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Managing Postnatal Hormonal Breakout

Hitting the 6 month mark of my pregnancy was a tough one; not only did I experience major pelvic floor problems but my skin just went all wacky on me. 6 months postpartum, and my skin is um, yeah…NQR! So here are my thoughts and tips on how I’m trying to get my skin back!

With all the hormonal changes that come with pregnancy and beyond, it is understandable that many women, including myself, experience horrible breakout. Saying that though, trying to get control is not impossible as our skin is a reflection of what our insides are. If there’s one thing that we can control, it is the food choices we make. Let’s start with boosting the amount of antioxidants in our diet.

Antioxidants protect our cells from free radicals, which are harmful chemical substances that are formed naturally in our bodies due to exposure to external factors such as air pollution, the sun and alcohol. Free radicals are believed to accelerate the ageing process by attacking healthy cells in our body. Eating foods rich in antioxidants is just one way to get healthy skin. For this reason, I would suggest including these nutrients in your diet:

Vitamin C: Citrus fruits, strawberries, rock melon, kiwi fruit, tomatoes, leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage.

Beta-carotene – converted to Vit A in the body: Sweet potato, carrots, spinach, parsley, apricots, mangoes, paw paw.

Vitamin E: Vegetable oils, cold pressed seed oils, olive oils, wheat germ, wholegrain products, nuts & seeds.

Selenium: Wholegrain foods, seafood, lean meat, eggs

Zinc: Wholemeal bread, wholegrains, seafood, lean meat, chicken, legumes

Another nutrient I make sure I include on a daily basis is (drum roll….) fat! Healthy fats – specifically looking at anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids and those from chia seeds, flaxseed, walnuts and avocado- are essential for good skin and a feeling of overall wellbeing on the inside. I aim to include marine sources of omega 3s at least twice a week for example, salmon and tuna are something I tend to consume regularly.

Now, let’s talk about bacteria and beauty…

Who would’ve thought, those two words would make it into one sentence? Bacteria and beauty is so un-sexy! Our bodies house millions and millions of bacteria, highly colonised in our digestive tract (specifically the intestines) and they have become important to our overall health and well-being, even skin health. Why?

There is emerging evidence that bacterial colonies in our gut influence disease state, immunity and overall health. There are even studies looking at links to chronic diseases such  as obesity and diabetes. What we nourish our bodies with appears to influence the conditions of our gut’s bacterial balance i.e.  the ratio of good vs bad bacteria. When our bodies are in the right state, healthy gut bacteria promote inner goodness by providing nutrients and energy to support our metabolism and immunity. If our bodies house more bad than good i.e. a negative state of balance, bacteria are believed to become a source of inflammation and infection, potentially contributing to digestive disease and other illnesses.

With regards to skin health, several studies looked at a possible gut-skin connection specifically looking at skin conditions such as acne and bacterial imbalances (e.g. SIBO- small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) in the body. Evidence showed that correcting the bacterial overgrowth of the “unwanted” type showed significant skin improvement.

If we want to associate “beauty food” with bacterial balance then there are definitely some food additions that can fix our gut. First of all, switching to wholegrain products and adding lots of coloured vegetables is one way. Another approach would be adding probiotics or even fermented foods to our diet. This can help our gut by increasing the number of good bacteria and in turn, inhibiting the bad ones; a bacterial “balancing” act. Examples of fermented foods apart from dairy include kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha and kefir. A well balanced diet with the right additions can boost our immunity, improve gut health and how we feel on the inside.

Finally, if we want to look at products to complement dietary modifications, I could only recommend the following based on my experience:

  • Essentially Lili’s Frankencense Face Serum and Nourishing Face Balm: Now I’ve only discovered Lili’s products a couple of months ago and I absolutely love how her products are homemade and 100% natural! You definitely need a tiny amount of each and both have become part of my nightly “face-prep” ritual. I do notice that my skin recovers quicker when I get a flare up and loving how soft my skin feels in the morning.
  • Clinique’s Liquid facial soap, clarifying lotion and moisturizer: I have been using this combo for years now and cannot go a day without them!
  • Dr. Jart’s+ Face masks: I’ve only tried the vital hydra solution and have also bought a couple of different ones to try from Sephora so such masks are part of an every other weekend beauty routine while I get my NETFLIX on.

So, I’m ending this post in hope that my skin finally finds its equilibrium as my hormones try to figure themselves out, especially now that I no longer breastfeed and awaiting the arrival of auntie rose! Ah the perks of being a woman…

2 Comments
  1. 2 table spoons of ground flaxseed and consuming fresh coriander leaves every day is the only magic combo that got rid of my hormonal acne (not post baby, but 2.5 years post pill, after trying everything…ok it did get better with time and diet but this really cleared it).
    Flax is good at balancing oestrogen and coriander helps the liver detox the oestrogen surplus.
    Good luck!

  2. For acne issues, I make Magic Serum and Evanesce Balm which helps not only hydrate the skin but treats acne without further damaging the skin. Nothing harsh, just a whole lot of love and magic! check out https://www.essentiallylili.com/product/magic-serum/ and https://www.essentiallylili.com/product/evanesce-balm/

    Glad you love the Frankincense Face Serum and Nourishing Face Balm. They are my favourites!! Lili x

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