Having a baby changes your life in nearly every way — physically and emotionally. And as your body’s been changing to accommodate a growing baby, it’s undergone a significant transformation over the past couple of months.
For many women, a common issue is loose, stretched out skin on your stomach, arms, thighs and face, too.
Fortunately, there are ways to help firm up the loose skin you might be experiencing postpartum.
What happens to my skin after pregnancy?
Skin is the largest organ we have. It protects us from the negative effects of too much heat or cold, regulates our internal body temperature and helps keep us hydrated. Like other organs, the skin is made up of a complex system of layers and components that all work together to keep it running efficiently.
Collagen and elastin are the most responsible for the appearance of the skin. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, as it keeps the skin firm and healthy. Elastin supports collagen while also helping to keep the skin flexible, which gives it the ability to bounce back quickly!
Unfortunately, collagen and elastin aren’t miracle cures. While these components are essential in helping the skin stretch to support a baby's growth during pregnancy, they are far less able to return the skin to its original shape afterward.
That rapid growth and inability to keep up is also what leads to stretch marks, those telltale “scars” that can appear all over the body during (and after) pregnancy.
If you’re dealing with stretch marks and loose skin after pregnancy, you may want to consider microneedling. Microneedling is a cosmetic procedure that skin care experts use to break up scar tissue and help encourage the skin to produce more collagen. What’s more, it’s one of the few minimally invasive ways to manage stretchmarks backed by research.
During a microneedling procedure, we use a specialized tool to make microscopic wounds across the areas needing treatment. Many people describe the feeling as mildly uncomfortable — something similar to a sunburn. You might also experience slight redness and irritation, all of which will subside after a day or two.
To increase the effectiveness of microneedling, ask your provider about adding platelet-rich plasma (PRP). This treatment uses the power of your own plasma to speed up the healing and recovery period!
2. Drink plenty of water
Most of us don’t drink enough water, even if we think we do. While the science has changed and the recommendations aren’t as simple as drinking eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day, do your best to drink enough water to stay well-hydrated. When you’re trying to tighten your post-baby skin, you might need a bit of extra help, too.
Water is essential for your entire system, both outside and inside. Well-hydrated skin is far more elastic and resilient than dehydrated skin, so it can potentially rebound better after giving birth. Drinking enough water can also help to reduce water retention in the abdomen, helping you feel less bloated.
Keep a water bottle next to you if you find it hard to remember to drink it regularly. There are also a variety of apps and even “smart” water bottles that will remind you to take a break and drink some water!
3. Moisturize your skin
Moisturizers aren’t just for your face. In addition to drinking enough water, using moisturizing lotions can help make the skin more resilient.
The key to moisturizers is consistency. Using a hydrating product lineup, like our Dry Skin Kit, can help your skin feel smoother. This routine kit has gentle products, like a moisturizing Face Whip and 100% Mineral Tinted sunscreen, geared to promote healthy skin.
Your skin needs to be adequately hydrated over a more extended period of time before it becomes more elastic, and that won’t happen overnight. Stick with it to reveal softer, smoother skin!
4. Brighten your skin
Pregnancy and all the changes that come with it — hormonal and sleep-related, too — can do a number on your skin. If you feel like your skin is looking less than lively nowadays, sleepless nights probably aren’t helping. Promote healthier-looking skin by using a skin brightener, like our Brightening Lotion.
Created with natural botanical extracts, anti-aging peptides and arbutin, this lightweight formula helps to support a brighter, more youthful appearance. Best of all, it’s made for all skin types and for those who are particularly sensitive to hydroquinone or kojic acid.
After cleansing your skin, simply dispense one or two pumps into your hand. Gently smooth the peptide-packed moisturizing over your face, neck and décolletage with upward strokes. Use Brightening Lotion both morning and night to help support healthy skin.
5. Kybella treatment
If you’re looking for a non-surgical injectable cosmetic treatment to help reduce fat underneath the chin (the lipolysis), consider a Kybella treatment. Approved by the FDA in 2015, a Kybella treatment could achieve results similar to a facelift, but with less downtime.
Deoxycholic acid within the injection slowly kills off the fat cells. Over time, the skin’s appearance changes, though it can take several weeks (and sessions) to achieve results.
The Kybella treatment can be performed on other body parts, too. It can be used beneath the bra area, hips, stomach and thighs. Curious? Our advanced practice providers can help guide you on what’ll work best for your needs.
6. Smoothing your skin
If fine lines and wrinkles have you down, reduce the signs of aging with the right serum. Youth Serum is a multitasking, hydrating serum crafted with all skin types in mind.
Multi-molecular weight hyaluronic helps support a more youthful complexion and a bioactive peptide fights blemishes and redness, while honey extract and allantoin helps soothe sensitive, dehydrated skin. To use Youth Serum, begin with freshly cleansed skin. Dispense half a dropper of Youth Serum into your hand, then massage it onto your face, neck and décolletage with gentle upward strokes.
Use this product after cleansing and toning, but before applying your moisturizer and sunscreen. With regular Youth Serum use, you’ll notice plump, hydrated and smooth skin in no time.
To wrap things up...
If you’re looking to improve the appearance of your skin after pregnancy, we have a number of products and treatments to help. And while it’s easy for self-care to take a backseat during the postpartum phase of life, it’s important to take a few moments out of each day for yourself. Because when you take care of yourself, you’ll be able to better care for those around you, too!
From microneedling to skin care that moisturizes and brightens, there are plenty of ways Skin Pharm can help support you and your postpartum skin.