Pregnancy’s effect on an individual’s skin is unpredictable. From natural glow to dehydration, from banished breakouts to hyperpigmentation…it’s all on the table—and your hormones are dealing the cards. Skin quality can even vary over the course of one’s pregnancy.
But let’s face it, we don’t have to be pregnant to experience a range of skin conditions in a short period of time or to feel like we don’t know what shenanigans—or pleasant surprises—our skin will present us with next.
The Duchess of Sussex’s facialist, Sarah Chapman, one of the most sought-after facialists in London, explains how pregnancy can change skin and how Meghan Markle optimizes her natural preggo glow while sharing tips we all use to boost our skin’s radiance whether or not we’re expecting our own royal baby.
Take it Easy
Chapman believes in a less-is-more approach to skincare during pregnancy, and a simple regimen for pregnancy makes a lot of sense. After all, there are several skincare ingredients pregnant women are advised to avoid, including exfoliating acids, retinol, and even certain essential oils.
“I don’t think you should change too much during it,” Chapman says.
“It depends what happens with the skin. Some people get hormonal imbalance with it, and so they get a lot of breakouts. Then you’ve got to deal with that, but I think, always in a gentle way… Some people don’t get any breakouts, they just get an amazing pregnancy glow, which just stays through the whole pregnancy. So then it’s really about hydration.”
Gentle exfoliation using pregnancy-safe ingredients, inflammation-reducing moisturizers, and vitamin C can help treat breakouts during pregnancy.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Vitamin C (Whether or Not You’re Pregnant!)
“Using things like Vitamin C is great to control pigmentation and to keep the skin really radiant. I think it depends on the person, and what is going on during their pregnancy, because people respond so differently. But I think if you’re one of the lucky ones that just looks great throughout, it’s about good facials, massage, using good skincare, and not changing things too much.”
Vitamin C is often recommended as an alternative to retinol during pregnancy because it’s pregnancy-safe (while retinol is not). Vitamin helps reduce hyperpigmentation, defeat breakouts, and enhance overall radiance.
Treat Yourself to a Massage to Boost Collagen in Your Face, Neck, Chest & Earlobes(!!)
Chapman believes that the neck and chest are part of our faces and that massage can make huge difference. ”If everything that we’re doing with skincare is about stimulating collagen, renewing skin, supporting the skin from within, then we should do that on the back of the neck as well, so that it stops the accelerated slackening at the front,” she argues.
“We put moisturizer on our chins, on our legs, on areas of the body, but so often forget the ears. If you think about it, it’s an extension of your face. I always say you want to take your skincare from your jaw down to your chest. I do see in a lot of my work where I’m looking close up at the face, earlobes that have stretched a lot—because they do lose their collagen—deep crinkles, and lines. It becomes quite crepey. I think the more that we do to prevent that, the better.”
The beautiful thing about Chapman’s approach is that you don’t need massage tools to get results (although they’re certainly welcome if you enjoy them). “Some of our massage is really unusual—so much so that lots of people say, ‘What machine is that you’re using?’ when it’s our hands,” she explains.
“We’re working really deep into the muscle. It’s releasing all the tension by getting down into the muscle, but also really working the skin on so many sort of levels, whether it’s lymphatic drainage, or for circulation. A lot of the movements are really pinching, rolling, tapping—very fast—and a lot of lifting. Even if we just did a cleanse and did the massage, you would see a kind of lifting and plumpness.” Here’s her massage method! So whether you’re expecting or just wanted to enhance your glow, try a bit of hands-on massage.
What’s your go-to way to enhance your glow?
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Photo: The Royal Family via Instagram, Skinesis via Instagram, Amazon