By Helen Elldred, Founder of Effortless Skin, the UK’s leading online retailer of cosmeceutical and results-driven skincare.

Acne and stretch marks can become an issue for some mothers to be

Acne and stretch marks can become an issue for some mothers to be

The overwhelming joy of becoming pregnant is a feeling you never forget. Especially with your first child when it’s all new and exciting, and even if you’re a little nervous, nothing will overshadow the life-changing news you’ve just received. Then as your pregnancy progresses you start to get used to your body changing and growing, and you welcome the little bump that starts to develop and proudly show it off when you can. But perhaps what you don’t expect are the changes in your skin.

The first skin consideration that might cross your mind is stretch marks. You only have to Google stretch marks to find a vast array of sources telling you that nine out of ten women will get stretch marks during pregnancy. So, it’s understandable that it might be the first thing you think about pre-empting and preventing the further along you go in your pregnancy. I doused myself every morning and evening with a product which I believe was the reason I didn’t get a single stretch mark. The reason I believe this, despite the not getting stretch marks part, is because I do have stretch marks at the top of my thighs from growth spurts during my teenage years, so I know I’m not naturally immune to them. The Spoiled Mama Tummy Butter not only smelled amazing but definitely did the job. The high level of fatty acids it provides penetrate the skin and promote the production of elastin, the protein in the skin that allows it to stretch as it expands and contracts. Although I never used it, The Spoiled Mama Bump Gloss makes a great partner to the Tummy Butter. Using them together gives your skin even more of a chance of keeping stretch marks at bay.

Now although I may have sidestepped the stretch marks, the hormonal acne hit me full force. And it came out of nowhere. Not only did I not expect to suffer with any kind of acne ever again in my adult life, but I definitely didn’t expect it to be so aggressive. My jaw line was a mess, and so was my back. I had large, inflamed, cystic acne that I could barely touch without taking a sharp intake of breath from the pain. Treating it was a nightmare and concealing it was often harder. No amount of make up was covering up these red bumps. They shone like beacons around my jaw belligerently. It was sore and it was also a little depressing, so much so that I went to see my GP, who categorically told me to stop complaining as “it probably won’t last long and there’s nothing he could prescribe anyway”. So as I left the doctor’s surgery considering myself well and truly told, I decided there had to be something out there that I could use on my skin. The Avene Cleanance Expert, at a more than reasonable price of £15, was my skin saviour. Ok, it didn’t work miracles, the acne didn’t disappear as soon as I applied it unfortunately, but it calmed the inflammation, put a stop to the oil slick that was my face, and prevented it spreading. It’s also free of Salicylic Acid which pregnant women are told to avoid, and is great for any kind of sensitive skin. There’s even a Cleanance Kit which contains a full acne regime for anyone really suffering with it.

So, if you’re sitting there suffering in silence, know that there is something you can do about your pregnancy skin woes. Take a look at other pregnancy-safe skincare products that are out there.

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