10 Keys to Care for Your Skin After Childbirth

After pregnancy, your skin will have some changes from hormones and the whole gestation process. Here are some tips for your skin after childbirth.
10 Keys to Care for Your Skin After Childbirth
Maria del Carmen Hernandez

Reviewed and approved by the dermatologist Maria del Carmen Hernandez.

Last update: 22 December, 2021

Taking care of your skin after childbirth is one of the most common concerns of new mothers. Although there are multiple aesthetic treatments or care routines, not all of them work best in this situation, or at all. Postpartum skin can look rough, blotchy, dry, and even have stretch markswhich are normal during pregnancy. Next, we’ll tell you how to take care of it.

10 keys to caring for your skin after childbirth

The hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy can actually change your skin. Therefore, taking care of your skin after childbirth is a good option to consider.

1. Don’t expose yourself to ultraviolet rays

During pregnancy, the skin becomes more sensitive to ultraviolet raysso you should use sunscreen every day.

After childbirth, your face might show hyperpigmented spots on your cheeks, forehead, the bridge of your nose, or on the upper lip. Using sunscreen helps prevent these spots from developing, or helps them fade if they’re already there.

2. Use moisturizing cream to take care of your skin after childbirth

Moisture is the fundamental key to having healthy and smooth skin. It’s important to constantly moisturize your skin during pregnancy to prevent stretch marks from appearing.

A woman with stretch marks.

Emollients with vitamin A, vitamin E, allantoin, or hyaluronic acid are some of the ingredients that help take care of your skin during and after pregnancy.

3. Your choice of neutral soaps

The skin has a pH between 4.5 and 5.5, meaning it’s slightly acidic. This protective acid mantle of the skin must be kept undamaged and within the same values in order to fulfill the following functions:

  • Neutralize alkaline aggressive agents like abrasive detergents
  • Stop bacteria from spreading
  • Maintain and restore the acidic environment where the skin’s natural flora can develop

To keep this pH under normal conditions and to be efficient, it’s best to use neutral soaps. 

4. Healthy eating

Nutrition plays a very important role in your skin’s health. In fact, vitamins, carotenoids, tocopherols, flavonoids, and a variety of plant extracts possess powerful antioxidant properties.

Consuming fruits and vegetables can represent the healthiest and safest way to maintain a balanced diet and maintain healthy and youthful skin.

However, meat and dairy can also help. Therefore, you should follow a balanced and varied diet.

5. Proper hydration

Proper hydration of the body isn’t just beneficial and essential for the proper functioning of the organs and the body itself, but also so that the skin can fulfill its protective function.

We recommend drinking 2 liters of water throughout the day. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be mineral water. It can also be teas or infusions.

6. Avoid coffee, alcohol, and tobacco

In addition to being harmful to the body, coffee, alcohol, and tobacco are harmful to the skin. Also, they speed up the aging process.

Tobacco causes the skin to appear more gray or yellow and lowers the levels of vitamin A and vitamin C on the skin’s surface. Alcohol causes dehydration and is more likely to cause wrinkles in dehydrated skin. It also lowers the levels of vitamin A in the skin.

7. Get enough rest to take care of your skin after childbirth

Sleeping between 6 and 8 hours a day contributes to various aspects of the body. Not only does it prevent the development of dark circles, but it also improves the skin’s appearance.

While resting, collagen and elastin are produced, stimulated by growth hormones while sleeping. This results in brighter skin. During the night, cellular regeneration mechanisms activate to get rid of dead cells and impurities on the skin’s surface.

8. Biweekly exfoliation

The skin’s surface is constantly renewing itself. In addition to the hyperpigmentation spots that usually develop during pregnancy, the goal is to work with this natural process through exfoliation.

A woman exfoliating her skin in the shower.

Diamond-tip microdermabrasion or microgranulated cream peels are great options to do this. Additionally, it goes without saying that you should always use photoprotection while performing these procedures.

9. Face masks

Face masks have multiple functions that are beneficial to the skin. In addition to improving the skin’s health, they can have the following effects:

  • Repairing
  • Hydrating
  • Exfoliating
  • Cleansing

10. Complementary treatments

In addition to any skincare routine, there are cosmetic procedures that pregnant women shouldn’t undergo, but which they can choose after delivery.

  • Lymphatic drainage
  • Mesotherapy (talk to your doctor about the medication that’s injected)
  • Radiofrequency

Do you need to take care of your skin after childbirth?

The goal is to follow a skincare routine for your face and body during pregnancy. This way, after delivery, you won’t need too much extra care. Staying hydrated, wearing sunscreen, and having good nutrition are basic recommendations during pregnancy.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Basit H, Godse KV, Al Aboud AM. Melasma. [Updated 2021 Jan 24]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459271/
  • Braun F, Lachmann D, Zweymüller E. Der Einfluss eines synthetischen Detergens (Syndet) auf das pH der Haut von Säuglingen [Effect of a synthetic detergent (Syndet) on the pH of the skin of infants]. Hautarzt. 1986 Jun;37(6):329-34. German. PMID: 3087911. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3087911/
  • Draelos ZD. Nutrition and enhancing youthful-appearing skin. Clin Dermatol. 2010 Jul-Aug;28(4):400-8. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2010.03.019. PMID: 20620756. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20620756/
  • Williams S, Krueger N, Davids M, Kraus D, Kerscher M. Effect of fluid intake on skin physiology: distinct differences between drinking mineral water and tap water. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2007 Apr;29(2):131-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-2494.2007.00366.x. PMID: 18489334. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18489334/
  • Oyetakin-White P, Suggs A, Koo B, Matsui MS, Yarosh D, Cooper KD, Baron ED. Does poor sleep quality affect skin ageing? Clin Exp Dermatol. 2015 Jan;40(1):17-22. doi: 10.1111/ced.12455. Epub 2014 Sep 30. PMID: 25266053. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25266053/

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.