looks amazing here Ruth! I love the Pai mask – I’ve just finished it off actually- I had to cut the tube to make sure I got very last scrap! Have you used the Ren Hydro Boost serum thing? I got a free very generous sample size in M&S last year (5 free gifts with purchase – it was brilliant!) Anyway it made an instant brightening and plumping and very visible difference to my skin and was super hydrating… was wondering if you liked it? Must invest in it again…

  6. Mary
    February 28, 2017 / 8:46 am

    You look gorgeous! What are you wearing on your lips in these photos? It looks like the perfect pinkey nude.
    Congrats on Baby AMR 2!

    • Jane
      March 1, 2017 / 10:07 am

      I was wondering about Ruth’s lip colour too, it looks so lovely and soft, I need it!

      Great article Ruth; I suffer with mild rosacea and it definitely flares up with alcohol. I can literally feel my cheeks burning as they start to flush and then become redder and redder within minutes of consuming anything containing alcohol (even a sherry trifle, not fair).That is one of several reasons why I rarely touch alcoholic drinks nowadays as the after effects just aren’t worth it.

      • March 1, 2017 / 5:37 pm

        It’s the BareMinerals one in Kitty I think!! x

  7. February 28, 2017 / 10:40 am

    thank you. its everything I ve figured out too.

  8. March 2, 2017 / 10:01 pm

    Great tips for life and skin health and beautification. The area I need to work on is regular SPF as most facial sunscreens or even moisturizers or bases that conain SPF break me out, so I must find one that feels good and that is better formulated, which is actually mostly dry-to-combination but is very sensitive and easily blocked- my skin layers are quite thin. If you or anyone here as further tips or recommendations, please share them and I would be even more forever grateful to you. Congratulations on the baby and all the best your beautiful family. Mr. AMR, the two kids, and the lovely pets, and your gorgeous self as well

  9. Roxs
    March 2, 2017 / 10:39 pm

    Just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading your posts. I am very happy for you that all went well with baby no 2 (been following both of your websites and AMR for some years). This particular post is ace and I have ordered the Skinceuticals serum you have recommended in hope that this is what is missing from my skincare routine. I am in a bit of an odd place with my skincare as I have been previously splashing out on expensive products (did not think twice about buying Creme de la Mer, Sisley masks or buying the whole Murad set at once) but without a strict regime and now with a baby almost the same age as your little girl, leaving my amazing job and living abroad while saving up for a family place once we return it does not feel right spending hundreds of pounds on skincare (make up even more so) and I really like your suggestions that work but are not overpriced. Please do more reviews of Skinceuticals, Bioderma (that cream riche was good), La Roche Posay (try Toleriane face wash and anti dark circles eye cream – great) and similar lines. Suggestions of how to best combine products from different brands (eg what you suggest spending on and what not if used together) would be really helpful! L’oreal came up with a new hair line Botanicals (just bought Camellia range but not tried yet). I thought you were working with L’oreal so may be a good one to test too.

  10. Michelle Hunter
    April 3, 2017 / 5:09 pm

    Hi Ruth. Do you still use liquid gold? Or just the FAB pads everyday? Thanks :)

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