By Belinda Lo

Pregnancy takes its toll on your body. The stretch marks, the growing feet … even the hair loss.

Pregnancy hormones impact everyone differently. For me, it was my skin. The pregnancy ‘glow’ was not my story. Instead, I got lumped with pregnancy breakouts. After birth, this turned into dry and sensitive skin, plus dark circles and a dull complexion.

What did I learn? I should have taken better care of my skin.

Founder of Florette Skincare, Belinda Lo says she should have taken better care of her skin during pregnancy.

Breakout Zone: 1st Trimester

As those hormones rushed into my body, I broke out – bad.

I’d always been prone to breakouts but the first months of pregnancy made the issue so much worse. Because I wanted to be cautious about which products I used, for the health of my baby, I basically ignored the issue. I didn’t want to slap chemicals on my skin when I was pregnant, so I lived with the breakouts.

Many skincare products that I used before, were big no-no’s for pregnant women. Products for acne treatment generally contain ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and vitamin A, which can be harmful during pregnancy. So, I steered clear of any products at all.

Your skin will experience many changes during pregnancy.

Glow time: 2nd and 3rd Trimester

Thankfully, the next part of my pregnancy was kinder to my skin. My breakouts settled down and I enjoyed a touch of the mythical pregnancy glow. I was living in blissful ignorance, thinking that I was out of the woods when it came to bad skin. So, again, I did nothing. I didn’t have a skincare routine because I didn’t think I needed one.

Skin Apocalypse: Post-Baby

After birth, my bad skin came back with a vengeance. We’re talking regular breakouts combined with much more sensitive skin. It was dry, dull and lifeless. My confidence took a turn. I hated walking out of the house, beautiful babe in arms, when my skin looked so terrible. New baby = lots of photos. And, that’s the last thing I wanted to do.

Looking back, I see what the issue was. I ignored my skin. Because I was so terrified to use the wrong product, I didn’t use any at all. I let the hormones take me for a ride. When they were bad, I ignored the breakouts. When they were good, I figured I didn’t need to use any products. The result? Tired, undernourished skin. The hormonal fluctuations and lack of sleep of new motherhood wreaked havoc on my skin. I quickly realised, my skincare regime needed a serious overhaul.

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Making my Own Solution

I was determined to find a solution. I began researching natural alternatives to traditional skincare products. Very soon, I realised this was the answer. Natural skincare really can improve skin condition – safely. And yet, none of the products on the market, advertised as ‘natural’ and ‘effective’, worked. My hypersensitive post-pregnancy skin told me that they weren’t what they claimed to be. So, I enrolled myself for formal training as a Natural Skincare Formulator. If I wanted a solution, I was going to have to find it myself.

It was during this time that I learnt how to heal my own skin, naturally. I adopted the ‘back to basics’ philosophy and learnt how important gentleness is, when it comes to pregnancy related skincare. Gentle doesn’t mean ineffective. When backed with research and proper formulation, gentle can be the most effective tool we have. After lots of learning and lots of testing, I finally formulated the perfect answer to my skincare troubles.

Sometimes, we need the mess to make something beautiful. That was absolutely the case when it came to my skin issues during pregnancy. If I hadn’t have struggled so much, I wouldn’t have been motivated to find the solution.

Belinda is the founder of Florette Skincare, a range of skincare products which truly cares about your health. Florette products are simple, all natural and multi-purpose.