Skin is the largest organ we have. It absorbs a large percentage of what we put on it. While we should be very careful about the chemicals that our skin absorbs, it’s crucial to be extra careful during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Most of the chemicals that our bodies are exposed to end up reaching the fetus through either the placenta or breastmilk later. Expecting mothers need to know which natural ingredients can replace the harsh chemicals.
While many people have been exploring the field of natural beauty products Hossam El Maraghy, the personal beauty care expert and Founder of ‘Maward’, have excelled in his knowledge of how to achieve optimum results using non-toxic materials. And here are his answers to our questions:
Products used to treat acne may contain Retinoids (retinol, retinA, retinyl palmitate, retinaldehyde) or Salicylic Acid. Both ingredients are not safe during pregnancy as they have been linked to birth defects. What are the natural alternatives that can be used for acne prone skin?
One of the best things to use on the skin is yogurt. It contains healthy bacteria that fights germs, as well as lactic acid which is a natural antibiotic that cleanses and exfoliates. Lactic acid softens the skin and enhances collagen production by strengthening the bonds between skin cells. Yogurt contains Vitamin B and Zinc. Zinc treats inflammation caused by acne. To use yogurt, make sure you stir it with a spoon until you reach a lotion-like consistency then apply in a circular motion once or twice a week. If you want to add honey, make sure it is only half the quantity of the yogurt. Remember to try anything on your wrist before applying to your face , even if it’s natural as some people may be allergic to any ingredient.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding may leave the hair weak and brittle and makes it prone to falling. What can be used to help protect the hair in this phase, putting in mind that usually new mothers had very little time for themselves.
There are three important points regarding hair to consider during pregnancy and breastfeeding. First, you have to use a wide-tooth wooden comb, the plastic ones cause electrostatics, which cuts through the hair. Second, try to use more natural shampoos , the more chemicals the more the hair will fall. Third try not to over comb it. Argan oil is very good for the hair. Also avocados with wheat germ oil make a very hydrating and nourishing hair mask.
Stretch marks and pregnancy can seem for some people like two sides of one coin. What are the natural products that can be used from the beginning to prevent them ?
To be honest nothing removes stretch marks, so it’s better to avoid it from the beginning. From very early during pregnancy you can use shea butter, beeswax, argan or coconut oil. The skin has to be hydrated.
Let’s not forget about the nails. Is there any thing that can help strengthen them?
Putting then in warm olive oil twice a week will make a huge difference.
Can you suggest a quick natural beauty routine for expectant and nursing mothers ?
There are three essential steps for an effective routine: washing, toning and moisturizing. It is better to use a non foaming wash. The more foam, the more chemicals. The second step is toning: use rose water, I believe that it is the best toner ever. For expecting women it’s best to use an oil free moisturizer because the hormones may already cause oily skin. You can mix 3 tablespoons of Aloe Vera gel and 2 tablespoons of rose water and use as moisturizer. If the skin is very oily , you can use mud mask once a week. If it is normal to dry you can use fruits, you can add slices of apples or minced avocados. Never use masks that contains lemons or oranges before sun exposure to avoid skin discoloration.