As a trained Aesthetician skin care is important to me. I’ve been carefully looking after my skin since I was probably about 12 years old. My mom was a Mary Kay consultant at the time and I was already obsessed with the idea of being an Aesthetician and helping women with skin care and health. I took cosmetology class in high school (does that still even exist? lol) and went on to study skin care, aromatherapy and make up later in post secondary.
I’m no longer working as an Aethetician in a spa but it’s still a part of my life, always will be. One of the best things I learned was to truly look after my own skin. We aren’t all blessed with great skin and even if we are we need to treat it well daily. Our skin also goes through many changes in our lifetime and those changes need ongoing adjustments and care.
I’m careful to use certain products for certain reasons. I don’t like fragrance/parfum in my facial skin care, if there is a scent it needs to be mild and it needs to be natural like from herbs and essential oils.
I also don’t like known irritants like peppermint or some certain alcohols or things like apricot kernels which scratch the surface of your skin.
Some thing that is often misleading is that “natural” skin care is better for you than using products with “chemical” ingredients. Ultimately all things on earth break down into chemicals (think science class) so just because you are using an organic substance it doesn’t mean it’s going to be better for you or effective at managing your acne or fine lines or pigmentation problems. For example, coconut oil is great for many things but not great for facial skin care (pore clogger galore!).
That said there are some chemicals you want to avoid. In addition to the government list above here is another great resource: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep
There is a lot of research going on about chemicals like phthaletes and BPA etc. I don’t think we know everything yet on this subject but I would say I personally try and reduce my contact whenever possible. That means I try to avoid those chemicals in my skin care products as best I can and will do the same for my baby. Less because I’m totally convinced there is an issue and more because we just don’t know and there are other great options.
The other thing I look for is hygienic and appropriate packaging. No fingers dipping in my face cream or over packaging waste. I like pumps and tubes etc. whenever possible.
Keep in mind that a product might be a good one and still cause you to react or it might not be a great product and your skin seems fine with it. This can also change at points during your life.
Pregnancy brings along a few issues with skin that we may not otherwise think about. One of them is that there are a few ingredients that are contraindicated for pregnancy. Retinol is one of them and so is higher percentages of glyclolic acid. These two products are highly effective at managing fine lines and other skin problems but not to be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. That means my favourite glycolic resurfacing products (and glycolic peels) are off the table (for that time).
The motherrisk.org website is an excellent resource for pregnant and nursing women. Here is the list of Safety of Skin Care Products from their site.
The other issue is that during pregnancy your skin changes. Hormones are running wild so you may find your skin changing a lot. It may get more oily or more dry. You may breakout more or less. You also my notice darker pigmentation, your freckles may be come darker or you’ll get new ones or you may also develop something called melasma (pregnancy mask) which is patchy darkening all over. It usually goes away on its own after delivery (or sometimes not until after breastfeeding). Note that soy in skin care and in your diet can make it worse.
These kind of changes can also happen when you start or stop hormone contraceptives (the pill, patch, shot and some IUDs for example) because they are interfering with your hormones. This is just another reason I’m such an advocate to tuning into your body. We aren’t machines where everything continues to operate the same way. We need to pay attention to what goes on in our bodies and be nimble. We need be able to adjust, and change things as we go and progress.
My skin typically is normal to dry and I am prone to milia development (small tiny white bumps where pores get clogged). My personal experience with pregnancy so far is that my skin got very dry but I also break out more often especially around the jaw line. I also noticed melasma, a lot of darker pigmentation, basically more marks and freckles as well as skin tags.
Before getting pregnant I had been chatting with a fellow Aesthetician, Emme Diane about trying her products and it worked out perfectly that I was able to test a variety of her line along with her great advice during this skincare tricky time. Emme and I met through a course we took several years ago and I’ve been a fan of her work ever since. She treats so many skin issues and knows what’s she’s talking about and the information she shares is really great. You can trust her advice. She’s a fitness pro too which is fun. A true Fitbeautie! 🙂
Her Instagram handle is @emmediane and she gives out great free info for all the time.
(side note/rant: Something that drives me nuts are the blurred lines of marketing and skin care sales (all sales/all industries). You may not know but I went to Carleton University for Marketing and after working in the industry and man I can tell you it’s wild what some companies can and will say to get you to think something is great and buy it- don’t believe everything you hear/read/see)
Emme owns two studios in the USA and is also really an innovator in the industry because she does a few things that most Aestheticians don’t. She develops her own skin care line and she does long distance skin care coaching which is really awesome!
Here is what products of her’s I’ve been testing the last 8+ months along with my thoughts on each.
I’m currently trying her Anti-Aging Skin Care Set found here:
This combination helps with preventing fine lines/wrinkles (I am 37 after all!), and also helps prevent the milia from forming plus brightens the skin!
Gentle Cleanser: a low lather cleanser the gently cleanses the skin without stripping or drying.
Love this. No overpowering scent, not drying, works great.
Calm Down Toner: an alcohol free toner which contains oxygen electrolytes to soothe and hydrate the skin
Love this. No overpowering scent, feels lovely on and I love the spray bottle
C-Clearly Vitamin C Serum: a powerful anti-oxidant serum that not only prevents premature aging due to sun exposure but also feeds the skin, strengthens the capillary walls, brightens and hydrates the skin and stimulates new collagen growth.
Love this! Great texture, feels great on, seems to be brightening things up (I also notice smoother skin on by decollete) and no overpowering scent.
Radiant Renewal Serum: An anti-aging serum containing mandelic acid and niacinamide to not only brighten the skin’s tone and texture but also increase cell turnover revealing your most radiant skin.
This one took me a while to appreciate. At first I found to sting a little and I also found the alcohol small very strong but after speaking with Emme about it she explained it a little more and suggested I use it every other day until it felt comfortable. Now I love it and I can really see a difference from it.
Rich Replenish Cream: An ultra-hydrating creme containing ceramides to help lock in water moisture in a rich but not greasy formula. This is a solid moisturizer with great texture that absorbs well, isn’t overly greasy but moisturizes my normal to dry skin well and has no overwhelming smell. All of which is important to me!
Mineral Tinted SPF 40: Our best selling sunscreen! Lightly tinted to blur the skin. An all physcial sunscreen containing Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide in a silky formula that is not pore clogging and doubles as a makeup primer.
LOVE this. I love the texture (it’s almost mousse like), love the colour and the look and feel plus great pump container. Note that it’s not a moisturizer. I do find a need a moisturizer underneath as it’s not enough on it’s own so it’s more of a light foundation + SPF.
Pumpkin Enzyme Mask: Exfoliating, tightening, and hydrating…this enzyme mask does it all! Made of natural pumpkin puree, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, honey and ginseng which delivers exfoliating action while the hydrating botanicals repair and regenerate the skin.
Great for all skin types including:
Acne Prone Skin
I adore the pumpkin mask. I think it’s my favorite mask and my favorite product of this line up. It’s feel great, light non overpowering smell, skin looks and feels great afterward.
Emme is offering all of you fitbeauties a discount of 10% OR a free gift with purchase over $100. Just mention fitbeauties and follow her Instagram account.
So there you have it. I hope that helps and I’d love to hear your comments on the subject!