It is well-known that pregnancy induces numerous changes in a woman's body, particularly affecting their skin. It is often assumed that these various alterations disappear on their own after childbirth. In reality, the skin requires several months to (sometimes) regain its pre-pregnancy appearance.
Post-pregnancy: What is the influence of pregnancy on the skin?
Drier skin after childbirth.
A decrease in the amount of estrogen notably results in a reduction of fibroblast activity. These dermal cells are responsible for the synthesis of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, molecules that ensure the skin's flexibility, tone, and hydration.
The drop in progesterone results in a decrease in sebum production and a weakening of the hydrolipidic film, an aqueous/oily mixture that fights against skin dehydration.
Thus, women often notice a certain skin dryness after childbirth, due to hormonal fluctuations. To alleviate this phenomenon, it is recommended to apply a moisturizing cream daily on the face and body. These treatments, enriched with humectants and film-forming agents, retain water in the epidermis and limit its dehydration.
Postpartum: an intensification of skin laxity.
Pregnancy is often accompanied by a varying degree of weight gain, which results in stress on the skin. The collagen and elastin fibers significantly stretch during this period and do not always immediately return to their original length after childbirth. As a result, the skin may appear looser and more lax than usual. This primarily affects the areas that have experienced the most significant weight fluctuations, namely the stomach, buttocks, and breasts.
To limit skin sagging, we recommend applying during pregnancy and in the months following childbirth nourishing treatments to the body. These can be creams or vegetable oils, such as olein, shea, or avocado oil, which contain active ingredients capable of acting on the activity of fibroblasts and stimulating it.
Persistent pregnancy mask after childbirth.
Pregnancy makes the skin more sensitive to UV rays and to phenomena ofhyperpigmentation, resulting in the appearance of the pregnancy mask, also known as melasma. This is due to the ability of estrogen and progesterone to stimulate melanogenesis, or the synthesis of melanin. While the pregnancy mask usually disappears on its own a few months after childbirth, in some cases it may persist longer. If you wish to get rid of it, it is then recommended to consult a dermatologist who will prescribe a depigmenting cream.
Stretch marks from pregnancy after childbirth?
Nearly 90% of pregnant women are affected by stretch marks during their pregnancy or after childbirth. These form as a result of rapid weight gain or loss, causing high levels of tension and a rupture of the skin's collagen fibers. Therefore, it is entirely possible to develop no stretch marks during pregnancy and suddenly see them appear after childbirth. It is important to know that stretch marks are extremely difficult to diminish, and it is only possible to act on those that have a purplish color, meaning they have not yet healed.
It is better to prevent their appearance by practicing a gentle sport as much as possible. The twice-daily application of certain nourishing cosmetic treatments can also help. We recommend our gel-to-oilproduct, enriched with aloe vera gel (INCI: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice) and baobab oil (INCI: Adansonia Digitata Oil). More rich and concentrated than a cream and less greasy than an oil, it provides flexibility and elasticity to the skin to limit the risk of stretch marks appearing.
TYLER K. H. Physiological skin changes during pregnancy. Journal of Clinical Gynecology and Obstetrics (2015).
LADYMAN S. & al. Neurophysiological and cognitive changes in pregnancy. Handbook of Clinical Neurology (2020).