We all hear about that infamous ‘pregnancy glow’, but I don’t know of many women who’ve actually experienced this coveted glow for themselves – and that includes me! Instead, I’ve battled with breakouts and blemishes, and – more recently – have noticed an increase in redness and skin sensitivity.
It’s taken me roughly two months to try and find a skincare routine to calm and soothe my newly sensitive skin. And after chatting to several friends – my word, is there a baby boom happening at the moment! – I’ve come to realise that I’m not the only one struggling with sensitive skin.
And it seems that even if you’ve been pregnant before, your skin will likely react completely differently the second time around. I experienced plenty of hormonal breakouts and developed pigmentation during my pregnancy with Bean, but this time round, I’ve noticed an increase in oiliness – and also that my skin is a lot more reactive when it comes to the skincare products I use. I’ve had to strip back completely and have turned my focus to products that are gentle and suitable for even the most sensitive skins – and that’s where Eau Thermale Avène comes in.
Avène has over two centuries’ worth of experience in treating sensitive skin, and is often recommended by Dermatologists worldwide. At the heart of the brand is Avène’s iconic Thermal Spring Water, a powerful natural active ingredient that’s captured directly at the source and has been clinically proven by over 150 studies to soothe, soften and calm the skin.
The minute I noticed my skin starting to act up, I stocked up on a couple of bottles of Eau Thermale Avène Thermal Spring Water (R230) and started spritzing the fine mist over my skin every chance I got. The beauty of this product is that you can use it to soothe and calm your skin after cleansing, as a setting spray once you’ve applied your makeup, or to keep cool and refresh your skin on the go. I’ll be in my third trimester in the heat of summer, so I know to keep a steady supply of my beloved Thermal Spring Water on hand to keep cool and calm. (Did you know that you can even use Avène’s Thermal Spring Water on your baby to help treat and prevent rashes, including nappy rash? It honestly is one of the most versatile beauty products around and one that should be in every woman – and man’s – skincare kit).
Next, I pared down on the number of skincare products I was using, and opted for a gentle cleanser, serum, moisturiser, and SPF only. I use an eye cream in the evenings, and a gentle exfoliant and face mask once or twice a week, depending on what my skin is doing that particular day. The products I’m currently using (and LOVING, by the way) are Avène’s Gentle Milk Cleanser (R265), followed by Avène A-Oxitive Antioxidant Defense Serum R420) and Avène A-Oxitive Day Smoothing Water Cream (R400). The A-Oxitive Antioxidant Defense Serum contains Vitamin C along with a slew of antioxidants to help fight free radicals, which is my long-term action plan to help combat dark spots and pigmentation caused by sun exposure. I’ve found that the formulation is wonderfully lightweight and it hasn’t caused any irritation, which is a welcome relief. I know that it won’t do too much when it comes to preventing melasma caused by hormones, but I’m trying every thing I can possibly think of to prevent dark spots and pigmentation where possible. (This includes wearing sunscreen every single day, regardless of whether I’m actually heading outdoors or not. I’ll be sharing my pick of the best sunscreens for use during pregnancy next week, so watch this space!)
When I feel that my skin needs a little extra love, I’ll slather on a generous layer of Avène Hydrance Aqua-Gel (R350) at night before going to bed. This incredible moisturiser and sleep mask is suitable for all skin types, and it is absolute heaven for dry, stressed out skin. It contains Avène’ s unique Cohederm complex, which boasts a high concentration of Avène’s thermal spring water to help restore your skin’s water reservoirs while strengthening the skin barrier, preventing water loss over time and increasing your skin’s resilience over time. It also contains Sodium Hyaluronate, the salt form of Hyaluronic Acid, which is known to attract moisture to the skin making it the perfect pick for stressed, thirsty skin.
Another newbie to my skincare kit is Avène Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream (R210), which is a lovely, thick multipurpose barrier repair cream that repairs and soothes irritated skin. It contains Avène Thermal Spring Water to soothe and calm your skin, Avène‘s patented C+ Restore to restore your skin’s natural barrier, as well as Copper Sulfate and Zinc Sulfate to promote a healthy skin environment for optimal recovery. It’s a great product for those who struggle with Eczema or Rosacea, and is also perfect to soothe and calm your skin after certain dermatological treatments, like laser.
I apply it to my feet to soften them overnight, as well as on any grazes on Bean’s knees. I’ve found it particularly handy to treat any dry, sensitive patches that have developed during my pregnancy, and I’ve even been know to apply it to my lips. It’s also a great treatment for nappy rash, so I’ll definitely be stocking up on several tubes in the months to come!
(Oh, and you know those pesky scars that stick around for ages after you’ve given in to the temptation to pick a spot? Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream works a treat on those, too!)
You’ll find a wide selection of Avene’s skincare products over on Dermastore – and keep an eye out over the next week or so, as they’ve got an incredible offer on some Avene products coming up. I’ll be updating this blog post as soon as I have all the details, so watch this space! You can also follow me over on Instagram, as I’ll be posting further info there as well.
PS: Here’s a look at some of my earliest pregnancy symptoms, in case you missed it.