Pregnancy Skin Solutions

If there’s one thing you think about almost as much during pregnancy as your baby, it’s your skin: how it changes, how it stretches, how it freaks out. Not to mention the overwhelming amount of information about how dangerous so many ingredients in your skincare products are to you and your baby. No wonder you don’t have time to get that nursery in order! Tara Foley has you covered. As founder and CEO of a healthy skincare retailer FolainTara stocks its four stores and online store with a curated selection of skin, hair, and cosmetic products that are safe (non-toxic), eco-friendly, high-performance, luxury, and made in the USA. States, including a recently launched home label. And now that she’s expecting her first baby in June, she’s seeing the world from your (pregnant) perspective. We recently caught up with Tara at one of her Boston boutiques and told her about her breakouts (yes, hers!), balance, and why you might want to revamp your beauty bag. before the arrival of this baby.

How has your own skin changed during pregnancy?
Luckily, I didn’t have to worry about the safety of my skincare products when I got pregnant! But unfortunately, my skin – which I usually understand and know how to control – has thrown many curveballs at me over the past six months. At the start of the first trimester, my skin started to break out for the first time in years. Imagine how I felt about that, as a skin care business owner! I broke out along my chin and neck (where hormones show up the most on the skin) and had to completely change my skincare focus for the first time in years. I multi-masked, processed locallyand used balancing face oils rather than the super hydrating oils in my usual routine. Fortunately, I was able to heal and regulate my skin fairly quickly. I am grateful to have experienced this first hand and to be able to share my experience with clients and friends. Any other skincare issues you’ve had to deal with? My skin evened out during my second trimester, but third trimester greeted me with the driest skin and scalp I’ve ever had (to the point of having dry, itchy patches) and I have occasional breakouts again. Now I only use cleansing milks, moisturizing tonersand much heavier oils for hydrate my face – more heavier oils and scrubs for my body (which stretches more and more minute by minute)!

Balancing a baby and biz isn’t easy! What was your wellness routine like during pregnancy? Prior to starting my business, exercise and meditation were not optional for me – I made sure to include these practices daily. This went down for a while when I started Follain in 2013, but during pregnancy, exercise and meditation have become priorities again – and it feels good! Spinning classes and prenatal yoga have become my go-tos. My stress levels went pretty crazy during the pregnancy as I strategized for the next steps in my professional and personal life. Increasing exercise and meditation has also helped me control these stress levels. In the end, the biggest change in my pregnancy wellness routine was sleep; I sleep a lot more than ever before! The moment I got pregnant I started feeling dysfunctional when I didn’t have eight hours of sleep. This was a huge change for me, as I could function on much less sleep before. The combination of exercise, meditation, and sleep made me feel great…and also feel like this pregnancy isn’t so bad after all!

Have you noticed any other pregnancy symptoms affecting your skin? Unfortunately, my diet got worse during pregnancy and I think these diet changes have the most impact on my skin. My first and third trimesters left me seriously craving starchier, fatty foods that don’t provide tons of nutrient density. I went from being a leafy greens and colorful veggie fat girl to craving bread, dairy, potatoes, and other foods that I rarely ate before the pregnancy. Thoughtful beauty product choices, stress management, sleep, exercise, and nutrition are all extremely important for maintaining glowing, healthy skin. When one or more of these aspects are missing, things are out of balance. Hormonal changes – in addition to my diet changes – are what’s hurting my skin. Thankfully, things aren’t too bad, though!

Why is it so important to review your health care plan during pregnancy? Pregnancy is such a special, unique and crazy time – in every way. I still can’t believe – and I have to remind myself daily – that I am growing and nurturing another human being! While there are tons of things to think about (from cleaning products to car seats), skincare really should be a priority during pregnancy. Here’s why:

  1. Health and security. There is little to no regulation of the beauty industry in the United States. Unfortunately, this means that everything from drugstore brands to department store brands usually contains some level of toxic ingredients. These ingredients are absorbed through our skin (our largest organ!) into our bloodstream and can be helpful or harmful to us – and to the babies growing and developing inside of us! Because toxic beauty ingredients have been linked to everything from birth defects to uterine contractions (and so much more in between), it’s extremely important to know our skincare ingredients. Of course, Follain believes in using safe skin care all the time – not just during pregnancy – but this is a particularly important time.
  2. Self-care. With all the decisions, life and career changes that come with it, pregnancy can sometimes be a stressful time. This is also the time when we need to pay the most attention to maintaining our calm and emotional well-being. Kind of hard to manage, if you ask me! The good part is that there are many healthy skin care products that can be used to help maintain that calm. Taking time for yourself with a bath and mask, or including aromatherapy body oils in your daily routine, can make all the difference in your vision and well-being. Breathing deeply and enjoying the nutritional, functional and aromatherapeutic properties of plant-based skincare products can sometimes be part of the product experience! I take a deep breath every time I apply my face oil now, and I’m sure it makes the product (and me!) more effective.
  3. Skin care. There is no getting around skin changes during pregnancy. Some women will suffer from acne, some will have very dry skin, and some (like me) will experience both. Finding the “right” skincare products for your unique pregnancy skin can sometimes be difficult, but it’s worth the effort. Trust me, your skin doesn’t want to break out or get super dry. These escapes are cries for help. Angry pregnancy skin needs to be maintained and regulated to prevent scarring, cracking, and the development of fine lines. Since our faces are what we present to the world – and our skin protects us in more ways than one – it’s important to maintain it during pregnancy and beyond!
  4. Confidence and self-expression. As our bodies change during pregnancy, sometimes a little (non-toxic) makeup can lift your spirits more than usual. As I grew every day in this third trimester, I found myself wearing more lipstick and eye color than ever before. At this point, I’m going to take whatever makes me feel sexier and more confident, and I’m happy to be able to rest easy knowing that the products I’ve added – and started wearing all day – are safe for me and the baby.

Photography by Cambria Grace for Well Rounded NY.

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Patricia J. Callender