As if being pregnant wasn’t tough enough on your beauty routine (paying strict attention to what you can and can’t use, as well as forgoing some of your most needed necessities like coloring your hair and retinol), everything doesn’t miraculously go back to normal once the baby comes. In fact, some women say it’s even harder to get back into a routine as a new mom because time is limited and your body is still in recovery mode—so we compiled the best beauty tips to help you look your brightest after baby.
Heal Your Skin
If you’re one of the lucky few who had picture-perfect glowing skin during and after your pregnancy, consider yourself saved. For those who battled breakouts, oily patches or dryness, your skin will slowly snap out of it. Another common side effect of pregnancy is melasma, a form of hyperpigmentation. “Melasma is often found on the forehead, cheeks and upper lip. It typically resolves once hormones return to normal, but may persist after delivery in some women,” says Studio City, CA, dermatologist Gene Rubenstein, MD. “It can get worse with sun exposure and the use of oral contraceptives and may be treated with a combination of skin-lightening agents like hydroquinone, chemical peels and lasers.”
Get Rid of What You Don’t Like
If your skin has fallen victim to stretch marks, Dr. Rubenstein says that there are options available to reduce their appearance. “Traditionally, retinoids or vitamin A derivatives like Retin-A have been prescribed to treat them.” But now, lasers are being used for frequently, especially on new (red) stretch marks. “Recently, fractional resurfacing lasers were found to be effective in the treatment of both new stretch marks and more mature (white) ones. Multiple treatments help stimulate the formation of new collagen, improving their texture and appearance,” says Dr. Rubenstein.
Pamper Your Body
Pregnancy can take a toll on your body, especially your skin, leaving it superdry. Using a thick emollient moisturizer daily (or a body oil) will help to reinstate moisture in the skin and leave it better hydrated. “Dry skin is common during pregnancy. After delivery, skin usually returns to normal,” says Dr. Rubenstein.
Don’t Deprive Your Locks
Hair loss after pregnancy is common and many women complain of it. “It happens because of increased hormone levels that cause the normal hair cycle to be disrupted. Most of the time, hair comes back a few months after the initial hair loss,” says Dr. Rubenstein. Using hair growth–promoting products and taking supplements that fight hair loss can help.
Don’t Stop Taking Prenatal Vitamins
Just because you’ve delivered your baby, doesn’t mean you should stop taking your prenatal vitamins. Dr. Rubenstein says that continuing to take prenatal vitamins even after delivery is a good idea, especially if you’re breastfeeding. They also are beneficial to the health of your skin, hair and nails, as they provide iron and calcium.