The Skinny on My Skin
By Jen Adams, Guest Blogger & Lifestyle Instagrammer
“She's got that glow!” was not
one of the things I heard when pregnant. (Chuckle, chuckle!) I'm ok with that though because why? Well, Friends, my lack of radiance helped motivate me to learn how to truly care for my skin. Yay! The whole gamut of acne, melasma (the infamous mask of pregnancy), dry skin patches, milia, cystic nodules and all had me at a loss. Naturally, I consulted Google for all my skin care needs and of course found a zillion articles promising to be my quick fix. It was just a wee bit overwhelming. However, if I could hug Google I would because it ultimately introduced me to my most amazing skin guru, Jennifer Jungkunz. I have learned a lot from her and my gratitude runs more than skin deep! I know that everyone's body is different; however, for whatever it's worth, I am happy to dish on what has helped me in the event it can help you too! I'll lay out my personal "recipe" for skin happiness here in four categories: exercise, diet, professional treatments and at home care.
I LOVE exercising! This has worked to my advantage because I'm a foodie...and because my skin needs it. When we exercise, tiny arteries in the skin open up, allowing more blood to reach the skin's surface. Since blood carries oxygen and nutrients, this process helps repair damage and flush away waste. The mere act of sweating opens up our pores to let the sweat pass through, creating a passage for impurities to leave too. To prevent the impurities from getting trapped, wash your skin immediately after your fitness routine and put on clean clothes. I definitely find that if I don't rinse off and change out of my gym clothes pronto, I break out! Don't make my same mistakes dear ones! I'm rooting for you and your healthy skin!!
Before pregnancy, I discovered I had developed some food allergies. Long story short, I eat gluten free always, paleo sometimes and as clean and organic as possible. Wild salmon, chicken, turkey, tons of veggies, nuts, cheese, brown rice, quinoa and chocolate make up the majority of me- since they say you are what you eat! Haha! It's no secret that food impacts our health and our skin. Jen helped me to identify that I should cut back on some of my cheese intake, since its consumption seems correlated to my cystic acne. I don't know if you struggle with cystic acne, but if you do, I feel your pain! Literally. I know how much they hurt! I've never kept a food journal, but it might be worthwhile if you're trying to detect correlations between your meals and your skin!
I'm all for taking your health into your hands and doing the best with what you have. I'm also all for consulting help when it's needed! I used to think of facials as a mere luxury, but that perception of mine has long been changed. Yes, booking a facial can be done merely for the relaxation and pampering alone. However, I book mine out of necessity. Finding an esthetician who properly evaluates and treats my skin has been THE biggest and most successful part of my skin "recipe". Hands down. Each time I go in for an appointment, Jen tailors the treatment to my skin, so treatments vary depending on skin status due to hormones, environment, stress...you name it! She knows exactly how to properly extract, help prevent further inflammation and scarring, soothe, resurface, smooth, hydrate, and heal. She also referred me to the products that work best for me. The cosmetic industry is saturated. This can make things a tad confusing. So, I'm going to share with you the products that have truly made a difference for me, and that are safe to use while pregnant or nursing!! My top two go-to skin care lines are: Yonka and PCA Skin.
Yonka Emulsion Pure: This is by far my favorite and most reliable skin solution!! It works wonders on those painful, cystic acne nodules and it works best when you feel one just starting to develop. I tear pieces off of a cotton facial pad and soak it with the Emulsion Pure. Then, I place it directly on the problem area of skin. Let's be honest, a face full of cotton patches isn't always the most practical throughout the day, so I often do this at night right before bed and sleep with it all on! You can also use this Emulsion Pure to wipe over areas that have recently been extracted to help prevent further inflammation. Yonka Gurarana Scrub: This is the only scrub I use, and I use it as directed by my esthetician. Depending on the state of my skin, I may use it only once a week, or several times a week. A professional who can evaluate your skin will be able to recommend ideal usage for you (provided they think this is a good product for you)! Yokna Gommage 303: This is a clarify gel that can be applied as a quick mask and then gently washed off with a wash cloth. Sometimes when my skin is going through an extra thirsty phase and seems to break out with my usual moisturizers, I use this Gommage as an overnight mask, which really helps hydrate my face! Yonka Creme 15: When my skin seems to need a light moisturizer, this is it! It helps to purify and replenish! Yonka Creme 93: When my skin needs a little more intensive hydration, this moisturizer does the trick!
PCA Skin ExLinea Peptide Smoothing Serum: This little bottle rescues my fine lines!! I use this serum around my eyes, my smile lines, and on my forehead. It helps fill in those little wrinkles! For me, it makes such a big difference! I apply this every time after washing my face and before putting on my war paint (aka make-up…my grandma got me into saying this). PCA Skin Peptide Lip Therapy: Did I mention that I'm also prone to eczema? Yup, around my eyes and lips. It used to get so bad that my skin would crack and bleed. Finding a moisturizer that didn't make me want to scratch at my lips and that would last throughout the day was a challenge. Insert this lip treasure here!! I wear it under lipstick, lip gloss and most often by itself! CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser: Quality products don't need to come with an expensive price tag. I get this cleanser at the local drug store! For me that's CVS!
Sunscreen: I don't have a specific sunscreen I recommend, but I emphasize this as a part of our daily skin care routine! I use the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Crème, which has an SPF of 30. After trying a plethora of products, these are the ones that truly help heal and maintain the health of my skin. Should these not be the ones that work best for you, I encourage you to not give up hope! But also don't give into hype...lots of products promise to help. Before shelling out your hard earned money, you can do your own research to read up on reviews, ingredient lists, etc. Consulting a skin care expert will help guide you to what your skin likes best! Jen had lots of samples for me to use to make sure they worked for me before I actually made the purchases!
At Home Care
I've learned that my at home skin routine in between facial appointments is imperative! If I don't follow through, I usually end up with more breakouts and loss of hydration, which Jen ends up needing to address at the next appointment! I have been prescribed to wash my face every night before bed with my CeraVe face wash and then apply the appropriate solutions. In the morning, I usually just splash water on my face. A little personal side note, my most favorite eye makeup remover is organic coconut oil. Before I wash my face at the end of the day, I remove my eye makeup with this au natural, tropical nutrient. I scoop out a little bit of coconut oil on a Q-tip and apply all over my eye makeup. I gently use my finger to help work the oil through my lashes and use a dry facial pad to softly wipe away the gooey mix. Sometimes I need to do a couple rounds of this, depending on how much make up I'm wearing and how dark the colors are. I've never had a break out from using coconut oil this way, just in case you're wondering!
The struggle is real, Beautifuls. I know the skin care challenges that can come with the physiological changes of motherhood! If you think your skin could benefit with a little help, I'm rooting for you throughout your epidermis adventures!! Below is a little Q & A between Jen (my esthetician) Her website is www.sdfacial.com Cheers to you and getting your glow on! Even if that means helping it out along the way!! XOXO!
Q: What are some of the most common skin problems pregnant and nursing moms experience? A: When a client is pregnant, nursing, and transitioning out of nursing there are many hormonal changes that happen within the body. Any time hormones are changing you can deal with pigmentation, sun sensitive, acne, dry, dull, and hypersensitive skin. Q: What can be done to help prevent those problems? A: One of the best preventions is to see your esthetician on a monthly basis to assess the skin changes you are experiencing. The hormones fluctuate so often that changes may need to be made monthly. If facials monthly are not an option I recommend seeing a professional in the beginning to get an idea of the best homecare routine to follow. Also, many products and treatments are not recommended during pregnancy. Speaking with your OBGYN will be vital in the beginning. Q: What are the top skincare products you recommend that are safe to use while pregnant or nursing? A: For pregnancy there are a few products that I see as vital. 1.) A quality antioxidant that is safe for pregnancy. 2.) A mineral based sunscreen. You do not want any chemical sunscreens on the skin. 3.) Acne products that have been screened and given the clear from your OBGYN. I like to use the Yonka skincare line for pregnant clients that are having breakout issues as they're safe! Q: If seeing an esthetician on a regular basis as possible, how frequent should the appointments been made? A: Ideally I would recommend once a month for facials. Since the skin is supposed to turn over every 28 days, but as we age this process slows down significantly. A facial will allow the skin to rejuvenate at an appropriate interval. Q: If there is one product that could be splurged on, what would you recommend for the mamas of the world and why? A: I would splurge on a high quality Antioxidant. My favorite is the SkinCeuticals Phloretin. As an antioxidant it helps to treat free radicals. It is also known to decrease hyper pigmentation and increase cell turnover. Making it a great overall product no matter which skin condition a client is dealing with.
Jen Adams is a lifestyle enthusiast, passionate about designing the interior of her world and encouraging others! Her focus is on fashion and family filtered through a perspective of healthy living and abounding joy. She resides in southern California with her Prince Charming and two marvelous wee people, who keep her on her toes (as do her heels, hehe!). Make yourself at home on Jen's Instagram feed ( @interiordesignerella) Message her anytime! She can't wait to meet you. Cheers to designing and living out your happily ever after!