Pregnancy Beauty Tips for Blake Lively, Coco Rocha, and You – Yahoo News
Photo: Stephanie Rausser/Trunk Archive
Maggie Cordish sticks to her hair-straightening routine like clockwork: for the last 12 years, she’s done a six-hour long Japanese perm once every six months at New York’s Pierre Michel Salon.
Then she got pregnant.
“It’s pretty toxic,” Cordish, 37, says of the chemical-laden process. “So I’ve been forced to compensate by using anti-frizz serum and a blow-dryer, which is how I spent my teenage years. There are a lot of sleek buns and ponytails these days.”
Lauren Kenny had her beauty regimen down to a science before getting pregnant last July. She preserved her honey-hued highlights at the Marie Robinson Salon and swore by a prescription-based cleanser for treating breakouts. That was until she saw her dermatologist. “She scaled me back to absolutely nothing and it was not fun,” said Kenny, 36. “I started getting crazy acne around my chin and I felt hideous; I was not a happy pregnant woman.”
By the time New York women hit their 30’s, they tend to have their beauty habits down to an art. Years of recommendations and experimentations have resulted in a personal routine they can trust and call upon at a moment’s notice. They’ve perfected their hair color, curated their product lineup, and booked pre-summer straightening treatments months in advance. But the onset of pregnancy forces even the savviest mothers-to-be to reevaluate the ingredients of every peel, product and process they’ve come to rely on. The sheer volume of skin and hair-altering hormones listed on just a single label can be terrifying. Not to mention, pregnancy brings a whole new set of problems. So then what?
Even women who rarely break out can experience new skin woes when pregnant, and treating old ones gets harder. Instead of reaching for Retin-A, expecting women have to find other ways to handle hormonal acne, fine lines, or pigmentation issues when the safety of their old standbys is called into question. Dermatologists vary in their trust benzoyl peroxide, topical acids, and even low dose retinoids; most will recommend alternative solutions.
Related: Post-Partum Beauty Woes—& Fixes!
At her Park Avenue practice, Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas administers monthly all natural fruit acid peels on pregnant patients while manually removing cysts with a fine needle. The treatment eliminates existing acne and prevents future breakouts by unclogging pores. She’ll also take those patients trying to conceive off retinoids and switch them to all natural cleansers like Cetaphil and Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash. “As a dermatologist, you develop techniques for preparing for pregnancy and you make sure to transition that patient properly to a safe regimen at home, with some intervention in the office,” said Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas.
Dr. Marina Peredo, a dermatologist based in Smithtown, NY will perform monthly facials and blue light treatments. The lights are given twice a week for 15 minutes and kill acne-causing bacteria. They also help with melasma or the “mask of pregnancy,” a hyper-pigmentation that doesn’t respond to skin bleaching creams. “After the baby we can be more aggressive with lasers and retinoids, but during pregnancy we are very limited,” she said. “I try to concentrate on good skincare and good products with Vitamin C and E and antioxidants.”
Related: The Gift of an Uncool Mom
Some women are more willing to weigh the risks. New York dermatologist Dr. Howard Sobel has had patients hide their pregnancy to get Botox, a treatment contraindicated by the Food and Drug Administration. He recommends letting nature do the work. “Pregnancy and the resulting weight gain often causes the face to swell and wrinkles become less apparent,” said Dr. Sobel.
Some clients will even bend the truth for a simple dye job. While most obstetricians recommend pregnant women wait until at least the second trimester to color their hair, Oscar Blandi said some women who visit his Midtown salon beg to get treated sooner. For his cautious clients, Blandi applies alternative color processes that lack ammonia or peroxides, such as a watercolor camouflage for roots or Inoa, an all-natural color line by L’Oreal. For general upkeep, he recommends deep moisturizing treatments and regular trims, since pregnancy hormones can make otherwise soft hair unruly and dry.
Related: Beauty After Baby: The Honest Truth
For those whose hair frizzes at the mention of summer, the Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon offers pregnant women the mildest form of a three-level straightening treatment—a formaldehyde-free solution that eliminates frizz. Frieda also introduced an at-home application, Frizz-Ease 3-Day Straight that seals in the style with the help of a flat iron and keeps hair straight for up to three days.
But perhaps the best practices are the simplest. Jane Peterson, a former nurse for a prominent New York plastic surgeon, kept her prenatal sanity in tact with small beauty rituals, like getting blow outs and splurging on weekly manicures. Retail therapy went a long way, too. “I thought, what else could I do to make myself prettier,” says Peterson, 38. “I couldn’t buy cute clothes, so I found myself buying sunglasses, lipstick, necklaces—anything to keep the focus up.”